Well what else more can we say other than we’ve been there and seen that.
Karratha is fantastic…no its not (whispered with reference to the movie ‘Office Christmas Party”). We were thankful for the massive Woolworths and a McDonalds, because after all a town in not a town without a McDonalds…. End of blog post, Alyce out.
Nah just kidding, we did not explore too much of Karratha so we cannot comment, but with the help of the Visitors Centre we did a little tour of the surrounding towns. We decided to spend one night in Port Samson, just north of Karratha at The Cove Holiday Village. As it’s name suggests, yes we were surrounded by caravans in a village set up and many retired people, with even the bathrooms taking us back a million years in decor. But we had a nice grassy spot right near the ocean, it was lovely and quiet and we had access to showers and toilets that flushed. We even did a few loads of washing, setting up our own clothes lines and had quite a difficult maze to get through at bed time.
We arrived a little late in the afternoon and were not so keen on cooking, so we set up camp and decided to have dinner in town. It was also Alex’s and I’s four year anniversary so we thought something nice might be in order. So after very long and hot showers we all headed over the road to the Port Samson Tavern. Now we did not understand quite how small of a town it was, we arrived at 7:45pm and were informed that the kitchen closed at 8pm. We quickly picked our options and ordered just in time with 6 minutes to spare according to the girl over the counter. A little rushed but a yummy dinner with no dishes was pretty great. We headed back over the road to our campsite and into bed, since the tavern closed at 9pm and everyone at our campground were nowhere to be seen (probably already when we ordered our food).
The next day we decided to tour around the other side of Karratha, checking out Dampier and its surrounds, unfortunately it was maybe not worth the drive as all the cool industrial areas were a little too far to see, and well there was just not much else.
So back towards Karratha we headed, with the decision to stay one more night in the retirement village. When we arrived back we had some new neighbours who happened to be Dutchies, the woman was originally from The Netherlands who came out when she was younger to backpack but met an Aussie and the rest is history. It was quite cool to hear their story and that he had successfully learnt Dutch, giving me personal hope in that regards.
After our second night in Port Samson we felt we had more than successfully explored the Karratha region and began our journey north again towards 80 Mile beach.
The drive between Karratha and 80 Mile beach was not too long, we stopped along the way into Port Hedland, and the visitors centre who informed us that between precisely 2-4pm we could see turtles, sharks, sea snakes and even dolphins at the town beach lookout. We had half an hour to spare so we drive around town slowly to get there just taking in the sites…
At the beach there was a nice little park overlooking the bay where we sat, made some lunch and then once it was after 2pm we looked over the rails to see if there was any life in the water. And believe it or not we saw turtles, and quite a few of them in fact. It was quit cool to see how many turtles actually swam so close to shore, but of course as 4pm grew closer the less turtles appeared.
We got back in the car and began the journey out of town. We stopped along the way at a lookout, overlooking one of the salt mines. On the way up to the lookout we did not notice a festering dead kangaroo right next to the steps, but of course Lianne got quite curious when we spotted it on our way back.
So Port Hedland you were great but we won’t visit you again either I am sorry.
North again we went, arriving at 80 mile beach around 6pm just as the sun had gone down. Nevertheless I went into the reception to book a site and as I walked towards the office there was an insane line out the front door. I asked a couple in the line if they were waiting to check in, thinking geez we will not have anywhere to stay tonight with this line of people and their caravans in tow. Luckily enough they were just all lining up to receive their Sunday roast, which in fact was not available for purchase then and there, one had to have ordered it in advance.
Missing out on a roast dinner was alright as we did secure ourselves a spot, with only then 3 others left after that. Now in quite a routine we had the car unpacked, tents up, beds made and our kitchen/dinning table ready to go for dinner in no time at all. Again the park quietened down significantly once it was 7pm, making us feel a little odd as we only started to cook around 7:30pm.
Missing out on the sunset was a little sad as we could not see much of the campground or the spectacular beach we had heard a lot about. Not to worry though, Lianne and I woke up nice and early to catch the sunrise. Still wearing my socks, and yes I am sorry mum but also my thongs at the same time, we walked the short distance onto the beach. As you can see the sunrise was well worth waking up for.
I did climb back into bed once we got back to our camp 15 minutes later, snuggling up in the warm for an hour or so, with Alex still sleeping of course as it was before 8am.
We took our time that morning, making breakfast, taking long showers, chatting to neighbours and then gradually packing up. We were on the road before 10am, showing us just how early we had been up.
Our next destination was Broome, along the way we stopped off in a rest stop to have some lunch and play some games. We took our time arriving in Broome around 4pm, first showing Lianne town centre, the post office where I was finally able to post a postcard from Karijini (after every towns post office was closed when we passed through), and then the famous cable beach to watch the sunset.
Our many adventures in Broome, including being hosted by my wonderful Aunty Therese will come in a few blog posts that I am yet still to write. This may take some time as we are about to head off on the Gibb River Road..so bear with us. Hopefully this and our other posts will be enough to read until we bombard you with many posts of Broome, Dampier Peninsula and the Gibb River Road.
Alex and Alyce xo