14,594 kms, 36 degrees C
We drove from Derby West to Broome then had a couple of relaxing days, stocking up the fridge and chilling out. Trish Pepper is an amazing woman – it would be quicker to tell you jobs and business ventures she has not tried, rather than the ones she has. We caught up with he as she was running the kitchen for a TV crew filming in and around Broome. Trish put us into her friend Janice’s wonderful house which is close to the airport (well, everything is pretty close to the airport in Broome). It has things we had long since drooled over such as a shower, roof, settees to lounge on all day and awesome books. We both read The White Divers of Broome, an excellent history into the unscrupulous pearl industry just before WW1. Another treat was restaurant food and wine from a bottle – we had dinner with Trish and Katie, plus friends Katie, John and Sarah.
And then it was time to hit the road again - North up the Dampier Peninsula, to two spots we had been strongly recommend via the word of mouth grapevine around the country.
First was Cape Leveque at the Northern end of the peninsula. We had an ‘interesting’ drive up – lots of soft sand, corrugations and challenging gradients, but we made it OK, despite a large number of others changing tyres along the way. The cape is a spectacular spot – the first swimming beaches since Port Douglas, two months ago. There have been plenty of beaches between in between but there were many reasons why we did not swim, either being too far inland or the saltwater crocs across the top end. This will be the first of many beaches around the country back home to Melbourne in early December.
Cape Leveque is truly magnificent – there are great swimming and snorkelling beaches either side of the cape, which points North, so we were treated to a magnificent sunrise and sunset daily on one side or the other. We went out on a fishing trip and had a ball – one bloke caught a couple of 3-4’ reef sharks, but the star of the show was Nicko who pulled in our supper, a blue lined emporer that went straight in the pan for supper. And the local shop did take away chips, so yes, we had fish and chips on the beach watching the sunset.
We saw humpbacked whales for the first time since the East coast – we followed them up the coast as they migrated North to breeding groups through June and July. Breeding is now done and they are heading back South on either side of the continent, so we should see them as we head SW round WA’s enormous coastline. They are magnificent creatures.