Day 163, Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Distance travelled – 81.5 km
Avg speed – 21.6 kph
Max speed – 36.8 kph

Bush Camp to Port Hedland

We had a very good tail wind nearly all of the way into Port Hedland and we were able to maintain 28kph most of the way. However, 17 km from our destination we turned a corner and rode into an onshore breeze that slowed us to 15kph for the last hour of our journey.

Just after we left our campsite we found ourselves riding beside a small range, which was a pleasant change to the flat low scrub, we had been travelling through over the last couple of days. But it was not long before we were back in the flat country that appeared to go on forever.

About 40 km from Port Hedland we topped a small incline and could see what we thought was a building on the skyline, which turned out to be Boodarie Iron. As with most towns we have come across as we got closer the traffic increased and the road got narrower, which we always think is a little odd. We would expect the opposite - busier roads means wider roads, but this does not seem to be the case. To add to the traffic flow in Port Hedland you get increased numbers of ore or salt carrying road trains and when these caught us up we quickly got off the road.

We arrived at Cooke Point Caravan Park at 1.30 and were directed to our pre-booked site (112). It was a piece of shade cloth stretched over sand surrounded by paving with no shade at all. There was no way we were going to stay there in the sun for three days so we returned to reception to ask for another site. There were clearly sites available under the trees but they insisted tents went on the sites we had been given. We do not understand why if we had our camper trailer we would be given shade but with our small tent we were not allowed to pay to use the same piece of land. Other than the offered refund, which did not help us at all, the only alternative was a small motel room at $200.00 a night, a big increase on the $35.00 tent site, which in itself is excessive given what was being offered. You can see the crappy campsites if you select the satellite overlay on the Google map below and zoom into our icon in front of the Cooke Point Caravan Park. They are the dark rectangles 7 'streets' below our icon.

Accommodation in Port Hedland has a reputation for being limited and very expensive, and we had indeed confirmed this, so when we went shopping at Woolies in the afternoon it was very pleasant to find that food prices were very much cheaper than we had experienced elsewhere such as in Kununurra and Broome.

Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer to see our new location.


Leaving camp

This section of highway was unfenced so we had a few friends come over and look at us.

Hills in the distance - you do not see many of these!


Straying cattle - they do not see any need to rush

This looked like a dinosaur head coming out the top of the hill

30km from Port Hedland we came across these termite mounds - all with hard hats. There must be a story behind this.

Salt pile at Port Hedland

The unshady campsite


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