Nate and I have been in Karratha just over a week. So far, so good! I feel so much more at ease and a lot more relaxed. It’s funny because it’s smaller, it’s remote, but it’s comfortable. It’s not green pastures like Orange and large beautiful trees with ever changing leaves in the countryside, rather, it’s red desert dirt, rocks, palm trees and the ocean. While the ocean is just down the street, it looks nothing like the beach towns I’m used too.
At first, I didn’t think it was very pretty in the least. But for some reason as we were driving down the main road a few nights ago, I saw this place with a whole new beauty. It’s nothing what I’m used too, and for once I actually feel comfortable with that.
We haven’t met anyone really, just the casual strangers at the shops, but most everyone has been really friendly. The prices are the same, if not cheaper (I swear!) at Woolworths and Coles. Craziness! We were expecting remote mining town prices, especially for fruit and veg. But I bought a bag of potatoes for $2.50 (I paid $5 right before we left Orange), a bag of onions for $1, and cucumbers for $1 each! Cucumbers were $7 something a kilo at Woolies back in the Central West. I keep coming home from the shops with random things. I’m like, it was so cheap I had to get it. Hence the $1 onions. Onions will be a dinner staple for a few nights. Lol
This time around Nathan and I are encouraged to want to get involved. We both come from backgrounds of volunteering and making lots of friends wherever we are, and in Orange I completely lost that. Those are two huge things of who I am, but I didn’t have it in me to find somewhere to volunteer nor make friends from just feeling so uncomfortable with myself while I was there.
I’m one of those crazy ones who joined the Facebook group Buy, Swap & Sell for the local community, but in all honesty it is one of the best ways to not only buy and sell used items (kind of like an online yard sale) but it’s a great way to find out information on a small community. I’ve already been in contact with a lady about volunteering for an organization who provides support services for local families with children. And they have a job available! So Nate will be applying for the Project Coordinator position. While it doesn’t come with housing, it would be a great opportunity to become involved in the community and meet people.
This town is on the rise. The mines are putting millions in to it. The main road is becoming a double lane highway essentially with a divider, and get this…stop lights! Ahhh! Lol They’re building high rise apartments, and a whole new shopping center similar to how the cities in this country look. That part makes me excited! There are new houses going up left and right, building up of the airport and apparently it’s suppose to become quite the town.
I’m not just excited that my in-laws now have access to all these amenities they haven’t had for years living in mining towns, but for us as well. This means we can always live close by, if not just easily visit more often, or have visitors because there will hopefully always be opportunities and a community meant for other people not just in the mines. Plane tickets are already reasonable than other towns!
The plan thus far is to stay here for the next couple of years. Wherever we went, after we left Orange the goal is and has been to work hard, pay off as much debt as possible and save for our future. If we can focus on that for the next few years we can finish up getting both of our permanent residencies so we can go between the two countries and eventually make babies! But in the mean time, with a growing town, it’s giving us the opportunity to go through the transitional phase and be close to Nate’s family. That’s our first option, so hopefully it works out!
In a few months if need be, we can re-evaluate our location if the job search hasn’t worked out. I said it before and I’ll say it again. You can make all the plans in the world, but really sometimes you just have to go where life takes you.
Anyhow, I was pretty excited that our first weekend here they had a carnival! It was the 40th Lions FeNaClNG Festival. FeNaClING standing for, Fe[Iron]NaCl[Salt]NG[Natural Gas] – After all, it is a town that mines iron ore.
Now honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. I thought cool, something to do, we’ll check it out, it’ll be small. I was really impressed by the setup and the size! We went Saturday to wander around and see what stalls they had. Then back again Sunday night for a country concert.
The most important thing, I got to eat cotton candy two days in a row. Happy girl! And I got a giant corn dog.
We didn’t ride any of the rides, but as you can see by my weekend diet, had lots of yummy Aussie carnival food. It was fun to walk around all the stalls window shopping. They had cars, RV and boats on display, as well as lots of things for the kiddies to do. (Not going to lie, I wanted to ride that little train that drove you around…only we would have looked silly without a kid. Lol)
On Sunday night we went and saw the country girl group…err I forgot their name…but they were really good! They sang together and solo. I liked how they mixed it up, it was good for people like me who have the attention span of a gnat.
Then we went home and watched the fireworks from the backyard. Once again, major impressed by the fireworks show! It went on for a good 20 minutes. It wasn’t Disneyland, but it was pretty darn awesome to enjoy on a lovely Sunday night.
Big fan, Karratha, big fan.
*sorry for the photo quality, I took them off my phone since I forgot the camera.