Our first job was to find the greyhound bus depot to see if our tyre was there. With some relief we found it was, never have we been so grateful as by now the 34 worn front tyre we fitted to the back was as bald as a coot.
That sorted we turned our attention to looking around Broome, our first stop was the visitor centre where we found out about camp sites and what there was to do.
We went straight to a camp site in town and put the tent up which gave us chance to dump all our excess gear. This not only made the bike easier to ride around town but also emptied a pannier to put the shorts and sandals into and gave us some room for shopping.
Our next stop was Chinatown which was a bit optimistic as there were only two streets but Johnny Chi Lane was an interesting walk none the less as was Streeters jetty. During our walk we spotted a sign for Win TV and decided to pop in on the off chance as they had covered our story in Hervey Bay. Xavier the reporter there was interested in doing a piece so we arranged to meet up next day to film it.
Broome was founded on Pearl Diving and there were two pearling luggers on display on the main street with lots of info boards about their history. The Japanese were amongst the most skilled and courageous divers and many people came from Japan to work and settle here. There was even a Japanese cemetery in town.
I had to run from a crocodile but luckily it was dead slow.
Kev found his career as a pearl diver was thwarted as he couldn’t get his head in the Japanese diving helmet.
We learnt a lot of history about the town from the various placards such as Cable Beach was so called because of the telegraph cables which came ashore there linking Australia with the rest of the Commonwealth. Broome has the oldest open air cinema in the world Sun cinema open to the public to explore through the day, an Australian film called Red Dog was showing that night which is based around this area so we planned to return to watch it.
Gantheaume point had been mentioned a lot but we struck deep sand on the last stretch out there so rode down a side shoot to the harder packed beach instead which made for a good photo.
You are allowed to ride/drive on the beach in designated places here. We topped the day off with local fish and chips before settling in our deckchair for the film which was really good and very evocative of this region.
Very early next morning we fitted the new tyre at a service station forecourt to ensure we could blow the bead out, it went on much easier this time. We then headed for our meeting with Xavier (Win TV) at cable beach. The setting was great and the interview went well, Xavier finished the article filming us riding up and down Cable Beach.
After stocking up in town and bumping into Geoff and Bev in the supermarket (it’s very social this travelling) we headed out to the free camp which was deserted.
We were packed up and away by 6.15am and it was almost chilly, a rare and splendid thing. We had our jackets fully done up for the first time in ages.
Cape Keraudren was a beautiful detour across dried salt lakes to sandy beaches and stunning coastline but at 11.30am it was too early to stop for the day we did however have lunch as it was 6 hours since breakfast. We passed a large salt depot on our way into Port Headland where we stopped for fuel and topped up a couple of things as we knew we would be in national parks for the next few days, we also marvelled at a flock of birds swooping and diving as one mass.
After riding all day it was now getting late and a quick search in our camps book showed a good station stay nearby.
We arrived at Indee station in almost dusk Betty greeted us with you mad or something and promptly offered us a drink telling us happy hour was in an hours time where we could all bring drinks and return to the farmhouse for nibbles and a social. We promptly got the tent up and headed back to get happy.
Our plans to go to Karijini had to be put on hold as there was a fatal accident and the park was closed until investigations had been conducted. Instead we stayed another night and explored red rock which was 10k beyond Indee station on a deep sandy track.
It was a chance to test our outriggers with the new nylon wheels we replaced in NZ as it was deep sand most of the way. The first 2km was bad and even with the outriggers we lost control and slid into the deeper stuff at the edge after I pulled us out and straight for the second time I let some air out of the tyres Kev was convinced it wouldn’t make much difference given our bike and load but had to eat humble pie when we rode the rest of the track without incident.You can see the snaking route in the sand as we lost control. Red rock had a little bit of aboriginal art work and was worth the ride out although we had to borrow Collins ute to retrace our route as Kev lost his intercom lead, it was so much easier in the ute we flew over the corrugations and deep sand but had to go all the way back to the rock before we found it.
That evening we spent another happy hour with new campers who were also heading to Karijini which had been declared open again. The last picture of us sitting on red rock has the bike in the background if you can spot it.
Next day we topped up our fuel bladder as a spare and reached Dales camp ground around 3pm, after the tent was all set up and we were dripping from the heat we explored Fortescue falls and a further walk to Fern Pool a secluded swimming hole, we impressed ourselves by swimming the entire way to the waterfall. We took swimming lessons before we left due to the fact I was afraid of going out of my depth and a very poor swimmer all of this pool was out of my depth but it felt good.
I was not so sure about the open air dunny though, lucky they had built new ones nearby.
We had steak to look forward to for dinner.
We spent the next day walking the rim walk from the camp ground meeting up with our neighbours Geoff and Jill who we ended up spending the day with, cooling off in circular pool before walking the valley bottom to Fortescue falls and fern pool for another dip. The valley walk was a gem, shady and interesting, wading over rock pools and admiring unusual rock formations.
You could just see someone swimming in circular pool from our vantage point at the top of the cliff.(4th picture).
There had been no phone signal for a few days so we read and began to compose a blog off-line before joining Geoff and Jill for a truly slap up meal, pie with all the trimmings and raspberry turnover for pudding with wine and great company ,thanks guys for a good evening.
We all managed a quick dip in fern pool in the morning before we departed Karijini and Geoff almost trod on a Dugite snake as it was early in the morning and he caught it unawares. There were more gorges but they were all 4 wheel drive tracks and we had been advised against them by the rangers.
The road out was an interesting colour red sand on the exit side and black tar on the entry side.
Tom Price a mining town was our next destination to re stock and take advantage of phone reception to check our emails and comments on the site but we didn’t have enough time to send off a blog. We paid for our long stay in town by only just scraping into the nearest free camp by dusk, we try very had not to travel late as the wildlife here is big and hurts if you hit it.
We barely had time to eat after putting up the tent before falling into bed.
Next up Exmouth snorkelling heaven