Sunday, October 04, 2009

Ground zero in the outback: return from Maralinga

Back from Maralinga yesterday.  An amazing journey and I don't really know where to start.  Have to go through my field notes, label all the photographs, gather my thoughts.

We spent time roaming through Maralinga Village on our first day there.   On the second day we attempted to get to Emu Field, but constant rain forced us to turn back only a couple of kilometres from the village as driving conditions had become too dangerous.  Needless to say, the following day was clear and sunny .... Finally, before leaving, we went out to the major test sites at Taranaki, and the airfield.  Our host at Maralinga Village, Robin Mathews, told us that this airstrip was the only one in the southern hemisphere suitable for the space shuttle to use as an emergency landing site.

The most interesting thing for me, possibly, was the inconsequential surface artefact scatters - broken ceramics, beer cans, spam tins, nails etc, the small things that indicated the everyday life of the Maralinga staff.

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