08 May, 2011

Karratha rhymes with Arthur

Ade and I took off this weekend to Karratha. According to Wiki...Karratha is a town adjoining the port of Dampier in the Pilbara region of Western Australia which was developed from the 1960s to accommodate the processing and exportation workforce of the Hamersley Iron mining company and, in the 1980s, the petroleum and liquefied natural gas operations of the North West Shelf Venture. The town's name comes from the cattle station from which land was reclaimed for the development. Karratha in the local Aboriginal language means 'good country' or 'soft earth'.
I was there for the Western Trauma Course (feel much better prepared for those pesky motor vehicle accidents), Ade was there for the ride.
And what a ride...sadly the photos, once again, do no justice to the magnificence of the Pilbara.
Driving into the Hamersley Ranges
Oncoming traffic
We drove the short way, along the Access Road. The Access Road is owned by Rio Tinto and exists to provide access for works to the railway between TP and Karratha, it also saves about an 1.5 hours on the bitumen. To drive on the road we had to get a permit by watching a short film at the Tourist Information Office (safety, safety, safety).
We came out on the TP road and went home along the Munjina track
First couple of hundred metres of a 2.5km long train
Sturt's Desert Pea, littering the roadside all the way to Karratha. This pretty bloom is the floral emblem of South Australia so, like myself, can often be found a long way from home!
Pair of canoodling wedge tailed eagles
So the course was fantastic and the shopping was refreshing, look what I found:
While I was inserting intraosseous needles, chest drains and ETTs, Ade explored Murujuga (the Burrup Peninsula). He managed to miss the world's largest and most important collection of ancient Aboriginal rock carvings (numbering over one million!), plainly he had a 'boy look'; but he did find a pretty rock pool...

He also wanted me to point out the disturbing proximity of the Dampier port to a place with substantial cultural and historical significance and great beauty:
Gee, who knew these off-roaders could be so sensitive?! It's plainly not just bush-bashing!
Happy Mother's Day to all :)

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