Day 158-169 Broome

Trip Start Dec 01, 2008
Trip End Nov 08, 2009

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Where I stayed
Cable Beach Caravan Park

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 158-169 BROOME Thurs 7th May - Mon 18th May 2009

Arriving at Cable Beach Caravan Park we weren't t initially impressed with how far we were out of town but couldn't be bothered driving around making comparisons. It wasn't til we saw and experienced Cable Beach an 800m ride or drive away that we finally understood why it was best to be situated where we were.

Not long after we pulled in The Jackson's followed, their site is a few doors down. Jack has been as sick as a dog these last 24hrs, it prevented them from travelling the previous day. As it was he had been vomiting in the car the entire journey from 80mile Beach today anyway. We agreed to quarantine him from the children - much to our kid's disgust.

After setting up the next job is to find a supermarket and stock up, we don't even have enough supplies for lunch! So into town we drive with empty stomachs and in great anticipation to see proper shops and Broome itself.

Broome has both Woolworth and Coles - a rare treat, so we shop at both. B.N comparing prices and insisting we buy only those items on special at the first store and then specials at the next while he determines which one is cheaper for the rest of the items required.

B.N allows the kids their first taste of Brumbies bakery treats for lunch, it been so long in between visits, I can't even remember the last time. Greg and I enjoy a curry & rice from a local vendor - Yummy!!!

A quick stop into Target (also not seen one since Albany) finds a few ripper bargains, even the B.N is happy with. The kids and I take the opportunity to buy a few token things for his party at the $2 shop and a small gift from Target whilst Greg is comparing alcohol prices around town.

When we finally return to our site laden with purchases, I notice a familiar face next door, it's the Scottish couple with two girls we'd (or Greg) had briefly met at Tom Price. I'd spent most of the time there on the computer there (these guys will rib me about ignoring them as we spend more time with them!) Maegs has flashed out of the car before we've even stopped when she realises it is Lucy!

We re-acquaint ourselves with the McCorkindales - Craig, Jill, Lucy (7) & Sophie (4) from Perth who are 5 weeks into a 10mth trip. The kids haven't wasted anytime and are off to the playground and hassling us to take them to the pool. It is then that Maegs sees Lori and Matt, Joden and Flynn and runs back frantically to tell Max.

Looks like there is a big gang forming and Greg's bday celebration will indeed be classified as a party!! The kids and I are all getting excited and hurriedly making plans to entertain like we would normally do back home. We organise a huge lamb pack and "boomers" for the BBQ and I make a gluten free cake with mint leaves -Greg's favourite lollies for decorations. I've asked all the girls to make a salad or bring nibbles and we're set to start happy hour at our campsite at 5pm.

We also have another lot of neighbours John and Faye Blake (fellow Vics)who we've got chatting to since we arrived  join us for the festivities. Jaime assumes position a cook of the BBQ - he was a legend cooking all night. Greg forces everyone to watch his Andrea Bocelli and Pavarotti opera DVD's whilst handing out Cointreau drinks to anyone who would join him. We felt like we were back in Sandringham again - it was a great night!

Unfortunately our festivities attract an official warning from the park managers about the kids running around at night in the vacant site area opposite. But other than that we have a ripper night that marks the beginning of a lot of hilarity and outings involving this group of people in Broome.

With a slight hangover, I am not tempted initially to go to the Broome markets. But end up deciding to drive down later that morning. We take both Lucy and Sophie with us while Craig & Jill deal with a maintenance issue with the van and wait for the tradesman, Max had left earlier with Matt, Joden & Flynn. We hadn't got around to swapping phone numbers with either The McCorkindales or The Lavis's and we hastily organised to meet them somewhere in amongst it all.

Greg and I were over walking around not enjoying ourselves in the heat and humidity at the market in our somewhat delicate conditions. So after feeding the kids some ice blocks we decided to head back to the park. Max decided to stay with Matt and the boys and we hadn't found Craig & Jill at that point. We assumed they were delayed with the van and so we drove back.

It turns out they were only a little delayed and when they arrived at the market they realised they needed cash. So they walked to the ATM first before wandering the markets aimlessly looking for us and starting to freak out when they were unable to. Craig thought we'd gone back to the park but Jill wasn't so sure. We'd not spent more than 48hrs together at this stage and I saw the panicked look on their faces when they returned to the park. We quickly wrote numbers down once their colour returned for any future need to communicate. I was profusely apologising for not waiting for them....

The Lavis's and the McCorkindales drove the cars onto the beach and drive past the nudist beach down to the river to fish and play later that afternoon. They have taken our kids with them and I was waiting for Greg so we can call them. We had arranged for us to drive to the car-park and once we reach the beach we'd call them and ask for someone to come back and pick us.

Greg has been watching footy since our stint at the market. When we finally make it down and call, it turns out Matt is bogged and Craig is helping rescue his car from a sand dune, they are so far away we will not be able to walk to them. In the meantime Lori has arrived too, having dragged herself out of bed now feeling much better! Matt drives back to pick up Lori and I after his rescue- Greg couldn't wait, he returned to the footy. We spent a few more hours watching the tide recede as the boys finished off fishing and Jill jogged along the sand for her exercise bout.

Later that evening we all decided to drive out to Gantheame Pt and scrambled down the boulders to see the dinosaur prints -which are only visible at the lowest tide of the month which was the day before the full moon, today! We were also able to see a delightful sunset as we laughed about the lone print someone told us about, that looked something akin to a child's drawing of a footprint!

Sunday was Mothers Day and our first night of Staircase to the moon (STM). The kids made me an eggs and bacon breakfast in bed and they had also made beautiful cards. Max's card had two vouchers for wishes in it I could redeem from him! We rode down to Cable Beach and were joined by the other families. It was surf life saving training and Greg was keen to participate in the adults Run-Swim-Run. He asked permission to join in and Craig decided he would have a go also.

Well this was the first of many competitions to come between these two highly competitive individuals. Craig won this contest easily and dropped his board shorts low enough to see his "builders crack" on the last leg of the run, drawing squeals of embarrassment from Lucy, Sophie and Maegan. Jill and I were in hysterics and we hoped he hadn't offended anyone on the beach!

Lori, Jill and I decided to have lunch down at Zanders the café it overlooks Cable Beach. We ate some tasty morsels and indulged in a few bottles of Champas, it was a very enjoyable afternoon, but needed to be back in time to get to Town Beach for our first Staircase to the Moon. We had to rely on the boys to pack a picnic for each family. We laughed about who would be able or not and Jill's predicament that Craig would need help was spot on.

Matt made a gourmet basket that made Lori proud, Greg's was pretty good without being gourmet and Craig decided to bring money and buy something at the market. He hadn't brought anything at all and was most upset when he realised that he didn't even bring beers for the evening!!!

Jaime took amazing shots of the Staircase to the Moon (STM) phenomenon with his impressive camera. Matt had a tripod and happily lent to Jaime in return for copies of his shots. I was also putting my hand up for copies as my (Maegans) camera wasn't able to capture anything other than an orange blur.

The children had a ball running around here, they set up a jumping castle and the markets were full of lollies they were desperate to have. But once the sun dropped and the moon began to rise over Roebuck Bay we all stood in awe, mesmerised by the beauty that the effect the layering of light on the mudflaps that creates the staircase up to the moon.

We saw Staircase to the Moon from the Mangrove Inn Hotel on the Monday night. Andrew and Danelle had dropped over to the caravan park earlier that day and we'd organised to meet them there as well as arranging to have Ellie and Sam for a play here on Thursday. We all went to the Hotel and found a spot on the grass and us girls shared a bottle of Jansz whilst the boys enjoyed beers from a glass too! The kids didn't take long to get into mischief in a garden of soil - they had "soil-castle" competitions boy's v girls.

The hotel dimmed the lights and a lone didgeridoo played as the moon rose from the horizon. We all agreed that while it was a different and enjoyable experience but now we'd seen it a second time we could re-schedule the third and final night of STM for another outing/activity.

A lazy swimming day on Cable Beach beckoned the next day; we had not spent nearly enough time there as yet. We didn't realise what an absolute treat it is down there. The water is clearer than clear, the white sand stretches for miles and there are so many activities happening there, and it's a great place to spend time. We are able to ride to the beach from the park or if bringing the surfboards we drive instead.

Max is keenly catching waves at every opportunity, we haven't had the surfboards on the water for some time now. He doesn't take long to get back into his groove, but this time he's riding small waves into the shore and moving left along the wave!!

Tuesday afternoon found us all out on Cable Beach for a Sports Day. We put cricket bats, a netball, a football and a soccer ball in the car- plus all our needs to have a BBQ on the beach.

We persuaded the families to play a game of netball, (boys v girls as usual) to extend our world championship event and found everyone thoroughly enjoyed the contest (boys won narrowly again).

Matt and Craig had been fishing successfully off Gantheame Pt and cooked fish for us all that night. We enjoyed a feast of fish, sausages, fried rice, salads and nibbles.

The evening concluded with running races on the sand, handicapped to ensure all participants had a win, then a flat out "who's the fastest child in Broome". The adults then had a go, which Craig (ex-rugby player) won and so he added sprinting to his winning tally of contests against Greg. Earlier that day Greg smashed Craig at squash and they were now finding anything to square up for to call themself a winner at!

The pearl luggers and three sets of tours of camel riders passed by during the night as we joined many others with the same idea on the beach for a BBQ. There is no better way to enjoy Cable Beach and to enjoy a sunset here. It was an absolutely fabulous evening of family fun.

Next day the girls and I wander to the coffee shop for a latte and when I returned Greg was still complaining of not feeling well. He soon identified that it was a stomach bug and spent the rest of the afternoon in bed, I took the kids down the beach to leave him in peace for a while. Max enjoyed another session on the surfboard but I wasn't able to get any pictures or videos as I was in helping him!

Greg makes a miraculous recovery in time for happy hour and poured himself a Cointreau and anyone else who was willing. It's Matt & Lori's last night as they are heading off on the Gibb River Road. We will see them at Kununurra as we've all decided to stay at the same park there also. It ends up being another big night out front of our van. Craig brings over his BBQ (ours is not working) and we cook and eat together again. We are smarter about curfew time now and ensure we've finished up by 10pm to avoid any further complaints...

On Thursday we'd spent most of the morning back on Cable beach swimming and surfing at the lifesaving club. We'd met Andrew, Danelle, and Ellie & Sam there and brought the kids back to the caravan park to have a play with the huge numbers of other kids here.

Once we dropped off Ellie and Sam I started to feel unwell and spent the afternoon in bed with a stomach complaint and a low grade fever. The boys decided to go to The Roey, their favourite haunt because of the $5 pints and tonight there is a wet T-shirt competition. They didn't return til 12.30am and Jaime had had a skin full, doing a very loud impersonation of a dog barking when they got home. I will not comment on the feedback from anyone's specific behaviour at the Roey - (what happens at camp stays on camp!)

Greg and Max attended Friday night footy Broome style- one of several aboriginal community teams versus one of the town teams. He loved watching the raw talent of the indigenous players. Greg loved kicking the footy with him on the ground in between quarters watching his skills improve significantly before his eyes. He also loved the community spirit at the ground - he and Max joined in the clean up at the end of the night grabbing a garbage bag and filling it before leaving.

Between his three attendances at the local footy, going to the local police/YMCA gym in the wee hours of most of the morning's we were there, being on Cable Beach and witnessing the sunsets every night. Greg was loving being in Broome. Immersing himself amongst the town and its community gave him the greatest satisfaction.

We joined the The Corky's for dinner at a Thai restaurant on Saturday night which was a nice opportunity to dress up a little and more importantly have a night off from cooking. The meal was fair but quite costly but we had a great night with Craig & Jill. Her razor sharp wit keeps us all amused, mostly Craig is the recipient so that makes it even funnier. Craig takes it mostly all happily, he's always coming back with funny stories and anecdotes...

Lucky Greg was back in the winner's board that day at the TAB and he had also put a footy bet on that involved two AFL games and the last Rugby game of the season (Craig's team) which came down to the wire in Craig's tip. All the boys went to the pub to watch that game after dinner, while Jill, Faye, Marni and I played Rummy-O. He was pretty happy with his collect after so many months of losses!

Most evenings at Broome were spent happy houring at 5pm with John and Faye, Jill & Craig, Jaime & Marni and Matt & Lori. We'd had some fantastic outings and many laughs. Greg and Craig's competition for who was best at bocce and other minor activities including juggling and best husband award kept us all amused for a lot of the week.

The kids were having a fabulous time in each others company, they were meeting more kids around the park and their own large gang was forming quickly too.

We would all miss this place enormously but Greg had razzed everyone up about moving onto Kununurra for final few events of the Ord River Valley Muster which included the Rodeo Saturday night and the finale a street party. So we all decided to move on together to experience Kununurra...

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