Alice Springs to Darwin

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June 15th 2014
Published: June 21st 2014
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After setting off from Alice with trustworthy tyres we continued blissfully to Darwin in a much more relaxed mood, even stopping at Mataranka for an amazing soak in the natural springs there where the gentle current enables you to swim downstream before emerging at a bridge further down. If you can avoid looking up at the incredibly enormous spiders, dangling in their webs from the overhanging trees above, then it is amazing but if like me and you look out for each and every spider then it is with incredible relief that you arrive at the destination without screaming in terror. What a wuss I am!

We really enjoyed our second trip up the centre just as much as the first time as we stopped at different camp sites on the way up. We had a great time at the infamous Daly Waters pub where we listened to a bush poet who was also an hilarious comedian plus a one man band. Washed down with a couple of beers, or in my case a couple of wines, and Pete and I had a great time and the best part of the night is that we only had to walk a few metres to our motorhome at the end of the show! The bar of the pub is full or bras and underpants and very “unique” and is often full every night!

Well, after finally arriving in Darwin we were initially disappointed that Pete was unable to get his old job back at Coles supermarket due to the company declining to take on any new staff until the 1st July plus my old firm at Travelex being fully staffed and no positions available.

Anyway after being warmly greeted by all our old friends from last year in our campsite we settled in, took the plunge and bought a really neat Hyundai Getz car to get around in and commenced looking earnestly for jobs. Thankfully, I can now say that Pete is employed as a groundsman at the Darwin waterfront helping to mow the lawns and gardens down there and trying hard not to look at the skimpily clad bodies sunbathing on the grass everywhere! He is thoroughly enjoying riding on ride-on mowers and learning about all the native plants that he has to take care of. I have secured a job with Air North, a private airline company, that services all the islands off the north coast of Darwin plus several cities around Australia. I am a “Revenue Officer” which may sound fine but basically I do spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer in a large office. Still, our goal is to save enough to have a wonderful trip around Europe in 2015 so we are just thankful that it did not take us to long to get in the workforce and also shows that age is not a barrier up here in Darwin.

In the meantime we are back into the swing of weekly nights to the Casino for a bargain $10 buffet meal plus a flutter on the pokies along with Friday nights at the local pub for a rock n roll dance! Last week we commenced playing Barefoot Bowls at the nearby RSA club (RSL over here) and having a hoot of a time with over 20 of our fellow campers turning up to enjoy the evening. Not many Kiwis up here and mostly Aussie but we are made very very welcome and certainly enjoying ourselves. We have a permanent site that we will move into in August when friends move back to their home in Queensland so we should be all set up for when the wet season arrives as the site has a huge ceiling erected sheltering us hopefully from the tropical downpours that we will experience for 6 months from October onwards. We are curious to see what the “Wet” season will be like and hope we can handle the humidity which we have been told is very very uncomfortable. We have not had a winter and cold weather for over two years now so we are confident we can handle it and looking forward to the challenge and the spectacular thunderstorms that go with it.

Darwin and crocodiles go hand in hand up here and sadly yet another person was taken by a croc last week. Having recently taken a tour to see them on one of the local rivers I definitely will not be putting even my big toe in any drop of water around here as they are just everywhere! Even the neighbour when taking his small boat out to put down some crab pots was surprised to see a croc cruising past him. Some of them can be aggressive and very very big so think I will be staying on dry land for sure!

We are planning to stay in Darwin now until August next year but not definite at this stage.

Must say working full time is hard work after our previous life style!!!!!

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22nd June 2014

Everything is going well.My sister and her husband have moved back to Katherine to live for a few years.Our weather has been mild for winter.Dot,Cherly and Donald arrive for the wedding on the 23rd of December.Dot arrives on Boxing Day.Neil is well and still walking,lost 14 kgs in weight.the wedding plans are going well?Di and Peter are well. From Mandy and Neil
19th July 2014

Hi Mandy and Neil, Good to hear from you. Neil you must be a fraction of your former self and will look very dapper at Justine's wedding I am sure. We would love to come over for the after do if we can get time off work if you don't mind so that we can see you all again. Are you having it at your home?
22nd June 2014

Darwin again!!
You just got that loving feeling for Darwin, thats what it is, cobbs. Glad you are both OK. Your jobs sound terrific. Not too sure about the 'Big Wet' I believe it can be very tedious , but what the hell, you can always start a Monopoly Club and spend the nights over the board game. Or Trivia!! Sounds good. Be very very wary of the crocs. I cannot think of a worse way to go and I know they are fast and cunning. Don't fall asleep on the beaches either. Jenny (who used to work for us) is up at the Northern Territory, slept on the sandy banks of some water way and found croc foot prints all around their tent in the morning! Take care of stuff like that. Thinking of you. Love Kyra. PS: Betty's sister Hazel is coming out in October to visit Ernie and Jacqui and other family members and will come to see me in Melbourne. xx
19th July 2014

Hi Kyra, This working full time certainly puts a stop to me spending hours on the internet doing blogs and sending emails! I hated the Air North job as it was so so boring and next week commence a new career as Assistant Manager with QBD The Bookshop and really looking forward to interacting with the public again as my last job saw me spending 8 hours in front of a computer screen with conversation with fellow staff members frowned upon! Can see why the last person only lasted a month as the boss was a real witch to put it mildly! Please say hi to Hazel from Pete and I and maybe we will be able to call for a coffee with her when we get to Europe late next year unless knowing our luck she will be in Austalia or NZ.
22nd July 2014

NOt much is happening.The weather has been cold,Di does not like the cold.Di is still working at the Motel.Neil is still walking and has lost 18kgs,the Doctor is pleased with him.Glad both happy and doing what you are doing.All the wedding plans are in place,Justine is organised.Have not picked the bridesmaids dresses not shore on the colour .Justine said she will know when she sees the colour.Must go now.Good to hear from you. Mandy and Neil

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