20130801_RCH_0264 20130801_RCH_0265It’s been a long time coming (80 days, but who’s counting…), and we finally made it to the western coast of Australia. It was a short push from our camp overnight on the infamous Gibb River Road near Windjana Gorge to Derby. I would have really loved to have done the Gibb River Road, and even taken the Kalumburu Road up to Mitchell Falls, but it’s not to be. We did get to do a small (125km) section of the road, but it was mostly sealed, and the sections that were unsealed were in pretty good condition (just dusty).

20130801_RCH_0268 On the way to Derby, we saw tour bus on the side of the road, with tourists spilt all over the road. Last time we saw that the bus had shredded a tyre, so we assumed the same thing this time. Nope, they were stopped to check out this enormous boab tree. The tree looked tortured and deformed, really reminding me of something from the movie Akira. I overheard the tour guide say that this tree is said to be 2,500 years old, but due to the construction of boab trees, dating isn’t a simple process (they don’t have growth rings).


But, at the same time, while we were looking at this ancient tree that had been attacked/mutilated with the initials and other things carved in to it, we were walking around piles of trash. It made me feel like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Who leaves a soiled nappy on the side of the road, let alone right next to a tourist attraction? Sigh…

20130801_RCH_0279 20130801_RCH_0270Anyway, Derby. Famous for having the largest tide in Australia – up to 12m under the right conditions. We drove through the town, had a look at the port and with all the smoke haze and the time being out, there wasn’t a great deal that we could see!

20130801_RCH_0271 20130801_RCH_0273 20130801_RCH_0275There was a cool old crane that was sitting and rotting by the side of the road, with an awesome slogan on the door, ‘have wife, must work’.

20130801_RCH_0277The flood plains (is that what you call them?) were enormous, stretching far beyond where I could see (which admittedly wasn’t so far with this heat haze and smoke. Makes me look forward to seeing Lake Eyre.

20130801_RCH_0284On the outskirts of town was another enormous boab tree, this one with a long historical significance. Boab Prison Tree was used back in the late 19th century (which really isn’t that long ago!) by blackbirders (which is a term new to me – people who would kidnap aborigines to use as labour in the pearling industry) as a place to hold their captives until a boat was ready to take them away. Pretty nasty history. The tree was huge, deformed and mutilated. This time it reminded me of the movie Pans Labyrinth.

Broome was another ~220km away, and we wanted to spend the night there, so we kept moving. Sad to say, it was a most uneventful stretch of road.

20130801_RCH_0286Rather than enter Broome (and pay what I hear are exorbitant camp fees) we headed to a free camp area north of town at Willie Creek. The camping area was quite small, and people were tightly packed, so when we saw that the track went down to the beach, and better yet it was vacant, we left the crowds and went exploring. The area was beautiful, and I still couldn’t believe that we had it all to ourselves! But, then I remembered the large tides that are in this area… and, even though we were a good 5m above the water, I could see by the pools in some of the rocks that water does indeed come up higher than where we were parked… Defeated.

20130801_RCH_0288 20130801_Untitled_Panorama1Still, we enjoyed the sunset before making a retreat.

20130801_RCH_0311 20130801_RCH_0313Dinner: Some Japanese stir-through pasta sauces. I had a peperino one, and Risa had topiko (flying fish eggs). So fast/simple, but cheap and delicious! And, to eat more of the random cans, we had some sweet corn and leftover broad beans.

80日目 8月 1日 (木)  コールハンター、ついに西海岸初上陸!!


ここから120kmほどのDerbyという町を目指して出発。 ブッシュファイヤーが起こっているらしく、青空なのに空の半分は、雨雲の様な暗く、グレーの雲をしていました。

途中大きなバオバブの木がありました。 ちょうどツアーのバスが停まっていて、ガイドさんの説明が耳に入ってきました。

バオバブの木には、年輪がないので年齢を特定するのは難しいそうですが、なんとこの木は、推定年齢2500歳しい! イエスキリストより年上だねなんてロスとふざけてましたが、2500歳ってすごいなぁ。。

乾燥し始めると、 自ら葉を枯らせ、水分を含む養分をコントロールするそうです。




Derbyは、潮の満ち引きがオーストラリアで一番大きい場所で、12mも高さが変わるそうです。 これは世界でも2番目に大きな場所だそうです。

町の外れの桟橋をぐるっと一周、車でしてきました。 水は、茶色できれいとはとてもほど遠い色をしていますが、これは、潮の満ち引きが大きいが為に大量の水の変化で多くの川の水が流れ込むからだそうです。


町の外れには、バオバブの木で出来た Prison Tree(囚人の木)



この白人が、アボリジニ人を誘拐し、奴隷とする行為は、Black birdingと呼ばれ、他には、農業や、金鉱などの場で労働させられていたそうです。


Broomまでは、220km。 いよいよインド洋がみれそうです!

ひたすらドライブを続け、あとブルームまで30kmという所で、今日キャンプする予定だった場所へ行く道へのサインが。 ブルームの町から行くのかと思いきや、手前から入るらしく、ブルームへは明日行く事にしました。




とりあえず、インド様に沈み行く大きく真っ赤な夕日を堪能し、超ありあわせ夕食(今日は、りさ 明太子パスタ ロス ペペロンチーノ 両方インスタント とコーンサラダというかコーン缶と昨日の残りの豆)


そういえば、高校の時はまったオーランド ブルームのせいで、ブルーム(スペルちがうけど)って町を発見していつか行ってみたいと思っていた事を思い出した笑
久々の海〜潮風は、ベトベトしてなんか気持ち悪いし、蚊に刺されて、すでに文句ぐたぐただけど、この旅でも1番楽しみだった初西海岸これから数週間満喫しまーす!!  楽しみー!!