Friday, March 21, 2014

Day 5 -- Broome, Day 1

Tired of the incessant drone of mozzies in our ears, we start off early, arriving in Broome just past 7am. Breakfast on our camp chairs at Town Beach already feels too hot, until I discover the kids' water park and join in the cooling fun, clothes and all. We look up ratings for the two Cable Beach caravan parks on TripAdvisor and decide on the one with closer access to the beach. By 10.30am we're in our bathers floating in the bath-water temperature pool. I joke that tropical pool owners should chill their pool water the way those in colder climates heat theirs. It's really just a little too warm and hasn't managed to take the edge off the choking heat. But it's wet, and that at least takes one's mind off the humid sweat that covers one's body most of the time.

While our bodies acclimate, we sit in the shade of our camp site, our computers on our laps. Johan manages the family finances, I google things to do in Broome. Three hours later I feel a grump coming on: isn't this what we do all day at home? Plastered lifelessly in front of a computer screen. Is this any way to spend a holiday? Our few precious days in Broome? A life...?

We head back into town, buy a fan at the hardware shop (enough of these windless, heat-drenched nights), then head out to Guantheaume Point, renowned not only for its rugged red rocks that cascade into the surf below, but also for several fossilised dinosaur footprints. Purported to be 150 million years old, these giant creatures left their tracks around Broome and Roebuck Bay beaches. We're skeptical: of the hundreds of holes found in the pock-marked rocks below the tourist path; how do you tell which one belonged to a prehistoric animal? There aren't any tourist or interpretative signs to help solve this puzzle. But the view is wonderful and the geography of the rocks fascinating.

Back at camp we load a bottle of white wine and two plastic wine glasses into the backpack and head for the beach. The renowned Cable Beach sunset awaits. Earlier, we toyed with paying the $65pp fare to ride on a train of camels on the beach at this salubrious hour but decide instead to keep our wallets full and enjoy the passing of the day in our own way. Once the bottle's over half empty our humor turns wry and we joke about the intrepid looking youth cutting a pace down the beach towards the water's edge fearless of their impending swim. We place bets how long they'll last before a crocodile eats one (or more) of them, or another goes screaming up the beach, a welt of red running down their leg from a jellyfish sting. But nothing happens and half an hour later they're gleefully walking back up the beach, having enjoyed a refreshing dip in the sea while we look enviously on.

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