It was 4.40am when my alarm went off. I had no idea when dawn actually broke. I figured 6am. But also didn’t know how to get to the beach for sunrise.
“Just go straight down this road, and then left.” The old pension house lady said.
Dawn in Brookes Point
Easy to say when it’s not pitch black. I cheated and went back to the market area, hoping to see it being set up. All was silent. Making my way to the beach I realized it was not one of those paradise beaches. Even in the dark my head torch picked up the course sand, rocks, and stilt houses that lined the shore.
What’s worse is that it was overcast. I thought all was lost. Especially when I disturbed a sleeping pig near a house. A deafening sound at that hour. Then as dawn broke and I wandered around the coast I started to notice the dawn life of the locals.
I wasn’t in a tourist resort, nor tourist destination. So there were no pretenses here. A flood of memories started to come back from other countries.
The few that made an impact were in places where it was just locals. And here, this was similar. All along the beach the houses looked as if they had just been ripped apart by a hurricane. Indeed most seemed to be missing a section of wall, or half a rooftop. And here people lived.
What makes the news in some counties, is daily life here:
News channels were still broadcasting the clean up from hurricane Katrina in the USA, yet here I was in a place that was in a permanent state of semi collapse. A local man was sitting out on his balcony, the house next to him looking as if it had just fallen down the night before. He was staring at me with suspicious curiosity as the early sun started to reflect off the shadowed waters. I raised a hand and waved. His shoulders relaxed back and he returned the wave.
I walked closer in an attempt to make something of the lackluster sunrise when his dog went off on barking craze. The man seemed embarrassed and scorned the mange ridden canine as it nipped at my feet. I then remembered hearing amount the amount of untreated rabies infected dogs in the Philippines. And, move on quickly.
Dawn in Brookes Point
With the sun now finally breaking loose through the crowds I managed to get a distant glimpse of local fishermen casting out their nets. I imagined in a place like this it was for feeding a family for the day rather than to sell at the market.
Brooke’s Point’s claim to fame is that the world’s largest pearl was found there “The Pearl of Allah.” It’s worth $40 miliion. Bin Laden
is said to have wanted it to unite the Muslim world. Either way it’s now sitting in a safe somewhere, leaving Brookes Point with just the claim to having a great sunrise.
But also the history about a legendary seaman named Brooke, who became the first White Rajah of Sarawak. But then that’s another story in history. But it did mean one was on the right trail, of a sort. For the moment though, Brooke’s Point crept into being one of my favorite places.
Brookes point is one of those little reality check places:
Poor, weather beaten, small, and unvisited. Peaceful, beautiful, friendly, curious and a place that pulled at me for some unknown reason. This touch of reality was perhaps what I needed in my own search for home.
As dawn became day I headed back to town for breakfast, along the way passing a girl with no more than a coconut shell and sand to play with. Maybe I was seeing my own reflection, maybe that was what was getting to me …
A mosque and a lone girl on a xylophone (video post)
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