BROOME VROOM

A Har­ley tour of West­ern Aus­tralia’s fa­mous pearling port is a hoot, finds Car­men Jen­ner

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

HEL­MET? Check. Sun­glasses? Check. Jeans? Oops. Mod­est un­der­wear? Thank­fully, yes. ‘‘ My name is Roger and I’ll be your guide to­day. Wel­come to the Mango Tango Tour,’’ drawls our driver as he ca­resses his white Har­ley-David­son trike, our mode of trans­port. We climb aboard the cur­va­ceous blonde and hit the high­way to sip wine at a mango plan­ta­tion.

This is our sec­ond trip to Broome and I can see why so many trav­ellers get as far as Cable Beach and never leave. It’s peak sea­son and nowhere feels crowded. All is serene . . . ex­cept for now.

As we speed along I re­name the tour the Mango Jit­ter­bug. I won­der if my face will ever re­turn to its nor­mal con­fig­u­ra­tion and de­cide to spend the rest of the tour smil­ing, just in case my ex­pres­sion is frozen. But af­ter pass­ing a truck full of live­stock, I learn a closed-mouth smile is es­sen­tial. It’s also a good idea not to wear a skirt un­less you want to dis­tract the driver of a 10-tonne truck as it hur­tles to­wards you. And, be­lieve me, wear­ing con­tact lenses, white cloth­ing or sticky in­sect-mag­net lip gloss is not ad­vis­able.

Pulling off the high­way, we en­ter an oa­sis of mango trees. Af­ter we’ve picked out gravel and in­sects from our teeth, we approach a hut to sip wine, port and liquor coaxed from man­goes. We spec­u­late that this was pos­si­bly the same mango plan­ta­tion we con­sid­ered buy­ing years ago. But back then I had to ad­mit that we didn’t know any­thing about man­goes. Now our host­ess con­fesses she doesn’t have a clue ei­ther and sends all the fruit to Berry Farm in Mar­garet River to be turned into pre­serves, beauty prod­ucts and bev­er­ages.

Hand me that wine bot­tle, please; com­mis­er­a­tion is in or­der. Es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the mod­est price tag of the plan­ta­tion back then. But a mango smoothie cools my mood and we climb aboard for a tour of the town.

Roger dishes out rec­om­men­da­tions on the best places to buy pearls, eat fish and chips and drink beer. Af­ter a photo shoot at the port, we head back to the Cable Beach Club Re­sort.

With shaky legs and our pulses rac­ing, we clam­ber off the Har­ley. It no longer mat­ters that I can’t get an ap­point­ment for a fa­cial at the booked-out day spa, as I’ve just re­ceived an un­ex­pected exfoliation. Laugh­ter lines have been sand­blasted into my face. I’m hooked. Broome, vroom.

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