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“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.
Published in The Australian 29 September 2007