Saturday, November 13, 2010

Counting white goats and dead kangaroos up the West Coast...

So I am finally in Broome, after my 5 day tour up the west coast to Exmouth, then my 17 hour Greyhound bus ride to Broome (yes, it was as thrilling as it sounds). I had to put my iPod on because I had "Rambling Man" going over and over in my head on repeat because of the line about a greyhound bus. I will again give you the highlights for my Exmouth trip, as giving every detail would be more than you or I could take:

We stayed in Kalbarri, Monkey Mia, Coral Bay, and Exmouth. I think I like Coral Bay and Monkey Mia the best. The places we stayed were nice and both places were so close to the beach. We did see the dolphins, but only one person from our group got to feed. In Coral Bay, it was too windy to swim with the manta rays, so we took the turtle tour instead. We saw a few turtles in the wild and were able to snorkel on several reef locations. I forgot how much I love snorkeling. In Exmouth, we spent the day on various beaches including Turquoise Bay. I am getting a very nice tan, especially considering it is November and no one on my side of the world will be tan this time of year. It was basically the same deal as the last tour. We ate sandwiches for lunch each day and made dinner at night.

I got closer to a few girls on this trip more so than the last tour. In particular, a girl from Holland named Ada. We spoke the international language of sarcasm and humor, and had lots of fun, causing some of the more party-pooper types on the tour to ask "how old are we?" But we had fun. I learned a new word- geit- which is how they say goat in Holland. We saw lots of feral goats along the way. We were trying to explain to a German girl on the trip that we had seen a goat, but didn't know the German word for goat, and she didn't know what "goat" in English was, so we made the goat noise. This led to the discovery that roosters have different calls, depending on what language they are crowing in. So the rest of the trip was punctuated with various rooster crows from all languages at random times. She also liked to give me a hard time about sleeping on the bus. Everyone slept on the bus because our schedule was so crazy. But she would tell me, "how can you sleep when it's such a beautiful day?" This became another expression on the trip, and we would say it at random times to annoy each other.

Our tour guide was named Allan. He was a little more attentive and aware than Murray last week, but he had an expression he repeated about 5 times throughout the trip. "If you don't eat, you don't shit. And if you don't shit, you die." I think he was trying to convince us to eat something, but no one needed convincing. And we decided we may need to make a t-shirt or a bumper sticker for him.

I was happy to hear two North Carolinians represented on his iPod throughout the trip. He had James Taylor and Ben Folds and I proudly told people on the bus they were from NC. People were also excited to learn Dawson's Creek was filmed in NC, haha.

The drive up the coast is really nothing exciting to see. "Barren Wasteland" comes to mind. Landscape dotted with small shrubs, white sun bleached bones, the occasional gang of feral goats, a lone cow here and there, and scavenger birds feeding on the never ending supply of kangaroo roadkill carcasses. I got so bored at one point, I began the morbid game of trying to count them. But some are so beyond repair that you aren't sure it was a kangaroo to begin with.

Another little weird thing we did on this trip was the Australian bottle blowing concert we had one night (you get a little bored on trips like this). There was apparently a very proper way to blow on bottles, and we took turns blowing on various beer and wine bottles to produce different notes, creating a symphony of fog horn like sounds.

Most of the girls walked me to my bus on Friday evening. I was to be picked up at 10:30 from the visitor's center, which was next door to where we were staying, and since our tour guide had been drinking since about 5pm, it was a good thing it was walking distance. I hugged them as I boarded and they stood and waved as we pulled away. I was sad once again to be leaving something that had briefly become familiar. It was the same feeling I had leaving the Shreeves the weekend before. I think I just miss being part of a family. I think I even miss Nathan!

So as I said, I am in Broome finally. I am staying at a place called Beaches of Broome, within walking distance of the beach. This place is very nice. The dorm room itself is small, especially for 8 people to be staying in it, but the common areas are great and the bathroom is the best I've seen in any of the hostels I've stayed in. I had a peek into a private room. They are amazing. If I had more dough left, I would splurge one night to stay in one of those. I think I annoyed my roomies last night turning in about 10pm, but after a 17 hour bus ride where I slept no more than an hour each time I fell asleep, I was ready for some rest. I plan to take it easy for a couple of days here. I will spend the day on the beach and maybe go to the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park which is down the street from my hostel one day. I fly out to Darwin on Wednesday, so I am only here long enough to get a taste of Broome.

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