We have been taking it pretty easy on this trip – at least I thought we had. Turns out it was all just a warm up for our cruisy, snoozy and boozy month in paradise (otherwise known as Broome). And doing a whole lotta nothin.
Life in Broome – if you’re lucky enough to swing by here and lounge about anytime it’s not school holidays – is incredibly easy. No crowds, great community, markets, stellar weather (at this time of year), no crocs on beaches (well, not that often anyway). As a place to end up and settle down for a while – it ticks a lot of boxes. If only it wasn’t so bloody far away from everywhere. Up to $2000 for return tix to Syd. If we ever did decide to move here, I could easily understand why friends and family, if they were cashed up to the tune of a few grand, may prefer to spend that on, say, a trip to New York, rather than a domestic flight to the West Coast. Then again, if you did want to escape the rest of Australia, and the world, but still have glorious beaches, 4G and a Target (urban conveniences I no longer take for granted) – Broome may be just the place for you.
Here is a typical day in the almost month we have spent at Cable Beach:
- Wake up whenever. Go for a walk along the beach. Or not. Whatever
- Coffee, coffee..more coffee. Care not a bit about what the kids are up to as they roam the caravan park with their posses of kids from other travelling families.
- Wander to the pool. Swim, lie in the sun, read, snooze. Repeat. Repeat again. Until cider o’clock.
- 4WD down to Cable Beach – swim, drink something bubbly, watch sunset. Kids roam free – in the water, up the dunes, kicking a footy, chasing camel
- Head back and kids from kindred spirit travelling fams all hang out at one camper and watch a movie or play games. Adults from kindred spirit travelling fams sit around at another camper, drink wine and gas bag.
One night, to mix it up, the mums had a girls night out – champers at the Mangrove Hotel (a must do in Broome – it’s beautiful) to watch the Broome phenomenon of Staircase to the Moon – where a huge, full, red moon rises over the mud flats at low tide, the reflection creating an effect where it looks like stairs leading up to the moon. It was spectacular – and impossible for an iPhone to take a decent photo of it…so here is a post card I took a photo of. Practically the same thing.
The best part? “Kimberley casual” (short, singlet, thongs) – is perfectly acceptable girls night out attire in these parts. And we even managed a boogie at the local tavern – before stumbling back to the caravan park, continuing to belt out Bon jovi #trailertrashbags (sorry Cable Beach residents who had to hear that…at least Petersham residents back in Sydney are getting a break from my singing)
Amidst this gruelling schedule we have squeezed in a bit of school work, an occasional tourist activity, some fishing, a visit from Nanna and Pop, the local AFL grand final, fireworks, Shinju Matsuri (the annual Pearl festival).
With all this lounging about, without hikes, or driving, or packing up the camper trailer -or really activity of any kind whatsoever, to distract me, a few somewhat worrying thoughts have been creeping in. Most pressing of which is – how much longer will our money last? Our expenses these days are very modest, compared to the cashola we used to throw around without a second thought back in Sydney. Of course in Sydney we had a bank balance that would get topped up every month (even if it was depleted very quickly afterwards). Now we have no income, the bank balance only goes in one direction. Down, down, down. So the thought of even modest expenses are occupying a lot of my lying by the pool time at the moment. And then there are the not so modest expenses – we have had to fork over many, many thousands of dollars to Broome mechanics as stuff continues to fall off our camper trailer, and our car, with the 30,000 kms – or so , we have travelled, and our Gibb River Road adventure having caught up with us and our gear. It seems like every day a new warning light starts to flash, or something new starts to clunk, or catch on fire. Yep – a small electrical fire under the drivers seat from the air compressor while the hubby was pumping up the tyres on a red dirt corrugated road in 40 degree heat – was quite eventful. And, eek – car fires no doubt = more $$$. Argh.
Other concerning thoughts that are starting to disturb all this relaxation – Where are we going to end up (now we have reluctantly ruled out Broome)? What are we going to do when this trip is over? Having started in Sydney and now arrived at the Indian Ocean, I feel like we are sort of on the “home” stretch. Although we don’t have a home. So who knows where we are stretching to.
I do know that our life on the road, and the money we set aside for our life on the road, won’t last forever. Eventually, sadly, we will have to make some plans beyond going to another beach, or visiting another winery.
I have managed the transition from hard working lawyer to layabout very successfully. I imagine that the transition from unemployed bum to something more productive may prove to be quite difficult. How the hell are we ever going to be able to return to reality now we are so used to floating in turquoise water on a Tuesday afternoon? How?? The worry of it all is causing me to……
Oops – just fell asleep again.
Back to the task at hand. For now, we do have more beaches (and eventually wineries) to visit. So stress,and reality, and productivity, will all have to wait a bit longer as we continue to cruise, snooze and booze our way down the west coast.