I have been to Kooljaman (Cape Leveque) twice in the last three years. And, will return to this remote, incredibly beautiful part of Western Australia, about 220 kms north of Broome. It leads to beautiful Cygnet Bay and the pearl farm I wrote about earlier. Along the way are small Aboriginal communities of Lombadina, Beagle Bay, Middle Lagoon, and One Arm Point. I will post photographs of these places later.
The road out of Broome is sealed and then there is approximately 90 kms of unsealed road. We went in the wet season after the area received heavy rains a couple of weeks before our trip. In the wet season the road often closes for obvious reasons. With only seaplane or light aircraft or boat to take people to Broome, the area becomes inaccessible by road. Not wanting to get cut off, my travelling companion and I kept a wary eye on the latest weather reports.
In December the heat was intense but it dried up the rain soaked roads for the best part of the journey. The road was powder sand in some areas, in others, it was like chocolate mousse. My travelling companion’s driving skills in our hired 4WD were tested, but we made it out the other end and back again without drama. At times, a solitary car in the opposite direction made its presence known by a cloud of dust. The road shared by both cars climbing the ridged edges to find firmer ground was a carnival ride. Our bones rattling in heavily corrugated earth kept us silent for short bursts while we noted tombstones of cars at eye level. I would never travel this road unless I had utmost confidence in my companion’s driving skills.
Travelling as a colleague, as I do with a range of people to these far and remote areas, I follow an interesting routine. If nominated to go here, I tell management who I want to travel with. I want someone who is resourceful, who is dependable, who thinks on their feet and is trustworthy. Someone who is resilient. I also enjoy travelling with someone who enjoys a good glass of wine and meal but equally is comfortable with water and a muesli bar if there is nothing edible available. Someone who is not twee and will see the journey as an adventure.
This leads me to reflect …
If life is a journey, who do we choose as our travelling companion? Do we choose someone we can trust? Someone we can feel emotional, physically, intellectually and psychologically safe with? Someone who is good company and a good conversationalist? Someone who is able to communicate in silence as comfortably as with language? Strikingly, money, physical appearance, age nor status are part of the selection criteria. At the core of this concept is friendship and companionship. I regret not knowing this earlier in life.
Until next time
a dawn bird
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