WEDNESDAY 29 AUGUST BROOME
I had extracted a promise from John that, after his focus on bowls and fishing of the past few days, today would be a dedicated “tourist” day for us.
M had left early, to go on a seaplane flight north, over the Dampier Peninsula, and then on a boat trip to the Horizontal Falls. These were at Talbot Bay, well to the north of Derby. The unique “falls” are caused by the really high and low tides of the area causing a bank up and rush of water through narrow openings to larger bays, creating a waterfall effect. She had booked with one of the companies offering transport to moored boat bases, from which the intrepid could travel by small boat close to, and when conditions were right, through, the Falls.
We went to the Shell House which, as the name indicated, was both a museum of a massive collection of different shells, and a source to buy same. John wanted to investigate buying some pearl shell, to use as inlay in his woodwork. He was able to buy some shells. I bought a half shell that held three pearl “lumps”, like little pearls, in a semi circle near the rim. It was an illustration of how pearls formed and appealed to me as a “different” ornament to go on our mantle shelf at home.
John bought a little conch like shell necklace for his younger daughter. Hard to describe, but a little shell, edged with some gold (plating?) in parts, hung on a fine chain. Delicate and very pretty. I bought one too – for me!
Then, at China Town, I exchanged some books in the very good second hand book shop there.
At a nearby tourist shop, I bought myself a polo shirt with a Broome-related logo on the pocket. Had to work hard to resist buying a couple of gorgeous sarongs.
Next stop was the Windram Art Gallery. We had seen copies of the work of this Broome based artist elsewhere, and wanted to look at the range that was in her own dedicated gallery. I loved the style of her works – seemed to me to be evocative of the many varied faces of the Kimberley and area around Broome itself. Obviously, boabs featured prominently in some of the works.
An unexpected “find” at the Windram Gallery was the decorative pool at the front, which inspired me to think about redesigning our fishpond at home. This one was a large rectangle, fairly shallow, with decorative stones lining its base. There were very large goldfish cruising lazily about, with a few feature plants and larger rocks. Lights lit it at night. It was beautiful landscaping and I’d loved to have been able to import it to home, just as it was!
At this point, John got sick of browsing shops – never his favourite pastime, unless it was for something he wanted! He said his back hurt, so we retreated back to the van for lunch.
In the afternoon, drove around the Gantheaume Point to explore the natural features around there – as opposed to the “cultural” features of this morning shops!
We spent more than an hour, scrambling around the unusual rock formations, exploring and taking photos.
There were such strong contrasts at the Point, between the rust red rocks and the opaque aqua coloured sea.
Special features out there were the fossilized dinosaur footprints and Anastasia’s Pool – a tidal bath carved out of the rock by a resident of the light house keeper’s cottage, in the 1920’s. Supposedly, this was a place for his arthritic wife to exercise.
From the Point, we could look out across to the long expanse of Cable Beach.
John wanted to visit the Broome wharf. On our 1993 first visit to Broome, a walk on this jetty had been one of the few activities we were able to undertake. Most of the several days were spent sheltering in an on-site caravan from extremely heavy unseasonal rain. We saw more of the green tree frogs that lived in the surrounds of the van, than we did of the sights of Broome!
We found that security, in this post 9/11 age, meant that we could no longer wander out along the Broome wharf. But there was a narrow walkway out alongside part of it that was open to the public, so we did that. Not the same and not as interesting or leisurely, though.
We did find a fresh fish and prawn sales outlet out there, and bought some prawns to have for tea.
M arrived back late in the afternoon from her adventure. I had never before seen her so excited and ‘high” on an experience. She absolutely loved it. The plane flight north had given her excellent views over the Dampier Peninsula. The seaplane had landed by a barge/pontoon, where they transferred to boats for the trips back and forth through the Horizontal Falls, which she said had been exhilarating. It was not a cheap trip, costing several hundred dollars, but had been worth every cent she said.
We had decided not to do that trip, because of the cost for two people. I had said to John that I wouldn’t mind (too much) if he wanted to go with M, but he had balked at the expense. Maybe one day……