Day 15 1st June Halls Creek (Caroline Pool) to Broome
I’m up and out early with Huddo. I pass him at about 80kph on the dirt as he struggles along on the Harley. I have a coffee and wait at the servo in town, report into the pillion in a million and then hit the road. Again, there’s a lot of nothing out here but stray cattle, horses and kangaroos. But again, the outback throws up surprises, even on the well-worn No1 Highway. Escarpments with magnificent views, stands of boab trees, ant hills that start to look like stray cows, then BANG! A bird strike on my left shoulder. The vortex drops the bird onto the tank in front of me. I can’t tell if it’s dead before it drops off. Luke also hits a bird out here – this one straight into the right eye of his riding glasses. Huddo reports that a lazy eagle brushed the top of his helmet. Spike reckons he’s a bird magnet!
The burn offs are evident out here too. Indigenous tribes out here have used fire to burn off dangerous undergrowth and to flush out animals for food for thousands of years. A nomadic lifestyle makes sense out here to me.
Fitzroy Crossing is our next stop. Out here where the rivers flood there’s a lot of one way bridges where giving way to a road train makes sense. Might is right unless you want to be a truck bonnet ornamament.
Fitzroy crossing is where Mick Corboy’s wife Sharon just left. She was out here helping communities as a midwife. She’s got a good soul. She recommended a feed at “The café’ behind the Shell servo. I try the curried Barramundi – bloody magnificent.
We are now down to around 110kph speed limit as the riding hours become longer. We drag ourselves out of the café and prepare for the long ride into Broome. There’s a T Intersection when you get to the Great Northern Highway and Broome is clearly marked. A few of us stop to take photos of the boab trees. Huddo trundles on and gets geographically challenged and turns right to Derby? We didn’t find out until we checked into the Cable Beach caravan park that he’s travelled an extra 80 or so kays.
All’s well that ends well. We pitch our tents – apart from the not so happy campers Georg and Spike who decide to pay a fortune for a donga room somewhere else.
We meet on the foreshore for the obligatory sunset on cable beach and a beer in the sunset bar.
Changing location to the Divers hotel- we find a table and have a good feed. The local races have been on and there’s all sorts dressed to the nines in here (except us). On the table is a empty bottle of champagne and a black purse. We find a licence, money and phone. Lairdy rings “mum’ in the phone and a couple of other numbers. A Young man answered and hightails it to us. He is most grateful we’ve found his friends purse and wants to buy us a round. That’s ok mate.
A few beers and back to camp early for me. A day off the bike in Broome tomorrow.
Day 16 2nd June Broome Rest Day
We all feel like we need a day of not doing much. Spike and Georg have become Thelma and Louise. They have decided that camping is not their thing so they bunk in together at some place not far from where Lairdy, Luke, Huddo and me pitch our tents in the cable beach caravan park. Of course Thelma and Louise have to go and wash their bikes…. The adventure bike trio don’t care about that. Huddo wiped the Harley over. I have to finish a story for Australian Road Rider Magazine so prop myself in the caravan park café for the morning after a good breakfast there. Everyone else mooches around town. I miss the morning market but eventually get out and explore a little. Gantheaume Point is beautiful. It overlooks cable beach one way and there’s a small sheltered bay which looks very inviting. The walk out to the point attracts the flies despite the shore breeze. I hear the screech of what I think is a mother eagle. She hovers next to the old light house superstructure and screeches as she comes into land on a nest. I ride down to the Pier past all the industrial area. This port still supplies the region so there’s plenty of local businesses.
Riding through town I enter a roundabout only to have the local bus tear through and nearly clean me up! I brake hard and come to a complete stop in the roundabout. The driver waves and apology of sorts. Really’ you bloody idiot. You are a professional driver and should do better.
I go back to cable beach, park the bike and strip down to the bathers/swimmers. I find Luke sitting in his chair with his fishing line cast into the Indian ocean, beer in hand. He’s a happy man, now let’s see if the hunter/gatherer can catch dinner?
Meanwhile I wander down the beach a little further and go for a swim in the warm Indian ocean. I can feel the tug of the tide and it’s very shallow for a long way. The tide here is 9 metres. Cooling off I decide to go down to the Fishing club to check out the view, then it’s back to cable beach for sunset with the boys. We finally all meet up together and head back to our camp site, order pizzas and discuss life over a few beers. Tomorrow we’ve decided on a detour of highway one.