4 Sep 2016

This and That

I have finally found the time to write again!

It is starting to warm up here in Broome. The daytime highs are now in the low to mid thirties, but the forecast has that starting to rise into the mid to high thirties as soon as the next couple of days. It is still a relatively dry heat though. which means it is cool at night and in the morning. It also means that shade still works as the humidity has not kicked in.

Speaking of weather, last weekend we had a freak bit of rain here. Really weird to get rain this time of year in the middle of the dry season, but we will take it when we can get it! It was about two or three days with rain, one where it rained almost all day! It was only about 40-50 mm all told but it was very welcome.

Lots of the country has greened up a fair bit, and everything is looking nice now that the sun has come and dried up the puddles. While it was raining it was a bit crazy though! Walking around chinatown there were up to 8 inches of water over the roads where the crosswalks are...Made it difficult to keep my feet dry!

To talk about something other than the weather, work is going well. I am still waiting to do a first aid course before I can take tours out by myself, but I have been doing plenty of training runs with other guides. It is a lot of fun.

I will be doing day tours to start off with for the rest of this season. Day tours from Broome are long days. They are long days as a passenger, but even longer for the guide. There is an hour or so on each end of the day of packing up and packing down the truck before pickups and after dropoffs.

The short day trip goes up the Dampier Peninsula to the north of Broome and takes in several aboriginal communities, the Sacred Heart church decorated with Mother of Pearl shells, a trocus shell hatchery, the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, Kooljaman at Cape Leveque, a nice little swim, and a few more bits and bobs. The trip ends up being about 450 kms all up with the first 90 kms of the road up the peninsula and the last 90 kms on the way down being a brutal unsealed dirt road. It is quite a gnarly section of track and takes some time and a lot of concentration to drive.

The longer day trip goes out east to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek which are incredible features cutting through the ancient Devonian reef that makes up the Napier Range. The round trip drive on that trip is over 800 kms, with a total of about 200-250 kms on the unsealed Gibb River Road and the Fairfield-Leopold Downs Road. There is a nice break on the way home with a stop for supper at the Willare Bridge Roadhouse on the Fitzroy River.

They are both very interesting trips and it is quite neat to meet all the people, both the passengers and the locals at the stops. There is a lot of very interesting history in the Kimberley region, european, aboriginal, and geological. It is a fascinating and beautiful place with ever changing colors.

Angie is working at the Mercure, the hotel. She is currently in houskeeping, but she is moving over to reception soon, just in time to get inside into the air-con before the build up heat really starts. She was worried she would be just thrown right back into the mix and expected to remember everything from when she did reception last year, but luckily she has just found out that a new computer system will be rolled out for the hotel right when she starts, so she will be trained along with everyone else from the get-go on the new system.

Yesterday I was able to take her along with me on a tour up the peninsula and we were able to go on an optional boat cruise from Cygnet Bay. It is a wickedly fast boat, and we cruised around the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago. On a spring tide when the tide is running, the 13+ meter tides cause currents through the bottlenecks of the islands of up to 11 knots, the fastest ocean currents in the world.

A few days ago we went down to the beach with some friends and made some yummy fish tacos while the sun went down. It was very nice.

I think I will leave it at that for now!

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