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CAT Day 7

Monday, May 20, 2013

We wake up early and break our fast with a lovely meal. I chose some fruits, toast and marmite. We pack up our belongings and all get into our campers. We keep mixing up which one we are in so we can all have time with each other.

Today we leave Karijini National Park and traverse to Broome. I just love the names of the cities. We drive on up and enjoy the majestic scenery on the way.

The Yawuru people, the Traditional Owners and Custodians, welcome you to Broome. A welcoming of people onto country is culturally important to Yawuru people to sustain Mabujunu Liyarn (Good Feeling) between both visitors and Traditional Owners. Our land is very ancient and covers vast areas from Wirkinmirre (WillieCreek) in the north: south through Minyirr (Broome) and east past Mangalagun (Crab Creek) and south to Warrawan (Barn Hill). We trust that you will all have a great time and enjoy the unique cultural diversity Broome has to offer. We further wish those visitors a safe journey in their future travels. Garlia! (see you soon)

The town has an interesting history based around the exploits of the men and women who developed the pearling industry, starting with the harvesting of oysters for mother of pearl in the 1880s to the current major cultured pearl farming enterprises. The riches from the pearl beds did not come cheaply, and the town's Japanese cemetery is the resting place of 919 Japanese divers who lost their lives working in the industry. Many more were lost at sea, and the exact number of deaths is unknown. The Japanese were only one of the major ethnic groups who flocked to Broome to work on the luggers or the shore based activities supporting the harvesting of oysters from the waters around Broome. They were specialist divers and, despite being considered enemies, became an indispensable part of the industry until World War II.

A lugger is a class of boats, widely used as traditional fishing boats, particularly off the coasts of France, England and Scotland. It is a small sailing vessel with lugsails set on two or more masts and perhaps lug topsails.

Each year Broome celebrates this fusion of different cultures in an annual cultural festival called Shinju Matsuri (Japanese for festival of the pearl) which celebrates the Asian influenced culture brought here by the pearling industry.

Broome was attacked at least four times by Japanese aircraft during the Second World War, and the worst attack was the March 3rd, 1942 air raid in which at least 88 people (mostly civilians) were killed.

The West Australian mining boom of the 1960s, as well as the growth of the tourism industry, also helped Broome develop and diversify. Broome is one of the fastest growing towns in Australia.

At Gantheaume Point and 30 m out to sea are dinosaur footprints dated as Early Cretaceous in age (approximately 130 million years ago). The tracks can be seen only during very low tide. Plant fossils are also preserved extensively in the Broome Sandstone at Gantheaume Point and in coastal exposures further north.

Broome entered into a sister city agreement with Taiji, Japan in 1981 as historic ties between the two towns date back to the early 1900s, when Japan became instrumental in laying the groundwork of Broome's pearling industry.

Cable Beach is named in honour of the Java-to-Australia undersea telegraph cable which reaches shore here, Cable Beach is situated 7 km from town. The beach itself is 22.5 km long with beautiful white sand, washed clean daily by tides that can reach over 9 m. The water is crystal clear turquoise, and the gentle swells hardly manage to topple over as they roll up onto the almost perfectly flat beach. Caution, however, is required when swimming from November through March as box jellyfish are present during those months. There have been cases where crocodiles have been sighted off the shore, but this is a rarity and measures are taken to prevent these situations. Four wheel drive vehicles may be driven onto the beach from the car park. This allows people to explore the beach at low tide to a much greater extent than would be possible on foot. Sunset camel rides operate daily along the beach.

Box Jellyfish

Cable Beach is home to one of Australia's most famous nudist beaches. The clothes optional area is to the north of the beach access road from the car park and continues to the mouth of Willie Creek, 17 km away.

Sorry no picture for this one! emoticon

We continue on to Beagle Bay to see what it has to offer. The community was established by Trappist Monks around 1890. The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (O.C.S.O.: Ordo Cisterciensis Strictioris Observantiae) is a Roman Catholic religious order of cloistered contemplative monastics who follow the Rule of St. Benedict. A branch of the Order of Cistercians, they have communities of both monks and nuns, commonly referred to as Trappists and Trappistines, respectively. The spirit of St. Benedict's Rule is summed up in the motto of the Benedictine Confederation: pax ("peace") and the traditional ora et labora ("pray and work").

Beagle Bay has a history of caring for stolen children. In 1884, the first ever priest arrived to serve the Catholics in the Kimberley to try and convert the Aboriginal people. Bishop Matthew Gibney founded the Beagle Bay mission, developed in the land of the Nyul Nyul people; this became a site for the Aboriginal people in 1890. The first Catholic School was established by the Trappist Fathers at Beagle Bay in 1892. In 1895, the Trappist monks of Sep Fons in France, extend their missionary work from Beagle Bay to Broome. In 1901, Pallottine Fathers from Germany took over Beagle Bay Mission with two priests and four brothers. In 1907, the St John of God Sisters began to run a mission school at Beagle Bay and in 1918 the famous church was opened. It features a pearl shell altar which is now a tourist attraction. The Beagle Bay Mission subsequently became home to Indigenous people from across the Kimberley and further afield.

After a wonderful time at Beagle Bay we go to one of my favorite places to go to. A Pearl Shop. It's not just a shop it is a whole factory from growing the pearls to setting them into jewelry. We all go on the coach tour since it's not that much more than the drive yourself one and we don't have 4 wheel drive vehicles. One of the more interesting thing that I learned is the 5 virtues of Pearls. It goes like this.

It is often said that you don’t choose the pearl, the pearl chooses you. There are five virtues to a pearl and they are size, shape, colour, surface and lustre. Whatever your preference you should always look for excellence in surface and lustre – the two most important characteristics. Size, shape and colour are a matter of personal choice and reflect individual style and personality.

I believe both of these would fit my style quite nicely. Now just to figure out the money part. Hmmm. Anyone have a few thousand they don't need?

Afterwards we visit the Malcom Douglas Wildlife Park. Malcolm Douglas was an Australian wildlife documentary film maker, and crocodile hunter. Douglas started in the 1960s as a professional crocodile hunter and farmer, but later dedicated himself to their preservation.

It is in his honor that this park was completed. He had another park but was in the process of transitioning to the park in Broome when he died suddenly in a car accident. His family after much debate amongst themselves decided to go ahead with this new park. We are luck they did. It is a wonderful park fulling of education to the public about the crocodiles. Both inland ones and salt water ones. Or Freshies and Salties as they are called.

Salt Water Croc

Cute Fresh Water Croc

Close up of a Fresh Water Croc Eye

Doesn't the close up of the eye look like a dinosaurs eye? Well that is because the Crocodile has been around since the time of the Dinosaurs. Just like the sharks. Amazing since humans have been around a lot less time than them. The eye is very cool looking though.

After the wild life park we go back to Cable Beach for our camel ride. Watch out because they spit. Then we all go back to our camp site and have a great dinner and soon are all tuckered out and ready for bed so we can get up early and look about at some more that Broome has to offer.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon Good blog again Patty
    The Church is very lovely - and probably the only one like it.
    The pearl industry was a very dangerous industry - many people were lost in the early days diving for pearls.
    1762 days ago
    emoticon I've always LOVED Pearls but until now I never realized how Dangerous Pearl Farming could be. As far as the Prices, have you checked out the Spark Credit Card? It has a Virtually Unlimited Credit Line which works well with this Virtual Trip!!
    The Church was BEAUTIFUL and Very Inspirational. I loved seeing it.
    emoticon The Camel Rides were FUN but you are Right - You have to watch the Spitting!!!
    Great Blog!!
    1762 days ago
    oh , wow you are so lucky to see such lovely things, i liked your blog very much! emoticon
    1762 days ago
    Love the info on the pearl..may not retain all of it but very welcome info!
    1762 days ago
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