We put in a big days drive (for us) on leaving Bullara Station. Such a varied landscape. Spinafex covered sand dunes opening out to flat grasslands, then back to shrubby/stoney dry creeks with a tinge of green and on to kilometres of red moonscape. Completely devoid of vegitation other than the dead 'sticks' of shrubs that had grown to just over a meter in a good season. We've put one picture up but I'm not sure it captures it. Enough to say it was anything but a boring drive.
We stopped for the night on the banks of the Maitland River. And yes it does have water in it! The main campsite here was packed so we found a nice little spot on the south west side that we only had to share with a couple of other campers. Rory had a go fishing off the rocks under the bridge but just plenty of snags to be found. He missed his footing on the way back ( very unusual as he's the most sure footed of us all), and in the fall broke his new reel. Very disappointing 😕
Packing up in the morning we got to see our first centipede. Only about 13cm long, taking refuge under our tent floor. Glad he didn't invite himself in. I've been bitten twice in the past and it is a really nasty experience.
The next day we called into Karratha for a quick visit. We're hoping to get back here from Port Hedland. We caught up with good friends from Melbourne. John and Sheila Stafford. They're travelling in the opposite direction having spent the last couple of months up north. We shared a lovely morning tea and a walk through Karratha. John and Sheila were camped about 50k east of town and we considered stopping there for the night but as we've encountered a few times now, these camps insist that you demonstrate you have a 'chemical toilet' before letting you stay. No bush toileting here. We presume the rising instance of this is due to the mess (white flags) we've encountered at many of the sites further south.
Alas we pushed on to Whim Creek Hotel. Quite an uninviting carpark greeted us with the hotel nestled in amongst the hills that have been mined for copper for generations. The pub dates back to the beginning of last century but is on a resurgence after reopening 12 months ago. Now owned by an aboriginal corporation the managers have included a coffee shop and plan to expand and build a caravan park down towards the creek which has masses of big shade trees.
After setting up camp and venturing inside the hotel we found a much more hospitable environment. We enjoyed lovely showers before sitting down to sensational meals and a few games of pool. The next morning we checked out the local art museum - awesome paintings- and tried a barrista coffee. And yes it was good!! Our departure was delay by a couple of hours caught in conversation. Made you want to come back again. We really recommend a stop here.
Last stop before Port Hedland on the banks of the Yule River. No water this time but another massive sandy riverbed. These riverbed a are great for animal tracks. From camels and cattle down to some tiny tracks. This was a beautiful peaceful spot to camp even though there were a lot more campers on the second night. I'm thinking I might come out and camp here while Sue is working in town!!😀