5 hours along the straightest roads we've ever seen, at one point we timed ourselves to reach the furthest point we could see, it took us exactly 5 minutes meaning we could see 9 kms ahead. The roads are strewn with more dead animals than an abattoir, Roos, wallabies and cows were the main unfortunate creatures, great for the scavenging birds though. The drive felt long and again when we reached Broome I felt exhausted. The town itself is like every other we've seen or been through. A supermarket, a garage or two several bottle shops and a small shopping centre, all are built box shaped, devoid of personality or style.
After a top-up of groceries we headed off to find a campsite, the cheapest one we found was the most expensive we'd stayed at so far. We managed to bag ourselves one of the two vacant pitches and parked up.
We headed straight out to the beach, despite the overcast sky that threatened to soak us at any moment. A ten minute walk along a sandy track found us staring agog at the biggest and emptiest beaches we've seen. For the most part it is fine, clean sand however where we got on, there were channels of red rocks that leant at all angles from the dunes at the rear all the way to the sea and beyond.
We read that it was 14 kilometres long and today there were about 12 people occupying the stretch we could see. We were meant to go for a long walk, but I hijacked the outing to try fishing again. I lost 3 lures on the rocks within 10 minutes which dampened my spirits a bit but Jan was encouraging me to keep trying, I now suspect that she was hoping I lost all of the lures to the sea and that would be the end of it.
We walked and fished alternately, as we stopped at one point, the air filled with the smell of dung and animals. We turned round to see two trains of camels plodding along the sand. The perfectly preened creatures were ferrying tourists along the beach for a sunset spectacular, despite there being no sunset to speak of. We headed back towards base, the beach had now got a little busier, a few people were surfing or paddleboarding, others were fishing (one with success to the delight of his kids that jumped up and down with excitement as he reeled in the fish) most were out for an early evening walk.
After dark and as had been expected, the heavens opened. Rain of biblical proportions fell all through the night and for the next 48 hours. The temperature plummeted from 30 degrees to 20 it felt a lot lower to us. Our second day was spend confined to the van, amazingly we didn't go stir crazy, instead we planned our route a little more plus some of our transport for NZ.
During that night we both had dreams that we were floating away along flooded outback roads. When we woke, it was still hammering it down as we mentally prepared ourselves for another day of confinement.
As we finished breakfast the rain slowed to drizzle before finally stopping around 10. We left the van immediately, heading once again for the beautiful Cable beach. As we arrived the rain was back, we were wet in minutes so there was no point in turning for home. I took my fishing gear, once again I lost a few more lures in quick succession and I gave up. As we began our walk along the beach the weather worsened, the situation was dire, there was only one thing we could sensibly do. On went the peach coloured ponchos.
We walked for a kilometre or so before we started to get cold. Jan had goose bumps on her goose bumps and my hands had gone blue. We headed back into the wind and rain. The stronger gusts stopped us in our tracks and flapped the thin plastic ponchos around our faces making it impossible to hear the other talk. And then once again, the front went quiet, the wind died down, the rain turned again to drizzle. We walked near the sea and something caught my eye in the surf, we initially thought it was some wood, but then the unmistakable shape of a small dorsal fin sped through the shallow surf. SHARK! BABY SHARK! Against our better judgement we both went toward the fin, the sand coloured tip cut through the water and disappeared. I'm not sure why I did what I did next but I set up my fishing rod again, I was going to catch the shark. Long story short, it was a shovel-nosed shark, a fish that has a head that looks like a ray and a tail that looks like a shark, they're completely harmless and yes, I caught it. That was me done, 'Jaws' was released alive and well and we went to the local cafe for a barramundi burger and fries.