Week 14 Weekly Blog 26/08/2021- 01/09/2021
Last week saw us leave beautiful Bitter Springs and get to Darwin. Read on below for what adventures we got up to in week 14 of Allan and I exploring Oz.
Today Allan was going to a job interview for Duty Manager at the Sailing Club. Allan hadn’t packed any clothes that would be interview worthy, so after having breakfast and a swim in the pool (it was already 30degrees at 9am), we went to Casuarina Shopping Centre to go shopping. We went to multiple stores and came out with some casual black shorts from Big W and a violet button up shirt from Kmart, no expense spared for interview clothes. We then went to the chemist in Nightcliff to get facemasks and some new antihistamines for me because the other ones we got didn’t work. We went to the Sailing Club for Allan’s interview. I sat in the car while Allan went in for his interview. Less than an hour later, Allan returned to the car grinning from ear-to-ear and carrying a wad of paper. He had got the job! To celebrate Allan’s new job, we went to Fiddler’s Green for lunch and a drink. He seemed very excited and the happiest he has been for a long time. After lunch we went to the WWII oil tunnels which cost us $8 each. The oil tunnels were used to store diesel tanks, but due to water leaking into the tanks (diesel and water doesn’t mix well), the tunnels were decommissioned. After the tunnels, we had to go to Woolworths to get dessert for tea with Susan and Brian (the couple we met at Borroloola and have met a few times around the tracks). Of course, we had to buy a frozen Sara Lee choc Bavarian cake and strawberries to top it, as you can’t go wrong with that! We went back to camp, chilled out for a bit, then went to Susan and Brian’s site for tea. We chatted and ate some nibbles while Susan ducked in and out of the conversations to check on tea (green chicken curry with rice). We ate tea, which was delicious. Susan was worried that it was going to be too spicy for me. I had to tell her it was very mild, because Allan loves to cook with chilli, and I have developed a bit of an immunity to it, unless Allan pushes it too far like he does regularly! We chatted a bit more to let the food settle before I brought out my dessert. We ate dessert, then Susan bought out some Bailey’s chocolates and snakes. We chatted until about 10pm, then we said our goodbyes before heading back to our camp. We went to bed very full after a lovely evening with Susan and Brian.
Had our coffee, then decided we would head to the gym at the park to train. We both decided to do a push/pull session. We lasted about 45minutes at the gym, then went for a swim in the pool, because it was already hot, then had brunch, did the dishes and chilled out. We wanted to cook a roast tonight on our Baby Q for tea, but we needed to get a trivet and an extended gas line to connect from the Baby Q to our camper trailer connection, so we decided to go to BCF in Palmerston. On our way, we stopped at Chemist Warehouse to get some Savlon (a recommendation to reduce itchiness of midgie bites) and we bumped into Garry from Daly Waters Pub there. We had a chat and found out we were staying at the same caravan park, so he invited us to tea on Sunday night. We left the Chemist and went to BCF and bought a trivet to cook a roast on our Baby Q, but they didn’t have any extended gas lines, so we got the assistant to call BCF in Darwin to put aside what we wanted, and we would pick it up this afternoon. On the way to BCF in Darwin, Allan received a phone call from Brian saying that he was taking Sue to hospital, as she was having chest pains and he would keep us updated with what was happening there. We got to BCF, got the longer gas line ($70 later), then went to Coles on the way back to the caravan park to get a roast and a roasting tray. Brian kept in touch and told us they were doing all the scans and angiograms to ensure that it wasn’t a heart attack, but so far everything was coming up clear and they think the chest pains were a symptom of a severe anxiety attack. We cooked up a pork roast with roast veg on the Baby Q for tea. While it was cooking, we played Monopoly Deal with the running tally Allan 15, me 11, but I will make a comeback… eventually. We ate tea, then chatted to Naomi and Lee, our neighbours and convinced them to come to the Sandbar Party tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, they were unable to buy tickets online, but they were going to try and get across the sandbar anyway. We went to bed, keen to see what tomorrow will bring.
We headed to Casuarina Shopping Centre as soon as it hit 9am, because we needed to buy some essentials for today’s sandbar party. We bought a cooler bag, shirt for Allan and hats for both of us. We got back to the caravan park, went to see Garry to postpone tea for tomorrow night until Monday night, because we had made plans to go to Mindil Beach Markets and the Territory Day Celebrations tomorrow night. He seemed a bit upset when we said we couldn’t make dinner tomorrow night but was pleased when we postponed it until Monday. We got ready for the sandbar party, then walked to the reception to catch a taxi with Sue and Brian to Cullen Bay boat ramp where we were to catch the water taxi/ferry to the sandbar. It was a beautiful sunny day and was about 34 degrees Celsius, but none of us thought to bring a marquee because we thought it would be too bulky to be ferried across. At 1pm we walked down to the docking ramp where there were 2 rubber boats waiting to ferry people over to the sandbar. Allan, Sue, Brian and I got onto the first boat ride across to the sandbar. The boat was overloaded for the carrying capacity and for the number of life jackets onboard….whoops. The drive over was a slow and steady one, as the driver was aware of the number of passengers to life jackets onboard. We got off the boat and onto the sandbar. There were a couple of marquees set up and boats around the sandbar, so you couldn’t really miss it even though the club was still setting things up. Allan introduced me to his boss, Lee, who is also the General Manager and the person who interviewed Allan 2 days ago. Lee said that low tide wasn’t going to be until 5pm and the sandbar was going to be most exposed then. Allan sent Naomi a message with details about where and how to get across to the sandbar. On the next boat ride, they arrived and brought along friends (Nicole and Jules) who they had met on the road too. There were some large catamarans, sailing boats and a novelty boat, called The Pirate Ship that had a slippery dip on the top deck that you could slide down and into the water. The club put on 2 kegs of CC and Dry and VBs in cans and a BBQ for lunch. We stood around talking and drinking the CC and Dry which was going down way too easily, swimming, eating and a bit more drinking. Naomi had bought an inflatable rainbow rhinoceros, which we called Randy and us 4 girls spent half an hour trying to blow him up. We all took turns in riding Randy; it was loads of fun and we even managed to get 3 of us girls on him at once. Randy was the highlight of the day. It got to 5pm very quickly and we had to catch a water taxi back to land. We got off the ferry and Naomi found an electric scooter, so the boys tied Randy to her back using jockey straps and she rode the scooter along the road. It was hilarious watching Naomi ride the scooter with an inflatable rainbow rhino strapped to her back. The rest of us found scooters and we decided to go to Fiddler’s Green for a drink. We were riding single file on the pathway and were riding around a round about when I lost my thong and had to stop to pick it up. Allan noticed and stopped to wait for me. In that time, we had lost the rest of the group, so we got Google Maps out and mapped our ride on there to get to Fiddler’s Green. We were almost at Fiddler’s Green when we received a call from Lee asking where we were. We told him we were almost there. We had a few drinks at Fiddler’s Green, then decided to get kebabs at Momo’s because we were all hungry. It was a 900m walk into the city, so we deflated Randy and walked to the kebab shop. On the way we bumped into one of my school friends, Cass, who had moved to Darwin 3 years ago and I hadn’t seen her since she moved. We had a quick drunken chat, made plans to catch up, then we kept going to get kebabs. We ate the kebabs (mine was super spicy although I did order chilli mayo which was very chilli!), then got Uber’s back to the caravan park. We sat at Naomi and Lee’s camp, talking and getting excited to buy fireworks tomorrow, as it was Territory Day. We made plans to meet at 10am to buy fireworks tomorrow, then parted ways and went to bed. What a day today was, and tomorrow will be just as epic! If someone had told me last year, that I would go to a sandbar party and go swimming in the ocean in Darwin, I would not have believed them and potentially told them they were crazy!
Allan and I woke up relatively early and both felt tired, but not hungover. We had made plans to meet Lee, Naomi, Jules and Nicole at 10am to buy fireworks, but Lee and Naomi only woke up at 9:30 and Lee was feeling a bit rusty, so we delayed our plans until 11am. Allan and I had breakfast and went for a swim in the pool. We met the others, and all took separate cars to buy the fireworks. We all put money in to buy a pack of 502 fireworks for $345 and bought some others for ourselves. Between the 3 couples we spent just over $500 on fireworks. We went back to camp, opened the big box of fireworks and realised how many there actually were. We stored them in Nicole and Jules’ caravan and parted ways for the afternoon, with the plan to meet back at Jules and Nicole’s caravan at 4pm to catch a bus to Mindil Beach Markets. Allan and I went swimming, chilled out at the caravan park for the afternoon. We met up with the others as planned, with full esky’s and walked to the bus stop. We initially caught the wrong bus as it took us into the city, but the bus driver told us which connecting bus to take to Mindil Markets. We caught a second bus from the city to Mindil Beach. It was crazy busy at the markets. We walked the food stalls a couple of times before deciding what to eat. We were just about to order when a jet plane flew past scaring the living daylights out of me. It was doing some form of aerial stunts for Territory Day, and it was super loud! Many people flocked onto the beach to watch the display. When it ended, we bought Thai food for tea and sat on the grass to eat it with the others. We then went down to the beach and as soon as it hit 6pm people were setting off fireworks. Fireworks weren’t allowed on Mindil Beach, but they were allowed on the beach in front of the casino, because that is private land owned by the casino, not the council. Fireworks were being let off left, right and centre (on boats in the water). We stayed on the beach, watching fireworks displays, listening to the live music of Timmy Trumpet and having a few drinks. It was a great night. The council had fireworks as well which were set up on 3 barges on the water. At 8:10pm the fireworks went off. They were the best I had ever seen and lasted until 8:30pm with a huge finale. Once the fireworks were finished, we were very keen to set our own off. We caught the Palmerston bus back to the caravan park (the correct bus this time). The bus was full of kids and was very loud. We got to our stop and got off the bus with half of the kids. Allan had to light a firework which we did so away from the kids. It was a large, single-fire firework and the bus hadn’t even left. As the bus was leaving one of the dad’s still on the bus threw a firework out the doors just as they were closing, and the firework exploded at the kids’ feet and scared them. We walked back to the caravan park, restocked our esky’s and took the fireworks to the showgrounds next to the caravan park. There were 2 other groups already at the showgrounds setting off their fireworks. We found a spot and another group (also from the caravan park) set up their fireworks next to us. In hindsight it probably wasn’t the safest thing to do, but we still did it. We spent the next couple of hours setting off fireworks, with some close calls but thankfully no major injuries. There were some dud fireworks and some miss fires, but overall, the percentage was pretty good. We finished setting off the fireworks at about 11:30pm, but we stayed at the showgrounds until 12:30pm drinking, talking and burning the remnants of the fireworks. We got back to camp, and Nicole bought wontons over to Lee and Naomi’s camp and Naomi cooked them on their Baby Q. The wontons were delicious and the perfect snack. Allan and I went to bed at about 2:30am very exhausted but both had a great time with great company.
Allan and I had a sleep-in this morning after our very late night. Everyone else was feeling a bit slow as well and took a while to get up and going. We chilled out at the caravan park pretty much all day, we went for a few swims in the pool and just relaxed. It was Allan’s last day before he was going to work, but we just had no energy to do anything. We had tea with Garry tonight and because we don’t like rocking up empty-handed, we went to Woolworths and bought some Favourites and a packet of snakes. We went to Garry’s site at 5pm. We relaxed and chatted, he had prepared a 3-course meal for us, with our entrée being prawn cocktails with his own home-made chilli sauce. Garry opened 2 bottles of red and made a supreme pizza with a toss salad and Turkish bread. By this stage Allan and I were getting full, so we chatted a bit more. Garry mentioned the ‘d’ word and we couldn’t say no to it, which was peaches and double thickened cream. I opened the Favourites and we had some of those. I left the snakes with Garry, as he likes to chew on them as he drives. We said goodbye and went back to our camp with very full bellies, but appreciative of the people we have met on our travels.
Today was Allan’s first day of work, so he was a bit nervous. We got up, had coffee and went for a swim. We had breakfast and chilled out at camp for the morning and early afternoon. Allan got ready for work at 1pm, as he had to leave at 1:30pm to get to work by 2pm. I made myself some lunch in the camp kitchen at the caravan park and on my way back to camp, I saw the car was back. I thought that was odd and wondered if Allan had got his shift wrong. Turns out he had got his start time an hour early and he wasn’t meant to start until 3pm. He left for good this time at 2:30pm. I chilled out at camp, went swimming, went to the gym, went swimming again before cooking dinner and going to bed. I woke up when Allan got home at 11:30pm but fell back to sleep soon after.
This morning we had our car booked in for its 30,000km service at Darwin Motor Group which houses the Mitsubishi Dealership Service Centre in Darwin. We dropped the car off at 8:30am and just missed the courtesy bus which would have taken us back to the caravan park. Allan and I had a look at the bus timetable which would take us back to the caravan park and we would have to wait 20minutes before the next bus was due and it looked like there was only one bus stop between the service centre and the caravan park. I decided that it would be good for us to walk back to the caravan park which was only 3.8km away. Five minutes into our walk, we were both saturated with sweat, as it was a very warm morning. We got about halfway, and we realised there were multiple bus stops between the service centre and the caravan park and we checked the time and there was another 5minutes before the bus would come. We kept walking and the bus passed us, so we were going to have to walk the remainder of the way back to the caravan park. We got back to the caravan park, had a swim, then ate breakfast and chilled out waiting for a phone call to come and pick up our car. We got a phone call to pick up the car just after 12pm. We caught the bus to pick up the car, it cost us $3 each for a 3hour timeframe. The car service cost $675! Allan and I thought that was a bit steep, so when we got back to the caravan park, Allan checked his service book and it said that we were meant to get the 30,000km service for free. Allan said he was going to query the Mitsubishi Service Centre in Darwin and try and get our money back for the service… wish us luck!! Allan got ready for work and left. I went to the gym, went for a swim, cooked tea, then went for another swim. I ate tea, then went to bed. I heard Allan come home, but I fell asleep straight away.
This week we had a bit of fun partying and setting off fireworks before Allan started his job. We made plans to stay in Darwin for at least a month. Stay tuned for next week’s adventures in Darwin and to see if I get a job or if I decide to be a “lady of leisure”.