Karratha Catch Ups

3rd to 5th October 2017

Karratha – Tuesday

A very early start, these kids are little, and it is pretty expected for them to wake up around 5ish, since they go to bed about 7ish. Plus, poor Jeff had to go to work, and the kids just love to have brekkie with Dad. As we wouldn’t see much more of Jeff, we got up too, and enjoyed the kids chatter, and watching Jeff with the kids. Once Jeff left, Tash got up, and the kids just played. I forgot how busy they can be, and the attention they demand. It was a good morning, reading books, playing Boom Boom Balloon, and dressing dolls.

Fun with the kids. We are out of practice, but having a ball.

Time for more of a tour of Dampier, and the gas plant, and Hearsons cove. A bit of a look around Karratha, a bit of shopping, then back to Jeff and Tash’s for some more fun with the kids. The kids have been painting rocks, and want to be a part of WA Rocks, on Facebook. They have given us four rocks, for us to drop in different places on the way home. Hopefully someone else will find them, and they will go on little journeys of their own. Cool idea, and it is really picking up. Should be fun. Once Jeff got home, we thanked them all for having us, and sharing their time with us. It was a lot of fun, and they are a lovely family.

Good old Red Dog, an iconic part of the Pilbara folk lore. Great movie too. Hearsons cove is a beautiful spot, and we spent a few great days here.

Next we just rode back into town to stay with some other friends, Darren and Kelly. These guys are a little bit older than us, have grown up kids, and are up here working for Horizon Power. They live in one of the new high rise (4 stories) buildings, and it is very nice. A big contrast to our last night, and right in the centre of everything. Will and I just can’t believe this is Karratha. It looks so different. Again, we had a great night chatting and catching up with all the happenings in these guys lives, and enjoying a relaxing evening. We had dinner at a bar downstairs, which was really nice, and watched a bit of the old Kath and Kim, on TV.

Wouldn’t think this is a remote mining town in the Pilbara. Wow, what a difference.

Karratha – Wednesday

Compared to yesterday, today was a veritable sleep in. Once upon a time I would have thought seven thirty was early, but not anymore. We missed Darren, he started too early for us, and was so quiet, we didn’t wake up. So we got up to chat to Kelly, while she got ready for work. It was so bloody relaxing, we almost just stayed here. But instead we got ourselves together after Kelly left for work, and headed off again. We were supposed to be leaving this town, but I really wanted to catch up with an old school friend, who is also living here, with his family.

Who wouldn’t want to stay here? Pool, gym, secure, and plenty of restaurants within walking distance.

We arrived at Paul and Shelly’s just before lunch, and got to meet their four great kids. We hadn’t met Shelly either, but have been friends on Facebook. It didn’t take long for us all to feel like life long friends, and to find out what was going on in each other’s lives. Many similarities, and a fair bit in common. It was great, and to top it off, Paul is a great cook. Home made spring rolls for lunch, and pork and gravy rolls for dinner, while watching the latest Transformer movie with the kids. I can’t tell you how fantastic it has been, our three days in Karratha, learning about these wonderful people, and sharing a small part of their lives.

Trying to get the old Foxtel box connected. These things are a necessity up here, when the temps are over 40C for weeks on end, entertaining four growing kids can be a real task. Australia is falling way behind in it’s internet access and performance, and in this technical age, it makes doing Day to day business very frustrating.

Karratha to Onslow 320kms

Thursday – Up pretty early, that’s kids for ya, and having a chat to two of the boys while the others had a sleep in. We felt pretty at home, making a coffee, with the help of the boys, and I was busy psyching myself up for weetbix, when Paul got up and offered Bacon and Egg rolls. Winner! No contest, sorry weetbix. More chatting, but today the kids had relaxed with us, and wanted to know more about the bikes, and telling us more about their lives etc. Bloody hell, we really need to stay for longer. Just means we have to make more of an effort to see them again. All too soon, we were packed and heading off. Happy sad again. We had a good time.

These little girls just love to talk Will’s ear off, and I find it so amusing. The boys were super interested in the bikes, sorry Paul, and it was lots of fun.

The ride to Onslow was pretty good, with a short stop at the Fortescue River. Fantastic bridge, water in the river, and although it says no camping, you could hide away if you tried. Along the North West Coastal highway, we saw a whole heap of mines and gas plants that weren’t there last time (remember that was a long time ago). It was amazing to see. We turned in towards Onslow, and the wind that was slightly annoying all day, become a proper head wind, and I was happy we only had 80 kays to go. It was good road, lots of termite mounds that reminded us of the “Poo” emoji, making us laugh and want to stick eyes on them. Then more surprise, as there is now much more going on in this area, in regards to Oil, Gas and mining.

The bridge has 22 spans, and is a ripper. Imagine this river after some good rain? That would be a sight to see.

I can’t help myself, I am fascinated by these structures. These ones are built by spinifex ants, who collect the seeds, and store them in a large central storeroom inside the mound. Bloody genius creatures.

Arriving in town, (I’ve never been here, but always heard negative reports in the past) we were both happily surprised with what we saw. Lots of new developments, units, and even a flash resort. Tourism has reached here without us knowing. The town is full of holiday makers (it’s still school holidays), and travellers. Lucky we have a tent, or they wouldn’t be able to fit us in. After settling in, and having a look around, we’ve decided we might like to stay two nights, and just relax and think about our journey.

Onslow, what a nice surprise. Definitely worth more investigating.

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