So . . . like many Aussies our overseas holiday was cancelled because of the COVID pandemic.

What to do? Where to go? Like the rest of Australia we’ve decided to hit the road in search of a little adventure — to break the boredom at home.

Our destination is outback Broken Hill and we’re driving a bright orange Citroen C5 Aircross (beep if you see us).

Reckon we won’t see another car like this one out there.

Day Seven and we’re still here in Broken Hill.

Guess what? It’s still hot. It’s expected to hit 37 degrees by 11am, and after that . . . well, it will probably be even hotter.

We’ve signed up to do an underground tour of the Day Dream Mine at Silverton, about 25km out of town.

We decide to do it in the morning before it gets too hot.

It was a sound plan but it was hot anyway.

First up we do an above ground tour of the workings, but my wife bails because she is overheating already.

Fortunately, it’s a lot cooler underground where the temperature remains a constant and welcome 28 degrees.

A hard hat with a miner’s light is mandatory along with a face mask because of COVID pandemic.

The mine dates back to 1882 and back then miners worked a 12-hour day, six days a week, for which they received 1.5 pounds a week.

Young kids that worked in the mine got five shillings.

To say it was a tough life doesn’t do it justice.

It must have been hell and most of the poor buggers died from silicosis or emphysema by the time they were 35 or 40 years old.

After the mine we headed into downtown Silverton, not that there’s much of it — to the pub for a bite of lunch, to the Mad Max Museum which was closed and to 39 Dips Gallery and the hilarious story art of Howard William Steer.

Other stops include Penrose Park, Mundi Mundi Lookout, and the Umberumberka Reservoir (try saying the last one quickly).

Back to Broken Hill where we visit the Silver City Mint & Art Centre where artist Peter Anderson’s Big Picture is to be found.

Measuring almost 100 metres long and 12 metres at its highest point, the painting and diorama took the artist almost two years to create.

It’s described as the World’s Largest Acrylic Painting on Canvas by a single artist.

Our day finished with dinner at the Palace Hotel which featured in the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

More to come tomorrow.

 

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Chris Riley e1562539398605 96x96 - We hit the road to Broken Hill -- Day 7

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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