Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Last Days in Darwin

Monday is our sunset cruise outing but during the day we went to Palmerston which is a regional shopping centre and did some shopping and I had some retail therapy which was most enjoyable.
A swim of course is the order of the day especially when we look at the weather map and see that when we leave here the picture is not so bright. We had been swimming at Casuarina beach and seemed to have the water pretty much to ourselves which was great. Today we were talking to a couple who have lived here for two years and consider themselves to be Territorians. They were most amused that we were swimming as “they” being “Territorians” think it’s far too cold and did we know that the ‘salties’ frequent this beach. They in fact saw a salty marching down the beach last year and the rangers had to come and take the offending croc to ‘brighter pastures’. Now, we know from our chats with Russell (our intrepid tour guide from Katherine Gorge), that the salties are the ones who have a taste for people.
So I think that the swimming pool at the park looks really nice now and I thoroughly enjoyed my swim there yesterday and have resolved to swim there until we leave.
Now to the cruise. It was an absolute highlight of our stay here. We left Stokes Hill Wharf at 5.45pm and sailed out around the coast toward Mindil beach where we had enjoyed two visits to the markets. Along the way we enjoyed a veritable feast of local produce as we sat at our table for two (there were other people on board, but it was very romantic, none the less). We started with a variety of breads with two dips and also a lovely duckah blend of pistachio. Then fresh oysters and prawns and seconds of oysters, because some people don’t like them! Imagine that! Then for our main course as we drifted watching the sunset on our beautiful 3 masted timber boat we enjoyed local barramundi, chicken satay and marinated beef sticks accompanied by a lettuce and potato salad and a lovely bottle of white wine. When we thought we could eat no more out came dessert of fresh fruit and a chocolate dip! Would you believe there were even fireworks on the shore as we finished dinner and sailed back to the Wharf. It was a wonderful end to a lovely evening. Thoroughly recommended when you visit the Territory.
Today (Tuesday) was our last day and the day we managed to book the car in for service so we had arranged to be dropped into town to have a look at the centre of Darwin which we hadn’t been to before. We returned to the Deckchair Cinema and took a photo to remember that great night. We then walked to the WW2 Underground Oil Storage Tunnels which are a network of five steel lined tunnels built for storage of the Navy’s oil reserves after the Japanese bombed Darwin’s above ground facilities. One tunnel is open to the public and includes a fascinating display of photographs depicting life in wartime Darwin. The construction was even more impressive when you realise that all the excavation was done with shovels and pneumatic drills. Today, it was oppressive within the tunnel even with the fans moving the air around. Without any of that it would have been a very difficult task to excavate the tunnels.
We also visited The Tree of Knowledge which is revered world wide by Buddhists and is located behind the current civic centre. In times past The Tree of Knowledge has been used as a postal address and also the meeting place for the locals where decisions affecting the townspeople were made.
After we collected our car we went back to the beach, although as the tide was so far out we decided not to swim, and for me I didn’t need to see a salty!
We returned to the Wharf for dinner – not quite as fancy as the cruise but local fish and lovely none then less. Tomorrow we leave for Kakadu and more adventures!


Anonymous said...

Not sure why my last comment did not work, but so pleased a salty did not have either of you for dinner! You are both looking really well, and Sue you are fading away...well done.
All is much the same here, continue to enjoy and take care. Love Jan
PS Great news for Kate & Waz.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys
Congrats Kate and Waz. I notice from the commentary there seems to be eqaul parts swimming and eating with a bit of sightseeing. Sound like you are having a great time. Nothing much to report down here other than its cold, yesterday was cold and tomorrow will be cold with a possibility of rain. Buggered if I wouldn't mind being in Darwin, Noosa or anywhere north of q'land nsw border. The blogs great by the way.

The pattos