I find it tough to blog when I spend a significant portion of my week working these days. But as I have spent the past two weeks living in Karratha, Western Australia – I do feel that I need to mark my time spent here.I will begin with the very important note of Karratha population and size: small. We flew into the airport late morning and took a taxi to our accommodation. The Pilbara Holiday Park is full of small cabins which house two rooms a piece so we had two cabins (#71 and #76). They were really nice with full kitchens, a combined washer and dryer, a flat screen and living area. The park also had a very nice but rather small pool. When we arrived we hopped straight into the studio car that was there waiting and headed toward a local beach about 20 minutes away. Though this sounds simple as the town is located on the coast, we got lost. Karratha is a mining town and there
are a number of gas plants as well. We ended up in the middle of the largest gas plant I have personally seen that had various chimneys spewing fire out the top. So, naturally, as one would do, we waltzed into the visitor center in the middle of the plant in our swim costumes and beach towels and announced to those at the front counter… “We are lost… We’re looking for the beach..” This got a few chuckles but they were very nice and pointed us in the right direction. We ended up laying out on the Dampier Beach for a few hours but the heat eventually lead us back home.
The rest of the week blurred together a bit with work but let me fill you in on a few things… There are flies. Flies like I have never seen or experienced kind of flies. Flies that are the most persistent and daring little beggars. Flies that try to get in your ears and while you are trying to flick away that fly, two more try for your left nostril as on has landed on your lower lip. These flies don’t come out only in the afternoon either because they don’t sleep. They are there when you walk out the door, when you walk from the car to the shopping center and when you open your car door in a hurry to slide in at the end of the day in hopes they don’t sneak in behind you. Oh, also, you don’t get use to them either. I don’t know how people do it but if I was here any longer than two weeks I would be buying some net to wear over my body on the regular.
Another note… It’s hot. Like 108 degrees kind of hot. I was trying to describe this to someone the other day at home in comparison to Midwest summers but it’s tough. It is not the humid, sticky, thick and heavy humidity that we have at home in the summers but it is beating down hot with
I spent Halloween in Karratha last weekend which didn’t involve a costume for me this year. The girls and I instead went to the local tavern; tambrey tavern. It was rather large and half inside, half outside. The music was good and there were a lot of folks dressed up for the occasion. It is interesting comparing it to a bar at home but I’ll give it a go. At home in bars I typically see groups of friends that stay in their groups to socialize whereas I feel like people are more open to talking
amongst or to any new face here. This may very likely be my situation or new perspective but it seems this way. That being said we met some new friends and our accents (the four of us girls in the studio have an English, Scottish and American accent) often draw attention and conversation. I was also able to rattled off some rusty Spanish to a couple miners from Spain too – this has me brushing up on my Spanish ever since for a little extra hobby. That brings me to another quirky fact, you can tell by the first five people you run into in this town that it is a mining town because three of them will probably have the yellow and blue mining uniforms on.
The next day we went to the local leisure center to go for a swim in the aqua center which was bigger than you’d ever expect given the size of the town. The flies weren’t AS bad there…. Knock on wood.
The second week of work grew slower since we had probably photographer every kid in town but on my day off I got to go for a run – with sunglasses and ear buds in my ears to dry to guard myself from flies. The neighborhoods almost all have campers or boats in their drives and years are often red dirt. There are Palm trees near the houses but not off in the distance toward the mountains and inland. The kangaroos are plentiful and I see them running or hopping around actually more than I see deer at home. Also – we have seen Emus crossing roads here and there too. I didn’t expect to see them this much.
On a BRIGHT last note, we heard about a small gem just south of Karratha about fifteen minutes: Hearson Cove. So on our last day in the Karratha we took a trip down there to see the sunset. I wish we had made it before for a day but it’s better in the vending because the tide is low. There is no sand on this beach but instead it is all seashells. Quite beautiful. And surrounded by mountainous red rocks on either side. The sunsets over the mountains behind the cove as opposed to over the ocean and it was really quite a sight! I’d highly recommend making sure to take a stop there!
Karratha was a fun experience in that it was an entirely different environment to live in for a bit. However, I am not sure I could do more than two weeks there 😊. We are off six hours south to Carnarvon on the 8th of November.
Side note: I have booked New Zealand for December 8th through December 29th and we will fly into the South Island in Queenstown to camper van our way up to Auckland.
Missing you family xx