Rubyvale is a tiny little village with only about 500 people out in the middle of nowhere. So why put up with the long drive in the refrigerator car? Well, apparently you can search for gems. Sounds a little weird, right? But as I’m up for anything, we’re here to check it out. On arrival it’s dinner time, so we make our way to the local pub and believe it or not they have burgers with beetroot on it. Yum! Beetroot is a must for the ‚real Australian‘ sandwich or burger. After dinner we make our way to our ‚cabin‘ and call it a night. It’ll be an interesting day tomorrow!
In the morning we put on our oldest pair of jeans – not a good look! This is definitely not a place for fashionable people! 😉 After breckie we make our way to an old mineshaft which serves as a ‚museum‘ these days. It’s really interesting to squeeze through the tight shafts and see how people used to mine the area for gems. I give Greg, who is walking right in front of me, a nudge „It’s difficult to imagine that people worked down here all day!“ „Yeah, it wouldn’t be my favourite job either‘ he says and focuses again on where he’s going.
After the adventure at the museum we meet Michael, our tour guide for the day. We jump into his car and he drives us out somewhere to a field. I’m just glad that there are other participants as they could just drop us off and take off, no one would find you out here! Haha! Michael goes and takes the gear out of the car, which looks a bit like they’re out of the museum. And before I know what’s going on Greg and I end up with a spade and an old metal sieve in our hands „Off you go! Enjoy!“ says Michael. „Thanks“ I say and start shovelling.
„Do you really believe they would let us dig here, if they think there is something to be found?“ I ask with a crinkled forehead? That’s how you make a fool out of the tourists. Greg answers me „My sister has found several rocks here.“ – „Oh!“ I reply, head down and keep shovelling! Everything happens very systematically, you dig, put it in a sieve, put it in some water and wait until something twinkles at you. „Oh wow!“ I say to Greg after a while „Do you think this is one?“ Impatiently I bounce from one foot to the other. „How would I know? I don’t think so. . . maybe?“ he answers. We wave at Michael, indicating for him to have a look at our find. „Do you reckon this is a sapphire?“ He takes the little rock and holds it toward the sun saying „Congratulations, you found your first sapphire. It’s even big enough to get it cut. What a nice colour!“ We can’t believe it! This trip just turned a whole lot more exciting! I dig like a maniac for the next hour and we even find another gem.
After a very exciting day we just fall into bed – happy and exhausted. Tomorrow we’ll drive back to Mackay in the refrigerator car.
– part 2 –
I didn’t know back then that the blue sapphire would twinkle at me from my engagement ring. 🙂
If you don’t mind digging, Rubyvale (click here) is definitely worth the trip. Even if you’re not a fan of getting your hands dirty, you might be able to find just the right sapphire in one of the jewellers. We enjoyed the trip very much so and will be back one day!