Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 60-63 Darwin - 7-10 Aug 2009

9958kms, 32 degrees C

Darwin is the close of the second month of our trip. We have driven 9958km (6188 miles), or the distance from London to Galapagos. The boy from Manchester, who vowed he would never camp has now had one night with a roof out of 47.

We made our way to Darwin via two great places to see birds - Mamukala and Fog Dam. At the latter we couldn’t do the walk across dam due to large “saltie” being in the region, see the sign! We had been joking about seeing a croc from a bridge from the car, but it actually happened! They are big, nasty looking mongrels.

In some ways Darwin was a difficult time with both car and PC. Dell at first disappointed us in selling me a laptop with a dodgy video chip, but when they got their act into gear they turned it round pretty quickly. A techo fitted a new motherboard (MoBo in the trade) as the previous one melted, literally. Toyota were pretty disappointing too, sending me out on the road after a big service with no air con and a dodgy power steering pump. So it went back in to get them fixed, and we will be on gruel for the next month to pay for the bill! They reckon that NT means not today, not tomorrow, not Tuesday, not Thursdays, no trouble – maybe not so!

Darwin is an amazing place. It is a time of political turmoil – a vote of no confidence by a member switching sides in a government with a 13-12 majority. It’s a small world! But the new wharf is magnificent – the wave pool and city beaches are cool. Two events have shaped the town – the cyclone in 1974 but before that the Japanese bombing in 1942. In some ways the town is still a glorified military base .

Marty, Lisa, Max and Felix were great. Not only did they put us up in their yard but the boys took us to dinner at the ski club (water skiing, not snow, but the former is still pretty crazy when you hear there are crocs on the beaches) and then to the museum. When Nicky said she might be a bit nervous at the Cyclone Tracey exhibition, Max held her hand. So cute. The museum was awesome, so too Mindil Market, but we got bitten to bits by the mozzies.

Our next two playmates arrived. Michelle Fink from Melbourne, one of Nickys colleagues from the Kids. Michelle has hired a Britz 4WD and will be with us until the Bungle Bungles. And Nick Mason came over from the UK. Our last trip with Nicko was France and Spain in 1989, so 20 years on we thought we should do another crazy trip.


kath said...

I was hoping to see the "four bathing beauties"

kath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stuart Riley said...

Kath - bathing beauties on thier way! John and Mimi have left for the "rough" part of thier trip. They went on Sunday and found out that they are bush camping, long drop or poo shovel loos and at one stage there are 3 days with no shower!!!

sheena said...

Its taken me this long to work out how to post a comment! hope the truck and laptop get fixed soon - cant do without the blog. nicky I feel like blubbing each time I see you name listed as an apology at the boring meetings here in Melb


sheena x

Honora said...

Sorry to hear your problems with "the beast" and laptop. Gosh Stuart, bet you're having withdrawal symptoms. Good job the car problem happened when you are near "civilisation".

Stuart Riley said...

Sheena, gr8 to hear from you. And congrats on posting your comment. Would love to say that Nicky is missing work, but it isnt the truth. But we are missing you!

Mum, got the truck fixed eventually. I guess all the rattling around on corrugated roads gives everything a hard time. Yes, we were "lucky" that it happened before we left Darwin rather than after, but we didnt feel lucky at the time!! Got laptop fixed too, hence this msg! Will load up lots more stuff today. You can expect blog silence from 24/8 - 16/9.


sheena said...

Hi N & S
lots to tell you both. now I know how to post comments I can drive you both potty. Nicky will send an e-mail with all the news in next few days. Rainy and very windy here in Melbourne. We are in mourning as the saints lost for the first time today by 2/3 points.
more later