To the North: Derby Days and Nights

To view the phots enlarged, click on the first one, then use the side arrows to move around. These photos were exported from Lightroom at much reduced size for ease of uploading.

We have had an interesting time in Derby. The population is over 70% indidgenous, which perhaps explains how comfortable the people are with mixed gatherings. It basically belongs to the three local tribal groups. Two supermarkets, a very good bakery, two hardware stores, plus electrical goods stores make up some of the local amenities. People do not have to travel to Broome for normal goods and services.

The first event was a dance festival at the Mowanjum Art & Culture Centre. It was a bring your own chairs event, starting at around 5.00 p.m. The three local groups put on dances from their various cultures. To me it was a very 21st Century event, perhaps I was expecting more of the sort of event from my childhood in the NT. Nevertheless, it was well done and very entertaining. Only men and boys were allowed to dance, but women and girls were on stage as well in colourful costumes. The highlight was a dance about a husband, wife and baby. A man played the role of the wife, and as he is a good dancer and comic it was very entertaining.

There were lots of children, milling around when not on stage, which suggests this is a very vibrant community. There were only a few older people on stage.

Frederick and Shereen came by bus, but we brought our van and were fortunate to find parking easily. They had saved space for our chairs and we appreciated having a good view of the stage.

That was Friday. On Saturday we met up at the markets at the CWA where there was live music, some food stalls, but not the fresh produce we had read about on notices at the caravan park. Frederick and Shereen got up to dance, it is one of their interests on the road to attend dances, and they have some special clothes for such events. At the markets they were just wearing casual clothes and still managed to look very good.

In the evening we went to a concert at the Spinifex Hotel. There were a couple of soloists and two groups, with the main act only starting at about 10.30. Stephen and I missed most of it as we had started watching our dear Ash Barty playing in the finals at Wimbeldon. Even when she looks determined she merely looks concerned, not fierce, like her rival. She didn’t play a perfect game, but still managed a win, which basically made our day, week and year!

On Sunday morning Stephen and I went for a walk along the Joonjoo Walk Trail. Despite the heat (the car said it was 36) we still enjoyed reading all of the information about the plants and trees and how the indidgenous people used them in the past. I was walking ahead of Stephen and at a certain point went left instead of right. I wasn’t really lost as we had a good 4g signal and I was able to use Google Maps to find my way back to the van.

We had a restful and hot afternoon at the caravan park. Being on power we had air conditioning for some of the time. I discovered that our system has a dehumidfy setting that makes things comfortable without running the noisy compressor. I did a last load of washing and left it out overnight. Of course, they use sprinklers early in the morning and some of the washing got very wet. I moved it to our awning clothesline and in the sun things got mostly dry before we packed up this morning.

Sunday evening at sunset we met up with our friends who had been on a trip to the horizonal falls. They said it definitely lived up to their hopes and was a great way of celebrating their 40th wedding anniverary.

The tide was almost full whilst we were there, still coming in.

We said farewell last night, but then met up again to see the full tide this morning. We had spotted a crocodile (we think) last night, and were looking for them again, but couldn’t see anything definite. The possible croc last night was way off in the distance in low light, so we weren’t really sure – but whatever it was it did seem to move a bit. This morning we didn’t see anything actually move and may have been looking at a piece of wood.

We are now on the road back to Broome and have stopped at the Willare Roadhouse for coffee and a toastie. The cafe is very nice and has good coffee. I was a bit worried about using the laptop in the hot van, so this is perfect for processing photos and writing.

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