Monday, 3 June 2013

Djoodoon and the winch - Dampier Peninsula

Full moon at Djoodoon 

Djoodoon was on the southern end of Cygnet Bay and was run by a Vietnam vet who hasn’t really left there in a decade.  It was beautiful country coming into it, and Cygnet Bay is just beautiful. But no swimming here as there were mangroves and this side of the peninsula is croc habitat for sure. Although the demountable that housed the toilets was gross, we loved the campground as we had our own outdoor cold shower (saved us having to use the questionable one he had), we had our own little sink and tap, shady trees and an endless supply of wood thanks to Jeff’s generosity.

Simon finally got to use his winch that he’s been wanting to use since we left Brisbane.  We helped out another family and they then bought us drinks at the Pearl Farm (turned out we were all heading there for lunch).  The Pearl Farm has a beautiful little café, sells yummy food at reasonable prices and it was a thoroughly yummy treat. 

The next day we had to use the winch again to get US out of a big puddle that just ate us. We’d slipped into some ruts left by some other poor people, and the winch had to work VERY hard to get us out as the wheels were turning the sand to quick sand as they spun. VERY stressful. Now Simon has no wish to use his winch again!  Thankfully.

At One Arm Point, right on the end of the peninsula we saw the most amazing tides we’ve ever seen come rushing around the point straight into rocks and small islands.  We saw the biggest tide of the fortnight coming in. The only time we’ve seen water like this was when the Brisbane River was in flood.  But this happens twice a day here!  It was a real hoot.

We also went to the Trochus Shell Hatchery and Barramundi Aquaculture enterprise they’ve got going here for a local industry.  It was heaps better than I was expecting.  They have giant clams that are just beautiful, lots of anemones, sea sponges and one of the best things we saw was a blue ringed octopus. How amazing are those little creatures?  As it swam up to the surface, annoyed at Simon having his hand near the surface, his rings were getting brighter and brighter and more obvious. What a stunner.

And who says Australia isn’t a bilingual country?  This community has Bardi AND Jawi people living here so the toilets used all three languages to let you know which was the end you wanted.

The Beagle Bay church is renowned for its mother of pearl and sea shell decorations around the alters, the architraves and everywhere. It was pretty special to see a church decorated out of truly local treasures.
It was a real treat to be welcomed to these communities, meet the people and see how cohesive and together these places are.  We actually experienced a bit of culture shock when we returned to Broome, especially seeing the Indigenous people there sitting around in parks, beside the creeks and along the streets. 
We planned to stay for two weeks up on the peninsula and cut our time short  only because the tides were perfect to see the 120 million year old dinosaur footprints back in Broome.  I think we’ll be heading back up that way again!  Next time.

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