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Weipa - 2 days

Weipa - Sunday 14th August, 1977

We got up at 6.00 and had a revolting breakfast of spaghetti and eggs. Then I had a quick swim in the creek before leaving. Today Sue and I went in Mike's Toyota. It was terrible, as the road was really bad and full of potholes etc. We slept for most of the way, because we were so tired from only having about 4 hours sleep. The big truck got a flat tyre at the Archer River, so we had a short stop there. We only had to drive through 2 or 3 feet of water. The Archer River is really nice, with fairly deep swimming holes. We didn’t stop again until lunchtime. We just had a few sandwiches in the bush. There was a venomous black snake, but Digger killed it. Mike is a really good singer, so we did a bit of singing. We also ate a box of raisins and dried apricots, which was a luxury. We eventually came to Weipa and drove along a bitumen road. It was our first stretch of bitumen since we had left Mossman. We only saw the outskirts of Weipa, which is a mining town and all the miners’ houses are exactly the same.

The police took us to a nice camping spot at Evans Landing on the Gulf. We were really hot and dusty but weren’t allowed to go swimming because the water is infested with crocodiles, stingers, sharks and gropers. All the girls walked up to a fresh water lake just up the road, where we had a skinny dip bath. It was really nice to get all the dust off and wash my hair. For dinner we had saveloys and then an early night because everyone was buggered. Again there is crocodile patrol, with 3 people on every hour. The crocodiles are supposed to come up onto the beach, so we’re not allowed on the beach at night and have to go to the toilet in pairs.

Weipa - Monday 15th August 1977

We slept in this morning because we had a rest day and for breakfast I had some revolting chicken noodle soup. We were then dropped up to the miners’ laundromat at Evans Landing to do some washing. It was a good chance to write some letters. After eventually finishing the washing we managed to get a lift into town with Cronk. There’s no main street or anything just 2 separate small shopping complexes. First of all I went to the post office, where I had 5 letters - 4 from Brad and 1 from Mum. I was really pleased to get so many letters. I then bought a skirt for $7 reduced from $14 at the drapers’. Sue bought a red one and I bought a green one. I then bought a toothbrush, as I’ve lost my other two and some moisturiser and a beautiful ice-cream. We got back to camp, but I didn’t have lunch because I went and sat on the beach to read my letters.

While one group of 20 left to go and look around the Comalco mining area, the rest of us went for a swim in the lake which was beautiful, as it was really hot. We then sat around for ages, sitting, talking and writing letters waiting for the others to come back from Comalco, so we could go on the trip. They were supposed to come at 3.30, but didn’t arrive until nearly 4.45. A group of about 20 of us went in a bus for a short tour of Comalco. We saw these huge 85 tonne trucks. To drive one of those, if you’re over 21 you can earn $350 a week and only pay $11 a week rent for a house or flat. There were also these huge cranes worth $1 million each. After a quick look around the area, we watched a film. We then drove directly to the wharf at Evans Landing where our fishing boat was waiting to take us fishing out in the gulf. It was only a 2 hour trip. It was really nice, just going out to sea and watching the sun disappear below the horizon. However, it wasn’t much of a fishing trip because no-one caught any fish. I also got another letter from Mum which the Hallmans got for me. We had crocodile watch again tonight, but I wasn’t on it. We had a very late dinner, at about 10 pm.

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Australia

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