Camping in the Bush! Broome/Kimberley
Kimberley, Western Australia
I have just returned from our 6-day camping excursion in the Outback! And when I say camping I mean real camping no wimpy cabins or indoor plumbing. Yes that means that we did not shower for the whole time we were there (it's a tradition every year!). This was one of the most incredible experiences I have had here in Australia so far - I will try to tell you a little bit about the experience in this blog but I know words cannot even describe how amazing it was!!!
On Monday morning our alarms went off at 4:00 AM, we had to meet the bus outside our dorm at 5:00AM. The bus dropped us off at the airport and we were on our way to Broome, the plane ride was only a two and a half hour flight. Our adventure began once we landed in Broome a bus drove us from the airport to the hostel at The University of Notre Dame's Australia's Broome campus where we stayed for the first night. After we settled in we went to Cable Beach, which has the longest tide in the southern hemisphere. After the long day at the beach we took a sunset camel ride, it was truly amazing.
The next day our camping began in the real Australian Bush, the Kimberly. Early Tuesday morning Maria and Collin Morgan who were our Aboriginal hosts for the week picked us up from the Hostel. From there we drove about four hours to our campsite. Just as we set out on the red dirt road a rainbow appeared in front of us, thats how I knew it would be a great trip! Now let me tell you about Broome time - there is no structure, no itinerary, no plans, and when the natives say that the drive is just up the road they really mean a 12-hour drive. We slept in tents under the stars, woke up to the beautiful sunrise and watched the sunset the every night. After the sun would go down we would start a campfire and sit around it all night telling stories. We were so far into the Bush that we always had to be on the lookout for snakes, before we set up tent, before we went to the bathroom, and even just walking down a path.
We spent our days meeting with elders from various communities, going crabbing, learning about the aboriginal way of life and the troubles they have faced in the past and continue to face today, swimming, visiting an aboriginal school, created our own aboriginal artwork, and visited sacred space of the Aboriginal culture: including seeing footprints that were visible in the rock from their ancestors 7000 years ago.
Every morning we would spend time in "Collins classroom" which was just an opening in the Bush where we had time to sit and reflect on everything we had been experiencing.
The colors in the Kimberley were magnificent, the contrast between the red dirt the green trees and the blue skies were like nothing I have ever seen before. Hopefully the pictures will speak for themselves, there were some areas we were not allowed to take pictures because the area is sacred to the Aboriginal people and a lot of the pictures we are not allowed to put on social media.
On a side note, Broome has been the hottest place I have been so far the temperatures there were about 100 degrees Fahrenheit and very very humid the whole time. The University has a rule that whenever the sun was out we had to wear hats. After days of layering on sunscreen and bug spray and living in the red dirt I bet you can only imagine how the 25 of us looked getting on the plane. The Adelaide men's professional basketball team was waiting in the same area to get their luggage and there were news cameras everywhere. So lucky for us I am sure we will be in the background of the Perth news tonight dirt and all!
I leave for Thailand on Friday!!
It has been good to talk/skype/text some of you back home!