Day 436 of retirement

August 25, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 20thAugust 2018:

Back to Port Hedland from Marble Bar this morning (210km). At Port Hedland we did the BHP facility tour at midday and it was an awesome tour. Makes you wonder how all this was built and now in full operation. Lots of awesome BIG stuff.

Tuesday 21stAugust 2018:

Left Port Hedland for Karijini NP (440km & 6 hours with a few stops and detours). Arrived to our “Glamping” tent for the next 4 nights at the eco resort. We have an ensuite attached to our tent, so luxury. You can have a shower and look up and see the stars.

The tents are very spacious and comfortable and well spaced out from each other in the bush.

There are no fridges in the tent but they do provide an esky and sell ice at the resort ($10 a bag). Also no electric kettle. A good old thermos is supplied and you can get hot water at reception for tea in the tent.

The tents only have one light and one power point. We discovered that you could only charge 1 phone and 1 laptop at a time. Luckily I read where the breaker switch was, so all good.

The resort is solar powered with a battery bank. Works great provided you don’t overload it with first world devices.

We just have to do without TV, phone and Internet till we get back into civilization on Saturday (4 days away). Looking forward to it to go cold turkey on these luxuries.

It is 7:30pm and all is very quiet in the bush, very quiet with the moon and stars out.

Wednesday 22ndAugust 2018:

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Did I tell you that the Kariniji NP gorges are awesome? Just stunning wherever you go and look. Hiking trails are everywhere starting from class 2 through to class 5 (5 being the most difficult). Only down side is the dirt roads are terrible. The poor mighty Mazda has been shaken violently (corrugations) and we have been down to walking speed at times negotiating the HUGE potholes and rocks. But the Mazda handled it in her stride.

Today’s visit was to Weano gorge. 30km of ROUGH dirt road but it was ooohhh so worth it. Back for some lunch and walked to Joffre Gorge which is 1km from the resort. Awesome.

Thursday 23rdAugust 2018:

Quick trip into Tom Price today for fuel. As there is no fuel in Karijini NP you only have two options.

~ Tom Price which is 80km away (160km round trip).

~ Auski Roadhouse 140km away (240km round trip).

We are now all fueled up (minus 80km back to Kajijini NP) for our 200km exploring tomorrow and then another 140km to the Auski Roadhouse on the way back to Port Hedland on Saturday. So that gives us 420km between refueling stops.

The last thing you want to happen out here is to run out of fuel. The mobile phone service is pretty thin as it only works in and near towns and mine sites.

From Port Hedland to Auski Roadhouse you have 260km of nothing (no fuel or mobile coverage).

Friday 24thAugust 2018:

Wow wow wow. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we went to the Dales Gorge (150km round trip & all sealed road) today and hiked a 2km section of the gorge.

This enabled us to visit the Fern Pool, Fortescue Falls and the Circular Pool. The gorge threw everything at us with rock hoping, rock scrambling, rock climbing and ledge traversing with a killer STEEP climb out. I’ll make Guy a mountain climber yet.

But it was ooohhh so worth it. Just an awesome gorge with lots of rock pools and magnificent scenery.

I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Saturday 25thAugust 2018:

Sadly we left Karijini NP for Port Hedland (390km as we had no detours or stops). We love Karijini NP and it is one of the few places we would like to come back to one day (hire a 4×4 next time). The other place to return to is Uluru and we have already booked our stay there (for our second visit) on our way down south after the top end of WA.

We are overnighting in Port Hedland then Eighty Mile Beach (1 night) and Broome (4 nights) for the staircase to the moon over the water effect.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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Day 430 of retirement

August 19, 2018

Click on a photo below for the slide show. The slide show has the descriptions of each pic below the photos. You can also leave comments in this area.

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Hi All

Monday 13thAugust 2018:

Found another little gem today (Monday) 120km south of Karratha called Python Pool (240km round trip with 20km of dirt). You drive through part of the Hamersley Range and its magnificent scenery then drop down to this hidden pool in a gorge. Take your swimmers, as the rock pool is great to swim in.

Tuesday 14thAugust 2018:

Quiet day as we explored around town. Visited the sculptures at the local salt lakes. Interesting.

I managed to get a haircut as it has been a while and my hair was getting a little feral.

Wednesday 15thAugust 2018:

Quiet rest day today.

Guy got a load of washing done and I washed and cleaned the Mighty Mazda.

Thursday 16thAugust 2018:

Left Karratha for Port Hedland (240km & 3 hours).

Managed to secure a very nice beachfront cabin. After lunch downtown we got some groceries and finished off the day with a walk along the beach.

Friday 17thAugust 2018:
Lovely quiet day wandering round the downtown/port area of Port Hedland. Watched the huge ore ships depart (we could watch this all day). After lunch overlooking the busy harbour we did our own selfguided heritage/street art walk.

Saturday 18thAugust 2018:

Left Port Hedland for Marble Bar (210km).

Marble Bar is known as the hottest place in Australia. The town set a world record of most consecutive days of 100 °F (37.8 °C) or above, during a period of 160 days from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924

As it’s only a 2.5 hour drive from Port Hedland, we went exploring after lunch to the flying fox lookout, the marble bar rock pool and the chinaman rock pool. Will go back to the marble bar rock pool for a swim tomorrow. Beautiful spot.

Sunday 19thAugust 2018:

Went for a drive today out to the old Comet gold mine. The story is that a prospector was searching for gold all round this knob and found nothing. One day he decided to climb over the middle of the knob. By pure chance he stumbled across gold 3/4 of the way up the hill.
All the gold found was in the top half of the knob. The top half of the knob is riddled with mine shafts. It is said that over 100,000 ounces of gold was mined from this deposit over 60 ish years.

After lunch which was homemade sausage rolls, we went for a walk back at the Marble Bar rock pool looking at all the magnificent Jasper rock that dominates the area. Such awesome colours in the rock especially when you wet it.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 423 of retirement

August 12, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 6thAugust 2018:

Went exploring today and visited the termite mounds, salt lakes, Ashburton River, Old Onslow town site, Onslow salt works lookout and LNG plant lookout.

The mighty Mazda got a good taste of outback roads as we did 50km on dirt to visit the old Onslow township and termite mounds. She got rattled about a bit by the corrugations but came through in flying colours.

There are 600 ish people in Onlsow and the majority of them work at either the Onslow Salt works or the huge LNG processing plant.

Tuesday 7thAugust 2018:

After a sleep in and yummy seafood lunch we spent all afternoon planning and booking our accommodation and tours for the next 2 months. Lots of phone calls and juggling when and where we can get accommodation and tours.
This will get us across the top of WA, down the middle of NT (Via Uluru) and SA to Port Augusta, across to the head of the Bight (whales), to Adelaide and lastly Canberra.

Wednesday 8thAugust 2018:

Rest day today. After another fine seafood lunch we went for a walk along the beach and caught the sunset.

Thursday 9thAugust 2018:

Our last day in Onslow. We went for a bit of a drive exploring the town. Had another awesome lunch at the pub.

I went for a walk along the beach at sunset and when dark we drove to the salt plant and LNG plant to look at the lights. Impressive.

Friday 10thAugust 2018:

Our drive today (Friday) was from Onslow to Karratha (300km). About 100km out from Karratha there were Sturt Desert Peas in abundance. As this is our favourite flower we were in our element. Made for a beautiful drive alongside the flowers.
PS: Lots of other wildflowers in bloom as well. Off exploring tomorrow.

Saturday 11thAugust 2018:

Today (Saturday) we wandered round the Dampier area (Deep Gorge & Hearson’s Cove).
What really has struck us about the top end of WA is the nothing for kms then these HUGE infrastructure projects (Salt, Iron Ore & LNG (Gas)) rise up out of the desert. Mind boggling.

At Deep Gorge there are thousands of aboriginal carvings on the rocks. Once you learn what to look for (they are very eroded) you can pick out the art. We found a few animals and others that looked like people and marine life.

We visited the memorial to Red Dog, as this was his range. If you have seen the movie you will know what I’m on about.
If you haven’t seen the movie, watch it. Awesome movie based on Red Dog’s real life story.

Sunday 12thAugust 2018:

Went exploring round the Point Samson area.

Visited Point Samson, Wickham, Cossack and the Cape Lambert iron ore ship loading facility.

Love the big machinery that is utilised in the iron ore industry.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

 


Day 416 of retirement

August 5, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 30thJuly 2018:

Left Coral Bay for Exmouth (170km & 2 hours). Arrived at midday at the Ningaloo Lighthouse Holiday Park, which is 15km out of town and across the road from the beach. As our cabin wasn’t ready we had some lunch, got some supplies and checked in at 2:00pm.

Well I did it. I have booked a full day on a boat out in the ocean on Wednesday to swim with the whale sharks in Exmouth.
PS: I get seasick really easily so this is a HUGE commitment for me. I trust it will be well worth it.

Tuesday 31stJuly 2018:

Went exploring The Cape Range NP today. Some of the places we visited were Turquoise Bay, Oyster Stacks Bay, Sandy Bay and Yardie Creek and Yardie gorge. We had a picnic lunch at Yardie Creek.

We did a walk along the cliff tops of the gorge and just missed a boat tour. Will be back later in the week for the gorge boat trip.

Had a few wildflower stops along the way and found some awesome looking flowers.

Wednesday 1stAugust 2018”

Today was whalewatching day. I came, I went, I didn’t see.
The short story is that I spent 4 hours vomiting over the side of the boat in very rough seas. I wasn’t alone as there were 3 others who joined me.
At one stage there were 3 of us who were doing some synchronised vomiting. One would vomit then the next and then the next. Then it would all start once again.
Guy (who was okay) at one stage handed me my flippers as I was going to try and get in the water. But no good! Whenever I tried to leave my post down the back of the boat I would vomit. So sadly no whale sharks for me.
Guy got to see a whale shark as it came to the surface, better than me, and a humpback jumping out of the water.
So if I ever even suggest a boat tour on the ocean ever again you all have the right to beat me round the head severely.

We have just had a hot shower and are enjoying a hot cup of tea so all good again. Life is good… again.

Thursday 2ndAugust 2018:

Into town this morning to pick up my USB of the pics from yesterday (they have a pro photographer on the boat) from https://www.ningaloowhalesharkndive.com.au. Got the USB and they gave me a complimentary ticket anytime in the next 12 months to come back and have another go.
Not that I am planning to but the gesture was awesome.
The coral pics I did see in the snorkel in the lagoon, but the whale shark pics are what I could have seen…

After yesterday’s ordeal we had a slow start today. Once we had the USB we visited the Charles Knife Gorge. Awesome gorge.

Friday 3rdAugust 2018:

Well I got back on a boat today. Did the Yardie Gorge boat tour where there was no wind and the water was like glass. Now why can’t all boat trips be like that?

Had an awesome tour. Our guide spoke the whole time but was extremely interesting in telling us the history of the area and animals and the aboriginal way of life.

After lunch we made our way back to the lighthouse cabin via a few beach stops along the way looking for any good whale watching spots.

Saturday 4thAugust 2018:

Today we explored the Mandu Mandu Gorge. Beautiful gorge to explore as we hiked 3.5km through the gorge and on the rim.
The bright red on the rocks (it is that bright) is caused by the local soil rich in iron oxide. Through wind and rain it sticks to the walls and corrodes. The cliffs are rusting.

There were also lots of wildflowers out up on the rim, which made for a colourful pleasant walk.

Our last day in Exmouth today as we are off to Onslow tomorrow.

Sunday 5thAugust 2018:

Left Exmouth for Onslow (420km & 5 hours). Nice pleasant drive with the countryside all green and the wildflowers out.

Arrived in Onslow and were very surprised with our cabin. Right on the beach and a very modern, clean, neat and tidy cabin. Quite happy to spend 5 nights here and explore the Onslow area.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy