Darwin

Friday: Well, made it to Darwin at last, and was picked up by a bus from Elke’s backpackers hostel. Elke’s is good - it is a small friendly backpackers, although they do have a limit of 5 nights during the busy season. Price is A$13.50 per night with a VIP card. Another good hostel is the YHA in town, but it is rather big, with a great pool. Met a couple of very nice young nurses, Helen and Becky who have been travelling for a month or so. They have been in Hong Kong for 1 week, and Thailand for a month. Hong Kong was really busy, and Thailand was really cheap. My impressions of Darwin: a kind of small city, where the bush man meets the city man. There are a number of clubs in the place, but the one that all the backpackers go to is Rattle and Hum. They have a number of silly events on every night, and lots of cheap beer. The food is good as well, with a meal and beer for A$5. There is also an internet access point in the club, but it is rather expensive at A$6 for 15 minutes. Another club I frequented was Time, playing dance stuff.

I booked up on a tour out to see Kakadu which was pretty cool. We spent 3 days touring round the outback, saw Twin Falls, Jim Jim Falls, plenty of crocodiles, and lots of wild life. We also sucked the bums off green ants, took many photographs, got up at 6am, and then sat around the camp fire before going to bed in the evening. The swim up to Twin was excellent. The falls are only accessible by a 1km swim, but there are plenty of rest points along the way. You need to take a hat, and plenty of mossie stuff (especially the stuff with a high proportion of DEET - like Bushman). The tour company I went with, Hunter Safaris was great. Even the tour guide, Mal was cool, and he makes a mean meal. I would really recommend Hunter. In fact, I’m planning tomeet up with Steve and Ken when I get up to Cairns, to on a day trip up into the forest. They are planning to go on an Open Water course, so that they can pop over to Whitsunday at some point and hire out some equipment.

I have booked up on the Rum Runner, to go out and do some diving in the Coral Sea on Friday, which should be really cool. It comes highly recommended. Went to Darwin museum as well - for a good bit of Aboriginal Art, and a great bit on Hurricane Tracy. Since this is my last night in Darwin, we are planning to cook a meal round Dan’s, then go off to Rattle & Hum for some beers. I just hope I can get up tomorrow morning to catch that flight to Cairns.

Last night in Darwin - cooked a roast chicken up in Dan’s flat. It was great food, if I don’t say so myself (Helen, Becky and Angela helped out). Afterwards we went down to Rattle and Hum, and consumed lots of beer. This was not a particularly good idea, as when I caught the flight the next morning I was still under the influence. Never again. I had the worst travel sickness that I’d ever had.
At the moment, I am sitting in the ONLY internet cafe in the Northern Territory - The Cyclone Cafe, at 8 Urquhart Street, Parap - you need to catch a Number 10 bus out from town toget here.

Contact details
Hunter Safaris: (089) 81 2720
Elke’s: (089) 81 8399, or free on 1800 808 365
The Cyclone Cafe: cyclone@topend.com.au