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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 205: Broome to Fitzroy Crossing

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 28 May 2008 | Views [1884]

Thomas and I point us in the right direction.... Darwin here we come!

Thomas and I point us in the right direction.... Darwin here we come!

Wednesday 28th May

The ER bus picked me up bang on time at 06.45, and I took this as a good sign that our driver for the next few days – a young guy called Jono – was going to be an improvement on Val, our driver on the Exmouth-Broome leg of the trip. There were six passengers onboard, and we all knew each other from previous trips: Konica and Lisa from Canada, Daniella from Germany, and the two Italian lads, Daniele and Thomas.

After a short stop at the supermarket, we left Broome in our brand new mini-bus, and headed in the direction of Fitzroy Crossing, where we were to stay overnight. The group was a nice size and it made for a more comfortable trip, both in terms of space on the bus and the fact, with fewer people, we could get to know each other better. I had found that sometimes, when there was a greater crowd, some people were shy and wouldn't come out of their shell, whereas they felt more comfortable in a smaller group.

We continued on for most of the morning before we stopped for lunch at 'Geikie Gorge' and took a tour in the national park that combined a boat trip with an aboriginal heritage talk. Our guide for the trip was a guy who, although quite pale skinned, was aboriginal himself and talked to us about the culture of the indigenous people, and particularly about how their family system works; aboriginals are divided into skin groups. Direct brothers and sisters cannot belong to the same skin group, thus avoiding incest. It is a system that ensures the close care and protection by and for people of the same skin group.

It was kind of interesting, although our guide was a bit of a pain in the arse. It was a fine way to spend a few hours although the best bit by far was the river cruise through the gorge itself, which we were lead to believe constituted the main part of the tour. We saw a few small crocodiles lazing on the riverbank or in rocks in the middle of the river, catching some sun; it was a relaxing way to see the landscape and the colours and shapes of the rocks were very attractive, but it didn't last very long.

After our tour at Geikie Gorge, we didn't have far to drive to our accommodation for the night, a campsite at Fitzroy Crossing, and we got there by 17.00, about an hour before the sun set. Easy Rider had put up some fairly basic tents, but they were of a reasonable size and could fit five camp beds into them without taking up too much room. There was a barbecue beside the tents and we were able to fire this up using a few bits of wood. It was hardly luxurious, but it also felt good to get 'back to basics' and experience a bit of camping after being couped up in hostels for the last few weeks.

It was a good place to relax and we had a real laugh, with the Italian lads being particularly good craic. Some of the other Irish lads that had been on the ER bus trip turned up in their Wicked campervan – Cathal, Paul and Brian – and were stopping overnight as well on their way up to Darwin. It was a very enjoyable evening, and we got talking to a very friendly Aussie couple (the woman was actually born in Belfast) for an hour or so, and it suggested to me that these campsites can be good places to stay, and good value as well.


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