Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tom Price, Pilbarra - Days 8 & 9

After leaving Exmouth we headed towards Nanutarra Roadhouse some 280 km to fill up the gas tank before driving on the long and lonely road to Tom Price another 300 km away.  The late afternoon and into early evening drive was a little nerve racking as the highway has no phone coverage, no fuel sations and no houses.  For long stretches at a time there were no other vehicles.  Once the sun set and the stars were out, but before the moon rose, we pulled over in a pullout to lay on the ground at stare up at the night sky.  They were so bright that one felt like you can reach up and touch them.  We arrived into Paraburdoo at 8:00 pm just as the Shell Station was closing to fill up our thirsty tank before heading our last 80 km into our accomodations in Tom Price.  

Above is our quaint home away from home.    A beautiful desert sunset in the Pilbarra.  Still 3 hours of driving to go.

     Tom Price is a purpose built town.  This iron ore mining town is named after Tom Price, an American who worked in the area during the early 1960s and knew of the potential iron wealth.  Today the mine is still going strong employing 600 + another 600 contractors and is currently expanding to meet the Asian demands for iron.  Housing is at a primimun as well as accomodation - we were lucky to get a backpackers dorm (a former ATCO mine camp trailer). We shared the showers and camp kitchen with tourists and miners/ workers from all around the world.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to work we go.....

It's been a hard days night, and I've been working like a dog......
                                       Trains, up to two km long,  hauling iron ore to Port Hedland
 View of mine and camp from the top of Mount Nameless

Panoramic view from the top of Mount Nameless

 Don't laugh!! Just as they say the camera adds five pounds, the camera does not even begin to truly show how steep and technical the drive up and down Mount Nameless was.  It was our Suzuki's (and Collin's) first real Australian four wheel drive test.  Honestly, it really was steep!

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