Saturday, 13 November 2010

Darwin, Australia

We landed in Darwin at 3am and spent an uncomfortable few hours waiting around in the airport before venturing into the city. It's really expensive here, so we thought we'd save on a night's
accommodation by getting a couple of hours sleep in the airport, however uncomfortable and disrupted that might be.

I think the price shock mainly came from having just spent two months in Asia, where the cost of living is very low, but also because the Australian dollar is very strong against the pound at the moment. I think it's even more expensive than London here - fingers crossed we won't be bankrupt before Christmas!
Luckily we managed to find a not too extortionately priced self- catering apartment who agreed to do us a deal for a week's stay, and so we could prepare all our own meals and keep a nice bottle of wine in the fridge - which kept the cost down a bit.

The weather here is so hot - it's actually too much to be out in the direct sun - and that's even after acclimatising to Asia's climate. It's also not possible to swim in the sea here though due to the 'stingers' (box jellyfish) and the 'salties' (salt-water crocodiles - as opposed to 'freshies', the fresh-water crocodiles!) so we were grateful for the pool in our apartment and the wave-pool on the esplanade to cool off.
When we are out and about we're covering ourselves with highest factor sunscreen and it still feels like we're burning! I don't think the temperature has topped 35 degrees Centigrade but it feels like the hottest country we've been to you. The weather however has been absolutely beautiful: clear blue, cloudless skies and just the odd torrential downpour and crack of thunder (well, it is wet season after all).

We treated ourselves to a day trip to nearby Litchfield National Park which comprised a jumping croc cruise', a visit to the enormous 'cathedral' and 'magnetic' termite mounds, dramatic waterfalls and swimming in the freshwater pools. Seeing the crocodiles up close was exhilarating, especially as they leapt up out of the water from the murky depths to take the meat dangled on a fishing line in front of their eyes. Look out for the photos to be posted on the blog soon.

Another day we braved the heat to walk over to Fannie Bay. It's odd to walk past empty beaches on such a hot day, but I suppose if you can't cool off in the sea, what's the point in being at the beach?
We visited the museum, which featured an exhibition on 'Cyclone Tracy' which flattened the city in 1974. Inside the exhibition was a sound booth with a genuine recording of the cyclone that sounded absolutely terrifying! Because Darwin is now in 'wet' season there are frequent cyclone
warnings on the television and radio so I hope we make it on to our next destination without a storm hitting!

On our final evening in Darwin, we went to the 'Deck Chair Cinema': deck chairs in front of a big screen under the stars, and where they sell big portions of tiramisu and trifle to eat during the film - a really pleasant way to round off our week in the Northern Territory.
Getting up at 3am the following morning for our flight to Cairns was not so pleasant - and so we found ourselves back in Darwin airport in the small hours. Still, fortunately no more flights for us now until after Christmas so we can't complain.

I'll blog again in a week, Internet access permitting, by which time we'll hopefully have stories of diving the Great Barrier Reef and driving around in our little camper van.

Sarah & Kev xx

No comments:

Post a Comment