Ridiculously hot, beautiful, small Broome

22 Nov

So we knew we wanted to stay in Broome as we’d fallen in love with the beach and the feel of the place – only problem was that as of the next morning, our gorgeous shiny motorhome with all modcons would be gone and we’d be left with our backpacks and cowboy hats and that was about it. A quick google told us that hostels were out of the question – $60 a night for a private room? Really?? So we went back to the caravan site where we’d parked the van to weigh up our options. On our way through, Craig got chatting to the owner who said that he’d got a spare tent as it was left there by a girl who hadn’t come back, so we could borrow that if we wanted…and he had a table kicking about…and a bit of shade cloth to make things a bit cooler…and a double airbed and pump…and a couple of lights. He also pointed Craig in the direction of people who could help him find a job. Craig went to speak to one of those and came back to say he’d acquired a free esky and a couple of chairs that were going spare – and a potential job for me over the road at a hotel, cleaning rooms. What a result! So within a few hours, we’d gone from homeless to living in a massive 8 person tent

We put all our new furniture in it, went to get camping supplies and spent the first night not believing our luck! I got the hotel job which, although not a career plan, paid ok and was within a 2 min walk from the tent so that was pretty good. It was very hot work though – Broome is getting to 40 degrees plus most days so scrubbing, carring vacuum cleaners around and lugging 12kg linen bags around in that heat certainly made me redefine what the word ‘sweaty’ meant! My new favourite people are the environmental heathens who leave their aircon on all day – the highlight of my day! Craig got a job working at a billionaire’s house round the corner looking after the 13 acre gardens (also hot work being outside all day). However, after a few weeks, it became apparent that living in a tent and sleeping were two mutually exclusive things so we found a caravan site at the other end of town where you could rent cabins for not much more money (really caravans with one side cut off and an extension built on it – but it had a kitchenette with proper oven, fridge/freezer, a proper bed, a tv, sofas and most importantly, lovely, lovely airconditioning. Oh, and a sea view!

When I saw that I made a sort of insane squealing noise that possibly broke all previous high-pitched records.

So moving over the other side of town meant we had to get bikes to get to work…there is a bus but it only goes every hour now it’s wet season and the sensible tourists leave the locals to get on with the insane heat/cyclone risk so we nipped into Broome Cycles and got ourselves a couple of bikes. So now instead of being content to exercise just at work, we cycle to work instead. The amount of water we drink is alarming.

Mum and Martin came for a visit for 3 days before heading back to Brisbane – it was very nice to see them both. I retained a stiff upper lip upon seeing my mum for the first time in 11 months and did definitely not bookend her visit by being a soggy sniffly mess at the airport. But short as the visit was, we managed to show them around Broome and had some nice meals, a couple of swims/jellyfish nibbles in the sea etc.

Broome is famous for pearls, being hot and having camels on Cable Beach. Every day at work, three trains of 16 or so camels would walk past me. When Mum and Martin were here we nipped into the camel shop in Chinatown (town? three streets!) and found a notice on the door to say they were looking for cameleers – looking after the camels, walking them to the beach, loading the tourists on for a ride and talking to the tourists about the camels. Suddenly, it became clear that being a cameleer was pretty much my Reason for My Existence and I put in an application and got a trial.

Part of the trial I did included a free camel ride

which was awesome – less rocky as riding the elephant in Thailand but I think this was mainly because they were going slowly. Some of the staff take them riding in the dunes and they said your legs hurt for days afterwards. So I passed the trial and got the job

but sadly it was not meant to be as Harley the camel booted me in the thigh three times whilst I was walking them down to the beach – it was so painful when he kicked me the first time I didn’t have time to think about taking avoidance action. So I hobbled into our house and poor Craig was confronted with a tearful bruised girl sniffling about something to do with camels. It took me about half an hour to calm down enough to tell him what happened. At least I can cross ‘being a cameleer’ off my search for the Reason for my Existence now though. God damn camels with their eight foot legs. Back to cleaning for me then!

Also crossed off this list is ‘being a nudist’. Craig and I went to explore the nudie beach the other day – walking past the wrinklies who weirdly seem to be the only ones confident enough to get their kit off, and yet, the ones you least want to see all of – and up to a secluded spot…not difficult as the beach is 22 km long and there were only four wrinklies on it in the first place. Got all our white bits out – a very weird feeling! – and went swimming and walked up and down the beach for hours…forgetting that suncream washes off in the sea. I also managed to drop my bikini bottoms somewhere so it was a good job I had my shorts with me too! When we got back my white bits were now very, very pink bits in quite uncomfortable places. Lesson learnt Australian sunshine, lesson learnt.



4 Responses to “Ridiculously hot, beautiful, small Broome”

  1. kelsgonebush 23 November 2012 at 1:41 am #

    I loved Broome when I went there a few months ago .. although I crossed it off my list of potential places to live due to how bloody expensive it is and the lack of work opportunities .. loved camel riding and all the markets .. Have you been to the old outdoor theater yet ?

    • toaustraliathelongway 23 November 2012 at 5:52 am #

      It is lovely but as you say, very expensive and unless you’re prepared to do hospitality style jobs (which I’m doing), there’s not a lot about. But we like its relaxed feel and being by the beach. I’ve not been to the outdoor theatre yet (well had a poke around when mum was here but didn’t actually see anything) but they’ve now got James Bond so will hopefully get to experience that soon! We’re lucky as we’ve now found a house share with someone Craig works with, so it’s $120 per week altogether so much cheaper than a hostel or hotel :)

      • kelsgonebush 23 November 2012 at 8:00 am #

        Wow that is cheap ! Some of the rentals I saw were around $700 .. Darwin is pretty bad too though , we are just lucky to know a guy with a cheap rental .. Yep definitely get yourself to the theatre even if the movie is crap there are bats and planes to look out for ;)

      • toaustraliathelongway 23 November 2012 at 9:41 am #

        It’s crazy the difference between the wet and dry season though – we saw places that were advertised as $6,000 a month (!) in March now at $1,200 during the wet season. Will do…I loved being able to practically wave to my mum from Coles when she flew in from Brisbane!

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