Australia 20 June: Fortescue River Roadhouse, WA - Karratha, WA

Half-way around Australia

We were very excited today because it is Day 56 – exactly half-way on our 112-day journey!

In the morning before we left Fortescue River Roadhouse, Anubha met fellow Perth-ites Clare and Grant, on their way home from a holiday up north. They both loved the idea of the Peace Run and the fact that it visits schools. It was great to meet you both!

The story of our running north today was a strong headwind ...

... this wind seemed determined to push us backward ...

... the only way forward was to put the head down and just tough it out ...

The wind blew our hats off our heads and dust into our faces – but didn’t quite manage to put the Peace Torch flame out!

Bayarkhuu is a celebrity now ...

Yes, there HAS been a lot of rain in these parts recently!

We had a great impression of Karratha which has an energetic and progressive vibe. While stocking up on supplies at the local supermarket we met the lovely Rhondah Gillespie, who gave us a most generous donation and her kind wishes for our safety out on the highway ...

... Rhondah’s young grandson suffers from cancer and the whole team would like to say hi and wish him a swift recovery and many happy days to come.

We next came across Shannon Heath, who works in exploratory drilling and kindly explained to the curious team members about his work and the mining scene here in Karratha ...

... it’s a different world out here for many of the team and we are all interested in how it all works ...

Emily, reporting for peacerun.org/au !

The whole team visited Tambrey Primary School in Karratha ...

... the boys team arriving in their accustomed motley fashion ...

... after several days with no schools, the wonderful children at Tambrey gave us a real boost ...

... with their enthusiasm, friendliness and thoughtful questions ...

"Can you guess which country I'm from?"

The Torch was passed around ...

The kids had been fundraising by running a lap-a-thon around their oval the day before, and have their cross-country race tomorrow, so they certainly know all about running!

Shire President Fiona White-Hartig attended the meeting and was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for the Shire of Roebourne.

Nelson and Jack accepted the Certificate on behalf of Tambrey Primary School.

Also at the meeting was Stefan Juengling from "Pilbara News".

Thanks to Principal Shannon Wright (pictured) and P.E teacher Adrian Knight for allowing us to visit your beautiful school ...

On our way to the nearby town of Dampier for a quick beach trip we found a special flower, Sturts Desert Pea, growing alongside the highway! This is the beautiful floral emblem of South Australia so we were all delighted to get to see it growing in the wild (albeit in Western Australia). We also encountered the longest train that any of us have ever seen – the locomotive had to be pulling over 100 freight cars – which we think was coming from the Rio Tinto Dampier Salt Mine, the world’s largest exporter of salt!

Thank you to Maria at Parkby Lodge for your kindness in letting us stay despite your full house ...

... we also loved meeting your gorgeous rescue dog Shadow.

After the school ceremony, our boys teams had headed out to our accommodation at The MAC Village, Karratha, where we met the Assistant Manager David Barber who couldn't have done more for us ...

... his company builds and operates hotel-style accommodation for remote sites with little or no access to facilities, especially mining communities ...

The MAC Karratha offers superb rooms and an excellent dining facility that provides a wonderful smorgasbord for all the residents.

When Dave heard we had a women's team staying elsewhere, he said they were welcome to come and eat with us.

Soon after they arrived he was providing extra rooms for them as well!

The buffet dinner was amazing, and we were even offered breakfast and lunch to take on the road with us tomorrow!

It is people like Dave and The MAC that keep the Peace Run on the road. We are so grateful to Dave and his staff for their extreme kindness and for the many services they provided: single rooms each, laundry, dinner, breakfast and lunch, use of the new gymnasium, bottled water, and a very caring manner ...

... our Certificate of Appreciation is only a tiny token of our gratitude. We will remember you as an oasis on our long journey. Thank you Dave!