Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
117Trip End Jul 28, 2008
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It was a time of mixed emotions as we reflected on a truly epic 3,800 km voyage that brought home the beauty and immense size of this great island, but we also wished we had time to adventure up into the Kimberley to Darwin. We're just have to come back one day soon.
Broome (or as my slightly confused three year-old niece referred to it as "Sweeping"!?!) is home to one of Australia's finest beaches - Cable Beach. The dramatic coastline and golden sand, lapped by the inviting waters of the Indian Ocean didn't disappoint
A history of pearling and its subsequent Asian influences were abound in the streets of Chinatown. My historical intrigue was fulfilled by wandering Johnny Chi Lane, but the trade-off was a tortuous half an hour spent in a shop containing over 8,000 different varieties of beads each in stupid little pots. When I started messing about on one of the design boards, one old dear said I had "a good eye". I immediately drafted a letter to Linklaters saying I had had a drastic career change!?!
My mother's charity shop spirit shone through at the Sunday market as I picked up a copy of Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom for a mere $5. (For those that haven't, read it NOW) Looking back, the irony was that Broome appeared as one of the most segregated societies I have ever experienced in the Western world. Aboriginals clustered together in large groups, dejected, cut off, poverty-stricken and sadly often succumb by alcohol. Recently, the new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formerly apologised in Parliament for decades of mistreatment at the expense of the aboriginals. There are countless bridges yet to cross to repair this divide.
With a bottle of wine and a packet of millionaire slice we bade farewell to Basil. The next morning his posters and decorations came down and he was cleansed inside and out. As we hosed off the final beasties that clung fatally to his bumpers, we realised we'd had quite some adventure, although all in perspective as a topless Ozzie casually chatted as we were van-washing saying he liked to carry a chainsaw in the outback because the condition of the track can sometimes mean the only way out is to cut down trees on either side!!
Somehow you always feel the Ozzies are trying to get one over on you...although the two and a half hour flight south to Perth only reinforced our personal sense of adventure.