After an extended QANTAS Link flight via Newman* I eventually landed in Broome this morning for a long weekend R&R; break.
This is my first visit to tropical Australia. Broome is coming towards the end of its wet season and I’ve so far survived one downpour. I was hoping the mangoes were in season (they’re still being sold in Perth) but my hopes were dashed when The Mango Place stallholder at the Saturday courthouse markets told me the season finished 6 weeks before Xmas. At least I got some mango jam.
To escape the rain and see more of the area I have hired a Hyundai Getz. In the next two days I plan to visit Cable Beach at sunset, Matso’s Broome Brewery and the Japanese Cemetery amongst other places.
My accommodation is a dormitory room at Kimberley Klub, a well-endowed hostel. The poolside bar is blairing out greatest hits (was American Pie, now Khe San) and itinerant workers and backpackers (often one and the same thing) are lingering around.
I have almost finished reading the controversial Broomtime non-fiction book by Anne Coombs and Susan Varga. Their part interview, part journal work is almost a decade old but the descriptions of the town and its extremely diverse people are still largely true. A large proportion of locals are of mixed race, containing various degrees of European, Aboriginal, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, and other ethnicities.
I’m looking forward to exploring Broome in the next few days.
*The plane stopped for fuel in isolated Newman as there was a tropical low (one step from a cyclone) in Broome’s vicinity and the captain wanted extra fuel in case the weather extended the journey.