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carmel’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 28 May 2006

Location: Broome, W.A., Australia

Map24/5/06

When we reached Broome, we called into the hospital to see if we could find Gaynor, a friend from PNG. It turned out she is living in the hospital accommodation complex, right opposite work. So she kindly invited us to stay with her. We stayed for 2 nights, but didnít do any touristy bits, as we intend coming back and staying a bit longer.

26/5/06

We left Gaynorís early this morning , our next stop Barn Hill. The scenery is always changing, firstly bush, then open land with no trees (we were told it hadnít been cleared, it was natural) then, a little further on, we were back to bush. Barrie much preferred the open land as you could then see if there were any kangaroos etc ready to jump out at us Ė there werenít. In the bush areas, there are flood breaks every 200 or so metres. I guess it is because the land is so flat. (And, as usual, the road is dead straight. Blake reckons there should be no speed limits on these roads, as in the Northern Territory. I agree with him, within limits. Apparently most people travel on these roads at 130+ km/hr and the police donít worry them, so they must also agree with Blake.)

Unlike earlier, the wattle trees here havenít started to flower yet.

On the way, we saw a patch of burnt out land with a burnt out car beside it Ė I wonder which came first!

We are now at Barn Hill Station (1,000,000 acres and 36,000 cattle (Brahmin), about 100kms south of Broome. The road in was horrific Ė the worst 10kms we have ever driven over, red dust and corrugations. AND we have to get out again. We even lost a wheel trim for the caravan, but Joseph in the van next to us had to go out and he found it for us on the way back. A bottle of Worcestershire sauce also spilt on the way in Ė you can imagine the mess that made! The lid hadnít been put on properly. Initially we had intended going from here to the 80 mile beach, but it is another 200+ kms either way, with another 10km of unsealed road in, so Barrie has rebelled. I really only wanted to go there for the shells. Apparently they are fantastic there. So Iíve missed out on them. But there are really unusual rocks here, so Iím making up with them. By the way, Barrie has checked and we have the only 2WD car in the park Ė our dear little Astra.

This is a really rugged park. We have even put up our camp shower as I wouldnít shower in the ones near us. (After Barrie had set up the shower, we found out that there are better one (although roofless) at the other end of the park, but we are happy with our own.) People come here for 3 months every year from the west coast and they donít take kindly to us casuals, however we havenít had any problems. The semi-permanents are really set up for the long haul with solar panels, satellite TV and generators. And, of course, they all have their own showers and toilets built in. They could camp anywhere. It is also not a cheap park, especially if you are on power (weíre not) because you canít use any electrical appliance that has an element and are lucky to get TV Ė so $7 extra a night, just to have the electric light seems expensive.

The park is on top of very steep cliffs but there are 3 (a bit scary) beach accesses. Once you are down, it is really beautiful. Barrie has had a go at fishing each day, and has fed the fish prawns and a couple of hooks, lines and sinkers, but he will keep trying. I go down and sit in the rock pools. I canít relax in the actual beach in case a salt water crocodile decides to attack Ė they can both swim and run decidedly faster than I can.
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