Day 265 | a hot day in Newman: a good day to take a break

rest day

After last night in a tent down at the, err, local sports field I’m in a paid campsite.

The idea was to arrive early and use the camp facilities during the day, and that worked out satisfactorily with washing completed, doesn’t take long to dry when it’s 40ºC during the day, with a wind blowing. Out the back is a village for the miners, but I have a desolate piece of ground that my pegs fail to penetrate, and access to a shaded outdoor kitchen area. For some reason a group is leaving town and abandoning about 5 kilos of bacon and six dozen eggs so if you don’t hear from me again I may have had a coronary.

The mining mentality, and wallet, makes Newman expensive for anyone else. My stark campsite is a big $22 a night and as I am unused to paying anything it is hurting a bit to stick around. I haven’t paid anything since Roebourne a couple of weeks ago. Out in the bush it’s quite affordable, ie, free. There is the benefit of a shower and a place to sit in an ant free environment so there are compensations.

There’s quite an array of barracks nearby, they are in the process of adding more as I sat in the shade. Each of these cells for the miners, (locally called dongas), cost BHP about $700 a week and there are hundreds here.

The blokes, predominantly, have every third week off. Fifo is the standard means of operation for these Pilbara mining towns: fly in, fly out. It’s about $400 each way to Perth, but that is also covered by BHP.

Accommodation is one of the major determinants of getting a job.

That’s a good enough reason to leave town.