Saturday, July 30, 2016

Australia 2016, Day 10 - Darwin

Day 10 saw the start of our Darwin/Kakadu adventure. Stephanie and I left Sydney on an early flight to Darwin. Sydney was crisp and cool - we started the day in jeans and fleece jackets. At the end of the 4.5 hour flight, we landed in hot and steamy Darwin - we quickly lost the fleeces, and as soon as we made it to our hotel we changed into capris to explore the city. Unfortunately this was the worst day for me with my sinus issues. I couldn't stop coughing, my head felt like it was going to explode, and the plane ride caused my left ear to feel like my eardrum was about to burst. We landed around 1:00 and it was the next day before I could hear normally again. 

Regardless of how I felt, we still wanted to get out and about in the city. We knew we wanted to see Darwin's famed sunset, but we had quite a bit of time before that. So we grabbed a quick bite to eat at an outdoor restaurant with a tree in the middle of it! and then started walking toward the waterfront. We found a shopping area and wandered in some of the tourist shops before Stephanie found an art gallery with aboriginal artwork and we ended up spending over an hour and a good bit of money there. 

After shopping, we continued our trek to the waterfront. Now, I know it's tradition for me to put my feet in every body of water I can, but there was no way I was going to put my feet in the water around Darwin, even if I was SO HOT! The water in Darwin and around the Northern Territory is infested with saltwater crocodiles, which are mean and aggressive and will attack humans without provocation - so the only place in Darwin that it's safe to swim is the man-made lagoon just across the wall from the ocean. Stephanie and I walked down to the lagoon, and she sat in the shade while I walked around in the water trying to cool off a little. Darwin is very tropical, with palm trees everywhere. The church that we passed had no walls for natural air conditioning with the tropical breeze. The air is humid and the atmosphere is extremely laid-back and casual, just like being at the beach. 
The man-made swimming lagoon
After a while we walked down to the sea wall, then back up to the shops around the lagoon where we bought a tasty treat - mango and lemon gelato! Oh my, it was wonderful! By this point I was hot and miserable - I honestly felt like I could collapse, but I didn't want to miss out on the city. Thankfully the gelato revived me enough to go enjoy the sunset and make it back to our hotel. 
Not feeling very well :(
This was pure heaven - cool, fruity, and soothing to my throat!
Finally we walked through a park to watch the sunset over the water - don't worry, we were a safe distance from the shore, away from any crocs that might have been there. While the sun was setting we saw a parachuter soaring down to the Parliament House carrying the flag of the Northern Territory - very cool! And then there was the beautiful sunset - so amazing! We watched until the sun was almost completely gone, then asked a local for the best route back to our hotel, stopping to pick up some snacks to carry with us on our Kakadu trip the next day. 
After a nice long bath back at the hotel, I settled in for what I hoped would be a good night's sleep. Unfortunately, not so much. I coughed all night long - and I do mean all night - I had to sleep with a cough drop in my mouth to get any rest at all. Thankfully Stephanie said I didn't keep her awake, but I was pretty worn out when the alarm when off early the next morning. The good news is I actually felt better. Thank goodness, because we were ready to have some amazing adventures!

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