Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Port Hedland – Day 5 and 6 (by Kelly)

After 80-mile beach was full up at the inn (and hotter than seven hells) we opted to push on to Glenda’s sister’s place. Thankfully, even though we were a day earlier than we said, Cathy, Aaron and Emma still rolled out the red carpet. It took Emma a couple of days to warm up to me but I eventually broke her down. I think it might have been my red hair that bothered her at first cuz usually I’m a huge hit with girls under six.

Yeah, so I thought one of my first statements of freedom should be to alter my appearance…cuz I could. Turns out I’m Irish, because the blonding kit turned my brown hair red. Anyway…

Port Hedland would make an excellent study in the economy of a boom town. It’s the main shipping port for all of the iron ore that they are mining a bit further inland and the Chinese are buying like sailors on shore leave. As Port Hedland is also a bit isolated, they have a very hard time getting enough workers to move all of the ore…which drives up wages for any job…which drives up prices for everything. Normal family homes of 4 bedrooms with a pool (a necessity in Port Hedland) sell for over a million dollars and can be rented out easily for $1600-2000 per week. Fast food joints close early because there’s nobody to run them with starting unskilled labor jobs in the mines fetching at least $30 hour. Simply amazing to an economy geek!!!

Anyway, thanx heaps to Cath, Aaron and Emma for the hospitality. It was a great few days and easily the nicest place we’ve stayed so far ☺ …and the most reasonable. I would recommend it to anyone ;-)

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