Showing posts with label Pilbara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pilbara. Show all posts

Monday, 31 March 2014

I Live in A Mining Town { Could You? }

Could you live here?

Before moving here, I would have answered no. No bloody way. In fact I did discount ever living in a mining town in a handful of particularly heated conversations with my husband. But now I find myself living here so I can't quite say that anymore.

March marks nine months of living in Newman for us. And it has gone surprisingly quick. I won't lie, living here has been an adjustment. There are some BIG things I really miss about the outside world. And occasionally, you might just find me suffering a case of the Newman Blues. A slump that seems to infiltrate slowly into your psyche, leaving you feeling down and questioning what the hell you're doing living in such a place.

But ultimately, you have to make the most of your situation. And while perhaps sounding a little too similar to some older members of my family, ultimately, you just have to get on with things and make the most of what you have and where you find yourself.

Source Pinterest ie. I have no idea. Apologies if it's yours.

So where am I attempting to bloom? Newman, a place where there isn't nearly enough rain for most of the year (which can sometimes make blooming difficult). A 12 hour drive from Perth, and just over 4 hours drive from the coast. We're not near anything really (if you don't count some lovely national parks). We're in mining country. It's ridiculously hot for too long a part of the year, and it's a little red dirt dusty.

So what changed my adamant I never want to live in a mining town mind, and brought us to living in such a place, far from home? Family. My exhausted self who was tired of looking after two children on her own every second week while her husband was away working. And the fact that financially we needed me to be back at work, at least part-time, and I simply wasn't ready or willing to go back there just yet and leave our girls in daycare.

So this was the compromise. Two years in a mining town. Our rent paid for us. Utilities paid for us. A huge change in our lifestyle that allows me to continue being a stay at home Mum. While also having my husband home every night to help out with the night waking and 5pm cooking tea everybody is tired and messy hour.

It was a big choice, and one which we've chosen to look on as an adventure. We've had our down moments, but have never truly regretted moving here. While the day to day of living in such an isolated place can be difficult at times, the different experiences we've had, and the chance to bond as a family unit on an everyday basis, and for the first time, have all made this decision to move here the right one.

So what is here? Well there isn't too much in the way of shopping, eating out or any of those sorts of things in Newman. It is certainly expensive to get out of town as often as you might want to or need to for your own sanity, (if you thought Perth was expensive then you should accommodate yourself with Pilbara prices). And in all honesty there's not much to really occupy yourself with as an adult here (you either occupy yourself with your children, the gym or the pub after work hours, unless you're doing distance study or have a blog!)

But what has kept me sane, and made my days both bearable and  enjoyable has been the friends I've made since moving here. The Mum's and children who we catch up with for playdates, run into at Kindermusik, at our dancing lessons and playgroup. Who help fill the hours in our day. While some might talk of cliqueness, I've personally experienced nothing but friendliness and support since living here.

Mostly we're all in the same boat. Missing family. Missing civilisation. Sometimes not at all. Sometimes a lot. There are times you just need to have a big whinge to get over it and move on already. I'm lucky enough to be able to say that I have people I can whinge to openly, and not be judged for it. That's a good friend right there.

I know that there will be a part of me relieved to leave this town. But the longer I am here the more I realise how much I might just miss living here too. It will leave an indelible imprint on me as a person. An enjoyment of being in the outdoors (by that I don't mean our backyard or the park), and a taste for 4WD'ing and the simpler things that come with that, which weren't ever a part of who I was before moving here.

The red dirt really does start seeping it's way into your blood. It is a different land up here to the Australia that I knew previously. You can't describe it until you've been here and travelled it's gorges, rockpools and stunning coastlines.  It's undeniable, living here can be harsh and brings with it some difficulties, but it is a beautiful part of our country. In some ways, the true spirit of Australia can be felt here, more than it can in any other place I've lived or visited. While some cities might have buzz and energy, travelling this part of Australia shows you it's true heart.

I know that when we do come to leave here, that I will take many fond memories of our time here with me. Of the experiences that we shared as a family. The adventures that we had, the places we explored and the friends that we have met.

If you move here, don't spend your time sitting on the couch, in your backyard or driving around town. Get yourself a 4WD and get out there and enjoy it (never thought I'd find myself writing that in a sentence!)

We definitely won't regret our time spent living and exploring this part of the world.

Think you could live here?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Stuart's Pool { The Bumpiest Ride Yet? }

I love a weekend where we get the chance to do a little road trip and sightseeing. It's a long day. And it always makes for a quiet catch up nap day on Mondays, but they are worth it. Everytime.

Our trip to Stuart's Pool, was one of the rockiest and bumpiest rides that we've done so far. Ungraded roads (read lots of bumps, holes in ground), steep hills up, steep hills down. We really tested out our little bumpy car, and maybe our daughters in the back seat too. Really, a car needs a lift kit to be able to drive over such surfaces, with more ease, and less risk. And ours doesn't have that.

Does it sound like I know what I'm talking about? Well I really don't at all. But I will say, in the short time that we've been up here, that my husband is 4WD'ing like he knows what he's doing. And I'm mildly impressed with his newfound driving skills. Though it does help, when travelling on such bumpy roads, to do so with someone in the know. Insert Mark. Who knows what he's doing. Or at least more than we do. Which isn't hard at all.

We were given some friendly advice from a driver by on his return back from the pool. The road ahead was very uneven. And with our cars, it might be best for us to first walk the bumpiest parts of  the track, decide where to place ours tires before we start driving. And he was right.

So there was lots of this.

And that.

Checking of depths.

Checking of tracks before we ventured up.

Or down.

Before finally finding ourselves at Stuart's Pool.

These drives are always scenic. In fact, the drive is one of my favourite parts of the trip. I don't 4WD, so I can really take in the vast, undulating landscape that is this country. There are times being up here where I just can't stand living up here another day. Particularly with all the hot weather. But trips like this, always remind me, how lucky we are to live here and be able to enjoy this part of the country.

Have the chance to get out and explore somewhere new on the weekend?

Hope this post hasn't been too 4WD'ey. It wasn't meant to be!!!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A Trip To The Beach { Opthalmia Dam }

Well this is obviously no Whitsunday Island. No white sand. No clear blue waters.

Just red dirt. 45 degree temperatures and a whole lot of water after all the rain we've had recently. To locals here, this is our beach. 

Let's just say, even with the hot temperatures, that I wasn't keen to pull out the bikinis, sunbake and go for a swim. In anyway. But it was a refreshing paddle, wet your toes, nonetheless. 

And the girls loved it. Which really is all it's about anyway.

Before moving here, you would have never seen me in such a place. Let alone catch me dipping my toes into water quite so dirty looking (let me just say it's not actually dirty, it's just stained red). Funny what 7 months of living in the Pilbara can find you doing. And being totally comfortable with!

A box of tissues and endless fun.

Toby, overseeing our drive home.

Happy summer beach days x
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