Friday, 12 September 2008


I think we have just spent 5 nights sat watching the tide go in and out from pretty much the same spot.  Obviously we needed to as we didn't feel the need to rush around or leave Broome.  It was so nice to get out of a) the dust, b) the flies and mossies and c) the heat (although it was still 35 on most days here) by being able to get in the sea as the stinging jellyfish - Irukandji, the ones that affect your nervous system and give you a "dreadful feeling of anxiety and fear" plus vomiting and general nastiness - haven't arrived yet and no worrying about crocs).  We had a pleasant camp spot right on the sea front in front of some mangroves.  The tidal range is massive, so in the morning it was about 1km away, then high was at lunchtime, perfect as the day warmed up you could get in for a dip!  The sea (Indian Ocean) was quite salty so you could float around and just cool off for 4-5 hours until the tide started to recede again.  And that's what we did for 5 days.  We had a few unfortunate nights when the backpackers (or local idiots) decided to keep the whole caravan park awake by invading someone's caravan one night and fighting (that was a weird thing to wake up to 10 metres from your tent)/playing the bongo drums at 4am or generally "finding themselves" i.e. being a nuisance!


Broome itself is a small resort-type town with a backpacker scene.  It is also interesting historically; world famous large pearls brought diving which in turn brought Islanders, British, Chinese and Japanese settlers, oldest open air cinema (in the world?), WWII history including two flying boat wrecks still on the beach where they were strafed and bombed by the Japanese Navy fighters in 1943, some pretty cool coastal scenery and some nice little streets with lots of art galleries to poke around in. 

Our favourite art gallery has to be Giant Tides which was macro photography of the weirdest little creatures called "mangrove tree snails" which lived on the mangroves in the pic above.  Check out the website, I dont have any pics as the camera lens wont go that small (they are smaller than your fingernail), but I got some snaps of some other weird lifeforms, some of which live on the flying boat wrecks, on the mudflats anyway:

P1110807 P1110789 P1110791 P1110793 P1110804

We also got the bikes off and (after a quick WD40 service) did some sightseeing around the town; Cable Beach (named after the telegraph cable was laid here over to Indonesia and then onto London) which was stunning, the Chinese and Japanese Cemeteries, Johnny Chi Lane and Gantheaume Point which has Megalosauropod Broomensis (sp?) footprints from over 140million years ago.  This dinosaur was like a 2m Tyrannosaurus Rex apparently.  Broome is world famous in dino terms as it has nine different types of footprint around it's ancient beaches, the usual maximum number for these things is three different types.  So I read on the info board anyway.  We couldn't find the actual footprints, but have a snap of the plaster-cast ones for good measure:


We got the auxiliary battery checked out as it still wasn't charging, and had it boosted from the mains, all now seems to be ok so we can chill the beer again.

And now I am writing this while Em is driving the next 100kms down the incredibly monotonous road of 600kms to Port Hedland, where we shall refuel, then drive another 600kms to Exmouth.  The roads are straight, there are mirages in every direction when you can see past the thin, straggly trees and there is terra cotta coloured "Pilbara" dust contrasting with the green and the blue, and that's about it!

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