It’s no secret that we love to travel.
Travelling the world – especially in Europe – sits right at the top of our “to do” list. However, we do have other hobbies and interests, and one unique to our time spent in Australia is camping and prospecting for gold in the Australian bush.
It holds an alluring mixture of travel and adventure – wrapped up in romantic dreams of finding our fortune.
We belong to Vic Seekers’ Club, and whenever we can, we join them in their monthly bush camps.
Loading up our all-wheel-drive car with our tent and supplies, we head off into “the middle of nowhere” at various locations in Victoria’s “Golden Triangle” (in the general vicinity of Ballarat and Bendigo).
From our humble beginnings of grabbing my father’s old coin detector, and sleeping in the back of the car, we are all kitted-out these days and I feel that we “glamp” rather than “camp”.
Tony has recently invested in a whiz-bang up-to-the-minute metal detector, so it’s “all systems go!”
Often, while he is detecting, I wander off, taking photos and enjoying the sights, sounds and often the enveloping silence of nature – happy to leave the rat-race far behind me, if only for the weekend.
Early morning is my favourite time of day, when the sun is still low in the sky, casting long shadows and breaking through the leaves in a spectacular manner.
I was happy to find my own gold (no digging required!): the vibrant Golden Wattle (Australia’s floral emblem), brightening up the landscape under a dazzling blue sky.
Meanwhile, Tony was getting his exercise, uncovering plenty of targets as usual – mostly junk, though sometimes unearthing an interesting button or the like – and at least doing the community service of cleaning up the bush.
Having never struck gold before, I was literally speechless when he casually dropped this fabulous find into my hand.
A truly beautiful specimen of that elusive yellow metal.
He was one happy camper!
It was the talk of the camp that day – decent nuggets such as this (at an impressive 21g) are few and far between these days – earning Tony the respect of many a seasoned prospector, and a wave of renewed hope and enthusiasm bubbled through the club.
A warm glow surrounded us that day, and even the flames of the roaring campfire burned golden.
We all slept well, dreaming of many more finds yet to be made.