Getting the hump in Broome

Trip Start Jan 30, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Thursday, June 17, 2010

After the comfortable pace of Derby, we were somewhat taken aback by the brashness of bustling Broome. We arrived at our caravan park to very quizzical looks, as we were minus the camper. Said important establishment was at the mechanics having 'that noise' attended to. We put out some chairs to claim our space then headed off into town to check out the sights, get the low down on what to do and hunt for pearls.

Broome Old Town, also known as Chinatown, is a fantastic-sized place. It has a very human scale and a consistency of architecture/appearance that is to be marvelled at. Most of the buildings are no more than double storey and are made out of corrugated iron. It gives the place a somewhat impermanent air but also holiday-ie as well. And this is a town that knows how to extract a tourist dollar!

Our first stop was at the Post Office, for birthday cards and anything else that Immi had been patiently waiting for. After collecting quite a few impressive-looking packages and envelopes, we found a cafe, ordered coffees and hot chocolates and set about the task of checking the correspondence. Immi was radiant with delight at all those people who had remember her – thank you to all of you who sent cards or pressies or both! We have listened to new music, used money for pearls and put other funds aside for future purchases. And a thank you to those who texted or emailed messages. When we hit Broome we received them too.

Our search for pearls took us to Dampier Terrace in the old part of town and we plunged into the exercise like the pearl divers of old. Very quickly were we up to speed on the five important facets of a pearl – lustre/shine, size, shape, colour and surface. The girls knew what they wanted; it was all about finding the place that could satisfy these wishes. And find it we did! It was only the 8th or so shop to be visited, but we found the perfect pearls. And to top it off, the prices were just right (at a huge discount because the lady serving us recognised us from El Questro – she was a bike rider who had camped opposite us, and we chatted for ages about 'old times'!) Brigid's pearl ended up in a beautiful gold 'cage' pendant that she loves to wear. Immi's has been added to her collection of gems bought on this trip; ultimate fate still unknown.

We were thrilled to be back on a beach. It seems we are coastal people at heart. Swims on lovely Cable Beach (no stingers in two weeks!), with its amazing aquamarine water and child-friendly waves, were a tonic to our salt-water-deprived bodies. We also did the tourist thing of watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean from the sand and we also took a sunset camel ride along the beach. It was terrific – anyone going that way, we recommend the blue camels (you'll know what we mean when you go to book.) The staff took photos with our cameras (loads of brilliant shots, both arty and touristy), they were so friendly and the girls received an added gift of some more pearls. How cool was that!

We also ventured out at low tide to see dinosaur footprints (bit of a damp squib), checked out the pearling cemeteries, giggled at the idea of the open-air, deck-chaired Sun Cinema (we hope to see a film there on our return), wandered the streets enjoying the atmosphere, had sushi for the first time since Darwin (yummy!) and bought lots of replacement and repair thingies.

After our few lovely days of beaching, sunning and touristing we were ready to set off up the Ardi (or Dampier Peninsula) to explore another beautiful part of Australia.
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The Moore Family on

Wonderful to read your newest Blog. Saw your Mum and Dad yesterday and caught up on your most recent adventures. Love the photo's. Glad Immi is only in love with a camel - it is beautiful. We are so looking forward to seeing you on your return.

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