Yippee back in Perth where it's cold..... it was mighty hot up in Broome, very muggy, hot and sticky!
So, on the first day of the tour we visited the pinnacles, a bizarre sand/rock formation, and arrived at our bush camp just before sunset.... where are the tents I ask the tour guide Norm, there are no tents, only swags he replies, and I actually thought he was joking, it turns out that he wasn't!!
A swag for those of you who have no idea why I was so horrified is a Stinky Wet Bag..... no, not really - that's the name they were given by about day 2. It's a heavy duty sleeping bag made from thick green material, it's the same shape and concept as a sleeping bag except that you use your sleeping bag inside whilst wearing your jeans, t-shirt and 2 jumpers, and you are still cold - I kid you not, that is the truth!!
So, our camp sites each night consisted of a circle of chairs around the camp fire, the van next to it with all the cooking stuff laid out, then opposite that was the bedroom .... well the ground sheets with rows of Stinky Wet Bags. There was 13 of us on the tour, Me, Sarah, Michelle, Rike from Germany, Tek from Hong Kong, Ivan from Italy, then Sarah, Evelyn, Andrea (princess), Sandra, Rebecca, Thomas and Phillipe all from Swizterland. Andrea was so called the "princess" because she didn't lift a finger. One memorable time was when a cricket landed on her she threw her plate of pasta onto the floor, screamed then burst into laughter, and left it there - Norm meanwhile got a shovel, scooped her dinner into the fire and put her plate in the wash bowl whilst she continued to eat her mates pasta sat next to her - all four of us, me, Michelle, Sarah and Rike nearly punched her in the face but it was early on in the trip and we didn't want to cause an atmosphere.
Each and every night we slept in our swags under the stars, as there is no pollution out in the bush you really could see every star, every planet passing by, the entire milky way and around 15 shooting stars each night. It was incredible.
On Day 2 we visited the Z bend gorge, named so because the bend is shaped like a Z (so imaginative), another natural bridge, and saw Whales breaching again!! On day 2 we camped at Nanga in a camping park and got the luxury of out first showers (I had 2 because my hair was so greasy!!)
On Day 3 we visited Monkey Mia, where wild dolphins come to the shore to be fed by the rangers and tourists, it was very commercial and the dolphins are no longer wild as they come in EVERY day!!! The rangers only feed one dolphin and only give it one fish to encourage them to do their own fishing. Whilst at Monkey Mia, myself, Sarah, Michelle, Rike and Tek did a crusie on at Catamaran (we had it all to ourseleves!) we saw wild dolphins, who came right up to the boat and a reef shark and all sorts of other sea life!! Day 3 also consisted of a visit to Denham, the most Westerly Town in Australia, Eagle Bluff (a lookout), Shell Beach (a beach purely lined with mounds and mounds of shells) and we camped at a place called Gladstone.
On Day 4 we drove to Carnarvon which is a scary place, and did some shopping at Target for warmer clothes, then we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn and camped at Coral Bay, where again we had the luxury of showers!! The girls and I did some snorkelling that afternoon but the current was too strong and we couldn't get out to the good bits of reef.
The next morning (day 5) we snorkelled early and got out to the reef, and saw an abundance of tropical fish, intresting shells and we even saw a blue spotted manta ray which was just incredible. Later we drove to Exmouth to collect the Swiss Sarah as she was joining our tour from there and we camped in the bush at the roadside.
On Day 6 we drove to Tom Price a tiny mining village, then drove to Karijini National Park where we visited Oxers Lookout, 4 Gorges lookout, Weano Gorge and hiked into Handrail Pool for a swim - the water was icy cold but we needed it as we were so dirty!! I only managed to fall over once on the way back!! You had to hike down a waterfall to get to the pool and lower yourself down a vertical 5 foot drop holding a rope, it was scary as!! On the way back to the van i managed to slip on some wet grass and bash my knee, I just lay in a big heap waiting for someone to find me, as most of us were on our own at that point!! I hobbled around for the next 3 days but i am ok now!!
On Day 7 we visited Dales Gorges, the circular pool, fern pool and fortescue falls, all incredibly beautiful, but it was a difficult day for me with my dodgy knee - i survived, only because i knew we were stopping at a roadhouse for showers that afternoon!!! After the showers we drove down Australias most isolated road meeting only cattle on the road to get to a place called Marble Bar - where we went into the villages Tavern for a well earned vodka!! That night we camped in the bush at Marble Bar.
The next (and last) day we visited the Marble Bar (the first people to see it thought it was made from Marble, but it isn't) then we drove on to Broome, but it was a very long drive and the scenery was all the same, just bush - very boring!! I don't know how Norm managed to stay awake!! In total we travelled over 3300 kilometres.
So, then we arrived in Broome at out hostel, The Last Resort, and it really was the last resort, it was very scummy, the floor in the beathroom was a nice shade of brown and the showers were designed by hobbits, even little me had trouble fitting under them!!
Broome itself is small, has a supermarket, a mini shopping area, 3 pubs (1 irish, 1 scary and 1 we didn't go into) and 2 nightclubs, we only went in 1 and the music was awful, dum dum dum all night long!!
Our hostel was at the end of the airport runway which was heaven for me but no-one else liked it!! You could literally throw a stone out of the window and hit the runway. At least the airport wasn't busy, maybe 8 flights per day of 737's the rest were light aircraft.
On the last evening i attended an Astronomy Tour with a quirky eccentric man called Greg Quicke, he taught us all about stars, constellations, and we got to look through his 5 telescopes all pointed at different things in the sky - I got to see Jupiter and all it's lines and 2 of it's moons (Jupiter was sitting next to Libra on that night - my star sign!)
So, I am now back in Perth, uploading photos as we speak, or as I type I should say!! I fly to Cairns on Friday and am looking forward to getting back into travelling as the past 2 weeks have been such great fun.
Over and out.