NOTE: No, this isn’t recent. We did this trip in 2013, but the original post for this part of the journey has disappeared. Probably the scatty old bag that writes this stuff deleted it. It’s so hard to get reliable help these days. So the post will be slotted into the journey from the Travel Page. To see the whole trip, look at 2013 Australian walkabout. This post comes in after the one on Horizontal Falls.
Having flown over the Dampier Archipelago from Talbot Bay, our seaplane landed at the airstrip at the aboriginal community at One-Arm Point. There, we would board a four-wheel-drive vehicle for the trip back to Broome. It’s a long day – we wouldn’t be back until well after dark, driving over corrugated sand tracks most of the way.
Before we set off, we visited the Ardyaloon Hatchery where the local Bardi people raise trochus shells and tropical fish species. The shells, prized for making buttons and jewellery, are threatened from over-fishing in the wild. Our local guide explained how the fish were raised and pointed out stone fish, angel fish, clown fish, and others.
From there we were taken to a beach at Cape Leveque to admire the scenery. White sand, deep red cliffs, and turquoise water, a riot of colour. No Photoshop needed. The ground’s full of iron oxide.
We stopped for lunch at the Bardi people’s Kooljaman eco resort. As an aside, it’s great to see the local indigenous people taking control of their own assets and their own destiny. Lunch was simply unforgettable. We were served the best, most succulent, most delicious barramundi I have ever tasted.
Then it was back on the bumpy track again. It’s not a comfortable journey but you get to see the REAL Kimberley up close and personal instead of from the air. Our next brief stop was at Beagle Bay’s beautiful shell church. I was busy taking pictures of corellas sky-larking in a gum tree, so I didn’t take many photos of the church. It’s a beautiful building (pictures here) and you can see from the interior that mother-of-pearl was lovingly used for decoration.
We got back to our hotel tired but happy. It had been a truly awesome day.
Before we headed south again, we spent a final day in Broome and, of course, checked out the sunset (drink in hand) at Cable Beach. The camel ride along the beach is a famous attraction but my allergies make such an experience a bit iffy. No camel wants a rider sneezing her face off every few seconds. But here’s a photo of the tourists on the camels with the line-up of cars on the beach. I’m sure all the vehicles would have dampened the experience a little, nothing like the tourist brochures of empty beaches and long shadows against the sunset sky.
To be honest we found Broome to be a bit disappointing. I had memories of the town from the mid-seventies when it was a pearling village with a very mixed population. What’s left of Chinatown is now swallowed up in the usual plethora of supermarkets and fast food shops. We won’t be in a hurry to go back there. But I did buy a nice, good-quality Tee shirt made in Australia.
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