15 October 2002
Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, I'm not actually holidaying, but working bloody hard up here.... none of you seem to have noticed that I drove 1050 kilometres from Exmouth to Port Hedland on Saturday, you know, the weekend??? All I can say to those who think I'm not (and you know who you are!) is PFFFFT!!!
In today's postcard, I'll show you some recycled images: the signage on the way into Port Hedland Saturday night and Cossack from last Monday.
Leaving Port Hedland, the Great Northern Highway heads south to Karijini, eventually arriving in Perth some 1670 kilometres away. But I choose the North West Coastal Highway and complete my 2000 kilometre circumnavigation of the Pilbara. Heading west through an area frequently referred to as Cyclone Alley, the road crosses a dry coastal plain dotted with small hills.
Midway between Port Hedland and Karratha sits Whim Creek, whose pub is the sole testament to the built history of the town. Consecutive cyclones have been a great help to entropy in removing all traces of this once bustling mining town. The front bar is strewn with the evidence of countless cyclonic eyes, later captured in the eye of a camera.
Further west, the road detours briefly to the north through Roebourne. As I was passing through, I answered a voicemail from Brian Handcock. When I told him where I was, he suggested I shouldn't leave the car unattended.
As the road curves back to the west, I pass the turnoff that I took last week up to Cossack. Originally established as the major port for north-west in 1863, it quickly attracted a major pearling fleet along with all manner of prospectors in the gold rush of the mid 1880's. Then in the 1890's, the Point Samson jetty was built to accommodate the larger ships of the day and Cossack died. Today, it's a picturesque snapshot of the late nineteenth century, the remaining structures restored.
I did take exception, however to the practical yet somehow out of place galvanised rainwater heads and downpipes!