15 July 2010
We awoke in the parking lot for Apex Park in Broome, WA. Having found no place to stay in time last night (all the caravan parks were full for powered sites), we took a chance and just parked in the parking lot by the beach. We went to sleep to the sound of waves lapping at the shore and a lovely cooling breeze (it's quite hot up here in Broome). When we awoke, we saw that the tide had gone way out and Rob and the kids explored the area a bit. There was a cafe nearby which did not open until 7:30, so we ate cereal in the campervan and the kids enjoyed the play equipment at the park. They put on their swimmers to take advantage of the water portion of the park at 9:00 while Rob and I had a coffee and scones with jam and cream at the cafe al fresco. Then, we all did some tide pooling before the tide came back in completely and found many lovely white shells.
The view out of our back window just after sunrise
Splashing in the cove at "Town Beach" (Apex Park) near the Pioneer Cemetery in Broome
Splashable moments at Apex Park
After our morning tea, we drove to the nearby mall and petrol station for reinforcements and basic maintenance (buying more of that blue chemical stuff for the on-board toilet and emptying the black water - which, by the way is becoming more and more of an unpleasant job as we get deeper into our journey). We had sushi at the mall and got just a few groceries.
Then, we drove to Cable Beach and found a great parking spot, so we all put on swimmers and went out to the beach to do some body surfing. The kids had a great time building pancake houses and sand castles with the extremely fine sand. After showering off at the beach's bathroom, we dressed and came out to find about 12 camels walking through the parking lot. We followed them back down to the beach (after swinging by the campervan for the camera and $) and were fortunate enough to be able to do a 30 minute camel ride down the beach.
Camel Rides through Broome Camel Rides on Cable Beach
Rob, Devon and Sydney Rachel rode on a camel named Jondah (an 8-9 year old camel) and Jenna and I rode on a camel named Kadesh (a 6-7 year old). Kadesh had been found out in the wild in the Northern Territory just this past January. Rob thought it must be disappointing for the camels to be removed from what has become their natural environs, but, in fact the camels are quite spoilt and sleep on pillows in their camp. One of the camels in our group weighed about a ton and was 27 years old. The ride was very nice and the warm sun felt great.
When the ride was over, we were all thoroughly dehydrated, so we bought Gatorades and hot chips at the beach side restaurant and sat in the shade by the playground to recoupe from our adventurous day. Then, we hopped back in the campervan and drove to Gantheaume Point where we parked right on the sand (hard packed and the tide was way out again) and got out the camping chairs to watch the sunset, drink wine and enjoy re-heated Asian Noodle leftovers from last night's take out dinner. It was absolutely perfect (and nice to see a sunset over the ocean).
Liz enjoying Vasse Felix's Theatre Red at Sunset at Gantheaume Point
Jenna kicking a beach ball around at Gantheaume Point
After we ate, we drove to a nearby mall and did laundry at a laundromat (the sheets and towels were way overdue). We rotated our winter clothes to the suitcase stored below and put our summer wear in the cab.
Devon got to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with Rob because he finally finished the 734 page book!!
We parked again at Town Beach and plan to hit the road again tomorrow.