13 & 14 August
The population of Broome is somewhere around 16,000 people. Currently there are around 87,000 people up here, and during the recent school holidays that number was around 95,000. As you can imagine the internet isn’t equipped to cope with such an expansion. Doing anything at all on the internet hasn’t been easy, writing a blog post very difficult, and uploading photos, virtually impossible. Never mind, the Broome Racing cup is on today. The week following the cup usually sees a mass exodus. I think there’ll likely be a few more people here in the coming weeks than usual, but hopefully enough people will leave to allow reasonable internet access again.
The shire is trialling the use of temporary self contained accommodation in one of the beach car parks. Self contained is supposed to include an on board toilet and shower, and contained waste (an onboard grey water tank for used water).
I doubt the above vehicle is compliant with the rules, and there are many more just like this in the car park overnight. I’m told the shire is turning a blind eye, as with accommodation fully utilised in the town there is absolutely no accommodation available for transient workers. The workers have to stay somewhere, and the town needs all the transient workers it can get. There aren’t enough in town. Restaurants are booked up a week or more in advance, and a 40 minute wait for coffee isn’t unusual. Some small operators are apparently offering up some form of accommodation with a job, and many townsfolk are letting out a room in their homes.
Since Covid has started this is a story often told throughout Western Australia. I don’t know if it’s the same on the East Coast. With no-one able to go on overseas holidays or cruises, everyone is holidaying on home soil. Leases in permanent rental houses are often not being renewed because the landlords can quadruple their rents when leasing their houses as short term holiday accommodation. The short term holiday accommodation is expensive, too expensive for transient workers, and is booked months in advance.
For us on a personal basis, our holiday life is much the same though as usual. We don’t often eat out, nor do we often go out for coffee. Our holiday pleasures are predominantly simple. We’re happy spending time either walking on the beach, or cooling off in the ocean, and then sitting in our beach chairs with a book under the shade of our beach umbrella. Next week when some of the tourists have gone home, we’ll venture further afield to see what changes the town has undergone in the year since we were last here, and we’ll break up our home cooking with a restaurant or two. In the meantime we’re happy to sit back and leave any restaurant tables for those who rely on them more than we have too.
One thing we’ll often treat ourselves to is an ice cream from the beach kiosk, but we learnt last year that’s a treat we can’t rely on like we’d been used to in pre-Covid days. Last year we waited over 1/2 an hour to buy an ice cream. We’ve taken care of that this year by including a box of Ice cream splices with our shopping, Tills eagerly, and patiently watches us when we remove one from our caravan fridge. I’m sure most dogs would gulp it down in a few seconds flat, but not Mr Tilly. He enjoys and savours every morsel of the little bit we save for him, licking around the stick as we turn it for him.
He’s like that with all his food. We can put his favourite food, roast chicken, in a bowl for him. He’ll go and sniff it, then walk away and think about for a minute or two. Then he returns to the bowl and delicately eats it all up.
And that’s about all I dare write for today, and I think I’ve only been able to write this because the hoards are busying themselves at the races and giving the internet a bit of a break. The races will be over soon, so I’d better get this published while I’m able too. I’ll show you a bit around Broome in the next week or so hopefully, so watch this space…..