Monday, August 13, 2012

Cape Leveque (Kooljaman Eco Resort), One Arm Point and Beagle Bay.

We are back from a very eventful weekend on the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome. We left at Thursday lunchtime, planning to arrive at Kooljaman mid to late afternoon. The Cape Leveque road is notorious for being incredibly corrugated, sandy, poorly maintained and costly for tourists. We tossed up whether or not to attempt towing the (on-road) trailer in, but decided to as we were not able to fit much camping gear in our car with the kids and the camping fridge in there. We lightened the load of the trailer and drove carefully. As it happened the road was actually a lot better than we had imagined it would be - heavily corrugated in parts but the Terracan handled it very well. Unfortunately, the trailer did not. Ten kilometres from the end of the unsealed road (and with no phone reception and about twenty kilometres from the nearest community), the suspension on the trailer snapped.

Towing would cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars from where we were. Leaving our trailer on the side of the road to drive back to town would undoubtedly result in the contents of it being stripped before it being torched (there were a few burnt out shells of cars along the way testament to this). The only option for us was to 'bush mechanic' it. Nath cut down a young tree and used the trunk as a new 'spring' and straightened the axle up by levering it with a rope and tying it off to the drawbar. It was an impressive display of bush mechanics that saw us good for another 300 kilometres (into Kooljaman and back to Broome a few days later) and saw him become the talk of the campground.

Some highlights from the weekend:

Bush Mechanics
Pulled up on the dirt road with the sapling ready to be stripped.
The tyre was hitting the wheel arch - we wouldn't have gotten far!
The new 'spring'.
The axle tied off to the drawbar.

The girls drying the dishes for Nath.

Our messy camp.

Our 'all in' tent - a taste of co-sleeping!!
Stunning Beaches

Brannen has had a healthy diet of sand and saltwater.

Crystal clear, turquoise waters.

White sands and private beaches.
One Arm Point

Local men polishing up Trochus shells for sale.
The Aquaculture hatchery.... this little dude is 15 days old. Cute!
Eden getting up close and personal with a turtle.
 Beagle Bay

Beagle Bay Sacred Heart Church - built early 1900s for the Beagle Bay Catholic Mission.
Fantastic pearl shell-decorated altar.
Stark and imposing on this red landscape.

Picnic in the church grounds.

A baani (goanna) wandered through our camp.

A shell-less crab wandering the beach.
A friendly green tree frog.
Wildlife that 'once was' - Miya found a clam shell.

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