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June 16, 2015

When we were here in 2010 it was basically only to pass through as did not think that there was much to see & it was so terribly dry, no green grass anywhere & no water in the Coongan river where we had lunch. However, there is quite lot to see so we have had 2 nights in the van park which is quite adequate, only small with powered or unpowered sites (more parks should do this), clean amenity block with very hot strong showers & a shower curtain as well!
Marble Bar is known for its unique bar of Jaspar (called marble). This crosses the Coongan river just out side of town. It is also the hottest town in Australia, with 160 consecutive days of above century heat in 1923-24 summer! Average yearly is 36.4 celsius. It was 33 degree in the van at 4pm Monday.
Marble Bar is the most productive gold mining area in the Pilbara region.
Anyway, as soon as we had set up we headed out to the marble bar with water to throw over the marble to bring out the colors. Turns out we could have gotten water from the river- another brain lapse!
As soon as we got out there the sun vanished under cloud cover so did not get good photos at all- disappointing. Ok first in the am with early sun.

In the way back we topped at Chinaman’s Pool then a little further down the river to where we had had lunch in 2010. There were literally hundreds of cockatoos along the water edge.

Back into town drove up past this lonely old RC church sitting by itself.

Also had a good look at the new Memorial monument to the Armed forces. A beautiful design with a moving poem so hope you can read it.

Back to van to catch up with email, FB, phone calls and anything to do with having internet service. Ah, good, we will be able to watch some TV news but that was not to be as there is no reception. At least we got the ABC radio but naturally nothing to concern us so still none the wiser as to what is happening in the eastern states.
Back out to the marble bar for more photos & what a difference the early sun & plenty of water made- amazing colors, well, we thought so anyway. Judge for yourself.

It is illegal to remove any marble from here but we were told about a spot to pick some so we headed out to the Jasper deposit on the way to the Comet mine tourist centre a few ks further out on the road across to the Great Northern Highway at Auski roadhouse.

Bruce was not sure what this wreck might be until he saw the “straight 8” & immediately thought it was a buick!

The young man in the info centre was interesting to talk with. He has been here 6 years from Stoke-on-Trent (UK) and works for the owner of the gold mine (a working one) . The centre is surrounded by “junk” from days gone by as well as this intriguing water setup.

Left here to drive up to the Flying fox look out on our way back into town. Good road & not a steep climb.Found a few different flowers (probably weeds but whatever!)

Now to go to the top of the water tower hill which over looks town & it at the back of the van park.

That panorama shot over town did not stitch well but certainly not going back up the hill. It covers the width of the town at least.

Last but not least we went out to see the new solar power station & what a setup!

And this is what was the Pub with no beer in 2010. Apparently the manager had absconded with everything! Locals were driving down to Nullagine to get their cartons. It is now up & working with a great chef.

Talking about food, there is a great restaurant in the Government buildings & as I had fish from our wholesalers at home defrosted to cook & we had picked up their menu at the Comet mine tourist centre, decided to call in & get some takeaway fried rice. That did not happen as they are “closed on Tuesdays”. Our friends certainly would have enjoyed eating there Monday while they were here but we did not know about the restaurant at that time.
Wednesday 6am
Well we leave here this morning & go up to Doolena Gorge, maybe water there this year a none in 2010 but it was a nice spot for the night then up to find the areas along the De Grey river for a few days as we have to fill in time until appointment in Broome on 2nd July. We had not even intended going into Broome this trip, but!
Catch you when back in service as none where we re going.


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