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.