Scammed by a Bikini Clad Maiden?


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Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Broome
August 25th 2021
Published: March 21st 2022
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We head down to Cable Beach for a walk, and see it for the first time with the tide in. Rocks that were several hundred metres back from the water the last time we were here are now being pounded by the surf. We'd wondered why someone had bothered to install a path up over the cliff behind the rocks; now we know. We wade through the surf around the rocks. In stark contrast to when the tide's out there aren’t so many cars here now, although we wonder how the couple that are managed to get themselves through the surf. There’s only one road down to the beach and it’s back behind us past the rocks, so they’ve either been here for several hours or they’re actually really well-disguised submarines. Fishing from the beach seems to be popular, and successful too if the couple of large specimens on display are anything to go by.

We keep going. Uh oh. I spot a young gent walking confidently towards us, and if I’m not very mistaken he seems to have forgotten to get dressed this morning. We knew that there was a “clothing optional” section of beach along here somewhere; we just hadn’t expected to come across it quite so soon. We can see quite a few other people further on along the beach, but thankfully we're still a bit too far away to be able to tell whether they’ve also decided to leave their clothes at home today. Issy suggests that now might be a good time to turn back before we get accused of being perverts.

We head back up over the cliff past the rocks onto the popular bit of the beach where most people, at least, seem to be wearing clothes. When we were here at low tide the beach umbrellas were all spaced out about fifty metres apart. Now they’re all crammed together like sardines in the narrow strip of sand between the water and the base of the dunes. The whole scene looked distinctly antisocial at low tide, but now it all feels just a bit overly cosy.

I’ve booked a sunset camel ride. Issy‘s not sure she can get her dodgy hips astride a camel's hump so respectfully declines to join me. I'm assigned to “Boaz” who brings up the rear of the thirteen camel train. It’s heartwarming to see a young man in a wheel chair being lifted onto one of the camels by his partner and a couple of his friends. We set off along the sand. I get chatting to one of the guides, a young Frenchman named Vincent. He says that the camels are all very tame and generally quite friendly. They all look impossibly cute and seem to be impeccably well behaved. He says that they tend to be a bit wild when they’re first brought in from the desert, but then quickly settle down once they get into a routine of eating and sleeping, and presumably carrying tourists along the beach. He says that while they generally all get along well with each other there's still a definite pecking order. They apparently have long memories. The alpha male is called Jordan, and it seems he has a particularly lengthy recall. If one the others gets a bit under his skin on one of the rides we're told his usual trick is to wait until the middle of the night and then go and sit on whoever had been bugging him. Yep, I suspect that’d probably stop whoever it was from doing it again. I ask Vincent what they do with the camels in the wet season. It seems that they run the tours all year round other than for a short break in February.

You’re not allowed to do the camel ride if you weigh more than 90 kgs. I can’t see any scales in evidence, and a couple of members of our party look like they might be pushing the boundaries a bit. The camels are all tethered together, so if one of them goes down I reckon there’s a fair chance it’ll bring the rest of them down with it. I don't want to think too much about the carnage that might result from that particular eventuality.

Vincent asks for my camera so he can take some pictures for me. He looks at it gleefully. He says that he’s a wildlife photographer and wants to get a camera just like mine. He asks me if I could please talk to one of the other guides, who just happens to be his girlfriend, and remind her that it’s his birthday soon, and a new camera just like mine would be an appropriate gift. He seems to be moving a long way away from the camel train to take the pictures. I hope he’s not thinking of doing a runner.

The tide's out now and the scene is stunning. The ride is very gentle and extremely pleasant capped off by yet another spectacular sunset just as we get back to the finish line. My final treat is to feed Boaz half a dozen well earned carrots.

I walk back along the beach to meet Issy. I spoke briefly to a young bikini clad German maiden on the camel in front of me and now she’s chasing me along the sand to ask if I can give her a lift. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to explain this to my beloved. The maiden introduces herself as Laura. She says that her car is getting repaired, and the mechanic is only a three minute drive away. I think they must count time a bit differently in Germany. She guides us several kilometres away from the beach, past the airport towards town and then down a dark alley into an industrial estate, before instructing us to stop outside a large grey gate. It’s pitch dark and there are no street lights. I'm now sure that we’ve been scammed, and wonder how we managed to get sucked in so easily. We wait for the inevitable gang of heavily armed bikies to emerge from behind the gate, pull us savagely out of the car and hijack it off into the night. Hopefully they’ll show the driver and passenger at least some degree of mercy. But no, Laura hops out, thanks us for our troubles, and disappears through the gate and off into the night. That was interesting.....


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21st March 2022
Camel riding, Cable Beach

Camel Riding
I always love these photos. Do they take them for you? Love it.
23rd March 2022
Camel riding, Cable Beach

Camel riding
Fortunately one of the guides was a keen photographer and took a bit of a shine to my camera. I was keeping a close eye on him just in case he did a runner with it (only joking), but all good and he took some great pictures, this one in particular.

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