Road Works

Today was our last day on the road. We took our time over breakfast and left for the final 375km stretch to Broome. Leaving the caravan park on the dirt road back to the highway, we startled a group of kestrels. We’ve seen lots of them on our journey north, although often they’ve been flying solo. They’re quite magnificent to watch when they spread their wings and circle round and round over the road – probably riding on the warm air rising up from the hot tarmac.

We stopped at Sandfire Roadhouse about 45km north of the caravan park to fill up with petrol. You fill up every time you see a roadhouse out here because the next one might be 300-400km further down the road. I liked the collection of road signs and baseball caps (look at the ceiling) on display. No doubt truckies drop them off when they’re passing through. I was also quite intrigued to see the Moscow Circus van pull in to fill up. Who would have expected to find them in this lonely place.

All the way from Perth to Broome, Rod and I have been commenting on the quality of the sealed roads. They are in outstanding condition and really great to drive on. But strangely, in this vast state, where you might have to travel hundreds of kilometres between towns, we’ve never seen a road crew working on a stretch of highway. Such a contrast to what you might see back home in Victoria. We wondered how it might be possible to keep WA’s roads in such good order when no one seemed to be doing any maintenance on them. Finally, about 30km out of Broome, we came upon our first road works. From there, we came upon them every few kilometres all the way into town.

Most of today’s trip has been through totally flat landscape, as far as we could see. As we got closer to Broome, and presumably closer to the coast, the trees appeared. You don’t really see any tall trees in this part of the country though. If you were to enlarge the second photo below (see the third pic below for a magnification) you might just be able to see quite a few brolgas out in the field. We passed quite a few of them not too far south of Broome.

We reached our final destination, Broome, just before 1pm. Marg has been here twice before and I’ve been here once. Rod and Cornie have also had a couple of previous visits. We love it here. We’ll be staying in Broome until Friday. And look what I spotted as we drove into Broome – the Moscow Circus is in town. I should have guessed.

After lunch we checked in to our accommodation. We took a bit of time to chill out and rearrange our luggage. It was surprising (okay, maybe it wasn’t) to discover how many items of clothing we’d packed at home that had worked their way to the bottom of our luggage and had never been worn. Our gear would have been so much lighter if we’d never have brought so much of that stuff along in the first place.

Later in the afternoon Marg and I went for a walk down to Town Beach to see if our breakfast cafe was still there. It was, though the area had changed considerably in the past four years. A new jetty has been erected and there is new paving and feature walls. At the entrance to the jetty, a set of sculptures commemorating the Japanese attack on Broome bears eyewitness accounts of some of the people who were there when all hell broke loose.

We’d booked a table at Matso’s, one of our favourite places to eat in Broome. We ordered a jug of ginger beer and a couple of paddles of Matso’s beers to accompany our meals. It was just a short walk back to our accommodation. Marg and I are looking forward to spending some time down in the town tomorrow, while Rod and Cornie are flying north on a full day trip to visit Mitchell Falls and return via the Horizontal Falls.

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