Week 22 | Dampier to Bullara Station

Day 148 – 149: Dampier

Last night the port was lit up like a Christmas tree and the sunset wasn’t too bad either. I strolled along the beach taking it all in and happily snapping away on my camera.

It was chilly overnight dropping down to 11 degrees and it’s hard to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. We are heading into Karratha this morning to have a look around. It’s only about 20km from Dampier and on the way we detour into the North West Gulf Gas Project Visitor Centre. It’s closed on Mondays so we’ll have to come back tomorrow. Hearson cove on the Burrup Peninsular is not far so we drive out to see what is there. Wow, it is really picturesque. The dark tide line is visible on the rugged hill and the beach is covered in millions of tiny shells. The colours in the hill are reflecting along the shoreline in the cove, this is where the stairway to the moon happens on low tide and full moon. I’m hoping we will experience this at some point while we are travelling the western Australian coastline.

Karratha is quite an impressive town growing quickly with infrastructure to attract workers to live in the area. The buildings are modern and there are new housing developments popping up everywhere. There is a large Arts Precinct which houses a library and theatrette and currently has aboriginal artworks on display in the foyers. The staff at the Visitor Centre are really helpful and there is a lookout above the centre which provides a view over the whole township.

Andrew and Tim are going fishing this afternoon, it’s the first time the fishing rods will have a workout for this whole trip. They are fishing off the beach and after a few hours come home with 1 bream. Tim caught it and as it’s not big enough to feed us all Lyn is going to have it for her lunch tomorrow.

Tonight is roast night as Tim and Lyn will head off in the morning. The clouds have rolled in so I quickly put the roast veggies in the turbo oven & head across the road to the beach. Sunset certainly does not disappoint me tonight. The sky is a waft of colour, golden yellow, grey and bright pink. The smell of the roast beef is calling. Andrew has basted it in Bugsy’s tomato relish and it’s looking absolutely delicious. Dinner is a winner with us all.

Panorama sunset

I’m calling in for our monthly board meeting today and given that we are now in Western Australia it’s an early start for me to be ready by 7.30am. On the positive side the meeting is over by 9.30am which gives me plenty of time to go fishing with Andrew later today. I haven’t been fishing since I was a child travelling with Mum and Dad in the bush country. A storm has blown in and it’s not looking good but within half an hour it has passed and we head down to the beachfront to fish off the rocks.

Andrew is baiting my line and casting out for me (that’s my type of fishing companion), within a few casts I have a good bite. “Yank your line quick” he shouts you’ve got a fish. I am beside myself as I feel the fish taking the line. “Reel him in” he says, I’m pretty excited at this point as I bring my first fish into the shallow waters. He is well and truely hooked on my line, “go and grab a rag he shouts”.  Out of the water I run jumping with excitement. “What is it?” I ask, it looks like a grunter, it’s going to have to go back it’s under size. Oh damn, quick I need a photo of my first catch, off I run back to the rocks to get my camera. That was the excitement for the day. There were plenty more bites and only one other fish caught by myself, he had a black spot and was no bigger than my bait!

There is plenty of bird life at the park and each day the friendly corellas fly in and allow you to feed them by hand.  Andrew is in his glory as he loves any type of wildlife.

The shower of rain has bought in cooler weather so we are tucked up in bed tonight catching up on some Netflix shows.

Wildlife: corellas, minor birds, seagulls, galahs.

Day 150: Dampier to Onslow

We are leaving Dampier this morning at 9.00am and it’s only 16 degrees outside after a chilly 11 degrees last night. We’re heading for Onslow which is 82km off the highway. We’ve passed several quarries and mine sites on our journey today. Termite mounds are prolific and the road in is long straight and boring.

Wildlife: crows, wild budgerigars, corellas, dead kangaroos, dead cows, cattle.

Day 151 – 153: Onslow

Onslow is home to a salt mine and gas plant, there is little to do around the township. The population is just under 900 and there is a pub, beach club resort, 2 caravan parks, supermarket, chemist, hospital and a few other services.

The Oceanview Caravan Park is situated on Front Beach and run by the local council.

Ocean View Caravan Park, Onslow

Several sites are situated along the beachfront, ours is just across a mere 20 metres away from the rock wall.

Andrew and Tim are keen to try the fishing out and head out to 4 mile beach early in the morning. After a lovely sleep in I head down to the beach with Cinta for a walk. In the distance I see the guys fishing off the beach.  They’ve had no luck this morning, no doubt they’ll be back at it again this afternoon.

I take the opportunity to do a bit of cleaning in the van. Red dirt gets into absolutely everything. With Cinta on board I am constantly sweeping the floor as I can’t stand the dirt under my feet. This afternoon is spent catching up on some work and then I plan to make a lasagne and try out the cooking process in the Ziggy. Andrew loves lasagne and it is a real winner so it will be on the menu again!

Andrew is taking me for a drive out to 4 mile beach this morning as there is another small beach that is covered in shells. I thought Hearson Cove at Dampier had a lot of shells but this beach is impressive. The shells are about 12 inches deep and there are some large ones amongst them. Some of them are glistening in the sunlight and when I look closer they almost resemble the mother of pearl shell. They would make an amazing wind chime.

We are walking several times a day on the beach. The water is really cold and Cinta is only going in up to her belly. It’s also quite rocky when the tide is out, something she is not used to.

Andrew and Tim are fishing again this afternoon off the beach, still no luck. Cinta and I walk down at sunset and capture some great shots. The sky is pastel pink and blue, it looks spectacular against the rock wall.

Another lazy start to the day before tapping away on the keyboard again. I have to keep reminding myself of the positive benefits of working on the road as the negative benefits are beginning to overwhelm me this morning. It’s been a long day so a beach walk is needed to put things back into perspective. I’m sure happy hour will help too.

Clouds are starting to roll in and Andrew, Cinta and I head out along the boardwalk to enjoy the magnificent show that the sun setting is putting on display tonight. This is why we love being on the road.

Wildlife: seagulls, corellas, honey eaters, doves, crabs.

Day 154: Bullara Station Stay

Its time to move on again and leaving Onslow this morning it’s 19 degrees at 9.00am. We are heading for a Station Stay at Bullara. The countryside varies this morning from wide open flat surfaces to rocky outcrops and flat plateaus. It never ceases to amaze us how different the scenery can be from one day to the next.

Bullara Station is a third generation property sprawled over a quarter of a million acres. The 1.2km road from the highway is graded dirt. Tonight is camp fire roast night but they are fully booked out so we are very disappointed. Barista coffee and scones with jam and cream are on every morning from 8.30, we immediately decide we are having morning tea before we leave in the morning.

A late lunch and early happy hour are the order of the day. We’ve walked around the site and there are plenty of fire pits and lots of old rusted out machinery and tools from generations gone by. The outback shower is open air and very rustic, run by the donkey.  It’s really quirky, I love it.

The sun has set at 5.45pm with a magnificent display of cloud cover. Golden yellow tones turn into bright pink and then burnt orange and red. I never tire of a good sunset. I’m certain that sunrise will be just as spectacular. I’ve asked Andrew to wake me up, I don’t want to miss it.  The temperature is dropping and whilst it is going down to 11 degrees it feels a lot colder.

You’ll have to wait until next weeks blog to see how the sunrise looks!

Panorama sunset

Here’s a short video of my drone practice today.  I hope you enjoy it.

Wildlife: 2 emus, dead kangaroos, cattle, crows, hawks, eagle, kangaroos, sheep.

Week 22 total expenses:  $714.47, pleased that the expenses are slowing creeping down.

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That’s a wrap for Week 22 of the Lap of the Map.

PS: Don’t forget to leave me a comment!

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