The Pilbara - On the road to Newman (via Meekathara) through some sterile countryside

Thursday, Jul 11, 1985 at 00:00

Mick O

Thursday 11th July. 1985
Newman WA


Both of us awoke with the resolution to leave this place as quickly as possible. After breakfast, Bill found that several eggs had broken inside the esky at the beginning of our assault on the Gunbarrel. By this stage they had managed to soak down through the rest of the eskies contents and were rather putrid. Bill won the honour of cleaning out the eskie while I cooked the muffins for breakfast. The frozen milk which I had bought on our arrival in the town, had just about thawed out overnight. We packed everything away before having showers and heading out of town via the post office, police station and service station.


It was just after 10.00 a.m. before we finally said farewell to Wiluna. Bill is driving at the moment and I'm writing which explains why the last three pages of the diary have been awfully scruffy. I am still to gain confidence in Bills ability as a bush driver. These city bred drivers don't look too far ahead hence a very near collision with a cross bound emu. Still, he's learning. Came across a large Mack truck which had taken a detour off the road and through several trees before coming to rest in the scrub. We were about 100 kilometres from Wiluna by this stage. The driver appeared as if he had gotten out of the wreck all right but he was no where to be found when we arrived. The truck was a little worse for wear though.

Meekatharra was reached just after 12 noon. We replenished our supplies at the local Woollies store and then had lunch at a local cafe. I made the mistake of having a steak sandwich. It was quite edible but only after I had discarded the piece of steak. Little did I realise that this humble steak sandwich was to create problems so dire of consequence as to force William to seek refuge in environs with a less tainted atmosphere. In other words I was popping off like a corn fed emu all the way to Newman.

There was not a lot in the way of scenery to see between Meekatharra and Newman. In fact it looked in a lot of areas, as if god had been seriously annoyed at some stage and sterilised the whole countryside. There were however, a plentiful supply of dead roos by the road. Our no driving at night policy meant that this wouldn't effect us at all.

We filled up at Kumarina which represented the half way mark of the days travels. The service station attendant was about 15 or 16 and talk about thick. We asked him a question about one of the local national parks, what his opinion of it was. His classic reply. "Oh it's really good. It's just like a National park!" This boy was as sharp as a bowling ball! We had intended to pull in and camp just after Kumarina but we pushed on to Newman arriving just on dusk at 6.00 p.m. We have set up camp in the caravan park. At first glance we are of the opinion that this place hasn't got much going for it yet tomorrow will tell. We had spaghetti bolognaise ala Olsen for tea. Quite nourishing.
''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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