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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012
20 | www.probussouthpacific.org travel domestic T he alarm is set for an early morning because last night I was made an offer I can't refuse: a date with a camel on the powdery sands of Broome’s renowned Cable Beach in the far north-west of Western Australia. The beach is only a few hundred metres’ walk from my luxurious room, but the sun has still to rise when I arrive, and I am a tad sleepy. ‘Jabby’ is waiting on bended knee but, with his head held haughtily high and a disinterested yawn for a greeting, he leaves no doubt that he is a camel with attitude. I climb aboard his comfy saddle and we join a camel train for a long, leisurely walk beside the Indian Ocean as the sun rises. I hope against hope that he will behave like a gentleman. In no time we have a gentle rhythm going, slow and steady, we take it easy, enjoying the fresh morning air and the gentle lapping of the ocean. Other than our camel train, this seemingly endless beach is deserted. The rising sun casts the shadows of our long-legged camels across the sand, and it gets warmer by the minute. Too soon, the ride is over. The day is young and there is much to do, yet by day’s end I cannot tick off one tourist ‘sight’. Instead, I have spent the day wandering around the laidback town soaking up the warmth, stopping to admire wooden buildings raised off the ground with airy verandahs in what seems to be the local style, chat to friendly locals and browse through welcoming shops. It is easy to understand why people came here years ago on holiday and stayed. To an outsider it looks like an easy-living paradise. Broome is an isolated little piece of Australia. Some 2400km north of Perth, tucked between the Indian Ocean and the red dirt of the Great Sandy Desert, it is the gateway to the wild Kimberley region and vast mining developments, the source of Argyle diamonds and cultured pearls, and sandalwood plantations. It is also a way into the country that gave Baz Luhrmann’s epic outback adventure Australia its quintessential Australian look. At the end of my day wandering Broome, I watch an explosion of red Salute to the sun For early risers, there's no better way to greet the sun than from a camel's back in an isolated corner of Western Australia. By veronica matheson tones as the sun sinks into the dark ocean – a must for east-coasters used to seeing the sun slip quietly behind mountains or trees. Treasure-hunting The next day I check out the pearl shops around town – Broome has long been known as a centre for I learn all about lustre, colour and size – everything I need to recognise my perfect pearl when I see it.
Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2013