This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2004 Travels July 28

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WEDNESDAY 28 JULY   MARBLE BAR TO SOUTH HEDLAND   202kms

An unpleasant surprise greeted John when he went to pack up this morning. The driver’s side front tyre on Truck was flat! So, a wheel change was needed before any other packing up got under way.

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How many flat tyres was that, for this trip?

While that was happening, the gold miner from the General Store arrived, with some small nuggets that he thought might be what I was looking for, to make earrings. I bought two.

After that, we had a routine drive to Port Hedland, all on good sealed roads.  Once past the hilly country around Marble Bar, the country got to be flat and a bit boring.

Went into the South Hedland Caravan Park, at $18 a night. It was rather shabby and contained mostly longer term dwellers. Later, as we were driving about, noticed a new park – Black Rock – that had recently opened. I wished I’d known about that one earlier! Knew there was another park, in Port Hedland itself, but had encountered sandflies there, back in ’93, and was not keen to repeat the experience.

After setting up for a short stay, drove into the main – older – part of Port Hedland, and had a look about. Port Hedland is really these two separate settlements, separated by several kms of desolate flat ground given over to salt pans and some industry. The drive in there took us past the very extensive salt works with their heaped up white salt hill.

The older, original Port Hedland was on a narrow peninsula of ground and limited by the swampy flat lands behind it. When there was the need to expand the original little fishing port town, with the advent of iron ore shipping, the necessary shops, services and houses were built back away from the swampy inlets, to the south. The layout of this part mirrored that of the other Pilbara towns set up for mining related purposes.

We saw long ore trains heading for the port area in the old town.

I remembered buying prawns from a trawler at the port, in ’93. We found out that it was no longer possible to buy fish or prawns from the boats, any more. Pity.

At one stage, saw an entourage in the distance –  turned out to be that of the Prime Minister. Never did find out why he was in town, though.

Came across a shop selling gemstones and rocks, and bought a few pretty stones for grand daughter.

Collected our mail from the PO. This included the new battery charger we’d had sent from Melbourne. But we decided not to try to get this installed now – not sure about the local work. We’d been managing with the portable charger, so thought we’d try to get back home with that system, and get the new charger properly installed at Trakmaster.

John found a tyre place and put the flat tyre in for repair.

M bought us all chicken and chips as a farewell dinner. I made an exception to my rule of not eating chicken not cooked by me – and hoped! I’d been outvoted. Fortunately, there were no adverse effects later.

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