Sunday, February 12, 2006

Gold in them thar hills ...


Gold in them thar hills ...
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
Visited my first gold digging today, under a very Lord of the Rings sky (see pic). Bannockburn Sluicings is an extraordinary place where hydraulic sluicing to extract the gold from gravel has left a gorge of fantastic cliffs and gullies. The various races down which the water poured apparently defined the limits of the miners' claims.

We saw a cave where a rabbiter had lived, in among the debris from the sluicing, and the ruined cottage where one David Stewart (no relation!) had lived when he controlled the reservoir which supplied the precious water used in washing out the gold. Apparently a row broke out when it was proposed to recycle the water - the men paying for it thought they paid for the water itself, rather than merely the use of it.

We also walked among the pear trees of a deserted orchard, in the shade of three huge Scots pines. And all the time the warm wind blew the golden, dusty grass in tussocks and dried the sweat on our skin as soon as it formed. The rain, when it came, lasted ten seconds, as if someone had flicked water at us as we passed. A shower, Jim, but not as we know it!

2 comments:

  1. Remember to bring back a bar or two of gold for the wedding - would suit us just fine. ;-)

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  2. We had proper showers here - you know the sort - horizontal rain and stingy wind.

    Sounds lovely.

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