Blog Day 123 Tues 6th September 2011
Australia we have arrived! And sod all is open! Probably has something to do with the fact that's its 5.30 in the morning. 5.30am is something that we had both forgotten even existed. So when we are dropped off at The Cav hostel all we are thinking about is getting our heads down for a few hours. The stone faced cow at reception had other ideas though. She informs us that the place is no longer open to the general public, even though it is in the lonely plant guide (so far £20 really well spent), and various other internet booking sights. So we are left out in the street along with a small Swiss girl who seems to have also happened upon the same situation.
The poor girl doesn't speak a word of English and is now following us as we walk towards Mitchell Street. Every time we try to talk to her she freezes on the spot as she tries to process what we have just said. We come to the conclusion that this must be a defense tactic, kind of like how a hedgehog will instantly curl up into a ball when approached, she just stands there staring through the highest powered spectacles we've ever seen. These are the kind of glass bottle bottomed goggles that would help a blind person to see. So there we 2 Brits and a walking telescope doing a flip flop half marathon around Darwin in search of a bed.
We have read that Mitchell Street can get rather lively so we look a little further afield for a place to stay. The place is dead and the few hostels we try are either not open or way out of our budget. Turns out Australia is an expensive place and coming from Asia this fact hits home rather rapidly.
Finally we come across a hostel just out of town. It seems ok and the guy behind the desk is pretty friendly. £20 each sees us into a 4 bed dorm. It's a far cry from the £10-£20 we were paying for a double hotel room in Asia. And what does £20 get you in Darwin? A bed…………. And that's it! The room actually consists of 4 walls, 2 bunk beds and a rattling air con unit. We literally dump our bags and hit the sack. The one thing this place has got going for it is the mattresses. Oh sweet lord their soft! Just large squares of foam that shape to our shattered bodies.
5 hours later we both wake up. We were both asleep before our heads hit the pillow and are feeling all the better for it. We sort ourselves out and head out into town to see what's about. Darwin seems to be a pretty sleepy city with not much to do other than eat drink and wander around. The one job we do have to do is lighten Trish's reading load. We find a little book exchange store where her 2 books +$2 get exchanged for one. It's amazing just how much people that own exchange book stores turn their noses up when you want to get rid of your books. It's like we are asking them to pay top dollar for a second hand coloring book. Maybe we should try that, just for a giggle.
As we walk through the shopping area we see a few people set up on the pavement selling drawings and paintings. These are travelers just like us who are trying to sell their talents to get them to their next destination. Not a bad idea really. If we run short of cash we could defiantly pull in a crowd, street magic and pole dancing could be the next big combination you know.
We take a walk along the esplanade which is really nice and chilled. The odd dog walker and runner go past as we sit on a bench and watch the sun go down.
One thing that is really nice to see again is a supermarket! We dive in there to see what we can grab for dinner, and end up with a true culinary feast. A box of cheerios and 2 pot noodles. We haven't had cereal in 2 and a half months and cheerios are ticking all the right boxes. As we walk back to the hostel we past a good 4 or 5 aboriginal tramps walking along, barefoot, clutching plastic bags and loosing shouting matches with themselves.
Back at the hostel we are afraid to say that the cheerios were a big letdown. They taste nothing like the ones at home. However it doesn't stop us polishing off the best part of a whole box. We turn in for the night both with the budget on our mind and how we are going to manage on this part of the trip.