Friday, 24 June 2011

80 Mile Beach and BEAUTIFUL BROOME

80 mile beach

This was only going to be a quick one night stop for us, but when we reached the caravan park we quickly decided to stay longer. In the middle of nowhere we took a turn of the highway and down an unsealed road of red dust, at the end of the road was the 80 mile beach caravan park. And just over the sand dunes was the most stunning beach that went of for miles (well 80 of them actually) it was beautiful. Again the park was full of grey nomads, but it had such a relaxed cheerful feel about it and OMG the bestest fun ever, a wed arvo market on the grassed area….well tickle me pink we all know just how much I love a market and this one was a douzy!!!! We wandered down to the ‘grassed area’ just after one and the stalls were all set up, (all 9 of them) there was knitted hats, crocheted rugs, SHELL PEOPLE, (I had so forgotten the old shell people), my favourite stall was the old dot selling Videos and burned dvd’s…I couldn’t help but think did she plan this before she went on her trip, is this her way of supplementing the pension?) there was fishing ‘stuff’ second hand clothes (nothing like blending in with the  nomads)  second hand books and wait for it ….my favourite….nan and pop with a microphone and electric keyboard singing up a storm for everyone!!! OMG so funny. I was mesmorised by the turn out, I particularly loved the oldies who were singing along to the old songs…it was an awesome afternoon (ok 40 minutes) of fun!!! Then it got better Wednesday night was BURGER night, for $6 and byo chairs you too could enjoy the fun of burger night! So at 5pm the Watsons headed off for burger night , we headed up to the general store (well the only store at the site) and there was a see of grey as the nomads had all got their early to secure a good seat, they were chilling and drinking and the laughter was non stop….the kids were accosted by all missing their grandies and played right into their hands! ! oh and the burgers were delicious! Who would think that in the middle of nowhere so much was going on! 

We ended up staying in 80 mile beach for another night, the stars were enormous and the beach walks were beautiful, as much as the kids tried to go for a swim it was a little cold to go all the way in so we just enjoyed splashing about and having some family time. It seems that we really enjoy these places in the middle of nowhere and are readily preparing to free camp some more along the way to Darwin…..that’s if we ever leave Broome!  The only downside was that Mike didn’t bring enough beer with him to last two nights and that we didn’t have enough petrol in the car to go 4 wheel driving along the beach!!!!!

On the Friday we headed off to Broome, with all the hoo haa about not having booked months in advance we had no trouble getting a site at a caravan park. We may not have been in the park right next to the beach but we are pretty happy where we are. Again Mike and I are making up stories to match the people on other sites, we love wondering what they are doing, why they are here, how long they are staying….we think we are pretty good at spotting the short termers now as you can tell by the amount of stuff they put up. My favourite at this park is the ‘boys’ across the road’. On an unpowered site there are about 3 or 4 boys, probably early 20’s they seem to be doing some work around the caravan park, (possibly for cheap accommodation) they have two cars, and two tents but the funniest thing is that they have a fridge and a BIG Screen TV just plonked in the middle of nowhere….then they have this super long power cord running across the country back to a powered site…it is hilarious….here are these guys  with next to nothing but they manage to have a super huge tv! And tonight they were playing games, so they obviously have some gaming device with them too, it is hiliarous!!!
The only downer of this park is that the walk to the loo’s is about a 1km return trip. I know this isn’t far, but it sure feels far in the middle of the night!

We spent the weekend wandering around checking out the markets, watching stair case to the moon, which is an event where the moon’s reflections on the mud banks creates what appears to be a stair case leading to the moon, so very beautiful, and just relaxing by the camper watching the world go by.

Monday June the something (I have no idea what the date is anymore!)
Some days can be really really long on the road, the small living quarters, the lack of personal space, the inability to hide for 5 minutes to regain your composure, the constant ‘wanting’ and questioning by the kids, the nappy  changes the I need to go to the toilet, the I need to do poos after you have just taken them to the toilet, the I’m hungry, I'm thirsty, I spilt my drink, I’m still thirsty, the I’m bored, the ‘mum, can I play on your phone’  the ‘mum can I play the ds’, the ‘what can I do then’ the snot forever pouring from someone’s nose, the smell of 5 people in a small camper, ( my kids are big FARTERS!) can sometimes drive you to drink (and it’s only just gone 10am!). Today  was like that,… was meant to be a great day, we were going to do lots of touristy things in Broome, but it ended up being ‘one of those days'.

We piled the kids in the car, turned the key…nothing, zip nada……so we jiggled the gear stick, turned the key and away we thought we would go, but no, our car drove forward but the stick was stuck in reverse YIPPEEE our car is fucked again!!! As we could not put our car in park we were then stuck with the problem that once we turn it off, we can’t turn it back on!!!!!! So mike dropped me and the kids in town and went in search of an available mechanic in Broome, during the dry season….(yes I can hear your laughter!!!!). Mike pulled up to the holden dealer ship, they said we won’t be able to even look at it till tomorrow and we don’t have a vacany to do any repairs for a fortnight….(apparently all the grey nomads book their cars in for a service whilst in Broome!) so thank goodness for racv total care, we have a hire car and are having a possible extended holiday in Broome!!!

Holden did call us back later that afternoon and said that the cable was broken, a minor job, then the pause….BUT they don’t make those cables anymore so we will need to try and source one from a wreckers somewhere in the state!!!, wow I am seriously loving our car right now!!!!

So, deep breath in and out, righto a few weeks in Broome what a great thing!

So for the remainder of the day Mike did the running around, changing car seats out of our car, into the rental, removing ALL our shit from our car into the rental and I enjoyed a 6 hour wander around town in 30degrees with three kids in tow!!!  During this time scarli ran away and nearly ran onto a road, Lola managed to spill drinks all down her so I had to purchase a new change of clothes for her, Scarli also managed to spill a goodly amount of softdrink EVERYWHERE at lunch (and by everywhere the majority hit me and mike!) we had tantrums from Lola who  did not want to be in the pram….oh happy days!!! By the time we got back to the camper I was in need of a little ‘alone’ time, so mikie took the two eldest to the pool whilst Lola napped and I read a mag, I recharged ready for the onslaught of tea etc, however Mikie didn’t quite manage to regain his composure and has had ‘one of those days’ I am so glad that he is experiencing ‘one of those days’ as I am sure he always thought I was exaggerating what ‘one of those days’ could be like! Now it is a little after 8, tea is cooked, dishes are done, I have had a dance with the kids in the camper, put Lola to bed, read them the final chapters of James and the giant peach, put the eldest two to bed, had a relaxing shower and am sitting back with my milo….I am leaving Mike to his own devices outside (eg drinking beer!)

I do think though that even on the crazy days like today, where it wouldn’t matter where you were, it takes a lot of energy to parent the kids and still be pleasant, that I would rather be here, doing this than anything else in the world right now! Tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday June the something
So after the commotion of yesterday, Holden called back and said that they repaired our cable and the car is all good to go Yippee!, today I had a little ‘me’ time without Mikie and the kids, I had a pedicure, shopped, drank coffee, listened in on other people’s conversations, visited art galleries and working artist studios, chatted to the locals, had a lovely peaceful lunch without any children spilling their drinks or food on me, I window shopped at the very expensive pearls and generally recharged with a little Treenie time! What a hard life I am leading! Broome really is lovely, not too commercialized (yet), and although there is a very obvious relaxed touristy feel, there is something else in the water (or air), the place seems to hum to its own rhythm, or  maybe I am in my own little happy place and the hum I can hear is my heart a smiling ALL the time!

another relaxing day spent kicking back at the caravan park on the Wednesday (well except for the quick trip to Hospital for Lola who had done a runner straight of the bed face planting into the side of the cupboard and had appeared to split her lip open),  we geared up for our last full day in Broome. On the Thursday the kids and I swam at the caravan park at the icily cold pool, we went for a camel ride down the beach and then a four wheel drive down the beach past the nudist beach. There I was sitting on the camel with Oscar and Scarli watching all nude nomads (I didn’t look close enough to see if they were ‘grey’ if you know what I mean), Oscar looks over and casually says to me without a care in the world “Check out there big bare buts mum!” I was trying very hard not to fall off with laughter! After the camel ride, Mike took as back past the nude nomads on a four wheel drive adventure, well again we couldn’t stop giggling like a bunch of school girls everytime a ‘nudey’ would bend over in the direction of their friends, it seemed a little funny to see all these ‘senior’ people just swaying in the breeze without a care in the world, and to have oscar making farting sounds everytime we passed one that was bending!

The mood was then set for a very funny evening, Mike and I watched as the boys over the road packed up their HUGE tv, packing it back into its box like a prized possession, they then put the picnic table and chairs back in the ‘makeshift camp kitchen’  (this was a fridge with tarps around it), they then packed up every thing but one tent, Mike and I could only imagine the cramped night’s sleep all four of them would have that night in the small two man tent!

The site on the other side were having a farewell party for one of the travelling companions, so we sat tucked up in bed with our canvasses down listening to the funny stories they were telling about fishing and four wheel driving and fu$%*….well you can imagine the rest!  Then everytime one would walk past to go to the toilets mike and I would amuse ourselves by doing different animal noises. It started out as soft bird calls, cats meowing, skippy calling for sonny, until we couldn’t help ourselves and started ‘raaaing’ like dinosaurs! We were literally crying with laughter as we watched startled people trying to work out where the noises were coming from. By the end of it I had tears, snot and teaspoons all in one hit, the belly laughs were awesome, and Mikey again had the silent shaking shoulders, the sign that Mike has once again cracked himself up! What a funny night!

Friday June the something
Good bye Broome, hello Derby
So with a great deal of feet stomping, screams of ‘I don’t want to go’ and tantrums (from Theresa not the kids) Mike packed up around me, eager to head off to our next destination, Derby. This is just a quick overnight stop on our next leg across the kimberley’s. We visited the local touristy sites, the Boab prison tree, the jetty  that has the highest tidal movement in Australia and the longest trough in the southern hemisphere and are ready for an early morning departure. A bitterly disappointed Mike is just waiting for the day we can go four wheel driving down the Gibb River Road, but his cautious wife has vetoed the drive as we are not prepared at all for the conditions, so instead Mike is settling for a few days of free camping, with no showers, toilets, electricity…OMG what am I in for!!!!)

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