As promised, here are the final set of entries from Broome, before I sweep down the coast...
Saturday 21st October 2006
The morning was spent doing various chores (shopping, washing, internet, etc.) - this travelling lark isn't all fun, fun, fun, you know! Made up for it in the afternoon, though, by taking the free bus over to Cable Beach again. Met Vele, a Finnish chap from my hostel (very nice bloke - 30, but looks much younger), and we decided to walk together to Gantheaume Point. It was a 4-hour round trip (about 10 miles), and well worth while. The different shades of red/orange/pink/purple in the rocks was incredible and there were some beautiful rock formations. We were also able to see the (much trumpeted) dinosaur footprints in the rocks (so the similarities between Broome and the Jurassic Coast are now complete - I should have gone to Lyme Regis instead). Surprisingly it wasn't too hot for walking, with a constant sea breeze, and we got back just before dark. It was nice to have a proper walk, which I didn't think I'd do given the heat earlier in the day (it seems to be hottest at around 11 in the morning - before the sea breeze kicks in)...
In the evening we cooked together again, with a greater Japanese input this time (including a gift of chopsticks from Hidenori [nice Japanese chap], with free lessons in using them, to boot!). I'm still really enjoying what has been a very sociable hostel. There are naturally a few weird people about, but enough nice ones to make for a really good atmosphere. Also some cute geckos in the kitchen (as well as cockroaches) - it's not a holiday for me without experiencing the local wildlife.
It rained torrentially during the evening/night - people in the Disco next door got soaked in the rain, but carried on dancing regardless (heath and safety would have something to say about that in the UK). I hope the DJ has his rain-themed box of records at hand! You could see the clouds building up inland during the day (which in itself was quite an impressive sight). I guess they get solid weeks of it during the wet season, but luckily it had cleared up by the following morning.
Sunday 22nd October 2006
I went to Broome weekend market in the morning. Usual tat, and small at that, with a pathetic selection of comestibles. I got my shopping from the supermarket instead (which is surprisingly well stocked here - although a bit on the dear side, especially the fresh produce). Only meat seems cheaper than the UK, otherwise it is on a par or more expensive. I have heard that the West Coast is a particularly expensive part of Australia, which I suppose is understandable if most of the producers are in the East.
There was no free hostel bus today (apparently they have just discovered that the new driver they appointed doesn't have a driving licence!), so I decided to walk there, via the Japanese Cemetery, instead. It turned out to be quite an interesting walk (about an hour and a half), through the different neighbourhoods of Broome (or should that be Neighbours-hoods?) - all low-density bungalows, of course - and then a patch of wild bush (lots of rustling in the undergrowth - but still no actual snake sightings) and sand dunes before reaching the beach. Saw loads of different tropical plants (mostly in people's gardens, admittedly) and several interesting birds. One in particular caught my attention with an unusual, pretty song, but when I saw it, it was the ugliest thing imaginable (like a cross between a vulture and a mangy pigeon - most peculiar). I then caught my third (and best) Cable Beach sunset before getting the (paying) bus back to town.
Another evening of cooking and eating together - I might turn into a social animal yet (although I still prefer to do my own thing during the day).
Monday 23rd October 2006
And here were are. It is now today. I have finally got this blog up-to-date. Best make the most of it as it might be the only time I actually write this as it happens. A veritable rolling blog. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you are finding this all far too long-winded - not mentioning any names, Checco!), there's not a lot to report today (most of it has been spent on various chores, in readiness for my departure at 6:45am tomorrow). It's still very hot and sticky. I actually felt really hot (dripping in sweat - nice) a time or two in bed last night (no air-con here) and you can feel it weighing down on you every time you go outside. Going out for a drink this evening (my first visit to the great Ozzie pub - quelle extravagance!), to celebrate the birthday of a girl in my dorm. It will be quite sad to say goodbye to everybody I have met, as I have go to know some really nice people here (although it turns out that two of them are getting the same bus as me down the coast, and I wouldn't be surprised if I bumped into some of the others along the way - there are only two real directions to go from here: north or south).
The next few days will be spent working my way through the desert and the Karijini National Park, before arriving in Exmouth on Thursday evening (I'm still rather hoping that there might be a little Sidmouth a short way along the coast from there) . So, that's it from Broome. Until the next time, goodbye and goodnight.