Saturday, August 29, 2009

Broome - make mine a camel

First things first, isn't that a pretty bloody awesome sunset shot?

After a couple of months either in Exmouth or on the road in the middle of nowhere, Broome feels almost like a city. It's not really, just a medium sized town with a LOT of tourist infrastructure, but it's a nice change. Unfortunately the constant flow of tourists seems to have made the caravan park owners complacent- the two we stay in are dusty, run down and in one case more than a tad seedy. A bit of a rip-off considering the great facilities in places like Exmouth who charged us notably less! Broome itself is nice enough, and the climate is nice and tropical

- with temperatures nudging into the 30s for the first time on our trip. The nights are still and warm too- from here we only bother erecting the mesh inner section of our tent to sleep in, which makes making and breaking camp a lot less of a chore as it takes only 4 pegs and less than 5 minutes to set the tent up.

Broome's hardly the exotic Australia meets Asia multicultural melting pot the literature sometimes makes it out to be though- Chinatown is actually just a small outdoor mall of shops, none of which display any particular Chinese content (or even staff!)

In town I check out the local brewery (Matso's), and we do the tourist thing and catch the sunset from the back of a camel on Cable Beach- a bit cheesy, but fun anyway.

One other thing I've noticed up this way is the increased prominence of the Aboriginal community. In Sydney or Melbourne you hardly ever see indigenous Australian except for the little mob drinking near the railway station. Up here the Aboriginal population seem far less marginalised, you see black faces in the street all the time- which seems right an fitting as it was their country first, after all! However its not to say that the gap between black and white isn't still painfully obvious- you can tell straight away when you're on the black side of town. The Aboriginal communities that we've seen in the bush don't seem to be in too bad a condition (another pleasant surprise) but I have a feeling the situation in the NT will be a lot grimmer. Anyway enough soapboxing, here's a camel. His name's Ghan.

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