By Monday we had farewelled the Burrup and were starting to make our way towards Port Hedland, taking in Cossack, Point Samson and Roebourne along the way. But first, a mandatory stop at the Pilbara Perk in Wickham. This cafe provides the best cup of coffee and blueberry muffin in the whole region – official! Owner Ross Wall was on duty and he impressed our dust-stained panel of judges (as everyone knows, coffee is the fuel creativity – well, it is for some of my FORM colleagues), all of whom, since leaving Perth, had been hanging out for the real deal in caffeine.
The ideal place to work off the subsequent buzz proved to be Cossack, a place which invites contemplation, so literally does it spirit the visitor into another age with its gracious buildings and solid masonry. Established in 1872 at the mouth of the Harding River, Cossack was the birthplace for the West Australian pearling industry and was a bustling port for some years, gradually declining over the turn of the last century until it was abandoned in the 1940s.