We’ve arrived!

Well fellow blog followers, ¬†we were up bright and early this morning to embark on our final leg of this seemingly endless journey (ūüėČ I’m just kidding – I’m loving it! but…. I am ready for it to be finished – ūüė≥)

We said goodbye to our lovely coy friend…..

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….. then it was back on the road again – seriously people… she’s a long way! But after two weeks of driving, caravan parks, truck stops, red dirt, mines, mining towns, towns I don’t need to see again, racist people in caravan park laundries, flat plains, wild goats/cows/birds/camels, spinifex, wind, rain and blue sky….. we have arrived safely in Broome.

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From Mandurah to Broome, we have travelled approximately 2,700km. ¬†That’s a lot of kms! ¬†You can drive from Denmark to Madrid in Spain in the same kms whilst taking in Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. ¬† We haven’t left the state of Western Australia and we haven’t even come close to covering all of it!

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One more night on the blow up mattress on the floor of my parents’ motorhome, then I will be moving into a grown up person’s cabin.

My guess is there will be some tears….

Bound for Sandfire

So after a near perfect afternoon yesterday, we awoke to a gale¬†force wind! ¬†Still blue skies though, so….. you can’t have everything.

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Even so, it was a good time to pack up and get the hell out of Port Samson.

Our goal destination today was to be the Pardoo Roadhouse…… but as the day drew on it was decided to push on to the Sandfire¬†Roadhouse, lessening our drive time tomorrow as we complete¬†our final leg into Broome.

We stopped off at a random truck stop for brekky and as we enjoyed our cereal, a road train flew past. Colin just happened to look up and saw our Suzuki on the back of it. ¬†Never fear – it’s not stolen…. Col had it trucked up there to save us towing it the whole way there. ¬†It only left Perth on Friday and may probably get there tonight!

Our lunch break today was at Whim Creek. ¬†It’s the half way mark between Karratha and Port Hedland. ¬†This poor pub has had some bad luck, weather wise, over the years.

The hotel was established in 1872 and was blown down in a cyclone in the 1890s. ¬†Since 1910 there have been 49 cyclones that have effected this area. ¬†I’m not sure how many times the Whim Creek Hotel has been rebuilt due to the gale¬†force winds/cyclones, but they always seem to be in the news saying “We will rebuild!”

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The last reincarnation of the hotel has scrubbed up quite nicely. ¬†They have a lovely outdoor area with the well-known cocky – Harry, “Hello Harry!”and a new pool area.

I’m hoping that there isn’t just one woman called Sheila who owns the outside toilet….

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They have a weekly calendar of events. ¬†There was the “Monster’s of the Deep Seafood Extravaganza” over the Easter weekend and last weekend was the “International Food and Culture Festival”.

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Not sure how this mini version of the hotel fared in the high winds.

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Along this next section of road, there was a lot of cows meandering. ¬†They were really skinny, so there was much discussion about how they could be so skinny with so much greenery around. ¬†Perhaps they’d been trucked in from a dryer area? ¬†Perhaps they’d just wandered in? ¬†Perhaps they were just that type of cow?

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Anyway….. they were thin!

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If I’m honest, after driving through towns like Roebourne and Karratha I wasn’t that fussed on looking at Port Hedland, but I have to admit that it was quite interesting.

Port Hedland¬†is one of the world’s largest ports in tonnage terms with over 300 million tonnes of product worth billions shipped each year. ¬†This is Gina Rhinehart country!

As you drive into town there are large piles of salt and salt flats on both sides of the road.  You are well and truly in the industrial part of Hedland.  South Hedland, which sits a little way away from the port was established to house the residential side of the town.

The port has a great Dome that they’ve popped into a renovated building. ¬†I wondered whether that lattice used to be white – with all the red dirt up here!

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And the Esplanade Hotel was a glorious old building that they’ve maintained as a very handsome looking three story building with a pub at the front and accommodation at the back.

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After a quick drive around the port – or what we were allowed to get close enough to look at, we decided not to go for a swim.

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After what seemed like an eternity of driving (and I was just the passenger!) we finally reached the Sandfire Roadhouse.  The place is crawling with animals Рgeese, ducks, chooks, kangaroos, wallabies, cows, a camel and a whole host of peacocks!  There were warnings all over the place about not approaching the camel Рhe was clearly not a people camel.  He did look like a cow camel though, these two followed each other around.

Here are some interesting facts about cows:

You can lead a¬†cow¬†upstairs, but not downstairs.¬†Cows knees¬†can’t bend properly to walk downstairs.¬†Cows¬†can’t vomit. The average¬†cow¬†drinks 135 to 225 litres of water each day.

It is a very quite camping spot, with only a little bit of road noise. ¬†We’re tucked up nicely amongst the other campers/caravaners.

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¬†I’d much rather be in the van, sleeping on the blow up mattress on the floor any day than in one of these….

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One more night and then…….Broome – here we come!

I can see clearly now……

Day 3 at Port Samson and after a downpour last night and then another little bit of rain this morning,  the clouds finally disappeared and we were treated to this beautiful blue sky.

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With this brand new sun shiney day, Jen & I took ourselves for a lovely walk to the beach.

My guess is that this rail bridge is out of order…..

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A new way of taking a selfie when you haven’t washed your hair.

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Everyone was out to play…. even this little guy.

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It’s amazing what mangroves can grow in – these bushes here are just sprouting up out of rock and sea water.

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I think this might be the furthest away I’ve been from Me Jenny so far on this trip!

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I love beach combing…. so many treasures.

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And I love a good spinifex or two.

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In the distance there you can just see a long jetty with some big ships at the end of it.  That there is Port Walcott which sits at the end of Cape Lambert.  It is a port facility operated by Rio Tinto Iron Ore and is able to handle 80 million tonnes of iron ore per year.

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A fantastically glorious day! ¬†Pity it’s our last one here….. but don’t feel bad for me, our next stop is the Pardoo Roadhouse. Woohoo!!!

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White Noise

I’m going to go off topic here a little today to¬†let you into a part of my life that sometimes brings me and those around me into a little bit of turmoil.

(I reckon) I suffer from a mild case of¬†Misophonia¬†– literally meaning, according to Wikipedia – “the hatred of sound”.¬†¬†It is also called “soft sound sensitivity syndrome”, “select sound sensitivity syndrome” (“4S”), “decreased sound tolerance”, and “sound-rage”.

It is a real neurological disorder, that I am not certainly not making fun of.

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I don’t ‘hate’ sound – but if it’s unnecessary, then I don’t want to hear it.

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I haven’t had it¬†medically ¬†diagnosed by a medial doctor you understand, but I have¬†Dr Googled why the sound of a muffled radio¬†in a¬†camp site two caravans away in what is otherwise a silent caravan park distracts me from what I’m doing and causes me untold annoyance.

It’s unnecessary noise, when it¬†isn’t the sole focus of my attention. ¬†The people with loud radio aren’t even listening to what’s being said on the talkback program. ¬†It’s on for the sake of being on. ¬†Why not just enjoy the sounds of nature around you? ¬†Why not just enjoy the silence? ¬†Why not think about the people around you? ¬†Perhaps they’re not interested in¬†hearing¬†it?

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According to Wikipedia, Misophonia is not recognized as a disorder by standard diagnostic criteria¬†and there is no evidence-based research on its prevalence or treatment – but this doesn’t mean that it’s not a real thing.

I might have to start a Go-Fund me page to finance my need for ear plugs.

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I do understand that there are people out there who prefer to have background sound on in their lives for a variety of reasons. ¬†In fact, my beloved friend, MLD is the opposite to me and prefers to have the telly on – and that’s fine, it’s totally fine……. no really, I’m ok with that.

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The person in this picture is not my beloved friend, MLD. ¬†MLD looks like a young Meryl Streep….

It’s not just the muffled, untuned, staticy radio that drills into my brain. ¬†It’s ads during TV shows (Colin is slowly getting better at hitting the mute button), somebody talking loudly on their phone in an enclosed space where you can’t move away i.e: plane, train, shop – well maybe you can move away in a shop, but I was here first!, having loud music on when you’re having a conversation about anything other than the song that is playing.

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“Sorry, what?”

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a complete dullard. ¬†I play music when I’m cleaning (so seldom), or when I’m in the car (only when I’m on my own, in case I want to speak to the person next to me and I have to turn it off when I hit traffic or I want to park), but when the white noise interferes with my concentration, it physically muddles my brain and I can’t focus on anything else but the noise.

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White Noise!

When I was at uni, during exams I had to ask the exam supervisor to ask another girl to please take her bangles off as they were clunking on the desk every time she wrote anything….

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I also had to ask the same supervisor to ask a bloke about 4 desks away from me if he could please stop clicking his pen and shuffling his papers.

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This is one of the reasons that I had to retire myself from teaching – too much unnecessary noise.

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Anyway…. in the time that it has taken me to write this post, the offending people have packed up their tent, turned their radio off and they’ve gone!

Phew!

I think you’ve learned a lot about me today… perhaps more than you needed or wanted to.

Either way, you’re welcome.

A glimpse of blue

After a full day of grey, grey, grey, grey…….

…… we were graced with a bit of blue.

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It didn’t last long though……

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Collecting Shells

Port Samson is a little town РI counted about 100 houses on Google Maps.  The caravan park is right near the water and has a little path down to a rocky beach.

So as soon as the van was set up and the washing was on, Jen and I popped down there to see what was happening…..

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It turns out – there was a fair bit going on in the shell/rock/coral area. ¬†Here’s a few samples of what we saw/collected:

Check out this awesome rock formation.

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Honeymoon Cove.

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Not a bad spot to hang out for a few days.

Let me just get back to the washing for a moment…… When Jen and I were in the laundry waiting for the dryer to become available we were approached by a woman who knew no personal boundaries – none. ¬†She began by telling us that she needed to go to the shops to by some flyspray. ¬†Jenny offered that she could probably get some at the park shop, as we’d seen a sign on our arrival stating that they sold general items.

“What? ¬†You think I’m going to do all of my shopping here?” she barked back at a surprised Jenny. “Do you know how much they charge here? No, we’re going to drive out to Wickham, they’ve got a shopping centre.”

She then proceeded to talk at us, backing Jenny further and further into the bench until she was right up in Me Jenny’s grill (I’d managed to slide away a little and could have just walked away if I was the type of person who would throw Jenny under the bus), throwing her pointer around in our faces to make a point. ¬†I won’t repeat what she was talking about because it was racist and vile. ¬†Poor Jenny was trying to get away without appearing rude – although I’m sure this woman wouldn’t have known or cared as she didn’t let anyone get a word in. ¬†I could’ve just walked away or perhaps said “I’m going to stop you there, as we care not for your racist rantings you vile woman.” then grabbed Jenny and got the hell out of there, but no, we waited for her to draw breath and then shot in a very polite “ok then…..” and started to move away. ¬†She replied, “Gotta get to the shops.” Turned and left.

She did return a bit later to school Jenny on removing lint from the dryer……. we then heard her, about 20 minutes later schooling another poor lady on the lint fiasco.

We’re all now on alert in case this woman appears again……. just don’t make eye contact.

Point Samson

Have you ever been to Karratha? ¬†We spent about 30-40 minutes in total there today and I would have to say that my most favourite part was driving out of town with the full knowledge that I didn’t ever have to go back there. ¬†I took no photos in Karratha.

The next town we passed through briefly was Roebourne.  This is where we stopped to make some lunch.

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Then it was 11kms down the road a bit to the little heritage town of Cossack which was home to the North West’s first pearling industry. ¬†It was so popular back in the day that the area was fished out and the pearling fleet moved up north to Broome, then in 1904 a bit jetty was built a bit further down the road in Port Samson for bigger ships and thus the town of Cossack was pretty much done. But now, the buildings have all been restored and ¬†you can see what it used to look like 130 years ago.

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Not sure what this building was for…. probably for storing all the pearls?

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The General Store

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The Courthouse

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Not sure what it used to be, but today it is accommodation – you can stay overnight or just for afternoon tea

This groovy ensemble wasn’t part of the exhibition, but how cool is it?

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This town that you can see in the distance is Wickham. ¬†Apparently there is a shopping centre there. ¬†That’s all I can tell you.

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And then finally…… our final destination and home for the next three nights.

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