Becky Beetle Bailed in Broome

28th to 29th September 2017

Broome 13kms

A day to relax, blog, wash stuff and ride around Broome taking photos. It was a really mild day, clear and typical of Broome. Lunch at Matso’s, is a standard for us when in Broome. It’s a Micro-brewery, with good beers and a delicious alcoholic ginger beer. The food is okay, over priced, but it is just a relaxing and nice thing to do. After lunch, we just rode, two up, around town taking photos of all the iconic scenes from our time here, in the 90’s, and reminiscing about the good old days.

We had a taste of the Chilli beer, phew, it was spicy. Couldn’t do a whole bottle. They mix it with the Ginger Beer, it’s called Angry Ranga, or with their mango beer, that’s called a Chango. I reckon they’d be worth trying.
Sun Pictures, we spent many nights here, in Australia’s oldest outdoor cinema. You used to be able to take in some beers and a pizza, and an airplane would always fly right over the top.
The Mangrove, was a flash resort, and one of the best places to watch the stairway to the moon. Looks nice, certainly has been refurbished, as you’d hope by now.

The Roey, is the most iconic place in Broome for the young and energetic. Wet T-shirt comps, beer shot gunning, all the things you’re no longer allowed to promote. Fun times!

Johny Chi Lane! Everyone knew it, and was a good place to meet up. The Broome Prison opposite the famous courthouse. Prime realestate.

The Main Street. It is looking good, and even all the development has been done in the old style. The water is the most amazing colour.

Broome to Sandfire Roadhouse 360kms

Lazy morning ’cause only 140 kms to go. Thought we’d check out Barn Hill. Bike packing was a breeze, but Becky Beetle is missing. Holy shit, where is she? Racking the old brain to try and think if she should be on the bike or in the room. Both of us conclude she should be on the bike. Nup, gone. Hhhmmm, strange, but maybe she fell off between Cable Beach and here, although I would have noticed, I have every other time! She’s not in the room, not on the bike, she’s gone. Wow, this is actually sad.

We found her in Port Lincoln, and she has hung out with us across and around Oz, since 2015. Kids loved her.

Trying to be brave, she is just a stuffed toy we found in the gutter, we loaded up, and did a last ride around, GoPro on, to collect the sights. Then we left town. We both rode the 34kms to Roebuck Plains Roadhouse in silence. I think we are in shock. No Becky, feels weird. We filled up, it’s cheapish, and turned towards Port Headland, across the plain. Our mood was a bit down, but we’re trying to shake it off. It’s tough.

One last ride out to Cable Beach, and through town. No sign of Becky.

She  got into so much trouble, and loved a good game of hide and seek. 

A short stop to refill the water bags, and we’ve both been thinking about how we could have lost Becky, and why do we feel so shitty? Carry on, 40 more kilometres and we turn in towards Barn Hill. This is a working station, that has diversified into tourism. All the travellers we have ever spoken with, who have been there (and most have), say it is magic. “Went for a day, stayed a week.” Kind of stuff. We had to get through a gate, and then head off along a 9km dirt road. It looked okay, and all reports on their website said the road was suitable for 2WD, so should be okay for us. Only it had a rather deep layer of soft sugary pindan (red bull dust). After about 1.5kms, it was getting worse, and Will had a couple of tank slapping, heart stopping, moments, while I was paddling along at 10kms/hr. This is no good. I can’t do this for an hour. Arrive alive, know your limits and capabilities, and all that, so we very carefully, after another 500 meters or so, turned around and went back through the gate. It was 34C and we were sweating like pigs after that. So we parked up under the shade, had a rest and regrouped. So what’s plan B?

Nope, we’re not good enough yet, we’ll have to keep practicing. Next time Barn Hill.

I guess it’s Eighty Mile Beach. Another 200 or so kays. That’s okay, we can do that. Bit of a bummer, but neither of us felt we could get through unscathed, so best to come back with the trusty Landcruiser. Our mood dropped a little more once the adrenaline wore off, but we chucked on some tunes to help things. Another half hour, and we both felt hungry and a bit tired, so pulled into the next rest stop. A good idea. We pulled out the bread, which was in with a couple of rolls, and a bunch of tiny little ants. Ugh, fucking hell, really? How the hell did those little bastards get in there? Nothing to do, but brush em off and whack some cheese and ham in the buns, and eat em. Just hope we don’t get “antigestion”, hey?

The native hibiscus are in flower, and that was nice. Unlike listening to Enya, it’s not ideal for lifting the riding mood. The iPad was on shuffle, and I haven’t figured out how to skip songs with the Sena headset. Bummer!

It was also a pretty windy day, a head wind, which made the riding a bit less fun. Between lunch and Sandfire Roadhouse, we were both thinking about the importance of our little mascot. Lots of people might (and do) say we are silly, the things we do with Becky are silly. They’re right, we are silly, Becky Beetle is silly. But she is a small toy that helped to remind us that it’s the little things that count, remember to smile, laughing is good for your mental health, and life can be just too serious sometimes. Being silly helps us to get through. Sometimes this travelling caper can be lonely, and difficult, and dark. Our mascot Becky was always smiling, and she was a bright colour, which made us happy, she got people talking to us, and basically was a morale booster. We do have to remember that some poor little kid lost her way back in 2015 in Port Lincoln, and probably felt as sad as we do. We just hope she finds another good home, with people who like to be silly.

Never underestimate the value of a travel mascot, keep smiling and have fun!

We reached Sandfire, and to be honest, I’d bloody well had enough. Another 55kms to Eighty Mile Beach. Nup, I’m done. We got fuel, and I laid down on a bench and refused to move, unless it was to the bar. Will was in no mood to encourage me, or carry on either, so I got a couple of beers from the bar, and he sorted a room. What ever, I don’t care. After a couple of beers and a good chat to Ian, who is a truck driver from Port Hedland, we went off to check out our room, feeling a bit better. Not for long! The rooms were dongers, (that’s no probs) we opened the door and it’s a big fat NO, two single beds and the smell of “old”. Right! Will heads back to fix this, and returns with another room key. He opened this one, two single beds, and a disgusting smell. What the hell? Hang on, it’s got another room, with a double bed that was so saggy and smelly, I considered the single beds. Nup, I’d rather use the tent then pay $80 for this. Off I went to explain to the poor lady, that the rooms smelt like rotting zombies, and could we please have a refund, we’ll sleep in the tent, on the dirt. She didn’t seem phased, like this was common. So maybe you should offer the new rooms and burn those other smelly death holes to the ground?

Sandfire Roadhouse, I cannot recommend it. They really need to improve things, and travellers need to let them know. It should be a gold mine, and they could do so much more. The peacocks were stunning though.

This day has not really gone well. We have food to cook, but we’re out of morale and energy, so go to the “restaurant ” for dinner. Rissoles are the special, sounds good, we both order it. $40, and when they come out it all looks okay. Then Will has a couple of bites, and discovers his are raw in the middle. Oh for fuck sake! I then check mine, and the same thing. How difficult is it to cook a bloody mince patty all the way through? Ggrrrrrrr! Exhausted and frustrated with having to complain again, we just left the raw bits, and ate the rest. All they said, when they saw it, was ” oh bum!” No, sorry, that is bad, can we get you anything else, just bum! Enough, I’ve had enough of today, I’m going to bed.

Farewell Becky Beetle, thanks for the laughs. 

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