West Coast Day 92 to 98 - Broome

Thursday, Oct 22, 1998 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Finally, the temperatures are back in the mid-30s and we are camping in our tent. We have a powered site so we bought a $15 fan to ensure we get some sleep. Mark and Sharon stayed until Sunday and have completely changed their plans for the remainder of their trip. They are now going the same way as us all the way down the west coast but we are staying on in Broome for a few days longer.

On Thursday afternoon we took a beach run along Cable Beach and noticed that many people were going naked. So we did what the locals do and found our own patch of sand and water along this 22km long beach.

In the late afternoon as we left the beach, we noticed that more people had come down with their picnic sets to have nibbles on the beach watching the sunset.

We went back and got Mark and Sharon and our things and set up to watch Broome's trademark sunset with camel rides along the shoreline.

I went windsurfing on Cable Beach on Friday but the 9m tides made it a little tricky. It has been the first sail I've had this whole trip so I didn't really care if it was good or bad - it was wet and I was windsurfing.

After a bit of sight-seeing around the township of Broome on Saturday we went to the Diver's Tavern with Mark for some sunset drinks at Cable Beach before coming back to cook dinner - Thai kumera curry. We played a few games of pool and spoke to a few people - all having a great time on holidays like ourselves.

Sunday proved to be windy again so we put the sailboarding gear into the car and went in search of a new location. With decent, regular wind, there just had to be some locals who might pull out an old plank or two. We drove around the southern end of Cable Beach towards Gantheume Point where, on low tide, some dinosaur tracks can be seen fossilised in the ancient red pindan rock. The tide was high however, which was bad for viewing the fossils but better for windsurfing. Here, the beach faces NW rather due west at Cable Beach proper, which meant it was easier to get out into the wind on the westerly wind. David had been most helpful in preparing my gear for sailing and was now patiently waiting his turn. Although my board is far too small for a man of his size we persevered with the basics of beach starting so he learned more about how to handle the sail and to manoeuvre the board without having to actually stand on it.

On Monday, we went to the local Internet café, which frustrated David immensely. The operation was run by a guy who seemed to know very little about networked computers and tried to charge us for time we spent waiting for his dodgy modem to come back on-line after it went down intermittently. The shop was full though, as usual, with backpacker types collecting and sending email messages using their hotmail setups. The service is free, they just have to pay for the time they spend working at the computer. We are always amazed at how many travellers use this service and how easy it is for people with almost no computer knowledge to get their own email address and get on line. We spent almost an hour uploading our website information and checking our email. (We do all the writing and layout of graphics off-line on our own laptop).

Tuesday was a day of fishing… and of frustration! David had spoken to some locals in the tackle shop and learned that for the next few days the fishing was to be ideal with neap big tides draining the rivers and trapping the fish into small pockets of water. I couldn't believe the plan when he told me - we would be walking out between the mangroves beyond Stretters jetty which would be empty of water while the tide was low and fishing from the river that lay behind. This was the only way, other than by boat, to access the river. We walked in the deep, mangrove mud - sometimes sinking up to our knees in the smelly stuff. I could not believe what length fishermen go to catch a bloody barramundi! I had a really hard time sludging through the mud for about ½ hour but continued on in the hope of catching big fish. When we finally did start casting in our lures the tide was at its lowest and we were about a kilometre away from high tide mark and it was only 7am. We tossed lures for a while and then David caught a trevally. He threw it back in - we were here for only one kind of fish. Instantly, he had another bite and brought in a small barramundi. Too small, 45cm. Another hour later I cast and before I'd even lifted my rod upright I took a big hit. The water foamed and crashed and we saw to our delight that an enormous barra had taken the lure. In seconds, he had taken the lure and my line and I was left with nothing. That was the end of fishing for me.

When we returned to Cable Beach Caravan Park we talked about where we would travel next. The locals were raving about a place north called Cape Leveque. We did our research and decided to take a trip there in a few days and then return to Broome before making tracks towards Exmouth.

In the ladies room I met a lady, Dorothy Adcock, who was travelling with her husband and twin 6 year old boys from Dural, Sydney. They were camped a few sites from us and so we got talking. We had seen a sticker on their vehicle a few days earlier that identified them as members of the TLCC (Toyota Land Cruiser Club). We had plenty to talk about and soon discovered we also had plenty of similar interests. We waved goodbye to them the following morning as they pulled out to Cape Leveque and said we'd see them there.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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