February, 11 2010
Comet Gold Mine
Christian Fletcher
Photography

February 12, 2010. Yesterday we left Marble Bar. As a group we decided to go for a little 300 km detour heading down a gravel road into the middle of know where to see what it was like. Along the way we stopped off at an unused gold mine which was closed, not surprisingly, as it is only nutters who would be out there on such a stinking hot day in a stinking hot place.

As all good photographers do we decided to go in anyway and found a virtual treasure trove of cool stuff to shoot. We also found lots of drums saying cyanide. Ah, she’ll be right mate, no problems as long as it is in the drums. Tony and I decided to kick a little of the dust in one of the shed around to get some good light rays, ok, I decided to. All good, no dramas, didn’t work too well but it was fun whilst it lasted.

On leaving we were visited by the caretaker who gave Les a serve for us not telling him we were on the property and then he dropped the bombshell. There is cyanide all over the place and if you start feeling sick get to the doctor asap. My legs began to shake as I had been dancing around in the dust minutes earlier. Now here we were on our way to who knows where and I was possibly going to drop dead of cyanide poisoning. Les told us what to look out for, the signs of our impending doom; bad taste in the mouth, tingling fingers and that wasn’t very reassuring. Before too long I had a bad taste in my mouth and then my heart rate went up. I had to be brave as the first person to cry like a big baby would suffer the brunt of the jokes for the rest of the trip.

By the time we got back to Hedland I was stuffed, head pounding, dry throat, nausea and lethargy. Still I couldn’t say too much as the word that is another name for a cat came to mind, and I didn’t want to be called that. I woke up this morning still feeling bad so I went to the doctor to discuss how many days I had left on the planet. I have to get some blood tests done to determine if I have inhaled any cyanide but he thought it was more heat stroke that is my problem and that more to the point I am a big baby. Still whatever it is I feel horrible. We have been going pretty hard since getting here and I had just reached my limits of endurance.

The good news is I have been confined to my hotel room for the day and get to catch up on some computer work. The others are out on the wharf getting cooked. Ah being on your death bed isn’t so bad after all.

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