Sunday, April 12, 2015

Broome, mate.

For Easter weekend P and I took a trip to Broome. We had a one day layover in Perth. We were left with just enough time to see some family and friends. I haven't been to Perth in quite some time, so this was a nice overdue mini trip and catch up. 

On Good Friday we caught our second plane to Broome. We were greeted by our friends the Wilson's. Mr. & Mrs. Wilson are living/working at a school in a very remote area for the next couple years with their gorgeous kids. Fun fact: We met because Mr. & Mrs. W were married in Vegas. For their wedding and my 25th b-day the stars aligned and Mr. F and I were both in Vegas at the same time. The rest is history. P and I had hoped we'd make it up there to visit them before they came back to civilisation. Easter weekend was the perfect opportunity for us and them. I'm so glad we got to spend some quality time with them. 

Broome is hot, hot, hot during the dry season. Each day the temperature reached 37 degrees celsius or 100 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, it was quite a dry heat. I don't think I could have coped with that temp and humidity. Each day we made it to the pool where the kids out swam me. They are 5 and 3, but are total bad asses in and out of the water. 

Broome tourism includes a few key elements: Camels, Pearls, Cable Beach, Staircase to the Moon, Dinosaur Tracks and Mangos. We ticked each of these items off the list.

We took a camel ride on Cable Beach with red sun camels. There are three time options to choose from: sunrise, afternoon, or sunset. The camels patiently waited for us on the beach. We took the afternoon ride. It was probably the hottest point of the day, but it was the only 30 minute option. As fun as it was I wasn't keen to sit on a camel for an hour. I really enjoyed myself, and as an American the camels intrigued me. Most Aussie's are pretty used to camels. P wasn't nearly as enthused as I was. But he admitted to having fun after it was finished. 

We managed to swim at Cable Beach twice. We also went there for a sunset after our camel ride. P and I estimated that just about 1 in 4 cars there were a four wheel drive. If your car is capable you drive it onto the beach while the tide is out and enjoy the sunset. The whole beach was lined with cars. We soon learned why everyone has a four wheel drive up there. Practically every other road is unsealed, so your car needs to be capable of driving in those conditions.

Here are the camels coming back from the sunset ride. 

Oscar and Dada looking at the camels (I think).

On our third day we swam here. The red dirt and crystal clear water felt as amazing as it looks. The water here is almost lukewarm as it's such a tropical climate. I've never been in the ocean with temperatures this warm.

We went to the Willie Creek Farm with Mrs. W on Easter. There we learned all about the pearling process and took a little boat tour around the farm. 
When the tide is high enough all this is under water.

Our view from the boat in the creek.

Beware of falling coconuts.

On our third night we caught the Staircase to the Moon. It only happens 24 times a year, and we got to see it twice. When the full moon rises over exposed mudflats and extremely low tide it creates an optical illusion of stairs reaching the moon. It was one of my favourite parts of our trip. 
See that spec in the sky behind us?
That's the blood moon on Easter.

We watched it again on our last night from our hotel. They put on a small event for it, and played aboriginal music as the moon rose. The music and atmosphere was a really nice touch on their part. 

I found a fallen coconut!

On our fourth day we started with a swim and then parted ways with the Wilsons. Our time together was short, but sweet. Mr. F & I stayed in Broome as they started their drive back home. We decided to get our tourist on. We went out for a coffee, and mulled over local attractions in and around town.

After coffee and a quick bite to eat we got a move on.

P won't openly admit it, but I think he has a little bit of Ross Gellar in him. He's mildly obsessed with dinosaurs. We decided if we had the time we better check out the dinosaur footprints in Broome. The drive there was short. Scaling the rocks to get to the footprints was the hard part. Of course we went late in the day when it was good and hot. 

This is the kid friendly version at the top of the rocks.
 It is an artificial imprint or cast of the real footprints below. 

It resembles Mars here, or what we might imagine Mars looks like.

Here's the real footprints, or what we thought were. We can't be sure we actually found them. After looking online I think we were fooled. But either way it was fun, and it was too hot to keep looking. 

On our last day we had most of the day to kill before our flight. We went to 12 mile bird park just out of town. Mr. F LOVES birds. He's confessed if he could be any animal he would be either a monkey or a bird. Whenever he sees a large bird in the sky he stops and looks up paralysed. The bird park was fun. They were all birds found in Australia, and two of them said "Hello" to us. That was the best part.

After the bird park we went to The Mango Place. P had been looking through a tourist book and decided to google them. They advertised vegetarian dishes, and I was fully on board. I had a vegetable curry and mango mojito. It was easily the best mojito I've ever had. P had a beef pie and mango wine. The wine too was absolutely amazing. 

After our lunch we still had several hours before our flight. We decided to take the time to write out a few post cards to some family.

I'm kicking myself for not getting photos of the kids, but I didn't want to be a paparazzi.  I also feel weary of posting photos of other people's children on the web (unless given permission). Anyways, that explains the lack of photos of the kiddies and Mr. & Mrs. W. 

All in all it was a fantastic trip. I would highly recommend Broome to anyone that enjoys the water and heat. The scenery is beautiful, and there is plenty to see.