Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Darwin 18 – 26 August 2006

The Darwin Festival has so many good performances on in the Botanic Gardens it was difficult to choose a few to go to. We chose Broad as our first big event. They are a five piece band fronted by Debra Conway. It was a fantastic mixture of rock, blues and country that enthused the audience including us. Most of the big performances are held in the Botanical gardens which are alight with gorgeous fantasy lighting of fires and lanterns. You can sit outside in the garden and continue to listen to other music and soak up the ambience of this special place. We also went to hear Jeff Lang. He is a very talented guitarist who also wowed everybody.
Next in the excitement levels was the joy of having Laura come to stay while on her way to Asia. She arrived in Darwin at 1230am! We went to bed and set the alarm to pick her up but she rang to say her flight was half an hour early! We didn’t know planes could be early! Lots of planes come and go about that time and it is part of living in Darwin - it’s the only Capital city airport without restrictions. Be glad you have them Sydneysiders! It was great to see her after 5 months on the road. We do miss everyone and when we catch up it is as if nothing has changed, so this is very reassuring.
We all went to yet another lovely concert with Fourplay, a string quartet that are amazing in their versatility. They do their own versions of modern songs, as well as their own compositions. They are masters of their craft and you would not believe their interpretations of other instruments could come from a violin.
We wandered around Darwin to take in the main areas for Laura and visited the courts again. Getting to be a habit! More interesting than Law and Order. We saw part of a case of an illegal Chinese fisherman who would not stop for the Australian Navy because he thought they were pirates and they did not speak Chinese! We moved on to the drug dealer who claimed he was a loner with terrible pain and had to take 5 Panadol an hour with no effect. His only friend was his wife who sat in the dock as a co-accused. He only had 11 kg and about $34,000 when caught. Oh well! He was in trouble when he said he had hoped to retire to Indonesia with the proceeds.
We did a bit of shopping for Laura and spent other times swimming in the salt pool which was an ideal temp.On Thursday we caught a ferry across to Mandorah and had a drink at the old pub. This is the only way to appreciate the size of Darwin Harbour and we enjoyed the trip across and relaxed on the beach. The pup is right on the sand and we managed to lie on the beach and enjoy a drink whilst we watched our boat come across the harbour. It felt so from Parliament which we had just seen an hour ago. After watching the final moments of the sunset from the wharf we went to Mindel Beach markets and wandered around the huge array of food stalls to choose a favourite dish. There were a cacophony of dishes but it has a very Asian flavour. The warm evening, the breeze and the variety of performers enhances the experience. There are also lots of European tourists there as it is the thing to do in Darwin on every Thursday and Sunday during the dry. Of course there is NO possibility of rain and we believe that, as it hasn’t rained since Alice Springs.


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