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Published: August 16th 2013
Back on the road again, and we are driving through the ranges towards Mt Tom Price, there is no scenery so far on this trip that can better it. Mountain ranges full of iron ore, some are showing signs of mining with the tops neatly sliced off. We drive into Paraburdoo in convoy and find the caravan park which is beautifully set out. One of the caretakers apologises to us, saying she is sorry, there are no trees, they haven't arrived yet! This park is run by the mines and we are all impressed, with the cups of tea while we wait for our washing to wash, and dry. All free. We all troop down to the Mess to eat dinner with the miners at night which is a new experience for us all. The food is good and there is plenty to eat, the kids love all the cakes and icecream afterwards, and so do we!
We leave our fossickers again next day when Greg and I go to Karajini National Park, they are going on the Millstream Road to Roeburn, looking for thunder eggs, we will meet up somewhere on the road again. When we get to Karajini, Dales Gorge
campsite is full and we go to the overflow where even that fills up. Every type of camping vehicle and tent are here. They keep on coming into the night and we find a whizz banger parked under our window next morning. A french family of five, Mum, Dad and three teenage girls are climbing out of a very small tent, and one comes over to borrow a can opener. She has a very large tin of baked beans. We smile at each other, she has some English and I understand what she wants.
The walk down into the Gorge is very steep, but there are hand rails edging the vertical drops, white gums cling to the top edge, their roots embedded in the cliff face. There are two swimmers in the first pool far below, and after a look at them in the water we go on up to Fern Pool. A perfect hidden pool with it's own waterfall, tiny fish swim about in the clear water. I bend down to see how warm the water is and before I can stop them, my sunglasses fall into the blackness, spiralling round and round! I did'nt know if I was going
to swim, but now I must, and start getting into my suit. Before I can get in, the couple from the first pool have arrived, and the sunglasses appear in a flash! A lovely Irish couple, and they are swimming with the whale sharks on Wednesday. We all jump in and swim over to the waterfall where maidenhair fern grows under the ledge. We don't know how far down the bottom is here, but the water is very warm. With many thanks for the sunglasses, we head back to camp.
Happy hour is a funny affair tonight, when the ants start biting where they should'nt, and I run inside and throw all my clothes out the caravan door for Greg to shake! By now the overflow park has really overflowed, and it must make an interesting scene for the campers. It's now school holidays, and all you can hear is "Get down from that tree" "Come and have your shower, and don't get your feet dirty again" There are no showers here, they have their own. Vehicles continue to pour, in looking for a site and it's only 5pm. (Next day the radio tells people "Do not go in to Karajini,
there is no Room".
On the way out next day, we drive into the worst looking raod house you could ever wish to see. The dust! It's everywhere, and everything is red with it, it is swirling about, and everyone as car after car comes in to get their petrol. We get our petrol and keep on going towards Port Hedland. We are now in cattle country and the cattle roam free, with no fences for the next 1000ks or more. We havew a lucky escape even though we have our eyes peeled for cattle, a young brahman runs up out of a dry creekbed, Greg hits the brakes, and luckily the animal stays on its side of the road, but goes out in front of the van behind.
We reach Port Hedland and find a caravan park that should have been bulldozed, but we have come far enough and we need to stop. The mining is alive and well here in these parts and the trucks on the highway are nonstop. Massive big loads going in and out of Port Hedland. So it's one night here in this town and we are off up the highway again. We pull in to
a roadstop beside the De Grey River, and have a lovely campsite right on the waters edge. We spend the day sitting under the shady trees, as it's very hot. The cattle decide to wander through the camp, scattering the tourists and their solar light panels. Huge trucks carrying massively bigger trucks cross the bridge as we sit there and the traffic has to be stopped to let them on one at a time.
As the sun sets on this lovely spot, we sip our wines and think how lucky we are.
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