Keen on Karratha

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
Trip End Aug 30, 2008

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Friday, July 25, 2008

Hi to all our avid readers!  It's great hearing back from you and receiving your encouragement to keep on keeping on!  The weather has been fantastic the last few days, really nice and sunny and only cool at night.  Sorry to hear how much you are all suffering!!  To those asking for more photographs we are trying they just seem to take forever to upload - so possibly next month we might have more success with more down-load hours.  Stay tuned.  To Alice and Chris - we don't know how Port Headland ended up in the middle of Aust.  Perhaps someone dug a big hole and burried it there!  To Margie and Mull - sory about the speeling mistakes - it's this laptop it not our fault!  So where were we ...
After leaving Tom Price we had an amazing time.  Our first destination was Mount Shelia.  We drove up to the top of a huge mountain (bitumen because it was once a Telsra tower repeater station but so steep still had to use low range 4WD) and had 360 degree views over the massive Hamersley Ranges for as far as we could see.  We were also excited to see the wildflowers, especially lots of Sturt Peas growing everywhere.  We then drove along side the huge Ore Trains on the private access road and passed several, usually about 2km long, and all with only one driver.  Millstream/Chichester NP is very different to Karijini and has an abundance of water.  We camped at Crossing Pool for the night and joined all the other campers at 5pm for happy hour.  Unfortunately the Corellas thought they were invited too and the noise they made was deafening.  The camp hosts said they would leave at 6:15 pm and no sooner had we left than off they flew and no a sound was heard again.  We spent most of the next day driving around the park seeing the sights and visited the old Millstream Station Homestead.  It is now the visitors centre so we learnt all about its very interesting history when it ran 55 000 sheep in the 1930ies.  There were pretty pools of permanent spring water on the property with palms and waterlilies.  We stayed for ages.  As we left the park the view became flat and barren and we thought we had seen the last of the spectactular views.  Next thing we climbed a small hill and went OOOHH again!  Firstly the Sturt Peas were lining the road for km after km and as thick as, while the scenery was fabulous again.  The sturt peas were so thick in places even PT could see them-and he's colour blind. We called in at Python Pool - a natural spring fed waterhole with huge cliffs around it.  Sadly I slipped on a loose rock and fell to my knees, which are now black and blue.  I can imagine I will be able to do much work at all until about 1st September.  No actually I am OK just a little stiff and sore.  I'm trying to make up a story about running away from a huge Python but its not too believeable.
We camped out overnight on a creek side area on station property.  It was a nice place and we were there early enough to light the camp fire and enjoy a delicious camp over dinner all made by Marlene.  This left us a short way to travel the next day to Roebourne where we went to the visitor's centre.  This is in the old Gaol and had an interesting display on the pioneering history and how the Aborigines were treated back then.  Next we saw Cossack, Wickham and Point Sampson.  This didnt take long so we arrived in Karratha by lunchtime.  What a little civilised Oasis this is.  A great clean roomy caravan park, all the shops you could ask for and a very tidy town.  We toured the port loading facilites again today for three hours.  It was a little long but still good but we probably didn't need to see this one as well as Port Headland.  At the end of the day mining and exporting is a very big production in this part of the world.  So today the cars were washed!  We are leaving red dirt country tomorrow and plan to put in a big day to get back on schedule.  We will be in the Exmouth area for the next few days and will be able to up-date you all again from there.

PT adds - I understand it is just a bit on the chilly side down south.  Well we had a real problem 2 days ago - the car airconditioner stopped cooling.  It was soooo HOT in the car.  We found someone who could fix it it up today.  I thought it might only need regassing. WRONG! it needs one of 2 circuit boards worth $1200 each.  Luckily they could not get one on Karratha, so I said leave it as it is. This hours work cost $120.  Everyone earns good money up here.  So I thought I wasted my money, but wait - its blowing cold air.  At least I got some value.  Have been enjoying the travelling, the scenery has been "entertaining".  Just as my camping credits begin to be eaten away, we see some amazing country and experience really enjoyable camping.  Still think I am badly in debit at the moment.  Starting to fight the crowds now.

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