Outback Australia – almost

August 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

The humidity is the first thing that greets me the moment I set foot out of Darwin airport. It is stifling, and coming from a Sydney winter, is not that comfortable at 2am in the morning. Looking for the airport shuttle to A’s place, the heat makes me weak and I decided to take a cab. Gnarly cab driver is a chatterbox, who informs me that 15 degrees in Darwin (if it ever reaches that temperature) means everyone stays home like there is a snowstorm outside. I was too grumpy to disagree. I believe this is the farthest I’ve ever been in Australia, and the first time in the Northern Territory. I felt a bit of travel excitement re-emerging, ever since my last visit to a new place was back in January. It was a short weekend trip to meet up with old college friends. Despite it being a weekend, I notice something very curious about Darwin. There are hardly any people out in what they call ‘the city’, made up of a few streets of shops, a handful of restaurants, and a supermarket. With a population of 110,000, it seemed like only a few hundred people were out, with a lot of them being tourists like me. I wondered how people spent their weekends here. Probably hanging out with the large army of crocodiles that seem to live in the waters. My friend frantically cautions me not to step near the water by the beach, as they caught two crocs there recently. A twinge of disappointment, as the water is exceptionally beautiful. There is not much to do in Darwin ‘metropolitan’ area, and the national parks are really the key interest points in the NT. Kakadu was one of my places to go on my trip there, but my friends wanted a lazy weekend, and it being a such a short visit, we spent our time just lounging by the pool and gorging ourselves silly with food. The heat and humidity made us very sleepy, slow, and by Sunday, we became sloths. It was impossible not to be. The flight home was long and uneventful, but I was quite glad to be back in Sydney. The city is where I belong.

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