I didn’t realise how much I appreciated curious rock formations until I came to Australia. On the way up the west coast we stopped off at the Pinnacles, columns of golden limestone clustered together in the desert; in Broome we hopped over stacked discs of red rock at Gantheaume Point.
We’d driven out there hoping to see the fossilised dinosaur footprints in the bay but since the tide was high they weren’t visible. I really liked the idea of being somewhere where ancient history hadn’t just shaped the landscape but physically stamped it. Even the characteristic red colour of the earth had its origins in prehistoric times when heavy rain soaked through to the bedrock and dissolved the iron. The water percolated back up to the surface resulting in iron rich red soil.
By the time the next low tide came around we had somewhere else to be. We joined the gathering crowd at Town Beach to watch the Staircase to the Moon, a natural phenomenon where moonlight reflected off the sand flats looks like rungs of a ladder leading up to the moon. There must be places all over the world where you can see this effect but in Broome it’s a big deal. After watching the moon rise we wandered round a nearby market where there was a lot of Staircase-to-the-Moon- inspired jewellery for sale, pendants made from silver bars topped with pearls, for example.
The following day, Dave and I said our goodbyes. The original plan had been to go all the way up to Darwin and then back to Perth via an interior road but since I had run out of money and Dave had lost faith in the campervan after the Coral Bay incident, we decided to call it quits after Broome. I flew back to Perth to look for work and Dave arrived back in the campervan a few days later.