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Published: November 30th -0001
Saturday 25th September 2010: G’day Sheilas and Bruces. Arrived in Darwin at 2:35am and got up after 6 hours sleep to go straight for a dip in the pool. That’s the life. It’s the build up season here so it was 33 degrees with up to 90 percent humidity. Ie we’re a bit hot and sweaty which in my book merits a good few cold tinnies. First stop Shananigans pub (fondly known as Shags by the locals). Well, it was the AFL final which is one of the biggest sporting events in Australia(for those of you don’t know the sport, there’s a funny shaped ball and a load of blokes with too much testosterone). The result was an almost unprecedented draw which resulted in local supporters crying (apparently it’s even worse than NBC FC losing 7-0). Dave met a Chelsea fan and an Arsenal fan so there was a fair bit of testosterone filled banter off the pitch also. Also bumped back into Matthew “the stalker” Pinder again who actually declared that he didn’t think he was going to get anything more out of us, so he was happy not to join us for the evening. Bloody cheek!
it was straight out to meet a local lady called Tina that we had emailed on the Couchsurfing site. En-route we met Feral Cheryl from Humpty Doo (cool sounding place that we think we might visit just because they let horses drink in the bar) who apparently has more horses than she has teeth (which is about 2). Tina met us at Fannie Bay harbour off Dick Ward Drive (tee hee -childish…never). It was a lovely outdoor spot looking out to sea but Dave was getting munched by the local mosquitoes (this is happening fairly frequently and if I rub my hand up his leg it says “Spurs are rubbish” in brail). As a result, we moved on to Bogarts for my first (bottle of) red wine of the whole trip. Very nice too. By this time, we’re getting a little merry so we decided to go back to Shags for another couple of schooners and a boogie. By this stage, Tina is a friend for life. Great first day in Oz.
Sunday 26th September: Woke up approximately 4.5 minutes before the hotel check out. Tina has offered us a free room for a few days which
is a godsend as the cost of living here is phenomenal .
After a bit of a mooch round, we took the bus to Nightcliffe. We got settled in then went to Mindal market to watch the sunset on the beach. Mindal market has loads of amazing food stalls as well as vendors selling indigenous crafts (such as a purse made out of a kangaroo scrotum - I can’t imagine how anyone has ever lived without such essentials). Back to Tina’s where Dave watched the Singapore grand prix on the biggest TV ever .
Monday 27th September: Phoned a relocation company who need certain vehicles to be delivered to another city by a certain date. You bid to win the opportunity to drive the vehicle for a nominal fee per day and the company then pays most of your fuel. We bid to drive a 6 berth camper van between Darwin and Cairns for 5 dollars per day (the normal hire fee would be at least 100 dollars per day).We won and so we’re off to Cairns between the 6th - 13th October. In the meantime, we’ve tried to book a more modest camper to
see the local areas such as Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. There’s no vehicles available until 29th as it’s school holidays, so we decided to have a leisurely day mooching around Darwin and doing some much needed laundry (I might be a backpacker, but I draw the line at wearing the same undies inside out for 2 days).
Tuesday 28th September: Got up and walked along the coastal road called the Foreshore until we came to an outdoor pool area where we had a swim for a couple of hours. We then went to crocosaurus and saw Burt - the actual croc who starred in the film Crocodile Dundee. We also held a baby croc and took photos of various poisonous beasties (and then zoomed the photos on my camera so they look massive and we pretended that we’d seen them all in the wild).
Bumped into Matthew Pinder again and I felt obliged to rub it in that we’d had free accommodation and got a huge camper van that could easily have accommodated him had he not been such a grabber! Dave was far more accommodating and swapped numbers with him so it remains to
be seen whether the Matthew Pinder saga will continue further. One more night at Tina’s tonight then we’re out into the Bush for 8 days to see some proper Aussie wildlife (Dave will probably fit in quite well after 8 days without proper ablutions - wild Watson of Kakadu)
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