FROM MY ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA, Last Few Days in Sydney Follow
And I’m off!
(I also don’t want to forget my charming and oh-so-satisfying Lyft ride to the airport so I’m going to write it here.)
Camels and sunsets and a tour of the Danpier Peninsula – July 1-7.
My ticket was going to take me twelve hours to get from Hobart in Tasmania to Broome in Western Australia as I had to travel Hobart-Melbourne-Perth-Broome. But when I got to Melbourne I noticed there was a direct flight to Broome leaving in 20 minutes. Wow! So I hustled myself to the service counter.
Sorry the guy said, no can do because of your discounted ticket. That’s too bad I said because you have seats on this flight but I’m guessing my Perth to Broome leg is oversold because when I looked there was not a seat to be had.
Hmmm the guy said, still, no can do. Then, 2 minutes later I heard my name paged and voilá! a ticket on the direct flight Was available after all.
So not only did I save four hours of transit time I also got an Entire Row to myself. What JOY.
All this good luck was adding up so I started sneezing and my nose started running and I thought OH! NO! I was feeling pretty poorly for two days and then this morning, on the 4th (Happy Birthday America!) yay, I can breathe! So I booked some tours and I’m ready to rock ‘n roll on Broome.
This is all my cold weather gear now packed away in a small little bundle not to be thought of again until my return to Sydney, except for the scarf that is part of my dress-up outfit. My amazing raincoat is under the scarf, then the hat, socks, gloves, and a vest. That was it and I was warm and comfy and dry.
All the ground is like this ground. Gorgeious red dust that must turn into thick red mud for a good part of the year.
There are two seasons up north and universally called The Wet and The Dry. From Australia.gov: “The tropical regions of Australia … have high temperatures and high humidity and distinct wet and dry seasons.
“The wet season is usually between November and March. It is hotter than the dry season, with temperatures between 30 and 50 degrees Celsius.
“The dry season is usually between April and October. Temperatures are lower and the skies are generally clearer during the dry. The average temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius ((it’s been 30-32 highs since I’ve been here)).
“The ‘build up’ is the humid time of year between the wet and dry seasons. It usually lasts for three or four months. Things become quite tense during the ‘build up’ as people sit and swelter in the humidity while waiting and hoping for the first rains to come. The humidity continues day and night with no respite, so when the rains finally do come everyone enjoys their cooling relief.”
But the relief is short-lived considering the difficulty of living through The Wet. Here in Broome most of the town simply shuts down.
You know you’re staying in a hostel when this looks really good.
I want to note how well I am feeling right now and how unwell I was feeling just 12 hours ago. FINGERS CROSSED it’s gone. I’m going to go back to my room and do nothing until tomorrow, just to seal the deal!
And I’m all caught up with pictures and correspondence. That feels amazing.
…no chance of achieving.
At low tide the camels can walk on the sea side of the (grrr) cars to get them out of the picture and get the reflections in the receding tide.
But not for me. We were at such high tide the camels walked between two rows of cars. I think you might not have much choice when putting together a long itinerary, but it’s something to consider if you want to come to Broome.
…Sun Picture Garden, a moving pictures house which opened in 1916 and is “the oldest ‘picture garden’ still in operation.”
Those sling seats are half under cover and half under the stars. From wiki: “Up until 1967, Europeans who were considered most worthy were seated in the middle of the cinema, with their children up front. Other whites and Asians sat on the left side while “coloured people” were forced to sit on hard wooden benches on the right and were forced to enter through a separate door. A boycott began just before anti-discrimination laws were brought in in 1967.”
…and another view from Gantheaume Point.
I talked to three tour guides at some length over my time here and they are all nuts for the newly discovered trove of dinosaur foot-prints that are causing a sensation. There have been foot-prints around for a while but now they have whole trails of them and are looking to become The Dinosaur Coast.
Backpackers. I think this place where I am staying is maybe half backpackers, several families with children since it’s school break for this week and next, and plenty of mid-age to late-age singles and couples with actual suitcases. I am quite content.
There’s coffee and tea, cereal, milk, bread, jam, butter, apples, and oranges available every morning. They also have a small café offering frozen food fried for your dining pleasure. Everything comes with French fries.
Everything comes with French fries at the internet place too, and there’s the ever popular fish and chips, and fries as a quick snack when you’re feeling a little peckish, and they’re good fries too, but I now must take a break from French fries.
The best thing I ate was at the funky little internet place where I had delicious grilled barramundi and French fries. The second best meal was at 18 Degrees where I had poached eggs on beans – it was perfect and entirely satisfying. The third best meal was arancini at Cable Beach Resort – so flavorful and with great texture. And lastly the fourth best thing I ate was the nachos right here at the hostel. They make them with Cool Ranch Doritos, a spicy salsa, and lots of tangy cheese all melted together, crispy and gooey from under the broiler.
They tell you about how to grade a pearl. I’ve heard this rap many times forgetting instantly, but it’s interesting while it’s happening.
Every once in a great while an oyster will spit out it’s seed and grow a pearl anyway, called seedless pearls, and although very deformed they are the most valuable and here at Cygnet Bay Pearl they’ve been saving the big ones for many many years to make this one string, about to go on the market for $400,000.
Ahhh. And then the 3 hour ride back, 1 1/2 of those hours over the high-clearance four-wheel drive road that is often unpassable during the wet even for four-wheel drive.
They (according to the guide – I didn’t ask who they are) are talking about paving that road but the guide doesn’t want them to. He wants it to be hard to get there so when people come they are serious visitors.
But all the people on the other side of the road are living in Aboriginal communities and to me it seems pretty economically isolating when the only way to get in or out takes so much effort, or money if you can afford to fly. Probably the residents should decide.
So the airline (Qantas did all the work for their local carrier Airnorth) put everyone up in a kind of rundown hotel that had space for 45 people when the rest of the town was packed.
But it turned out ok. The place really did well under the onslaught of a bus of disrupted tourists, and dinner at the nearby Irish Pub was delicious – a Guinness pie with a side of excellent vegetables and my favorite kind of mashed potatoes, the heavy buttery kind, not the light fluffy kind.
The next day they put on an earlier flight and I arrived in Darwin ready for what’s next.