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on the run, on my own: best laid schemes…

One of the best pieces of advice I could give to someone who is thinking of travelling is not to make concrete plans. The beauty of travel is the spontaneity of it and if you have a strict itinerary that you have to stick to, you’re going to miss out on a lot.

In my last column I spoke about arriving in Broome and, two weeks later, we’re still here. In Broome. Now, don’t get me wrong, Broome is a great place with beautiful beaches and a really nice vibe about it… but two weeks in Broome is possibly a week too many.

The reason we’re still in Broome and not yet travelling to Perth has something to do with a temperamental Kombi named Sunnie. I’m not going to even begin to pretend that I know anything about cars but the basic gist is that the power cuts out every now and again, which would probably leave us stranded at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. After various trips to the mechanic and the auto electrician, they think that we finally may be able to continue on…

But at least the two weeks in Broome haven’t been a complete write off. In one of those completely random moments, we ended up giving a couple a lift home after a night out, which resulted us in having a house to park outside of for pretty much the entire two weeks. Not only has this saved us a heap of money, we’ve also had an absolute blast and made some lasting friends.

Most of our days in Broome have revolved around the beach. We occasionally mixed it up by sitting around our newly acquired pool, going out on the boat, skurfing off said boat and looking for dinosaur footprints at Gantheuame Point just as the sun was rising.

Image: Jo Williams

Image: Jo Williams

Broome was also the setting of my first AFL game, which happened to be the Grand Final. I grabbed a beer and donned my best thongs and attempted to understand Australia’s beautiful game. Needless to say, I did not understand it. You see, I am a rugby girl through and through and I think my main mistake was thinking that AFL is anything like rugby. Luckily, the people I watched the game with were extremely patient when I asked questions like, ‘But why are they throwing forwards?’ by answering, ‘Because it’s not rugby, Jo…’

I have since been informed that it was a really boring game, but it could’ve been the most exciting game and I wouldn’t have known the difference.

After we leave Broome, I’ll probably always associate the place with beach parties. It probably won’t surprise you that there isn’t much call for beach parties in Manchester so my first ever one was in Broome. When one of our boys turned twenty the other day, it was observed: ‘Oh, we’re that group on the beach’. That group being the one with the loud music and the beer flowing; the people chucking a ball around and sizzling burgers and sangas on the BBQ; the people who stay there until the sun has set. It truly made me laugh because I’ve never been part of that group before but it feels pretty good. Especially when there are party hats and bikinis involved.

Image: Jo Williams

Image: Jo Williams

I think one of the best things about staying in one place for a while is getting the chance to settle in and make proper friends. It’s also pretty handy that they’re all from Perth and did the journey up to Broome not too long ago, so they have plenty of recommendations and advice for us for when we start to move again.

Image: Jo Williams

Image: Jo Williams

I have a feeling the next leg of the journey is going to be entirely different to the first. For a start, we have three extra cars and three new passengers so there’ll be a few extra faces and languages on our journey. We’ll swap the Outback for the coast, fresh water pools for salt water sea and there may even be a camel at some point.

Until then, we’ve got Broome for one more day, and once we’re done nicking internet from the library to plan our route, and buying everything we need to descend back into the wild, we’ll probably head back to the beach one last time.

So they say best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, but sometimes when they go awry it’s pretty great too.

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