|Camel trains on Cable Beach at sunset; quintessential Broome -- at least for most tourists. Western Australia.|
The Broome area is far more multicultural than what we've encountered elsewhere in Australia -- surprising for a relatively small town in a moderately remote area. It's surrounded by Aboriginal communities. There's also a strong Japanese and Chinese cultural influence, in large part to Broome's former pearling heyday. I doubt Australia's shepherding Afghans and their camels were part of Broome's early post-Aboriginal immigrant culture.
|Camel's work done for the day, they head down the sidewalk to wherever they call come in Broome. Note those little pouches|
by their tails? It's a dung bag -- an attempt to keep them a little more tidy. Western Australia.
|This guy's job was to follow the camels and make all they left behind were footprint. Hard to get a s---ier job than that!|
However, Taz did take the camel ride and I did and will not. I put camel rides into the category of "you don't know what you're missing" can really only be truly true if you do choose to miss the experience.
That doesn't mean I'm not still a sucker for wanting to get that trite-but-cool-even-though-everybody-does-it silhouette photo of camels caravans on the beach at sunset.
Besides, Cable Beach is pretty darned nice. You can take your 4-wheel-drive on it -- which we did.
|Telltale patterns left by ghost crabs on Cable Beach, Broome. Western Australia.|
Not only were the camels great fun to watch, we got a kick out of watching a couple attempting to teach their two dogs to surf.
|On our second trip to Cable beach, this couple and their surfing dogs were the only folks we saw in the water. Broome, Australia.|
However, if camel rides are your thing, there are several companies who offer them, Sundowner, Broome Camel Safaris, and Red Sun Camels. Their longer ~45 min/1 hour sunset rides cost $85-90 AUD for adults, less for kids and less still for "lap sitters."
|Camel dismounts didn't look easy. Broome, Western Australia.|
- walking Streeter Jettywww.visitBroome.com.au/to-do/indigenous-experiences (I did, and am not sure whether to believe that I just missed a croc submerging as there are "saltys" here)
- visiting a pearl farm (pass - not much into paying for that kind of tour)
- visiting the Broome historical museum (would've, but it was closed until May)
- sampling Matso's local brews (to maintain our tight travel budget we generally prefer to buy at the bottle shop, rather than out, but we did indulge at Matso's -- I vote for their ginger beer mixed with their mango beer)
- whale watching (did the whale shark swim 17 years ago when it was a lot less expensive in Exmouth)
- catch an outdoor movie at Sun Pictures (did - saw "Hidden Figures" when chuckled when at an appropriate point of the movie a real plane soared not far overhead)
|There's a narrow point of entry and exit for Cable Beach 4-wheel drives and camels. After sunset it's exodus time, |
but camels have the right of way. Broome, Western Australia.
We're currently in Broome, Western Australia, population ~16,000 -- big enough for a two groceries --Coles, Woolworths, plus McDonald's and Dominoes. We returned for one last night to check out Broome's "Staircase to the Moon," an event that happens 6 times a year. Right time, right place, wrong weather. But we enjoyed a stroll at the night markets there for the event.
After Broome, weather permitting, we're bound for Darwin and the Northern portion of the Kimberleys and El Questro. Our route from here until when we leave Australia is still up in the air.
|Camels at sunset on the beach, Broome tourism at its surreal best. Western Australia.|