STUART HIGHWAY ENDS IN DARWIN & IT'S HOT!
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
SHADY GLEN CARAVAN PARK
JOURNEY: Adelaide River, Darwin
MILEAGE: 21223 KMS
WEATHER: 26 degrees at 10am, reaching mid 30s later
OVERNIGHT: Shady Glen Caravan Park, $36 pn with power.
After many conversations with people about how hard it is to get accommodation in Darwin we mad a reservation at Shady Glen, 10 kms from city on the bus route and bicycle path. It was shady and nice enough and we parked here for 5 nights to get some essentials attended to and look around the town. Darwin is certainly busy at this time- school holidays, grey nomads in caravans and seasonal workers all seeking somewhere to stay. apparently there are 150,000 grey nomads on the road in the Territory!
We were pleasantly surprised by the ambience of the city and admired the modern appropriate development around the harbour. "Darwin is closer to Bali than Bondi" from Lonely Planet, and is situated on the Timor Sea. Real estate and rentals are expensive and the city has a relaxed young feel to it. Most people know that Darwin was wiped out by a cyclone Tracey in the 70s and rebuilt into a modern new city. We struggle with the heat and wonder how locals call this winter.
The famous Mindil Markets are disappointing to us but we linger to take in the rock band and wait for the likewise famous sunset; we marvel at the huge crowd assembled on the beach to view the sun fall below the horizon and recognize the magic of hype because this is just an average sunset but publicity has attracted big crowds. The food was average and the produce typical market junk! Oh well we checked it out.
We have an interesting experience buying Kath a new pair of Asics from AMart with the young shop assistant impatiently asking her to make up her mind on the kind of Asics she wanted because trying on so many shoes was counter productive- despite the fact that we were his only customers, he just came by with disdainful comments and when we asked to have the shoes unlocked from each other so that she could walk in them, he told us to go to the counter and ask there. Happily we were able to choose a pair with trail tracks to prevent slipping on gravel etc. and after waiting a long time for someone to take our money we eventually left with the shoes and the worst ever shopping experience! The much loved orange/red Asics with the dog bite in the heel were sadly dumped in a bin.
We are doing a 3 day canoe trip down the Katherine River on July 25th (Kath's mum’s birthday present to her- thanks mum) so needed to get some straps for our sun glasses and we also needed to top up the groceries so we found the Casuarina Square Shopping Centre on our way back from a couple of hours at Casuarina Beach- the tide was too far out to contemplate a swim but the shady park area was a pleasant place to have morning tea!!
We toured the city in the heat and on foot, spent some time arranging tours in Western Australia and working on our time schedule and deciding on our route there. Of couse we make plans and then alter them to fit the circumstances, because you get to a place and decide it is worth a few more days or only one day, and then someone tells you of a "cannot miss" destination and it is back to the drawing board.It is fun!
After 5 days in Darwin and with the school holidays soon to end, we headed south to Litchfield National Park via Batchelor.