This post deviates from the general theme of 3D printing and software curiosities. It is ‘ancient’ history from an old travel blog I was writing while traveling around Australia.

A photo of sculpture standing in Lake Ballard, Western Australia

Last weekend Meech and I went for a bit of a tour of the Western Australian Goldfields: we got up early, saddled the car and pointed our trusty steed north. We headed towards Lake Ballard, a salt lake near a very small town called Menzies. Now, the only real reason for stopping in Menzies is for a 50km diversion down a dirt road towards Lake Ballard. You see, while Lake Ballard may appear to be just another unremarkable dry salt lake on par with the many other unremarkable dry salt lakes that can be found in the area, the Government a few years ago decided to spruce this one up a little with some sculptures by a British artist, Antony Gormley. 51 life sized pieces modelled on the 51 inhabitants of Menzies, the exception being that they are all emancipated, as if they have been sun-dried. The end result is something akin to what I have always pictured in my mind as ‘the dreaming’; lost spirits wandering the desolate interior, baked by the brutal sun and mirrored in the flat expanse of nothing. Wandering around this place is a pretty isolating experience; there is literally no sound; no cars, no people, no birds, no leaves - nothing but the wind whistling in your ears. The whole time you think some one is watching you, or moving towards you. Catching glimpses of something in your peripheral vision, but it is nothing but another anorexic statue.

As if a spooky salt lake just wasn’t enough, we headed further north toward Leonora along a road that possibly has the highest density of road kill in the country – at least one or two dead kangaroos per kilometre. Oh, and massive Wedge Tailed eagles, these things. Deadset, would stand as tall as your waist and completely dwarfed the crows. Leonora itself is a very nice town, despite looking a little sad and down on its luck since the closure of the Sons of Gwalia gold mine. It has a really nice main street jammed packed with really nice old shops and a theatre – the only problem being that most of this commercial space is boarded up and closed, almost a ghost town; the real deal is just down the road in Gwalia. It is a pretty spooky place – the residents of Leonora have restored most of the Gwalia to be as though everyone left that morning… Cue post apocalyptic outback visions. While I did not find the place as creepy as Lake Ballard, I think the full effect at night would eclipse any B-grade horror film you could name.

I am so glad to have not seen Wolf Creek before embarking on this trip; I think I would have freaked out many times over already.


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