Sunday, July 20, 2008

Attack of the grey nomads!!

It has happened.

Broome is in the midst of a plague...a plague of tourists.

The Peak season is upon us, and it's not pretty.

The caravan parks are in full overflow mode, with campers now taking over the oval and car park of the Youth Sports Centre (pictured), the Rifle Club and the Adventist Church's grounds, and probably still paying a premium.

The tech who comes up from Melbourne to work on the new building had to sleep in the office when he was here a few weeks ago because he couldn't get accommodation!

And the end of the WA school holidays isn't going to ease the pressure. The bulk of the people are the 'grey nomads', the baby-boomers (50+ year olds) who have taken to the roads in their new 4WDs and over-sized camper vans.

The roads are chaotic, particularly at round-abouts (we have a lot of these) because other states (Vic at least, but I assume others too) have different rules to WA with regard to indicating. What makes it worse is that West Australians don't seem to understand and/or follow these rules anyway, so round-abouts are always dangerous.

I would really like to know who's bright idea it was to resurface the main roundabout into/out of town/to the shops during the day, during one of the busiest weeks of the year. They should be shot. Poor workers had to stand around in the heat and dust for two days with their stop/slow signs directing traffic often the wrong way around the roundabout! As if motorists are not confused enough!!

Another thing that confuses motorists is that they don't need to give way to pedestrians in Chinatown. As a driver (well, a cyclist here, but I'm a driver elsewhere) and a pedestrian I think this is a good method. But you (as a pedestrian) still have cars trying to give way to you while you are giving way to them and holding everyone up.

Our neighbour owns a cleaning company and she says that they clean the supermarkets in the early morning, but at the moment, they are so filthy that they either need more staff or more time to get the job done. The supermarkets are always packed and advertising for staff. This weekend Coles have quadrupled their bread racks and stocked up on Coles-brand packaged bread to supplement their supply of other brands, and their fresh baked bread.

Last night was Staircase to the Moon again. And again I didn't bother going to the main viewing points to watch it. There was no way I'd see a thing! So I went to my 'secret' spot where the view isn't great, but it's quiet and free of camera flashed. But to my horror, it had been discovered by tourists (with cameras of course). Two foolish groups sat in front of their 4WDs which they parked at the top of the reserve which slopes down to the mangroves thus wasting the prime positions. Well at least the vehicles themselves got to watch a good show!

What really makes me laugh is when the moon starts to appear on the horizon (the best bit in my opinion), large and orange, glowing like the sun, you hear people hissing "shhh - it's starting" like it's a movie or concert you have to be silent for.


Jayne said...

Gawd, sounds hideous!

Sueblimely said...

And here I was with romantic notions of being a grey nomad, intrepidly going where no other aging traveler had been before. I will have to have a rethink of ways to spend a misbegotten old age :-)