Day 72 – Update on Broome Road Trip

Well, I arrived back in Singapore early yesterday morning around 4am, and I know, I know I haven’t blogged in like 12 days, but give me a break I was busy and having a really fun time. I think the last time I posted was one of my first days in Perth and We were about to leave for a road trip to Broome. Western Australia is the largest state in Australia and let me tell you I saw a lot of it but there is still so much of Western Australia that I haven’t seen and would love to explore. The road trip took up three days, we left on a Monday and arrived mid-morning on the Wednesday. It was long, but I am glad I didn’t have to drive – Tim and Mick were the only ones that drove because Nic and I are hopeless and can’t drive a standard car.

Road Trip Day 1
We woke up at 5:30am and got ready for our three day, two night road trop to Broome. We left at about 6:15am and we were on our way. On the first day we were making excellent time with driving – probably because the boys were eager and excited. We drove something like 800km (don’t quote me on that because honestly I could be completely wrong). The road was pretty much a straightway with nothing on either side of it. It was exciting, everyone was alert and awake, except for maybe Nic who kept jerking awake as he continuously fell asleep. We play some great tunes and had a blast. We reached a place called Monkey Mia (I just had to google Monkey Mia to make sure I had the spelling right and the first thing I read was ‘Monkey Mia is a popular tourist attraction located 800km North of Perth’, so I wasn’t wrong when I said we drove about 800km). We got to the camp site and set up camp, this was the 2nd time ever that I had gone camping. Monkey Mia is a little peninsula where dolphins are regularly spotted but unfortunately for us we didn’t see any. What we did see were emus. Three of them just strutting around the camp site as if they owned the place, I definitely wasn’t objecting that, I didn’t want to make them angry. After driving all day in the car we were feeling a little warm and definitely needed to be cooled down, so we went to the water and had a swim, the water was really warm, which is probably because we were located on the peninsula. After our swim we came back to our camp site for some wine, cheese and crackers before dinner. While we were snacking we saw a smallish dog that ran toward one of the emus and immediately regretted the decision because it realized it stood no chance to the bird and retreated quickly. The emu definitely felt threatened and stood straight up. A couple minutes after that another emu felt like it too should show off who was boss and started chasing some seagulls on the property. We had some dinner and called it an early night. The wind was strong and sleep was restless, I kept getting hot and cold it was not enjoyable.

Road Trip Day 2
We planned on getting up at 5am to get our day started early because we had a lot of ground to cover on day 2, but we ended up sleeping until the sun came up at about 6am. We took town camp fairly quickly, showered and were headed out for day 2. It was a mission we had a ridiculous amount of kilometres to cover before we reached our day two goal, Port Hedland was something like 1000km from Monkey Mia (I just checked – i was close it was 1200km away). Tim drove first and I saw shotgun, we listened to some good tunes and we started chatting about different things. He asked me what Canadians generally assumed of Australia. I told him the obvious, that most girls find Australian guys extremely attractive but they have a reputation of not treating girls well apparently. A stereotype that Australian men think lesser of women, which is not true from what I found. I mean I’m pretty sure there are guys everywhere that think women are less than men and treat them like shit haha. Then Tim asked me if I knew what an Australian kiss was, and confused I said no. He said it was like a French kiss, except down under, I thought it was pretty clever! We drove pretty much straight through the day only stopping for a few snacks, pee breaks and to fill the car up. One disadvantage of the road trip was that I was the only girl and it wasn’t easy for me to just pee at the side of the road like the boys. Once we stopped on the side of the road though and I really had to go, I told them I was just gunna go in those bushes, which if you’ve ever seen Western Australia isn’t really bushes like you’d imagine. They are like desert bushes… anyways, Tim was like ‘Jenn don’t want to scare you or anything but watch out for snakes and spiders’, haha I was like oh great, I haven’t seen one yet this trip and knowing my luck one will sneak up on me while I’m taking a pee. Anyways, after venturing to the most covered area just off the road, I carefully examined the path that I walked and was able to pee without interuption of a deadly snake. Did you know Australia has 50 of the 52 most poisonous snakes in the world. After a couple more hours of driving we passed by a very bloated dead cow – it literally looked like it was about to explode. Naturally we pulled over the examine the cow. As imagined in smelled so bad, we threw a rock at the cow and just absolutely freaked about from the sound – we ran back to the car and continued to our destination. We were still driving to Port Hedland as the sun was setting. It was such a beautiful sunset, Tim said it looked like the one from the Lion King and as we were taking pictures of it Nic started singing a song from the Lion King – it was great. We reached Port Hedland at almost 9:30pm and we were hungry. The town was … I don’t really know how to explain it but it was dingy and gross and was once (and might still be) the stabbing capital of Australia. We went to one of the only places still open in the town to grab some dinner, when we walked in Tim was told he wasn’t allowed to wear his singlet so, I gave him the plaid shirt I had on over top of my tank (which didn’t completely make sense to me because I was wearing a tank and that was allowed but guys weren’t allowed to wear sleeveless shirts). Naturally the shirt was a little small, and it didn’t matter much because shortly after we realized that the place stopped serving food at 9pm. The only other place that was open this little Chinese place called Yummy Noodle Box or Hut or something like that. Their menu was huge and the portions were equally as big, unfortunately the food tasted like absolute butt (no, I don’t know what butt tastes like but if I did the food would be just as bad haha – too bad it was our only option). Mick and Tim tried calling a few caravan parks to see if we could set up camp for the night, however we didn’t have any luck. Most of the places were already closed and some didn’t even have campsites. Tim and Mick decided they were alright to drive to the next road house and as soon as we left Port Hedland it started to rain. Nic and I slept in the back of the truck while the other two stayed awake, I was jolted awake as we had to slow suddenly for a crossing cow. I was jolted awake again as we approached what seemed to be a mass amount of water on the road. Throughout the tri[ we passed by many signs saying floodway and I figured that these roads were probably susceptible to floods, but I didn’t really think I would actually see it happen. We stopped and saw that the plains had started to flood from the rain and we weren’t sure how deep the water was. We backed up far enough away from the water and pulled over to the side of the road. Tim and Mick went out to test how deep the water was, but they couldn’t go very far because it was really dark and even though they had a light it wasn’t safe for them to go too far. After contemplating whether or not to risk crossing the floodway and possibly stalling, getting stuck and then possibly dying we decided to wait half an hour to see if anyone passed before we turn around to find somewhere to sleep. Luckily after 15 mins of waiting, a car approached, they stopped because our hazard lights were on and asked if we needed any help. He was lucky that he stopped to see if we needed anything because we told him we weren’t sure if we’d be able to cross and he was like ‘cross what?’ and then looked ahead on the road and was shocked. He assured us that we would be able to cross the floodway without any issues. The roadhouse we planned to reach, which was located about 1 or 2km from the floodway ended up being closed so we kept driving. While Nic and I slept, the boys drove until they could not longer stay awake…at 2am we pulled over and all tried to get some sleep until morning. The sleeping arrangements were slightly crammed, Mick had his swag (they are really cool – google it if you don’t know what a swag is) so he slept in that and Tim found a comfortable place on the top of the truck (until it started raining and he moved into the car) and I slept in the front seat with the chair reclined pretty far back and then Nic slept in the back seat. It wasn’t the most comfortable of sleeps and it didn’t help that it was really muggy and warm outside.

Road Trip Day 3
Around 5:30am we got up and started driving toward the next roadhouse thank god we stopped to grab something to eat and fill up the truck because while ordering food and paying we overheard the cashier talking about a road being closed. We asked what she was talking about and she informed up that the road to Broome was closed due to the rain and the floodways. Just so everyone is clear, this is the only road into Broome. That little flood way we passed on day 2 was much bigger and the road behind us was also closed – so basically we were trapped. We ate our breakfast laughing at how ridiculous the situation was and we asked one of the truck drivers that was also stuck at the road house how long he thought the road would be closed for. He said oh I don’t know could be 3 to 4 days, maybe even a week. Excuse me? did I hear that right? yes, yes I did…three to four days…MAYBE even a week. The problem is there are plains really close to Broome, and well it’s the wet season so when it rains the water has no where to go and the plain flood and then the roads flood. We sat in the car waiting for the 1st update – these updates happen every three hours. Luckily, we got word that the road was open but we had to hurry because there was suppose to be more rain, which could mean the road would be closed again. We reached the floodway and stopped to talk to a guy that had just crossed. His car was low to the ground so we were sure that if he made it we would be able to as well. On either side of the road was water, water as far as you could see it was absolutely insane, it looked like an ocean. The water seemed pretty deep and we passed the first floodway, the guy we talked to before crossing the floodway said there were 4 floodways we needed to cross. We crossed all 4 successfully and during the last one we saw probably 600 cattle being herded through the flooded plains by a helicopter. It was a really neat experience. What was great about this trip is that I experienced something I’ve never experienced but also something many Australians haven’t experienced either. After the floodways we stopped to talk to some people contemplating crossing the floodways, before we were on our way to Broome. We arrived in Broome mid-morning – it was hot and humid.

I will blog about my Broome visit in another post – this one is exciting enough on its own.

Dead Cow about to Explode
Dead Cow about to Explode
Flooded Plains
Flooded Plains
Lion King Sunset
Lion King Sunset

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