G'day from the northern territory. At last. We are in Darwin. It does not look
Like I expected it to look in the downtown area. It is all new as it was destroyed in 1974 by a cyclone. It is all high rises with a new CBD. Once you get out of town a bit you revert to what you might expect there are many large termite mounds very curious as I have never seen them before. And the houses turn into corrugated tin caravans, a little look at the local
Papers shows that these modest homes are very expensive. The reason is that if you don't live in the rather small town of Darwin then it's a hut in the desert / tropical forests for you. Most people up here are not sheep shearers but defence workers there are two army and an air base around the town. The town itself is very small about 70000 which is not much at all.
What is noticeable is the amount of aborigines . There are hardly any in Sydney but up here it's about 50-50. We did not manage to see any crocodiles but did meet an 8' python and a chameleon. With trainers..... not in
The wild. The crocs are a problem as the govt. will not allow them To be shot but they are frequent visitors to even the suburbs of Darwin and they are not at all frightened of humans. The continued growth in their population means that they are a real Issue for locals who are careful when out in the yard or near any river.
I should comment on our excellent dining friends. They are Frank and Barbara, Joyce and Keith and Terry and Carol ( JR, terry and carol know Jean and Frank from Leigh on sea would you believe it. They teach bridge on the ship and cruise for free!!) Barbara Joyce and Keith are all nurses and Frank is a computer engineer - all retired of course as I remind them at dinner that I am the only serious tax payer around the table. They are all good fun and add to each evenings entertainment with tales of their travels and their families etc.
Having said all that we ate alone tonight we went to a separate restaurant for a curry and that was both very tasty and also a nice change. The staff get into it by dressing in Indian garb and there is Indian music in the restaurant it's just like Friday night at home.
Today's drugs update: when having breakfast today I saw on the opposite side to where the ship was moored a customs frigate which followed us into port and stayed alongside us all day and then followed us out to sea in the evening. This coupled with searches of passengers and being lined up and sniffed by drugs dogs upon arrival
Made us feel most welcome. When Barbara returned from her trip
To Darwin she noticed that her cabin had been searched the safe was left open and clothes disturbed. There was no note left by the ship staff or customs, bit poor I think. Good news though no arrests today!
Despite the issues we are having a brilliant time the drugs issues are actually entertainment for us in a strange way ......... No sympathy required ...... As if any was coming! Till tomorrow.