This was, is, Stephen’s goal – to explore Marble Bar. And, we made it today from Port Hedland with only one stop. The scenery went from very boring to rather nice, with multi coloured hills, the small trees with white trunks, and lots of river crossing, occasionally with some water in the rivers, though only a slight puddle actually on the road.
Our final day in Port Hedland was very full and interesting. Stephen met up with a couple travelling in a similar van to ours at the museum on Friday. We met up at the viewing point for the Staircase to the Moon. There were various stalls and food opportunities, as well as a crowded viewing platform. I went down to the beach to try to get a good photo.
Afterwards we went back to the free camping area in the town. It was crowded, but we managed to find a spot and our friends, who came later, were able to park behind us. In our 6 metre vans we were still shorter than most cars plus caravans and fit quite nicely in the one bay.
In the morning we a plan was hatched to meet up in a pretty location in the afternoon. But, it happened that after morning tea in and open air cafe we wandered into the adjacent gallery and could hear a piano playing. It was Shareem, who in a former life was a music teacher and singer. We joined them at the piano and had some singing together, with Shareem playing the piano. It was an unexpected joy.
After wandering around the gallery we went back to our van for lunch, parked near the harbour so that we could watch the ships come in. Later, we drove out to meet with Frederick and Shereen where we sat outside. She played the uke and gave us music books so that we could have another sing a long. We also spent time talking and learning about each other. They have a strong social justice ethic and picked up from the Working Voices songs we showed them that we have that too. We discovered many similarities and understandings. They are very warm and tolerant.
Like Stephen, they are immigrants, though they came here as adults. Originally from Sri Lanka, they were working in the Middle East when they were young and that is where they met. When they wanted to find a place to live more permanently they chose Australia. They already had relatives here.
Stephen and I went back to do a second Staircase to the Moon as I wanted to try some special camera settings to see if I could get better shots. Sadly, that hasn’t really worked. When we drove back to the camping area Frederick had parked their van so that we could join them. We were sad to say goodbye this morning. They were heading slowly towards Broome, but it looks like we will be there at different dates. He and Stephen have exchanged phone numbers so we can keep in touch.
As you can see, we have opted for a caravan park here in Marble Bar. We couldn’t get a powered site, but we have all the other facilities, including a camper’s kitchen, very handy for washing up, showers so that Stephen can easily wash his hair, and washing machines so that I can easily do all the washing that has accumulated. We have booked for three nights, giving us a couple of days to explore around the area.