Friday, October 21, 2011

Beautiful Broome…

Broome W.A. Wow!

It feels like forever since we’ve seen the sea! And we were not disappointed. Broome is very different to the coastal towns we’re familiar with on the east coast of Australia. For a start it is very flat. We miss the mountains of the Sunny Coast Hinterland sometimes. Broome is also, well, RED. The dirt is so very fine it gets into everything and stays there resisting all attempts to evict it from clothing, tent walls, cars… The locals call it pindan. it is finer than talcum powder and is everywhere!!! SO it was a great surprise to head for the infamous Cable Beach (rated one of the 5 best beaches in the world) and discover the sand was pure white! Even more amazing was the azure water, the vast stretch of beautiful beach in both directions, the gorgeous little beach umbrellas dotting the sand like party lights. And the camels!!! Serious! Camels are a common sight on Cable Beach. The kids were quick to hit the water and enjoy the waves!

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We met up with John and Lyn Hobbs again, we love these guys! They are such a blessing to us. After a quick tour of the town and Gantheaume Point, well it’s not a big town, we headed back to the beach for a quick swim and obligatory sunset camel ride! If you get the opportunity to do this you should! We thoroughly enjoyed it! I could not stop grinning! It is….different, that is for sure. Camels are really tall, the ground was a long way away and it’s not so much a gentle meandering sway from side to side, it felt more like you were in the back of a beat up troopy without a seatbelt on a deeply rutted 4WD track! But I digress. We rode the Blue camels and I can recommend them highly. They treat their camels very well and they go out of their way to take photos/videos of you with your own cameras! I really appreciated that! It’s the little things that make a difference, and how nice to be able to use our own cameras rather than being forced to purchase an over priced digital print….

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At the other end of Cable Beach is Gantheaume Point! In stark contrast to the pure fine white sand of Cable beach, Gantheaume Point was red! Rocky and absolutely amazing at sunset! The sunsets in this part of the world are unreal. You can almost hear the “ssssssssss” as the sun gracefully dips her golden head into the depths of the Indian Ocean. Anyway, back to Gantheaume Point. We loved this spot. The rocks were tossed about wildly like a caber tossing event gone berserk, the lighthouse seemed to poke it’s head up out of the red dirt with an air of nonchalance. There was a large nest on one of the tiers near the top of the Lighthouse, which we discovered was home to a family of Ospreys! We counted 7 up there. What a view they must have! One of the original Lighthouse Keepers dug out a pool (in the rock) for his arthritic convalescing wife to bathe in. It’s called Anastasia’s Pool. Not far from there, when the tide is right there are dinosaur footprints preserved in the rock. What a find! We watched the tides with great interest, waiting for it to be lower than .98m so that we could “walk where Dinosaurs had.” It was so cool. The footprints were actually quite clear and we had a wonderful afternoon clambouring over the slick rocks beneath Gantheaume Point hopping from one set of footprints to the other. In fact there was a fellow filming a documentary there…he may have been famous, but we wouldn’t know it (we don’t have TV). Anyway he filmed Josie with her hand over one of the footprints, and a little later he filmed all of us literally standing in another set of footprints! He was greatly amused that we didn’t have a tv, and also fascinated with this concept of being homeless and itinerant for nearly 2 years, in a tent no less!!! I know!

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Broome is at the centre of the Pearling industry! There is so  much to do here if you are interested in that. The other thing we found kind of cool was that there were sunken flying boats (catalinas) preserved in the mudflats of Roebuck Bay, bombed by the Japanese. We had intended to walk out on the really low tides to check them out, it’s roughly a km walk out and then you have to watch for the tide, it comes in pretty quick and usually is around 10m or so…. But after meeting some people who did it, they told us how freaky it was coming back with all their cameras and stuff in knee deep water. And we just knew that with kids in tow this could get ugly, so we left it, this time…. You can’t do everything!

The other really cool thing that happens in Broome, is the stairway to the moon! If you have ever read “Are We There Yet” by Alison Lester, the stairway to the moon is mentioned. Anyway, we were tickled pink to get to see it! it was beautiful! Basically for 3 days in a row the moon rises over the exposed mudflats of Roebuck Bay during a really low tide. As the moon comes up it creates a slatted effect as the light reflects off the mud, hence the stairway.  We stood there in the dark, cameras perched on tripods set to long exposure, straining our eyes to see something, anything, with about 800 of our closest friends (well geographically anyway). The moon rises relatively quickly but it is a memorable experience. Daniel managed to get a couple of great shots! But sometimes I just like to sit back and experience things….to remember the moment. It’s special to be there, in that moment. Over the next few days the kids painted stairway to the moon and their work was so beautiful I have sent it in as work return for School this term.

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I flew down to Perth for a quick trip when we first got to Broome. I had the amazing privilege of helping with the W.A. MOPS Conference. It was a special time for me, those women are really exceptional. The conference was absolutely amazing! And I got to hang out with the beautiful Cherie Macchiusi, her cool family and also with Margaret (National President for MOPS Australia) and Keith Saunders.

We were in Broome for five weeks in total. Daniel, working, Yay!!! The kids and I working towards finishing school for 2011, double yay!!! We all thoroughly enjoyed our time in Broome. I think it was made special by the people we met there, the lovely Philippino family we got to hang out with and the awesome church we went to. Josie got to share her love of violin with a new friend, which was really special. Not to mention the daily swims, the best sunsets in Australia and the incredible weather. It was a lovely spot to pull up for a bit, but there’s still so much of W.A. to see……

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