FRIDAY 25 AUGUST BROOME
In the morning, I cycled to the shops and bought some food needs. Only having the bikes has meant only doing small shops – and frequent ones.
John finished the tax papers, and mailed it all off to our accountant. It was a great relief for him.
At lunch time, John went to pick up Truck. The repair work cost $2,300!! More than we expected. However, in all of this, I can’t fault Landrover Assist or Shinju Motors. We did not have to pay for the retrieval from Fitzroy Crossing. Given the remoteness of Broome, Shinju Motors did well to get Truck fixed – a big job – in such a short time. John was very impressed by what he saw of their mechanics’ work, too.
It does feel so much better to have Truck back – less like something essential had been amputated! Now we should be able to do some of the tourist things that really require a vehicle.
Refuelled Truck. $1.10cpl.
In the afternoon, we went to Broome Bowls Club and played “Pirates” bowls. This involved a random draw for teams and local rules. My team came second, and I received a $5 club voucher, which I used to buy a Broome Bowls Club drinking mug.
John was not happy with either his team or his game.
There was much camaraderie at the club, as it was the last Pirates match for the year, because of the exodus of the Winter People to their homes in the south.
The relationship between Broome and its Winter People is an interesting one. The town has had a high dependence on this form of tourism, as they are predictable and inject their living costs into the town economy, over 3-5 months. They also are the backbone of places like the Bowls Club They, in turn, feel a degree of ownership and belonging. Some do actually own the sites their vans are parked on, at places like the Vacation Village. “Our Broome” some say. At the same time, there is an element of defensiveness – it is the only real “resort” on the tropical north west coast, weatherwise, but it falls a long way short of Qld and northern NSW, and they know it. However, it is their choice and they need confirmation and affirmation of its appeal – and hence their good judgment – from transients like us.
Broome is certainly changing quickly, and acquiring some of the elements of its east coast counterparts: apartments, holiday hotels/resorts, shopping malls, more backpackers places. The “old Broome” is submerging, which is a pity, because it had so much character. The hippy/dropout element of Broome sits a bit uneasily alongside the upmarket yuppie side.
I saw no evidence of an Asian tourism boom, despite the airport being able to take international flights, from 1992.
Real estate prices seem surprisingly high for a place with unpleasant summers, and cyclones!
However, our outlook here, over Roebuck Bay, is delightful, and I can understand why people keep coming back.
Our tea was bought fish and chips. Being able to drive off in Truck and bring same home, hot, was much appreciated!