Saturday, 20 July 2013

Kicking on towards Karijini

Sunday 14th July

We left Marble Bar this morning heading towards Karijini National Park. It meant backtracking to Port headland first which was not too much of a hardship. Being that it was Sunday, we were surprised at the number of road trains, in front, behind and coming the other way!

The scenery in the Pilbara is very different from that of the Kimberley and truly lovely.

As we came into Port Headland, we noticed that the Salt works were a flurry of activity also. Maybe everyone gets paid double time on Sundays because it wasn’t that busy during the week.


After we left Port Headland, we drove about 20 km past the Karijini National Park turnoff to (517) Herbert Parker (Yule River). It is a lovely spot but the entrance is well camouflaged, so much so that we drove straight past, over the bridge and had to do a u-turn and come back. Obviously we were not the only ones because the side of the road has its own little u-turn bay carved out in the foliage!!!!


I was speaking to a fellow who has been here a few days and he assured me that lost campers provide hours of amusement as they scuttle back and forth across the bridge.


The sunset was beautiful. I have included this because my friend, Ros is getting homesick seeing all the sunsets into the ocean. I thought a river scene would be a nice distraction!

Monday 15th July
We headed off towards Karijini national Park this morning through more breathtaking country. It is so hard to come to terms with the enormous distances between places. And always there is the red dust.  

Now the strata in the rocks are becoming more evident.


The area is made up of Banded Iron, Dolomite and Shale.

It varies in age from 1 to 2500 million years old.

We stopped at (581) Albert Tognolini rest Area for lunch. 


As we were getting closer to Karijini, we heard on the radio that it was really crowded due to school holidays and one should phone first to make sure sites are available. Chance would be a fine thing since we have no phone coverage!!!!! So dauntless we charged onward.  On arrival at the gate, we had to fill out our registration and pay our once only $5.00 day fee and were directed to proceed 8km past (582) Dales Campground to the Visitor Centre.



We dutifully did as instructed and were told that we should go back to the campground and we would be given a site by the campground hosts there. So we drove back the 8km to (582) Dales Campground and were duly allocated a site. You can tell Dept of Environment and Conservation are a Government concern. The radio had it wrong and there were plenty of sites ($24.00 for 2 nights).

We set up camp and shared the camp bar-b-que with two young Dutch back packers and a primary school teacher on exchange from America and working in Perth.

Tuesday 16th July
We were up early (for us) and set off on our Gorge Rim walk

We started off overlooking the Fortescue Falls. It was too far down for these fat little legs to go but several intrepid hikers were down there swimming.

We had decided very early on that we would stick to the top of the gorge.


The views were spectacular and we did not have to risk life and limb scrambling up and down ladders and negotiating other obstacles.

All the way along we were seeing the incredible rock formations and finally our walk ended at the Circular Pool, many metres below. Again intrepid hikers were enjoying a well-earned dip.

By taking the easy walk, we had plenty of time ‘to smell the roses’ or the wildflowers as the case may be.


We even met a couple of the locals!


Then it was back to Indie for a well-earned rest.
 Some people have fairies at the bottom of the garden; we had a giant Termite Mound!


As I was sitting reading through my information on Karijini, I found out that blue asbestos was discovered in Karijini National Park in 1908. It occurs in thin veins within the iron formation, in seams parallel to the layering in the host rock. In the late 1930s serious attempts were made to extract it but these were hampered by limited size of the veins and their flat-lying attitude. Underground mining took place in nearby Wittenoom and Yampire Gorges. Operations there closed in 1966.

There is also a warning. “Asbestos dust may cause cancer when inhaled. Please do not disturb.”

The only thing here ‘disturbed’ is me!!!  I would not recognise Asbestos if I fell over it let alone inhaled it! I only hope it was found in areas far away from Dales Gorge!!!!

The weather has changed and it is really cold tonight. There has been a Southerly change come through.

Through Tom Price and Past Paraburdoo

Wednesday 17th July
We headed out towards Tom Price this morning and as we were driving along there was a rest stop signposted ‘photo site’. 
 Never one to pass an opportunity, we pulled over and it was a lookout.

Further investigation showed it to be (584) RIP Lookout where people are asked to place a stone in memory of a loved one. There were hundreds of them. Most were just painted rocks but there were a couple of very elaborate metal plaques as well.

From here we drove into Tom Price and went to the Information Centre and found a caravan park (the only one) and decided to drive around town and take in the points of interest.
The lady at the info centre was saying that ‘Red Dog’ of the movie fame did actually live around the area for a while and her partner had him in his donga for a night. He said he was the most awful dog. He was dirty, smelly and had fleas. The only reason he let it stay in his room under the table was because it tried to bite him when he went to evict it. Apparently the dog’s nature has been somewhat softened and glamorised for the sake of a good story.
We drove around. It is quite a nice little town. It has the usual facilities and even has a travelling butcher! I’m not sure how Coles felt about that!


We went up to the lookout as well and saw the town and the golf course with its Putting Green that was really Red!!!!


 On our sightseeing tour, we came across this ‘Lectra Haul’ Truck. You see these things on the telly and in pictures but until you stand next to one, you have no idea of the size of these things. They are immense!!!!

This one is not much longer than Indie at 11.8 metres but it stands almost twice as high at 5.7 metres.


And I would not like to pay for fuel since the tank holds 2,877 litres!!!!!!

The truck served at Tom Price Mine between 1980 and 1992 and moved an estimated 23 million tonnes of ore!!!!

After a bite to eat at the local café and a top up of fuel it was off to the salubrious Tom Price Tourist Park ($42.00 per night) with more rules and regulations than most others.

There was even a sign saying ‘Lights Out at 9.30pm.’

The wind has picked up again and it is freezing!!!!! I’m not sure if my washing is snap frozen or still damp!

 Thursday 18th July

We headed off towards Paraburdoo, another mining town.


The scenery was at its usual best with lots of pretty flowers (not as many as expected since this is one of the advertised ‘wild flower trails’)


We did a drive through of Paraburdoo. It is a rather pretty mining town.

In spite of the fact that there are lots of green spaces and parks, the white corellas are still fighting a losing battle against the red dust!!!!!

It has its very own Area 51, but instead of little green men, they have big green trucks!!!!


We travelled on to (493) Beasley River Rest Area and have decided to stay here for today and tomorrow.

There is not much here; a few more flowers and heaps of other campers.
It is very crowded but they are not a friendly lot.
Maybe it has something to do with the temperature. I’m sure we are getting the winds directly from Antarctica!
It is freezing.
Friday 19th July
After a night wrapped in doonas with bed socks firmly on feet, today is sunny but still the icy winds continue to blow. It is lovely if you can get a sheltered spot and curl up with a good book (which is precisely what I am going to do right now!)
After a hard day’s work of reading and taking it easy we settled into a night of TV watching while trying to ignore generators. A person really is defined by the way they use a generator!!!






1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the sunset, When would it be a good time to say "I told you so!!..??" As I always said
    Western Australia is gods gift ... and don't go bagging out the people any time soon, cos they can spot an 'easty' from miles aways. make sure your in the south west area in the spring ..then you'll see wildflowers.
    love from the home sick one.