Broome, Bro and a Bucket List

Broome is such an interesting city. It has one road in and out, about 30 kms, from where we are camped at Roebuck Roadhouse (“Roey” to the locals). This township has one overarching history and theme. PEARLS. Yes this is the capital of cultured pearls in Australia. Starting from the mid 1800’s, this has been a hive of activity, and still is today, for Pearl farming. Broome has door to door retail shops selling pearls for the ladies (nothing for us fellas). Thankfully Julz is not a material girl, so we explore other things after she visits one store to see how much – wtf? $12,000!! Whew, now if I mention diamonds, then Julz will be all over them, thanks heavens no one has them here (OK, a material girl over diamonds, as she believes that they are her best friend). 
Julz has had some issues regarding her right knee, since her falling on them in the mud while fishing at Pardoo Station. We try and get an Osteopath, no luck. Her and Bet (her Mum) decide to have a day relaxing and they give Ron (her Dad) and I a green light to go on an ocean fishing charter. With such a bad run of fish, it is time to bring home a freezer full of fresh fish. Ron and I set out really early and meet up with ten other “visitors to Broome” with a crew of three on a large fishing boat (an old crayfish boat). We go out about 40kms into the Indian Ocean and when we all drop in our lines, within minutes we are all reeling in a range of fish. It is a bit windy and rocky, however, Ron is an old sea dog fisherman (60 years being a fishing enthusiast) and I through his advice, we both take a sea sickness tablet prior to boarding. We pulled in about twenty large, medium and small sized fish, throw nine back, (as they are not edible) we kept eleven. Ron had the catch of the day, last cast of the day, with two fish on his two hooks coming over onto the deck.

Most on the trip caught a nice selection, however, we had the largest bag when we left the boat in the afternoon. Such a great day, weather got better and sea got calmer, the girls were excited about the large quantity of Snappers, Giant Trevally, Grassy Emperors and more. Needless to say we had few good nights of eating bbq’d fresh fish.

Our son, Chale, and his wife, Angela, living in Sydney, and found it hard to send a Mothers Day gift to Julz in early May, due to us travelling. They decided that when we arrived in Broome, they would cover the cost for Julz and her Mum, Bet, to dine at a local restaurant for dinner. Zander’s restaurant based at Cable Beach was organised for Wednesday eve, so we arrived to witness the most amazing sunset of the entire journey. We wondered why the walkways looking over the beach were crowded with onlookers and the beach was busy with people around 5.30pm. Then as the sun came down, this amazing red glow filled the horizon over the calm Indian Ocean. It lasted for about 45 minutes, and it was great to see 100’s of people all facing towards the sun and admiring the amazing view – Mother Nature at it’s finest! This was quite a special, sacred experience for all present. Our camera could not capture, or do any justice, the beauty of “being here” and seeing a beautiful sunset unfold in front of us – being in the moment. Needless to say, the meal was excellent, with the backdrop of constant changing colour, a perfect way to spend the evening. To see Broome at night and experience this bought memories of my brother, Clint, as Broome was on his ‘bucket list’, which he unfortunately never got to see. 

Back in 2010, Clint was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer, he passed in November 2013. He came to live with us, (he was living in Capella at the time) to be closer to the hospital and receive his fortnightly treatment. Our trip to Broome this week, we dedicate to my Bro, Clint, who would have absolutely loved it, as we have. 

We left Broome and drove north to Derby, which has the Boab tree as its symbol. The scenery on the way is covered in Boab trees and large termite/ant mounds. The Boab’s are a fabulous looking artistic tree, which has a large circular base trunk (sometimes with a hollow ground centre graduating into narrower branches in the top of the tree. Julz loves them and says that they are one of mother natures marvels, however, is not happy when we find out about the ‘prison tree’. This was one of the huge old Boab’s that was used to hold indigenous slaves captives inside – Mother Nature would definitely NOT have created such beauty with this purpose.

In some areas the termite mounds are small, which reminds us of grave headstones, literally thousands of little mounds pointing to the sky.

We heard about a concert on Saturday night at the local racecourse. We scurry down to hear some local indigenous bands belting out some country music. It is great to see them perform on a large, professional stage using great sound equipment and lighting. 

All the local indigenous people we have chatted with have been informative and gracious with their knowledge. Being here in the Kimberley’s gives you a real understanding of the injustices and struggles that have occurred to get Native Title rights. Even though this is an ongoing battle, at present, it looks like the towns are flourishing and so are the people too.

We leave Derby and head back in the road to stay overnight at a free camp site at Mary River. We turn off the highway and drive over a narrow bridge and creek, and to our surprise there is another forty other campers, caravans all setting up for a night in the bush. We are rewarded by a full moon overhead and the Milky Way. We get up early and make our way to Kununurra. The land is becoming more mountainous..and we start to get quite excited by the scenery. 

More to come……


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