Australia – B&B – 10th Dec 2018

What a day! It started at 6.45 am and ended at 11pm. Running a B&B is not all fun; a lot is work. We had three rooms occupied by a Singaporean family – husband, wife,father, and mother, plus two energetic boys about 5. They arrived at 11pm as the plane was delayed. I met them at the door and went to bed. I allow over an hour to prepare for breakfast; the table is set the night before, but the bread, croissants, fruit, yogurt, milk, orange juice, fresh fruit, butter needto be laid out, the kettle boiled, and coffee percolated. And we try to eat before opening the door  at 8, so our fruit, yogurt, cereal, eggs & tea to be prepared too.

Then we often wait for the guests to arrive – today was no different. The husband came in first at 8:45, and the others came and left for the next 90 minutes. The boys were everywhere, the husband played the piano for 10 mins (asking afterward!), but they were, as usual, a pleasant family. Hilary usually provides scrambled orfried eggs, but with a large Asian family, boiled eggs are often easier, kept warm in a basket and towel. The croissants I warm in the small oven when required.

Then we rushed upstairs to turn the three rooms before I left at 11.15 for my Monday meeting in town. I managed to clean all three bathrooms (always my job), and we made the beds together, but I could only vacuum one room required tonight. The bus into town and back plus a one hour meeting, sees me back at 2pm for lunch, followed by completing the cleaning, and then washing the many dishes.

Then it’s dinnertime. Guests often arrive between 5 and 7, but not tonight. We leave a key outsidefor the regular (mining) guys, however we wanted to check his next night as it falls on Christmas, hence the 11pm wait-up.

  • So there it is. Why do we do this? Because it has several benefits:
  • A steady income to augment the pension;
  • An interest in retirement (other than a hobby);
  • Sharing travel (and B&B) stories with the guests;
  • Physical and mental exercise (cleaning upstairs, keeping accounts)
  • A reason to keep the property in good shape (things cant be left for another day); and
  • On occasion sharing our faith – its always a delight to meet Christian guests.

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Australia – B&B – 3rd Nov 2018

We had two local young women here, celebrating school end for one. The most awkward breakfast I have experienced, as they were engrossed in each other. Guests usually engage us by asking for information on places they intend to visit, and about our B&B experience. I tried to encourage this but it seemed unwanted, which was confirmed later by the poor review. Such a shame.

AUSTRALIA – The Kimberleys – Day 2 – 24th May 2017

The camels are sometimes on the beach at 8am, but not today, so no early morning light against the sea. We took the bus into the old Chinatown, a series of iron-clad shops along the streets and lanes especially Johnny Cho lane which also has historical placards. The early pearl divers were badly treated, being Chinese and later the local aboriginals. Around the corner is Shady Lane, where a cute cafe hides, a pleasant place for a meal or juice. Across from the lane is the famous open-air Sun Pictures cinema; the entrance shelters several dusty large old projectors.

Needing to stock the camper van, we chose Woolworths over the nearby Coles as the bus stopped at the door, just enough for 2 days to get to Kununurra.

We walked to Zanders overlooking the beach as I anticipated the camels would walk past. When they didn’t appear I walked further north to the rocks and saw them in the distance, so they don’t walk down the main beach. I will have to plan to be there when we return in 10 days.

But we watched the sunset over a good dinner at Zanders, meeting the camels on their return later on the way back. 

China Town

Movie Theatre

Movie Theatre – Famous actors, Old projectors

Cable Beach Camel area

Lovers @ Sunset

Camel Train homeward bound

Cable Beach Sunset

AUSTRALIA – The Kimberleys – Day 1 – 23rd May 2017

Broome, on a peninsula only a few metres above sea level, is already warm on landing at 9.30am. The cyclone-proof corrugation clad buildings, the tall palms, bougainvillea, and boabs say you have arrived in the tropical north. These boabs are smaller versions of the African baobabs but just as strange.

Paul, the manager of Beaches of Broome (an upmarket YHA) drove us to here; good to know someone – we met on the pool maintenance training in Perth last year. We have a small sparsely furnished but adequate en-suite. A nice surprise; his wife told me to cancel our two future bookings via the web, and rebook for a better rate. It includes a continental breakfast; snacks available at night.

I set off in the midday sun to explore the expansive white sand, blue water fringed, Cable Beach. Bathers and sun-worshipers were scattered sparsely between the flags monitored by Surf Rescue. A rocky area 200m to the north marks the boundary for vehicles that can drive way north to Cape Leveque.  Up on the overlooking dunes sits the famous and expensive Cable Beach Resort, a good place for a meal overlooking the beach at sunset, but Zanders is cheaper and has similar views. I planned to go there for dinner but Paul said it was not as good as Divers Tavern to the south – wrong! Pretty ordinary. Next door is a small cafe/shop where I stocked up on a few items after my walk. A long walk as I took a short cut resulting in an unusual afternoon nap.

Cable Beach

Life Savers on Cable Beach

Sand Patterns

Streetscape @ Beaches of Broome