Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Kicking back(packers) in Broome
So here I am in Broome for a few days of rest and relaxation before heading back to Melbourne. Beaches, coconut palms, pure white sand - perfect.
My first impressions are that it's flat - very, very flat. Broome sits right on the edge of the coast; it's basically a sandy outreach between the sea and the salt pans. The dirt is incredibly red, and the water of the Indian Ocean is an astonishing turquoise, kind of aquamarine colour - I've never seen anything like it. It's truly the stuff that postcards are made of.
Broome is also positively infested with backpackers - in the very short time I've been here I've heard more European accents than I can count. There are Aboriginal faces too, but locals of all kinds are greatly outnumbered by the tourists. There are tourists in Kununurra as well, but while I was there they were mainly of the grey nomad variety - older Australians, and fewer overseas visitors. Here in Broome, everyone is 21 years old, long-limbed and tanned, and European. It feels a bit like I'm in Ibiza. Broome ordinarily has a population of around 16,000 static citizens, but in the tourist season - which started yesterday - it swells to around 48,000. I wonder how the locals feel about that? Tourism can be both a blessing and a curse.