Monday, September 17, 2012

The Nomad Chronicles VI

Our next stop was Tunnel Creek.  This required wading thigh high along an underground creek by torch light for much of the way.  Aborigonals evaded police for quite a while here.  Further along we camped at Wundjina Gorge.  Flanked by spectacular 100 metre walls, the soft walking path followed the water through shady trees often draped with vines.  There were a lot of fresh water crocodiles basking on the sand bars.   

The next day we followed the rough corrugated road out to the Gibb River road and the bit that we travelled was much smoother than the track from Fitzroy Crossing.  It was amusing to see the traffic from the north had turned the left lane of the bitumen red when the other lane was black.  Derby was a more pleasant town than we had been led to believe.  From here we took an overnight trip to the Horizontal Falls.  

The 10 seat amphibious plane looked very ungainly on the tarmac but the take-off, 30 minute flight & landing was very smooth.    We took a thrilling ride through the falls on a 600 hp boat.  The force of the water creates amazing eddies.   After a cruise up the creek we watched tawny nurse sharks and a groper come to be fed.  The sharks were up to 3 metres long & circled all night.  

We spent the night on a house boat before flying another boat trip to watch the tide coming in.  The flight back to Derby over the islands of the Bucaneer Archipeligo was spectacular in the morning light.  After a quick look at the jetty and the boab prison tree we headed south to Broome.

After setting up at the Broome Caravan park we adjourned to the large swimming pool where there is even a lap lane.   Our camper has an advantage that we can squeeze into a small site where larger caravans can’t get – this time next to the gas cylinder.  The disadvantage is that we have to pack up & leave our chairs on site if we need to drive somewhere.   We could slide off but feel it would be a hassle for short stops.   

The Broome Cup & the Stairway to the Moon have swelled the population.   It is hard to get a site in Broome & often people are moved to temporary parks.  Today we took a 3 in 1 tour of sight-seeing around Broome, a presentation on pearl diving & a visit to a pearl farm.  The presenters were all excellent.    Saturday we washed some of the Kimberley dust from our little mobile home.  Then we wandered the weekly markets.   They are not so different from down south.    Rather than fight the crowds at the town beach we watched  “stairway to the moon” - the effect of the full moon on the tidal flats at low tide from the gardens of the Mangrove Resort.   

Tomorrow we will try to catch church & leave Broome for our next adventure.     

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