16—18 June 2002
When we arrived in Broome, we stopped at the information centre and found that the accommodation options were more limited than we expected, as the tourist season was in full swing. We opted for Tarangau Caravan Park at the far end of Cable Beach.
It took us a while to set up because the site we initially chose was on powdery pindan soil which would have turned into a cloud of red dust on a windy day. So we relocated to a more suitable site.
After setting up camp, we headed down to Cable Beach to watch the sunset. On our way over the dunes, we noticed a dinner special at the surf lifesaving club, so we settled in for what turned out to be an evening of local culture of the white, anglophone variety.
There was a Kimberley camp assembled there, and they were handing out prizes to the kids. Susie observed that the girls were rewarded for being quiet and good campers, whilst the boys were rewarded for outlandish behaviour. Much to Ruby’s and Clare’s delight there was a screening of the movie Shrek afterwards. We all dined on chicken curry made with Keen’s curry powder with a green salad on the side. Ruby and Clare settled in to watch the movie whilst Suzie made phone calls.
The following day we all focused on the kids’ schoolwork. Susie and I also planned and booked some camel rides and a trip to Cape Leveque. I cooked up a kangaroo stew in the evening.
The next morning we went into the post office and collected the kids’ next batch of schoolwork, plus some photos that we had developed and some supplies. Afterwards, we visited Broome Museum. The dreadful history of “black-birding” was not dealt with in any of the main displays, but there was one minor display containing leg-irons, chains and neck-collars that were clearly a relic of that era, and it had a remarkable disclaimer attached to it:
“This display is exhibited as part of the infamous history of a past era. The Broome Historical Society is here to present the facts, whether pleasing or abhorrent. The Broome Historical Society is run by volunteers, and is apolitical.”
There were no disclaimers on any of the other exhibits.
Afterwards we went to the Mangrove Hotel for a drink and posh lunch, and gazed out over the remarkable vista of Roebuck Bay at full tide, with mangroves on pindan soil set against the aqua and azure sea. The colours were blindingly beautiful. We wrote postcards, and then went back into town. When I checked my email at the local internet café, I discovered that my PhD results were in. I had passed, with a few minor emendations.
At the end of the day we headed back to the caravan park for a bite to eat, and afterwards watched an excellent film called Rabbit Proof Fence at the world’s oldest open-air cinema.