Thursday, September 11, 2014

Broom and Fitzroy Crossing

As the day grew later and after we had stocked up with provisions again, we decided that it would be wiser to stay in Broome for the night. We thought a visit to the local micro brewery would be fun and a meal out.

The micro brewery is called Matsos. They make many really good beers there including mango, lychee and ginger beers. We voted their Pale Ale the best!

Dinner was had at the Yu Family Restaurant, recommended to us by the caravan park owners. This family business has been run by the same family for the past five generations! The first Mr Yu came out to Australia to make his fortune in the pearling industry and realised he could do better if he supplied the growing population with fresh fruit, vegetables and groceries, so built firstly a store and then the restaurant. Today's restaurant sits on the same site!

The meal proved as good as the recommendation. We had Blue swimmer Crab in garlic, ginger and chilli sauce - YUM!!

From Broome, we travelled on to Fitzroy Crossing and again stayed in a caravan park. We had intended to stay at the RAAF Boab Quarry, which in the past had been so pleasant. On arrival this time, we found there be almost no water, just a smelly nasty puddle with cow shit and flies everywhere! The cattle have invaded this beautiful place and now it was horrible!

On the road to Tunnel Creek N.P.

When we went to use the camp kitchen of the caravan park we met a family from Healesville. The boys went to Healesville High and Healesville Primary school respectively. Two young girls, Summa (3) and Eva (6 months) completed the family.

The two boys were havng to write a journal every day for school and sounded very bored with this, so I showed them how to create a blog, so that their friends and teachers back at school could read about thier travels and make comments if need be. We wonder if they took up the challenge?

We had read that Fitzroy Crossing had some extraordinary artists and artisans, so waited until mid morning to visit the respective galleries.

First stop was to a hot glass gallery known as Swordfish. Beautiful glass objects are blown here, including his signature boabs pressed into slump bowls, plates and wall plaques.

A new Social Enterprise centre has been set up at the Women's Resource Centre. Here Aboriginal artists, all women, are designing and creating images to be printed onto cloth to create textile products such as cushions, bags and aprons. Each image has a story associated with the design. We got the meet the artists, hear the stories and discuss their future plans.

The last gallery stop was the Community Gallery. Here we met Eva N(?), who was painting in the outdoors studio area. Bright eyed, highly intelligent, slim and fiercely self assured, Eva, told us that she had had solo exhbitions all over the world! Her work is extraordinary! She was painting one of the Local Aboriginal seasons, when the Mulla Mulla are in flower, there's water in the billabongs and lots of wind. The painting was quite abstract, yet you could see the billabong with its milky blue water and the colour of the Mulla Mulla. More extraordinary was the feeling of the wind, which you could actually see! All this done from a bird's eye perspective! As the painting was not yet complete, we asked to be shown some of her other works. Eva thought there were two hanging in the gallery - No - they had been sold the day before! She said there were some etchings in a cabinet, again, Wrong! Also sold! Eva told us she was now working on a solo exhbition to be held in Darwin and yet another one to be held in Stockholm!

As were were looking through the cabinet of etchings, another Aboriginal woman approached us, to thank us for making the time to visit the gallery. It turned out that she is the CEO for Community Health at Fitzroy Crossing. Another highly articulate women determined to do her best for own community. Her solutions are based on a holstic approach to health and well being. Certainly the proof of this good management was evident in the community centres and galleries that we visited, in the cleanliness of the town, the pride people had in themselves and the evidence of children attending school and taking part in sport. We had had a thoroughly delightful time in the town.

Fitzroy Crossing.

We had read that there was a really lovely caravan park in Old Halls Creek at one of the old homesteads and opted to head there for our next night's camp. What a surprise on arrival, to find it abandoned, and after 15klms of pretty ordinary drt road! This meant turning around and heading back to Halls Creek. We had tried to avoid staying in the caravan park there, but knew it was too far to start on the Tanami Road and find a decent camp before dark.

At Halls Creek Caravan Park, we met a German travelling wholesale rep, Peter. This, his own business, he conducts on line and right around Australia. He travels for four months of the year, to little out of the way places to meet his customers and sell his gear; mostly jewelery, clothing and incence. His brand is called Elenora and is mostly cheap imports from India and Bali. It turned out that Hippy Sticks in Bodalla is one of his customers!



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