Day 198 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

This was the scene that greeted us as we walked down the gangplank at the Broome dock


Waiting for a bus in the lovely Western Australian town of Broom today was far more difficult than I expected. You see, every man and his dog were in Broome. More than half the passengers of the ship were in town and that’s about 1500 people.

Add to that the ‘grey nomads’ in their caravans. Then there are the young backpackers as well and also people staying at lovely Resorts that are dotted all over the place.

Some of the people at the bus stop had English accents and they were living up to the name we give them here in Australia of ‘Poms.’ Of course, this is short for the fruit ‘pomegranate’ which is red in colour. The Poms get into our Australian sun for too long with their fair skin and they go RED, hence the nickname.

The Poms at the bus stop were bright red all over. Oh dear, I could feel the pain that is going to come upon them later on! Someone should have warned them not to wear singlet tops. Cool yes … but they offer no protection from the sun’s rays.

And one of the young backpackers was heard to say “There are too many old people waiting at this bus stop!” So as we drove away, the backpackers were all sitting on the seat waiting for the next bus in the hot sun as the ‘old people’ had filled up the entire bus. It could have got ugly folks …

However, the shops and services in Broome must be taking in some dollars today, although I met one local who wasn’t too happy about it. An aboriginal lady – with legs like matchsticks – tried to get in a taxi parked at the shops, but it was locked. The driver put the window down a fraction, a discussion took place and eventually the lady walked away unhappy to where I was waiting for Geoff.

I wondered about his hoping it wasn’t discrimination. “Wouldn’t he take you?” I asked kindly. Poor dear, she looked as if she didn’t have a dollar to her name, but she replied indignantly: “He’s only taking tourists today!” As if to say: ‘the cheek of him.’ She did not realise however, that I was one of those awful tourists … until I told her so. She looked at me in a different light after that!.

Back on the crowded bus, I was hanging on for my life as I stood in the aisle swaying, when an older gentleman offered me his seat. I am here to announce folks: chivalry is not dead! Of course I accepted. It’s not gracious to refuse such a gesture as this.

God and the universe was looking after me even further because when we got to the famous Cable Beach, a lady then offered me a seat on one of her folding chairs as I was sitting on the grass! Geoff was not feeling well and was lying down on the grass but he didn’t get any offers … only ME. Wow!

After taking a few photos we got on a bus to head back to the shuttle so Geoff could take to his bed and be ill in earnest. The fact that he got out and about for four hours was amazing but he refused to succumb and stay on board for the whole day. Well done Geoff! He is now sleeping as I type up my blog.

So to conclude, what do I think of Broome? Certainly an interesting town for sure, but what I didn’t know was it was a military base for the allies during World War II and Japan bombed the town in 1941, 1942 and 1943. Where was I when I was learning Australian history? And there were enough lives lost to be a worry, all foreign military but no Australians.

Of course, it is also famous for pearls and they are still cultivated here today. I never went near any pearls due to Geoff being ill.  Besides they are highly expensive and for that reason, best avoided!

Cable Beach

Broome is most famous now though for Cable Beach where travelers gather at sunset as the sun goes down over the beautiful Indian Ocean. I have seen photos and they do look rather amazing. We were invited to stay by our Dinner companions Lisa and Alan, but once again we had to refuse.

The colour of the Indian Ocean here is a beautiful deep blue and the sand is so white. It is pristine and clean and glorious. The beach is covered in sun bathers under umbrellas and people were swimming in the sea as it was so hot.

Oh it was so surreal, this beach in the middle of a land of red soil. It has been said that watching the camel ride at sunset across the sand is a magnificent sight.

It was all rather lovely and it was hard to leave but we hopped on the rickety old local bus and headed for town to catch our shuttle back to the ship. Oh well we decided, we will just have to come back in our caravan and see it at another time …