Sweeping down the West Coast

Trip Start Feb 14, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Following the excitement of seeing Hugh Jackman at Kununarra airport we set off to Broome, the most famous coastal town in WA, 'it is so relaxed its virtually horizontal', as my mother would say. A collection of bizarre little things happened during a short stay, such as visiting the old prison tree en route. Yes that's right a holding area for slaves inside a 14m girth giant hollow boab tree. We also witnessed the staircase to the moon, a natural phenomenon that shows the reflection of the full moon over the mudflats as a staircase. Well I am not sure about a staircase but it was certainly beautiful. Following an eclipse of the moon it rose the next night a deep blood red. So if trees full of people, spiritual eclipses and pink moons with mysterious stairways weren't enough we visited the spot where dinosaurs roamed and had left their footprints in the hardened rock. Now I know this is all starting to sound more trippy than reading a harry potter book after someone has spiked your spaghetti bolognese with some very special herbs (i would imagine, ask big gay al) but its all true. Then we had the festival of the pearl with dragon boat races and street parades, where small children dressed up as jellyfish marched a boy scout jamboree. hurrah.

Being so close to the indian ocean there is a lot of asian influence about town and the japanese cemetery signifies the huge number of overseas pearl divers who died here. The commentator of the parade, who could well have been the mararaja of broome, came out with such gems as`look all around you folks there is so much to watch here today,I am chinese so I can't see sideways' and 'oh my gosh these girls are so young and beautiful and they hardly have any clothes on, holey moley why was I born so early?' This man is surely destined for works christmas parties and after dinner speeches.

Broome was also fun as we caught up with Anna and Tracey which gave us (well me) some girly time to gossip over frothy lattes and to get the lowdown on the darwin gossip. Dutch Debbie from Darwin also turned up at our campsite with her travelling companion, Jonder Vanderlag (not his real name but it sounds dutch). I can now add to my increasing collection of new phrases the term 'sloppy seconds' which in dutch sounds remarkably like i'dliketolickyourbottom and 'kaig ein mot','look a moth'. You never stop learning on this journey.

The Littlest Hobo. Is 'littlest' really a word? I mean, no wonder kids can't spell if we're shown tut like this, but what 8 year old can resist a wandering mut that helps homeless people? It's emotional blackmail! The best thing about it was the theme tune, and that was, at best, syrupy and nauseating, but nevertheless the theme tune lyrics chime in neatly with our Westerly progress, and henceforth I shall cease my rant.

And so we arrived at Broome, a small peninsula town that witnesses sunrise on one beach and sunset on the other. Broome is 'the' place to move to at the moment on the West coast and the town centre was in the midst of ever expanding development in anticipation of a population explosion yet to happen, a bit like a small child yet to grow into their new school uniform. Aside from the lunar phenomenon Jen mentions above, Broome is famous for Cable beach, a 22km stretch of golden sand kept true by the warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. It was here, after a couple of barren months in North Queensland and the Northern Territories, where swimming at the beach is avoided due to stingers, sharks and crocs, that we could finally play in the surf. I didn't realise how much I missed the beach. Oh yes, and the litre of salty water you inevitably swallow every wave. Yummy. Oh, and ending up like a human schnitzel when the wind blows and sticks a layer of sand to your suncream. But aside from this it's good to be a 'beach bum' again, and not just because it sounds better than 'poolside bum', for though there are no sunbeds to recline on, we can break out the frizzer, body surf and Jen can chase her sunhat across the beach whilst trying not to lose her bikini. Exercise and entertainment, what more could a man ask for?
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