December 13th, 2011


up in the air

So here I am, Perth Airport departure lounge, waiting for four hours until my flight to Paraburdoo. Then I'll be at the mine, after a 3 hour drive. Luckily the guy i am to meet on site is flying in on the same plane, and he has hired a car. So he will give me a lift and I don't have to catch the Fortescue Metals bus.

I have 2 nights in a donger* to look forward to, and crib food provided by caterers who were the lowest bidder. Tomorrow the shift starts at 4am, but my body clock is still on East Coast Time which means my internal clock tells me it's 7am.

Last night I was in the Airport Formule 1 motel. It was better than Spud's Roadhouse at Woomera, in that the toilet had a door. And walls that went to the ceiling. Dinner last night was a choice between pub food from a new bistro or Macdonalds. Wow, hard choice. Gee, which one should I go to?

So I settled in at Macdonalds and thought black thoughts at a pub that would close its kitchen early due to hosting a private function. Bastards. My internal clock was swearing at me for eating Maccas at 11pm. I tried to explain that it was really 8pm and we were eating a Wrap with lots of salad, but I don't blame it.

I wonder if I can find a nice hot cup of tea in this airport.

*It's not what you think. On mines, a donger is a portable hut used for temporary mine worker accommodation. They usually contain a bed and toilet/shower room.
  • Current Mood
    bored bored

Second Breakfast

It appears that there are 7 food shops in the Departure Area that sell multiple versions of coffee. Tea appeared in the form of a teabag dangled in a paper cup. I wandered around aimlessly until I passed a small, dark cafe. The smell of bacon drifted around me as I looked at the menu.

Stomach: FOOD!
Body Clock: LUNCH!
Brain: oh come *on!* We had a huge healthy and free breakfast at the motel. You filled up on Sultana Bran and skim milk, remember.
Stomach: BACON!
Eyes: Look at that!
Brain: TEA!

And so I had a medium sized second breakfast of poached eggs (YAY!) on toast (YAY!) and Bacon (YAY!) with the fat cut off (awww) and a large mug of steaming hot tea (YAY!). It was a tea bag (awww) but it was a Twinings tea bag. (mmmmm Nigella Lawson)

I still have 2 hours to boarding time, but I am well stuffed and will not require much food on the plane.

Yesterday's flight from Sydney to Perth was bearable. The plane was an older 767 with the centre aisle projector entertainment system that wobbled with turbulence. My headset wasn't working properly ( I *knew* I should have brought my Sennheiser headset) so I read Black Dogs pt2, by Ursula Vernon. The bloke sitting next to me read stuff on his iPad and didn't want to talk. Which was nice.

I think I may be the last person in the western world to own NO iGadgets of any sort. I don't even have an iTunes account.

The food on yesterday's flight was rather good. Not "rather good for airline food." It was braised chicken and couscous and was rather good.

Qantas does do rather good food on its long domestic flights.
  • Current Mood
    bored bored


So here I am. (somewhere)

Paraburdoo Airport is a long runway - long enough to land a 717 - and a small tin shed that serves as a terminal. Baggage claim is a help-yourself affair at the luggage trolly. Then came a 1 hour drive to site, some of that was on a sealed road. Most of it was a gravel track full of corrugations.

I wasn't allowed to bring a camera to site, which is a bugger. It's an interesting country with the red iron ore showing between the green-grey vegetation. Large red boulders polished to a deep red by time have broken away from the surrounding cliffs and lay amongst the spinifex. And everywhere are tall termite mounds.

The crib food is not bad, for camp food. It's free and there is plenty. My donger is very small*, but clean and air conditioned. I even have an en-suite, which is nice.