Day 90 – Monday, 22 August 2022

Happy 70th birthday, Kaye. Hope you and the family had a wonderful time celebrating.

Happy Birthday, Jacquab. Hope you get over the Ross River Fever real soon.

Lots of people were on the move first thing this morning. By late afternoon all the empty bays had been refilled with the next crop of travellers.

It was a lovely sunny day and the temperature reached 31 degrees by late afternoon. There is a fair bit of bite to the sunshine still and Russ is looking forward to cooler climes going south. (I don’t know that I am.)

Karratha (aptly named ‘good country’) was founded in the late 1960s due to the tremendous growth of the iron ore industry. Today, it is a powerhouse of the Pilbara and a vibrant, bustling city home to modern facilities and shopping, stylish restaurants and an innovative arts precinct.

We headed out to the Visitor Information Centre but all we saw as we approached were a lot of boards in a layby area, so we continued into town. We did find out later that the house sitting behind the boards is the Info Centre, but by that time we had already had a wonderful time drive around seeing things for ourselves.

We travelled to Dampier which is a major industrial port in this region and is located 27 kilometres past Karratha. Dampier is primarily a port for export of iron ore from Rio Tinto Mines, Liquified Natural Gas and salt. It was founded in 1965.

We saw lots of big machinery, salt pans galore with cute cut-outs in the middle of them (we were travelling too fast, and the photo didn’t turn out of Elvis), port operation and wildflowers.

We then turned off the major highway and went down Burrup Road to the Burrup Peninsula, which has the most humungous gas operation and buildings, so big that they wouldn’t all fit into the frame even with the wide-angle lens on. They were also burning off gas residue at the top of some of the towers. It was an amazing sight.

Then there were the hills of red stones, and in the valleys where the streams meander when it is wet, there are beautiful ghost gums lining the banks and against the backdrop of red they are just stunning.

We called into IGA to get more nuts. Unfortunately, they don’t stock our favourite, so we had to accept the next best thing. They also didn’t carry any frozen chopped onions so I may have to cry a bit during the next cooking day.

They did have roast meats with vegetables, so I bought a roast beef for Russ and a roast pork for me. We actually ate it at lunch time while it was still hot and then had a little snack at teatime. Russ said his roast meat was melt in your mouth, and I enjoyed every bite of my pork, especially the crackling.

The roundabouts in Karratha are works of art. They have different sculpture pieces in the middle of them, and some of them are lovely.

When we got back to the van, I did a load of washing. It is still free here, but I am sure that it will change now that the mining dongas have been removed, and the park will be paying for their water usage.

Later in the afternoon, and into the evening, we sat and watched the replay of the Collingwood versus Carlton game. Even knowing that we won there were some tense moments.