Iron Ore Train

This update will cover the ground from Karratha to Derby, and I guess it’s about a month duration.  Did FeNaCiNG festival and

Sunset in Dampier

Nameless, at Karratha and Tom Price respectively, which was a lot of fun, but hard work.  We also spent two nights in Dampier which is beautiful, spent a bit of time at the big fishing comp there, some mighty monsters were hauled out of the deep, and much grog sunk — also there was

Python Pools

something about a kangaroo and a rescue, but you’d need to ask Gra about that one, I’m too busy letting the truth get in the way of a good story.

Then after a session at the Karratha Info Centre we were ready to head down the Rio Tinto Iron Ore Road, with our permit in hand — those trains are insanely long, I videoed one going by and the shot goes for about a minute and a half. we stopped in at the Python Pool which was an amazing spot, and met a lovely couple who stayed for a bit of dinner and a few beers — so hope your drive home was ok guys!

We then toddled off to Tom Price for the festival there spent a few days, had a cold which sucked, so spent most of my time chomping Strepsils.  Had a night at a rest area called the RIP area, which is not quite as morbid as it seems, there are a heap of memorial stones — not quite sure what the story is but it was kinda neat just a quick stop though so we could get into Karanjini nice and early in the morning. Had a great camp in Dales Camp in the Warlu loop, my lesson for the trip was that Warlu means snake and you’re not allowed to say it at night or it will draw them close. Swam in a number of incredibly cold pools with toasty warm waterfalls to hang out under,  Fern Pool was amazing, the Fortesque falls were rather bottom hurting after I bounced on my tailbone 3 times in quick succession. we also went into 3 other gorges, one of which went from being a class 3 trail, to a class 5 free-climb trail, and then we went exploring and found ourselves in a class 6 area where you need to have national abseiling qualifications, so decided to do a quick turnaround before we got in trouble.  However I do have to thank Michael Marr and Bear Grylls for the revelation about socks in slimy water giving you good grip 🙂

Then headed straight into Newman for a rendezvous with the Karena Barena and Buncey Bunceworth. Booked in at Capricorn Roadhouse, which kind of amused us as it was the third time we’d crossed the tropic of Capricorn, and the 6th time we went over the Fortesque River. A cool little town, we’re having a ponder about getting back there to pick up a bit of work as there’s heaps of mining work, and it’s really relaxed and nice (what we saw of it anyway).

Decided that it was a good idea to have a look in at Marble Bar, which is the hottest recorded town in Australia, we’d camped though at Wild Dog Creek (it’s in the Camps book) which it turns out was actually a watering hole and the station was in the middle of a muster and a cowboy came and told us to move on which was a pain in the bottom.

Holy Moley this is getting to be a long one.  Marble Bar is actually misnamed after a Jasper deposit there, it’s quite astounding all the different colours and layers in the rock. Hit a big bump in the road though which necessitated a stop at South Hedland for a night, had dinner at the Mess there — man I’m so into Mess food.  YUM.

Stayed at a nice campsite with the worst toilets I’ve ever seen. And then into Broome, where I want to live — beautiful beaches, awesome people, good beer and great food. Think I fell in love with Matso’s. Stayed up at Willie Creek which was really nice, although the back-burning they were doing was a pain. Especially when we discovered afterwards that we had been evacuated and no one had told us.  Met heaps more really nice people there, spent our last day drinking as the road had been closed further up the cape  which we really wanted to but not everything always goes to plan, so there you are.

And that brings us up to date sitting in Derby at the mo, considering our next move which is the Gibb River Road.  Lots of wilderness, lots of Gorges, a bit of culture and Aboriginal Art, we’re actually officially in croc territory, so there won’t be a lot more swimming unless we’re at the top of a waterfall, but should be some amazing photos.

I’ll be out of reception for two weeks or so, and the phones been playing up a bit so haven’t been able to make any calls, but once we hit Wyndham I’ll be in touch 🙂

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