Saturday, June 5, 2010

On the bus......

In Broome we joined our AAT Kings bus tour which would take us from Broome to Darwin. This is the trip I won in a competition in the newspaper last year. It included our flights , extra accommodation before and after the tour and the fully escorted tour, all up worth about $12000. We realised before we joined the tour that it wasn't going off road to all the amazing places in this area and that the majority of people on the tour would perhaps be older than us. This ended up working in our favor as the Kimberleys had received a lot of unseasonable rain and a lot of the tours were cancelled and modified due to roads being closed. The first week we were away it was not even possible to fly over the Bungle Bungles due to the weather.
We were the 'baby's' of the bus but generally it was a lovely group of people, a few too many for my liking -42, luckily only 1 or 2 big personalities and one couple that struggled mobility wise.
Leaving Broome we headed off to Derby where we drove around the jetty ( I have a fear of jetty's and so no photos, my eyes were firmly closed the whole time!!!). We then stopped at the 'Prison Boab tree'. This was used to hold prisoners before they could be transported to more secure facilities early last century. The Boab's are an amazing tree and such a special part of the landscape in that part of the country. I never tire of seeing them and could photograph each one as they all seem to have their own personalities. They fruit 'Boab nuts' which the Aboriginal people often carve, a truly remarkable piece of art.The white inside of the nut is also edible which we tried, not something I would yearn over but not distasteful.

After leaving Derby we moved on to Fitzroy Crossing where we spent the night. The distances in this part of the country are huge and often separated by only a roadhouse every few hundred kilometres. Up early the next morning to take a cruise on Geikie Gorge. Although I enjoyed it , it was probably my least favorite of the gorges we visited and the cruises we did. There was no canopy over the boat and even in the early morning with a hat and sunglasses the sun and heat were fierce.

A quick stop at the roadhouse back in Fitzroy Crossing for morning tea (which is when we got the news from home that the hot water service had blown up) then we hit the road again to Halls Creek. We passed Wolf Creek (from scary movie fame) on the way. A late lunch then a lazy afternoon in Halls Creek. Each evening we had a 3 course meal supplied , often a buffet and we found our mornings and evenings revolved around food and what time we needed to be there!!!!

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