The map

A long day – Thursday 26 May and a Big Beach – Friday 27 May

Exmouth to Karratha – it came, it went. One of our longer days on the road. Different landscapes provided us with something to watch on this long drive. A rolling landscape of ridge upon ridge of hills, and mountains continually changing with some being gently rounded, others with peaks and valleys and then some that had flat-topped mesa-like formations with saddles in between. Some were covered in vegetation – and it is green up here at the moment because they had flooding rains about two weeks ago – others were bare rocks, and some were both.

We visited two different roadhouses to break our journey and they were very different. Nanutarra was well-organised with a large range of food, groceries, souvenirs, clean restrooms and crowded. Fortescue was sadly rundown and obviously suffered from continuous vandalism by locals. They even had a notice on the toilets apologising for their state as they simply could not afford the continual repairs necessary after night-time break-ins – very sad.

Once we arrived in Karratha, we checked in to another first! Our first experience in an onsite caravan. It was basic but served the purpose.

We drove around the township, and we were surprised at its size and the range of businesses and shopping available. They had an architecturally interesting Entertainment Centre that Peter took a collection of photos of.

Red Earth Arts Precinct

We had a lovely takeaway ‘al fresco’ roast meal from the caravan park café, sitting out as the sunset gave way to a beautiful evening.

The next day, travelling from Karratha to Sandfire Roadhouse was not quite as long in kilometres, by about 50 km, and there were a couple of interesting phenomena to keep us from becoming too bored with the monotony of the landscape. The first was the salt stockpile hills on the edge of Port Hedland where we stopped for brunch.

The next was the interesting shapes of hills and mountains. This was just one of many we passed.

Also, quite a few times we have been aware of mirages in the straight stretches of road in front of us and this one I managed to capture.

Just before we reached our destination for the night, we left the highway on a red sandy road to go out to the coast to Eighty Mile Beach. It was impressive, just its size. We had a lovely wander along for a short distance, shell gathering, to add to my shell collection jar at home. We found some interesting shapes and colours. As well, I was fascinated by the tiny crab structures. It was amazing to consider that this structure was built and then rebuilt in between each tide. The patterns they created were impressive.

Our night at Sandfire Roadhouse was expensive for not much!

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