We left Broome and drove north up the Dampier Peninsula to Kooljaman at Cape Leveque. Kooljaman is an Aboriginal owned wilderness camp and Cape Leveque is near the tip of the peninsula where the lighthouse is.
The drive was a bit over 200 km, half was sealed and half was unsealed – fairly corrugated and dusty but not too bad. People had told us it was pretty bad. Apparantly the road ranges from ordinary to appalling. It was fairly corrugated but apart from that we didn’t think it was too bad. On the way we stopped at Beagle Bay the site of a mission. Originally it was the French Trappist Monks, they only lasted about 10 years. The Pallottine Missionaries from Germany took over in 1900 and had a bit more staying power – 90 years. There is a lovely little Sacred Heart Church there, it was modeled on a German country parish church that one of the monks had a photograph of. It took 2 years to build and the inside is decorated with mother-of-pearl. The mission lease was transferred to the Aboriginal inhabitants in 1972.
We arrived at Kooljaman, set up camp and then headed off to the beach. White sand, red cliffs, warm blue water and cool rocks for the boys to play around. Heaven!
We had booked in for dinner because we had heard the food was great here. So up to the deck for sunset drinks – BYO, and then dinner. It was sensational! The chef is from Ireland and has worked in Michelin star restaurants before. He told us he and his wife have dropped out of the rat race and this is their third season at Kooljaman. Hard life with a maximum of 40 dinners and about 80 lunches each day. But then again hard life going to the beach and then eating one of the dinners. I had barramundi – sensational, Tom a seafood chowder and Sam (the little gourmet) had the kangaroo which was fabulous. The other two boys a lot less adventurous went for spaghetti bolognese and fish and chips. Sam was hysterical in his assessment of the fish and chips. “they were amazing not only were they crunchy on the outside but also so deliciously tasty on the inside.” maybe a food critic is his future career. I think that sorts all of the careers out now.
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