30th September 2017 – Day 33 (143)
Sandfire to Port Hedland 320kms
Whoah, that wind just picked up overnight, which made for a pretty good night, it was cool. We woke about 6 and just got up. As usual, everything was rolled up before I dragged myself out of the tent, so breakfast was next. With the wind at about 37kms/hr (according to Weather Zone) it was all we could do to stop the plates and oats from blowing away. Rolling the tent took some contortionist manoeuvres, and it was more scrunched than rolled. All this while dodging flying mangoes, being blown off the huge trees around us. Exciting start to the day.
Bit of a bad hair day happening today, not much to be done with that.
There isn’t a great deal along the highway between here and Port Hedland, but you can turn off and head to the coast at a few spots. Adding them to the old memory bank, for the 4WD ventures, we just enjoyed the South Easterly (mostly tail wind) and the intense red dirt on the sides of the road.
After an hour and a half, we arrived at Pardoo roadhouse, which was much neater, cleaner and even had grass. No fuel, just an ice coffee and a home made sausage roll. Very good, not quite as good as the ones we’ve had at Overlander, near the turn off to Shark Bay and Denham, but the best we’ve had on this journey.
The rest of the ride was really enjoyable. Just cruising at around 95kms an hour was nice today. Traffic was pretty light, and it was interesting that we could actually pick where the Kimberley ended, and the Pilbara began. The terrain, actually changes, just after Pardoo, near the DeGrey river. Crossing this river, we noticed some campers down along the river, and this is definitely a spot to remember. Very nice and shaded, with toilets and plenty of room.
Definitely a good place to stop for a couple of days to just rest and enjoy.
Arriving at Port Hedland, we were dumbfounded at the new road systems. It was a bit confusing, and we struggled to recognise something, so we’d be able to remember where we had stayed before. It was too hard, so we just followed the old blue signs, to the Discovery Caravan Park at Cooke Point. It’s huge, but set out well, and close to the beach and Pretty pool Optional Clothing beach. Who knew? Anyway, Will asked for an unpowered site, and we rode to it. Full sun, soft sand on a very steep slope. Come on people!
Cookes Point is a really nice spot, and when the tide was out it was pretty good.
After having a look around, we spotted a few other sites, so Will went to see if we could have a different one. I waited. When Will returned, he was very happy. He’d got a cabin instead, and they’d even given him a discount. Ripper, just in time to watch the AFL grand final. Chips, beers, aircon and a big screen TV, winning!
I’m not the biggest sports fan, but a grand final is always good, and an excuse to have chippies. After the big game, we went for a walk and chatted to Rob and Marrie, who were living on the road in their camper trailer. Another amazing survival story, and interesting journey.