Bringing Henry Home - Port Hedland to Karratha

Thursday, Jun 22, 2017 at 10:00

Peter Beard (WA)

A short trip today from the impressive town of Port Hedland to the pretty town of Karratha. Everything in Port Hedland is huge. The roads, the trains, the road trains, the port, the stockpiles, the ships. Really an incredible sight.Karratha on the other hand is just as prosperous but much more genteel and pretty. Halfway between the two towns is the historic Whim Creek Hotel, well worth a stop for lunch and a beer.

As Pete backed Henry into the parking space at their accommodation for the night in Karratha the power steering suffered a sudden failure. Wrestling Henry in to a stop it was up with the bonnet for an inspection. Expecting a thrown belt or fluid leak Pete was momentarily confused then he spotted it - the pulley shaft extended out of the pump housing by about an inch. Lucky it broke in a car park and not on the road, a shaft and pulley like that could cause catastrophic damage to a radiator if it came out on the road. Pete removed the belt and rang around the wreckers in both Karratha and Carnarvon (next stop) to see if a replacement could be found but they both said no. Apparently they don't have anything that old!

Second last day of the rally dawned warm and clear for the Shitboxers at Burke and Wills Roadhouse. A nice drive north along the bitumen to Normanton for lunch and a beer at the famous Purple Pub and a look at the local concrete crocodile, the only two landmarks of note in this northern Queensland town. Then it was back to the Burke Developmental Road to Georgetown and onto the dirt for the drive to their last night of the rally at the tiny community of Einsleigh.Camp for the night was at the racecourse just out of town, shitboxers happily partying and setting up swags - a bit sad that this was to be the last night but many secretly looking forward to a night in a real bed after a real shower and a real meal at real table.

Henry behaved himself very well, purring along both the highway and the gravel. By now Pete and Kris had the vital fluids check down pat so there were not too many problems to look out for. Team Lost Claus also had their vital fluids finally sorted - the mechanics gave up on trying to plug the fuel tank and instead scavenged a fuel tank out of a Hyundai Excel shitbox (that unfortunately had died) and put it in the back seat for the Saab with a fuel pump mistakenly bought by Team Thunderbox for the Fiat. Great recycling put the lurid Saab decked out like Santa’s sleigh back on the road for a great finish in Cairns.


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