For some time Mark has asserted that he wanted to visit the Kimberley region of Western Australia in the “wet” season. The wet season occurs between November and April and it is during this time that most of the rain falls. Basically it’s a stormy time, with cyclones a real possibility, and a time of high humidity. I was not that keen! To add to the “excitement” of the holiday, he wanted to drive – not our Landcruiser which is designed for such a trip, but the Suzuki Jimny he bought last year. Being a good wife, I duly booked us some accommodation and tried to make the trip coincide with an extra low tide so we could see the dinosaur tracks, which was on my bucket list.
As we set off Cyclone Blake was roaming around off the coast and I felt justifiably (in my opinion) nervous about driving all that way in what is, essentially, a matchbox toy! I kept a close eye on the route and was slightly alarmed to see that the sat nav was showing us a rather large detour. The map on the left is what we expected – eight and a half hours from where we were, but Google maps was telling us that we had to do this rather massive detour of almost 6,000km more!
We were prepared to bunker down in a hotel somewhere, but luckily the road opened just as we got there. although we had to navigate some fairly deep water in places.
On the way we went through some lovely country towns. Northampton is always a delight, it is a beautifully kept country town and is home to 50 sheep of the statue variety.
The Country Women’s Association sheep even sports lipstick, a string of pearls and a recipe for scones!
I was a bit taken with the sign for Game of Scones at a roadhouse.
I took a million photos through the windscreen but it is so hard to show the sheer magnitude of the landscape. I am always bewitched by the amazing land forms, the colours of the land and the sky.
This is Cable Beach in Broome. It is a rather famous beach which plays hosts to camel rides, the odd crocodile and, usually, lots of people. Not on this day!
The hotel tried to upgrade us to a room with a pool view, and was most surprised when I refused. We wanted to see the sea and watch the weather do its thing.
In this rather contrived photograph I’m wearing a zero waste bathrobe made with some gorgeous silk I bought in India. I had never made it up because the pattern matching freaked me out. The nature of this pattern meant that the pattern just did its own thing and I didn’t have to worry. The pattern is from Liz Haywood’s soon to be released book Zero Waste Sewing, which you can read about on her website. Silk is the most marvellous fabric to take travelling as it’s light and takes up very little space. It does crease a bit, but that doesn’t matter a jot as it feels so good to wear.
We sat on this balcony and watched the storms. They were always at night and the thunder and lightning were epic.
It’s been less than two years since we were in Broome and we were rather surprised at all the changes. There is a fabulous new lookout in town and we caught a rather beautiful sunset from the top. There was a local family also enjoying the view, so it’s not just for tourists.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the dinosaur tracks have been on my bucket list for a long time, so I examined the tide charts when I booked the holiday about six months ago, and hoped I had read them correctly. The tracks are located at the southern end of Cable Beach in an area known as Gantheume Point. They are normally about 30 metres out to sea and were originally formed in swamp land. There are apparently seven different species represented, including sauropods and therapods. These photographs are the three toed therapods. We also saw tracks of the sauropods, but they just look like rock pools in my photographs.
I couldn’t quite capture it, but we could actually see three footprints where the dinosaur trod. These tracks have strong cultural connections with the Indigenous people of the area, with the footprints tracing the journeys of their ancestors. I feel so privileged to have seen these.
Before we left Mark asked for a bathrobe for himself. I auditioned a number of fabrics and patterns and finished up making the bathrobe from the Ottobre Family magazine from 2017. He wanted linen, which I duly found in the stash in the form of an old top sheet. It was linen coloured linen which I thought would be nice. I made the bathrobe, Mark put it on, and looked like he was wearing some sort of medical gown. I dragged out some indigo dye that I bought in India and dyed it blue. Much better!
I gave the bathrobe to him on our wedding anniversary, so decided to do some freehand embroidery on the pocket, as inspired by my friends Blanca (https://www.instagram.com/blakandblanca/) and Judith (https://www.instagram.com/judithrosalind/). I clearly need practice, but he loved it!
I am not too enamoured with this pattern and really wish I’d made him the zero waste bathrobe too.
Cable Beach is a vast beach and it’s possible to drive along it in a northerly direction. We took the Jimny for a spin as this is a way to truly get away from it all. In the winter (dry season) this beach is full of families and people fishing, but it was fairly deserted when we were there.
I just loved the skies!
The day after we drove on the beach the tide was in, and this is how the beach looked – basically no beach!
They have massive tides in the north of Western Australia – this is a difference of nearly 7 metres.
We had many walks on the beach, admiring some of the shells and corals.
I also love the patterns the little worms make in the sand, this one looks like a cartoon character.
The turtles were hatching whilst we were there. Although we weren’t lucky enough to actually see the hatchlings, we did see the rookery where they had burrowed out of the sand prior to crawling into the sea.
Whilst we were in Broome I hand stitched myself a skirt. It’s made from the most lovely cotton knit. I used an Alabama Chanin pattern and hand sewed the seams, and used some fold over elastic for the waistband. I began wearing it whilst it was a Work in Progress – a wearable WiP – and it proved to be really useful. Please note: it’s still not hemmed!
I had taken a patch with me, which I thought I could turn into a pocket (again inspired by Judith). I duly stitched it on, but don’t like the colour contrast. I shall remove it and find something else to use it with.
The only other new make I took was some zero waste leggings that I made from Holly McQuillan’s book Zero Waste Pattern Making. These are the easiest leggings in the world to make, and they are really comfortable.
See the waistband? Yes, I managed to get it on back to front and it proved impossible to remove, so I’m learning to live with it. I shall have to make more, even if only to prove I can get them right!
I spent hours gazing at the sky. The cloud formations were sensational. Here are a few for your enjoyment:
Before I left home I was busy making some bags for the wildlife affected by the horrific bushfires here in Australia. I fielded a lot of questions about joeys and bags, so thought I’d show this photo of a mother kangaroo carrying her joey in her pouch. It is this pouch that the joey bags emulate.
the drive home was more enjoyable perhaps than the drive there, as we weren’t stressed about cyclones, and we also drove home in a more leisurely manner. This allowed me to hop out of the car and take photos of these amazing rock formations. Mark and I played spot the… We saw a man with a coat, a tribe of monkeys, a dog, and so on. This one definitely looks like a person – sans garments!!
Did I say I was sceptical about this trip? Well I take it all back, it was fabulous! Low tourist numbers, the humidity wasn’t terrible, the thunderstorms were epic, and the drive there and back was marvellous. All in all a fabulous adventure and we both crossed something off our bucket lists.