The Pilbara - Doing the tourist thing about Karratha and Dampier (& a big win at Woolies!)

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 00:00

Mick O

Friday 9th June
Karratha WA

Had a bit of a drive around Karratha today. Drove the 19 kilometres to Dampier only to be disappointed (it was expected mind you). Not much of a place. The Woodside visitor centre was shut for refurbishment but we got to look over the Natural Gas liquefaction plant and shipping terminal. There was a section of the undersea pipe set up as an exhibit at the visitor centre and it was quite amazing to think that this undersea pipe, over 1 metre in diameter hauls gas in from the northwest shelf. It must have been a hell of a job laying the 232 km of it back in the early 1980’s!

Called into what was reputed to be the locals favourite swimming bay, Hearson Cove. A wind driven chop and a murky coloured sea. Not very appealing. The hills and ranges of the peninsular are quite interesting in themselves as they consist primarily of mounds of loose red rocks. It genuinely appears as if these have just been piled up there by mechanical means. There is no soil apparent so there is very little plant growth on them. I was reminded of the mounds or terminal moraines that the glaciers had left behind themselves as they melted and retreated but this sure ain’t glacier country.

I had had a few trips back and forth sorting out the Cooper tyre problem with the lugs ripping off the front tyre. We spent the early arvo in the shopping centre. I managed to get the bouffant back under control and then picked up a couple of extra water containers for the Canning trip. Amanda just revelled in having a shopping mall to immerse herself in.

It was a leisurely afternoon back at camp reading and enjoying the warmth once the wind dropped off. I had a bit of a win later in the day when I thought I’d check out the woollies supermarket to see if they had prawns. Did they ever. It appears that their freezer had gone on the blink overnight and they were selling prawns at $17 a kilo and scallops at $10 a kilo. I was well and truly loaded up with 2 kgs of each when I left. Their misfortune was to my benefit. The freezer is full. Needless to say it was chilli prawns with salad for dinner! Had the meal with John and Julie in their unit. John had a bit more colour after his trip to the Chiro and they have decided to stay on until Monday.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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