I haven't written for nearly 2 weeks. We have been flat out – Fair Dinkum! Our time here has been wrought with chores and repairs that were intended to be 10 minute, 30 minute, 45 minute jobs that of course took several hours to days to complete. We all know about that I'm sure. In the interest of time I'll not go into particulars. Suffice it to say Destiny is ready for passage – or as ready as she can be for now.
On the enjoyment side of things…we can honestly say we have given Darwin a fair go. We now know the location of every hardware store, boat supply shop, and market in the area. We have eaten some wonderful food, met two new Aussie friends who shall remain forever in our hearts and lives (whether Jo and Lex like it or not themselves), and have taken away a very fond memory of Darwin. The Museum and Art Gallery of the NT is a must do here. The Aboriginal art and cultural exhibits there were the highlight for us, and yet are just a portion of the attraction.
Thanks to Lex and Jo, we saw Darwin through the hearts and eyes of locals, walking along the foreshore where we spotted at least three Rainbow Pittas, beautiful little birds found in the Northern Territory's rainforest and mangrove areas, known to be very shy and rarely spotted in the Dry Season. We now appreciate that NT has not four, but two seasons; "The Wet" and "The Dry", respectively named. The Dry would be our winter and also the tail end of springtime and the beginning of autumn. The Wet is basically cyclone season – hot, wet and humid.
We absolutely pigged out at the Sky City Casino's seafood buffet on Oyster Night, where we each probably consumed over a dozen and a half oysters on the half shell before diving into the crab, prawns, crayfish and other delights. Afterward we swore we would not eat for a week but as anyone who knows us knows, we never keep those kinds of promises.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Deckchair Cinema where we spent a lovely evening with our new North Carolina friends, Sheila and Stewart (s/v Imagine), watching the film "The Lady" (www.deckchaircinema.com/). This cinema is quite unique, and is often missed by visitors.
One day, while the men were otherwise occupied, Jo and I had a lovely lunch and then she took me into the Supreme Court Building (where Lex does his best barrister work) and into Parliament. I must say, NT's Supreme Court building is the loveliest government building I've ever visited. The stunning, massive mosaic covering a good bit of the ground floor is well worth a good look. I felt I was in an art gallery more than a high court. Beautifully set.
We can't imagine having come all the way to OZ and not having made it to Darwin. Thanks to this rally we did. It is unique and special in ways that my words could not possibly do justice recounting. If anyone reading this ever travels here – please get to know a local so that you can love and appreciate what we have during our stay.
Now I'm off to wrap up the last minute Must-do's before we enter the Lock in just under an hour. More to come…