Had another awesome day in Broome today. Started off waking up shockingly chilly due to the aircon, something which I was still not accustomed to. Went to the shopping centre to buy some postcards and debated on whether to get an iPhone... Decided on no. Went to the Broome Historical Society Museum, which came highly recommended by several guide books. The museum was interesting, had lots of information about the first world war, the pearling industry in Broome (which of course I already knew all about and so felt very superior) and the method of creating sails for boats and ships. Headed to Aarli for lunch, an Asian inspired restaurant, where I feasted on a Korean fried chicken burger which was delicious.
The headed for Malcolm Douglas Wildlife Park (via an ice cream stop) where we were greeted by a huge enclosure full of eyes sticking out of the water (see picture!). Strolled around the park and saw many, many crocodiles and some alligators, and so many other species of reptile, bird and mammal. There were loads of enclosures that seemingly contained only one crocodile, and a sign on their fence displaying their name and why they had been captured and brought to the park (reason being they had terrorised humans or livestock and were unsafe to be released back into the wild).
Meandered my way back to the main bit at the front of the park for 3pm feeding time where our guide, Dave, told us all about the crocs. We were then lucky to enough to hold some baby 'Salties' which had had their mouths taped shut, but were so strange to have in our laps! Scales were smooth but not at all slimy, and we were informed that they actually had many more crocs not on display that were bred purely for their leather... Shocked faces all round.
We all sidled up to the fence (I was lucky enough to get on the platform so I could see over it) and so began the frenzy of dinner time. It was absolutely incredible, Dave dangling bits of raw chicken over the fence and these enormous crocs jumping up into the air, snapping their jaws frantically trying not to miss out on food. Blood, chicken carcasses and rows of jagged teeth all flying about. When the jaws snapped it made a deafening popping noise which we were told was completely normal. We noticed the crocs nearest the fence patiently waiting for food were eyeing us up menacingly as though we were their next meal! Scary stuff.
We were then taken round to all the isolation pens, where we were told that actually every male you could see had a female in their with them, probably lurking in the murky water. The same feeding method went on with these ones, except they looked about twice the size, and some of the fences were alarmingly bowing at the weight of the croc throwing itself at it. Dave mentioned that if one of them was to collapse 'just run'. Awesome, thanks Dave. Imagine there'd be nothing like legging it from a bloodthirsty, angry-from-being-in-captivity 5 metre long crocodile. Luckily the fences all held out... Anyway, it was a great tour and really interesting to learn about the prehistoric creatures!
Rushing back to the car we drove back to Cable Beach where I was pretty late for the sunset camel safari which I had booked earlier in the day. Charlotte was supposed to be joining me and then decided she'd already done it so didn't want to do it again, but told me she would walk alongside and take pictures. Needless to say that she didn't, but rather walked up the beach on the phone. Again. Anyway, sucks to be her because I had an awesome time! Got on the camel, Ghannam, fine and then felt VERY unstable as he got up as you kind of get thrown to one side and then the other. But after he was up I felt pretty at ease (most likely from all those years of horse-riding!). There were two sort of lines of camels, the front one was the only one with people on and I was bringing up the rear. The only female camel was behind me and she was getting a bit ahead of herself trying to walk next to my camel, but I noticed that when she walked she looked like she was bobbing her head to some music, it was adorable! The ride lasted an hour and, after another frightening moment as the camel got back down onto the sand, I decided to utilise one of the vouchers I received from doing the camel tour. So off I went to Zander's beach bar to claim my 2-4-1 cocktails. An amazing oreo martini thing recommended by a waitress and then an espresso martini. Perfect.
Charlotte eventually came back and she had a glass of wine and then we headed back to the house to freshen up. Then we made our way into town to go to Sun Pictures, the oldest outdoor cinema in the world, to watch the newest and final installment of The Hunger Games. Film was alright but it was very surreal sitting on these deckchairs outside watching a film with bats and planes flying above our heads.
Quite sad to leave Broome tomorrow as it's such an awesome place, but hoping I'll make it to Margaret River. Watch this space...