TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Archive for September 18th, 2008

Day 31 – 18th September

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 18, 2008

So, there were a couple of things to go look at in Port Hedland and then only a short run down to Karratha. First thing I went to the ship viewing area for a look at the loading

The ship on the left is nearly full down to the Plimsoll line while that one on the right is only just starting to load up.

Then, in town near the maritime centre is the observation tower, a bit like the control tower at the airport

Then down the road, one of the main reasons this town is here, is the iron ore processing facility

Another industry here is the salt mines, another exported item

I was on the road by 9.30am as that was all there was to see. It is a mining and resource town that is all, although they do have fishing of course, but did I mention the wind, blowing 30 knots+. I stopped at Whim Creek for fuel and some tucker

Down the road a way I crossed one of many rivers that looked like this, wide and dry; this one is actually Whim Creek

The landscape was not as boring as some out this way, but getting there with the monotony

The town of Roebourne had an old Gaol and courthouse which I spotted at the turnoff

I arrived at Karratha at midday and went straight to the Visitor Centre

There was not much choice here, 3 caravan parks spread out and none near anything, the closest was over at Dampier, another 20km and it was still over ½ km away from anything useful. I decided on that one anyway as it was next to the water, but as you can see, the water was full of ships again

After some lunch, I went and checked out the North West Shelf Gas Project, about 10km up the road where they had a visitor centre with quite a few displays on the project and some videos as well as models of the boats, platforms etc. Basically, the gas is brought up from 1km down under the seabed, piped 135km to shore where it is processed before being loaded onto big bottle ships and exported to China and Korea, here are a few images, you will notice the flare of stack and the flame nearly horizontal, that will give you some idea of the wind conditions.

And outside was a modern statue of what looks like mine rescue

I went into Karratha for a decko, checked out a few things, but there is nothing there except a small town and some shops. There is nothing to this town, nor Dampier except industry and the support for them. A lot of new accommodation was being built for extra workers, a lot of single men’s quarters as well. There was another salt farm and that was it, ore loading facilities, gas and salt. Back in Dampier the harbour looked nice and there is supposed to be good fishing in this area, which would be the only reason for working out this way for your days off, there is nothing else to do.

While riding around looking for the Library to check emails I spotted these little suckers, beautiful flowers and the first time i have seen them in the wild and not in a photo, as you are going to see. These are called Sturt Desert Peas.

This place is also famous for a red cattle dog that used to hitchhike and wander around and did some weird and wonderful things; they erected a memorial for him.

Then it was back to the van park to freshen up and who should ride in, none other than Jim and Lesley. So, first things first, we rode down to the Mermaid Hotel for some beers, being real careful as the police station was right next door.

We were intending to have a feed, but the prices were a bit rich for pub basic meals, so we grabbed some takeaways and sat around the BBQ area at the park and chatted until 10ish, before crashing out.

Day – 376km
Trip – 9297km
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