Travellers once more

Trip Start Jan 23, 2010
Trip End Jan 29, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Sunday, September 19, 2010

Three weeks from our beloved Coral bay and we find ourselves at Cable Beach in Broome.  A fabulous caravan park and great to have some children around again. After so long with the oldies! We have been turning up at some of the caravan 'lifestyle' sites!  Honestly - some of them think that they are the only ones with the right to be at some of these spots.  They leave Perth for the winter and take up residence in their vans with their pets and even create a little garden - of which the boys don't recognise and stomp through on their way to the amenities! To my sadistic glee!

Anyway life on the road took some getting used to again but we have trimmed our setup further and can just about get out of a spot by 11.00 - we are stoked! (10.00am being the normal check out time - the nomads are usually out by 7.00am and arriving at the next spot by the time we get going!)

One of the things that I did not realise about the Pilbara area, was the amazing scenery of the Hammersley Ranges.  Every corner led to another amazing landscape - unable to be shown in full glory in pictures and makes you realise that whilst photography has come a long way, to be able to see this with your naked eyes...unreal.

Karijini was all that we were told it would be and even I stripped off for a dip in the freezing gorges.  It's something you just have to do and surprisingly it was refreshing!  The atmosphere by all those that were there, was just of wonder and all appreciating the beauty of this spectacular place. Dales campsite was walking distance to Dales Gorge and Fern Pool was one of those places in the world where you just stand and stare and just want to be a part of the beauty. ( I ignored the huge bats hanging from the trees on the way there.....huge ones...HUGE!)

Day two and we trotted off to Hancock gorge and a grade 4 and 5 climb (or rather descent).  Grade 6 and you need special equipment - I was skeptical to say the least and whilst Fabio was keen, I was doing the mother hen thing.  I lost and down we went, and down and down and in. We couldn't take the camera all the way to Kermit Pool as when you were walking through the water, you would suddenly plunge deeper in the gorge and you just didn't know when and how deep. A fantastic experience and the photos whilst fabulous, as ever do not capture it completely.

The iron ore in this area was everywhere and the children like to do this rock smashing thing that they started in Dwellinup and it was great to see them doing it here and seeing all the iron ore in all this red earth. (I wished they had got more of a bug for it in Kalgoorlie and looked for a more yellow hue!)  All this helping with the schooling and social studies and environment, when we pass so many mining sites and such varied mining.  Gold, nickel, iron ore and then in Port Hedland the salt!  The children are really able to see and understand that WA is rich in minerals and even Jack understood the ad on the TV mentioning all our cash funding the Eastern states!

Port Hedland was interesting with the port and long freight trains but the children were more excited  to get some junk food again with our first site of McDonalds for months.

From there we headed to eighty mile beach and some fabulous fishing.  Seeing the ocean as we headed over the hill was spectacular and the children were about to burst after a hot day in the car.  However, swimming was not on the menu and if we did venture in, it would more likely be us on the menu.  Sharks aplenty.  With the fisherman telling tales of catching something huge on their rods only to feel a massive bang and reeling in only a head - so basically we were told it was not a good idea and after our first fishing experience, the kids and I had to agree.  The stingrays and sharks could be literally seen in the water.

This also was our first real experience with the park being more like a 'lifestyle' village.  The oldies were set up camp but were also very friendly.  Even had market stalls on the grass area Sunday mornings selling their knitted 'turnouts!'  Full of advice however and were a little bit put out when we ignored it.  Apparently fishing should only be done on the incoming tide...however we had school at that time and so dared to fish on the outgoing tide.  WELL each and every person returning from the beach empty handed, told us - not suggested - but told us we were wasting our time going now.  But the children needed some air and so we went anyway....4 casts and 4 salmon!  All within three quarters of an hour - Jack bringing in the biggest (2lb).  We wanted to parade round the campsite with our haul such was our smugness!

The tide went out a fare way which left to wonderful sunsets. The weather made us stay for a couple of extra days.  We did however see first hand the effect that last years cyclone Lawrence had as the park experienced a direct hit.  We didn't realise this on the way in and wondered why all the trees looked like they had been chopped to make way for land clearing.  Not so - all taken out by the cyclone.  Made us realise we really need to get a move on! (Or of course, go back to Coral Bay!! :)

Barn Hill was a spot recommended by many and I can see the beauty of this station stay.  However you do need to be over 70 to fully appreciate it and this is where we really did feel as though we were disturbing the retirement home. Normally at these station sites (meaning land on a sheep or cattle station where there are limited camping facilities) they charge by the van (caravan parks charged per person)  It was to be $30 per night for us which is fairly expensive for such basic amenities with frogs sharing the toilets (no roofs on loos or showers, limited electricity)  But the children were there and we were imposed with a hefty $45 per night!!  (Just for comparison here at Cable Beach caravan park with luxury aplenty we are paying $53 - $8 more)  So it was the start of the slide.

The first site we were going to go to, a man just about fell over in his attempt to put us off with tales of bats in his (yup, HIS) tree - and with my moth phobia, let me give you the big tip - bats....NOH! So we moved elsewhere, only to be told off by a group playing canasta or bridge..for opening the electrical box...getting annoyed now so headed away from this crowd with my Italian husbands mood declining rapidly, to set up elsewhere.

The bowling green looked appealing but believing children would be shot if they so much as glanced in the general direction we kept away - wouldn't want to have any fun!  Warnings were abound about the removal of any shells from the beach sure to be met by snipers from the over 80's tactical response team!! With the lack of any type of playground, we strongly encouraged the children to run around as much as possible, making as much noise as possible.  This often led to the oldies dogs going scitzso and the barking having a domino effect - oh well sometimes peace and quiet is overrated!!  We escaped by 10.46am - our best time yet!

And here we are in Broome.  Relaxing and shopping.  Jack enjoyed his 9th birthday with our first trip to the movies in months. Whilst the experiences in the remote areas of this land are great, it's always good to be a bit civilised for a while. Cable Beach is nice... sounds almost wrong, but we have seen nicer!  And with less camels!  An integral part of the Broome experience, but didn't look fast enough for this speed freak.  So this is where we leave you - we are in two minds what to do now as it really is getting hot and whilst we were going to take our tents and go off road for a bit, the air conditioning might be too hard to leave behind, especially now we are in crocodile territory and a dip in the ocean to cool down is not advisable...I'll keep you posted.

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sophie Taylor on

LOVELY PICTURES trying to reach you for days not answering then tried to skype you let me know when you are on line so that we can catch up

Tarnya on

Hi Guys, amazing pics, just beautiful. Everyone looks so happy, and you are obviously have a great time. It will be getting very hot up there now summer is coming, time to head south? Happy birthday to Jack, love to all The Damens

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