R after the obligatory sunset camel ride on Cable Beach
Broome is a sleepy pretty little town a long way from anywhere on the north coast of WA. It has a population of around 14,000, but this quadruples in the “dry”, when tourists and travellers like ourselves visit. In the wet it’s so humid and hot that everyone stays inside the air-con. But now it’s dry and 31 in the day, 19 at night. At the local shops they’re selling mittens, gloves and fleecy PJs.
On the way to Broome we stopped overnight at Cape Keraudren and camped on the beach. The tides are massive in this part of the world—the biggest in the southern hemisphere. The difference between high and low tide can be as much as 10 metres.
After a sunset over the Indian Ocean, hundreds of little hermit crabs scuttled past our trailer on their way to the water, wearing shells of various shapes and colours. Magic.
There were also hundreds of sand flies. We all got covered in bites. Thankfully, for Lee and the girls, the bites just faded away the next day. Unfortunately for me, I was still itching a week later.
Then we had a night at Barn Hill Station, where they do a lovely Sunday roast dinner, BYO table, chairs, plates, cutlery, drinks–they provide everything else. There’s live music, a great Aboriginal band, and dancing. It was WA Day weekend and so there were dozens of kids on the dance floor; they had a blast.
The next day, on the 6th of June, we arrived in Broome . . . and so did the grandparents! They came all the way from the USA to see their feral little grandchildren. It was a happy reunion at Broome’s tiny airport.
A tour of Habitat’s gardens showed papaya (above), frog-leg croton and desert rose.
My parents have spoiled us rotten these past two weeks, putting us up in a resort. Ahhhh, running water, electricity, telly, air conditioning, a sofa! And my mom bought us each a tour. The girls went on a camel ride—what remarkable animals. Lee and I went, too, and after reading so much about camels in Tracks, it was wonderful to get to be so close to this oversized desert animal.
My mom and I went on a boat and saw snubfin dolphins, native to northern Australia (photo from wwf.org.au).
Lee flew up to Cape Leveque and Horizontal Falls—the highlight of his journey thus far.
We visited the croc farm, which was terrifying. We’re hoping these—the crocs behind the fence—are the only salt water crocodiles we’ll see on our trip. A few days later, Cable Beach, the main beach in Broome was closed because of crocs. We stayed well away.Crocs at the croc farm, who see us as prey.
While here, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Whew.
We’ll be sad to say goodbye to Mootie and Pop on Tuesday, when they fly back to Atlanta and we head up a dirt road towards Cape Leveque. The kids don’t want to leave their grandparents. R doesn’t want to leave the resort. But the rest of us are itching to get back to the bush.