We arrived in Darwin at some ungodly hour. It was neither morning not night, clubs were closing and nothing was open. We arrived at our hotel and of course we were too early to check in (some 10 hours too early), in Asia this would have been no problem they'd have found us something, here though nope, no way, are you mental?
We slumped into to a semi comfy settee in the foyer, napped and waited for daylight.
Around 6:30 we left the hotel to see what Darwin was all about. They have a nice coastline, they have very mild weather at 6:30am, they have wide streets and not a lot of traffic. They have a town that feels like nothing is real and at any given turn you would encounter the props team giving a final once over to make sure everything looked realistic. It was actually really nice, characterless but nice.
By 8 am we were running on fumes and we returned to the hotel, desperate for the room to be ready. Alas, no, we plonked ourselves down again and it was Jan's turn to doze. She was deep in slumber when the good news arrived. Dazed and confused she jumped up and as I carried the big bags, she bounced off the walls like a pinball machine all the way to bed.
Mid afternoon we were back on the street. We had to get supplies and Woolworths was our supermarket of choice. We spent a fortune, but in ten months this was the first time we'd even seen humus! 2 weeks worth of meals later and we were shopped out.
After dropping the goodies back at base, we went to see what Darwin was all about. It was Friday and the workers had hit the pubs and bars, we joined them for a few cheeky drinks, the first since christmas. There was a nice buzz in the bars, though the restaurants were still quiet. The balmy evening was perfect, a cool breeze took the edge off the heat, the moon was full and looked enormous in the cloudless sky. Darwin WAS very nice. We nabbed ourselves a takeaway pizza (one of the best ever) before heading back to the hotel. We we're still very much behind in the shut-eye department.
The following day was one full of trepidation for me. I was having to drive for the first time in over ten years and maybe the second time in over 20. Ironically we would be driving to Kakadu and that's what I was feeling.
We picked up the campervan and maybe with age comes perspective. The nerves vanished within minutes, the fear just wasn't there. This was going to be AWESOME MATE!