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  • Writer's pictureJess

Week 17 Weekly Blog 16/09/2021- 22/09/2021

Last week saw us explore more of the Darwin art culture and went away for a couple of nights to Dundee Beach and went fishing with Lee on his boat. Read on below for what adventures we got up to in week 17 of Allan and I exploring Oz.

Day 113

I woke early, washed Allan’s uniform and wrote the blog. Allan woke up soon after, so I made a coffee and chilled out at camp. I cooked breakfast, then we went to Bunnings and bought a new 4-foot table so we could put the fridge from the car under the awning of the camper on it and an extension cord because the fridge cord doesn’t reach the 4-adapter for 240V. We went back to the caravan park, Allan got ready for work and left. I spent the afternoon swimming in the pool and going to the gym (I trained abs). I cooked beef stroganoff and ate it for tea, did the dishes and received a phone call from Sue and Brian before going to bed.

Day 114

I woke early and let Allan sleep in while I did some washing and typed up and published week 15 blog. Allan woke up, so I made coffee, then we had breakfast and went and did the Mangrove Boardwalk at East Point. The walk took us 20minutes and was only 1km on paved ground before hitting a boardwalk. The tide was out this morning but doing the walk at high tide would be cool because the water would almost touch the board walk and you would get wet feet. Allan spotted a few small mud crabs before walking back to the car. We went back to camp and Allan got ready for work. I dropped Allan off at work, then went to Woolworths to get some shopping. Back at camp I was putting away the groceries when I received a phone call from the manager at Char asking if I wanted to go in for a trial to work on the pass on Monday night. I accepted the offer even though I had no idea what the pass entails. I went to the gym, then went swimming in the pool, and was going to have a late lunch when Lee popped past and asked if I wanted to go have drinks in the city at The Cav with Naomi, Jules, Nicole and himself. I decided to drive into the city and have a drink with them before going to pick up Allan from work. Jules and Nicole were already in the city and Naomi and Lee were getting an Uber in. I said I would meet them there, but would have a bite to eat first, because drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea. I drove into the city, found a car park about 800m from The Cav, which is fine, because I like walking. I met the others at The Cav, and they were already onto the jugs of Sangria! It was happy hour and cocktails were on $12 each, but because I had to drive and cocktails go straight to my head, I just had a small glass of Sangria from Lee and Naomi’s jug. I finished my drink then left The Cav to pick up Allan from work. I got to the Sailing Club and struggled to get a park. I could hear “doof-doof” music and remembered Annika (Allan’s boss) telling us there was a “doof-doof” party at the Trailer Boat Club tonight. I found a park and went into the Sailing Club. Allan hadn’t finished yet, so I sat and waited. I saw Harry (From Haz and Loz travel Oz) and met his dad, Steve. Allan finished work and was waiting at the bar having ordered a beer for himself and an espresso martini for me. We found 2 chairs and a table outside looking out over the ocean and the boats moored, drank our drinks and caught up with each other. We were halfway through a conversation when Allan jumped up and ran over to a sprinkler that had randomly decided to go off and people eating their dinner were getting wet. Allan fixed that issue even though he was off duty, then re-joined me at the table. People having dinner were getting a bit angry and complaining about the music coming from next door (Trailer Boat Club). The music was quite loud and having a conversation was difficult. We finished our drinks, Allan said goodbye to the staff, and we went back to the caravan park, had a few drinks, ate poor man ramen (2-minute noodles with peas and roast pork) for tea, chilled out then went to bed.

Day 115

We slept in until 7:30am, made coffee and chilled out at the caravan park before Allan got ready for his day shift at work today. I dropped him off at work, so I could have the car. I went for a walk around East Point Reserve, as it was a beautiful day. I went to Rapid Creek Markets, which had lots of fresh fruit and veg stalls and yummy smelling Asian food stalls, but I didn’t buy anything, I just went for a look. I then went to Casuarina with the intention of buying an appropriate outfit for my trial shift at Char Restaurant. Casuarina carpark was super busy and I’m not very confident with parking the Triton, so I left. I decided to go to Parap Markets which were amazing! It was very busy, and I had to park down a side street 3 blocks away and walk over. There was a large variety of stalls from fresh fruit and veg, clothing, giftware, art and many different specialty stalls. I spent over an hour just looking around and then there were the food trucks, which took up majority of the market stalls. There was a massive line up for Mary’s Laksa, so I didn’t get laksa and I also wasn’t carrying enough cash and most of the food stalls were cash only. I saw Harry, Lauren, and Harry’s parents and had a chat to them before grabbing a couple of large spring rolls for the walk back to the car and driving back to the caravan park. I went for a swim in the pool to cool down, then went to the gym. I typed up week 16 of the blog before going for another dip in the pool and having a shower. I left early to pick up Allan, so I had time to go to Malak Market. I arrived at Malak Market, and it was dead! There were a few stalls and they had set up chairs and tables under umbrellas, but they were all empty. I didn’t even park the car, I just kept driving with the intention of going back to Casuarina, but Casuarina was closed, so I drove to the city instead. I drove around and found Char and worked out where I was going to park, then drove to the Sailing Club to go pick up Allan. I got there at 6:15pm and Allan was meant to finish at 6pm. I sent Allan a message and he replied with the fact that the internet was down, he was trying to fix it and had just reset the server to hopefully fix it. At 6:30pm he had tried everything he could think of to try and fix the internet, but it was still down, so he left the bar manager to deal with it. We sat by the beach and had a drink to watch the sunset. It set extremely quickly, and we were about to leave when we saw Naomi on the beach packing up a blanket. We said hello and had a chat before leaving the Sailing Club. We got back to camp, had tea and chilled out before going to bed.

Day 116

Woke up, had coffee, ate bacon and egg wraps for breakfast and chilled out at camp before saying goodbye for last time to Naomi and Lee, who were continuing their travels to get to Queensland. Allan got ready for work, then I dropped Allan off so I could have the car again. I went to Nightcliff Markets, which were a smaller version of the Parap Market from yesterday. I rate the Parap Markets the best, followed by Nightcliff. I ventured to Casuarina Shopping Centre again and this time I got a park and made it into the shops. I went straight to Kmart and bought a bra, shirt, and pants for $37, which I thought was a bargain!! I was out of Casuarina after 45mins and drove into the city to go to Johnn Johnn’s to get an ice cream. I got 2 scoops in a cup for $8. One scoop of oreo and one scoop of choc-nutella. I walked along the Esplanade and ate my ice cream. I then drove back to the caravan park, wrote the blog, cooked up steak that needed to be cooked, had a swim, went to the gym and had another swim. I then cooked carbonara for tea before heading off to park the car at the Sailing Club and walk to Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. I walked around Mindil Markets for about an hour, bought a vegetarian spring roll ($3), a tropical smoothie ($6) and tomato arancini ($10). I bumped into Harry, Lauren and Harry’s parents again and had another chat before walking back to the Sailing Club to pick Allan up from work, stopping on the way to get a few sneaky Darwin Sunset pics. I got there at 7:15pm and Allan still hadn’t finished work, because they were short-staffed due to staff illness. I sat and waited for Allan to finish work, then Allan had a knock-off beer before we headed back to the caravan park. We ate carbonara for tea and chilled out at camp before heading to bed.

Day 117

Today we decided to head to Berry Springs for “adventure time”. We stopped at Tommo’s Pies on the way for a pie each. We got to Berry Springs, parked the car, then walked to the upper pool, which had a waterfall, known as Kangaroo Falls that was still flowing. The water was spectacularly clear and a brilliant shade of turquoise. There was a lot of grass, some fire pits and tables, which you could use to have a picnic. There was a kiosk, but it was only open at certain times of the day. People were walking around with their noodles, and I knew instantly that we didn’t have ours with us and that we would both struggle swimming without them. We decided to do the Monsoon Walk first, which was only 1km long that took us through woodlands and rainforest. There were information boards providing information about different tree species and fun facts about the flora and fauna. The woodlands section of the walk felt about 10degrees hotter than the monsoon rainforest section. There was a cute wooden boardwalk through the monsoon rainforest section, but it was slightly rotted away so we had to tread lightly. By the end of the short walk, Allan was sweating, and we were both ready for a swim. We went to the main pool of the springs which had only 6 people in it. It was a large circular expanse of water that was a good temperature and still quite deep. There was a swimming platform with stairs to get in. We both got into the water and swam towards a tree on the other side of the pool. Both Allan and I were able to touch the bottom near the tree which was sandy. We could see small fish swimming around our feet. I decided I wanted to swim to the upper pool where the waterfall was which was a narrow and shallow stream where we had to scale rocks more than swim. I thought it was good fun, but Allan kept hitting his knees and scraping his toes on the rocks and he was not happy with me after that. We got to the upper pool and swam towards the waterfall which still had quite a bit of force and was challenging to sit under. Allan got nipped by a yabby and decided he had had enough and swam back to the main pool. I followed and then we got out and walked to the lower pool. We got into the lower pool which was shallower than the main pool but about the same size. We spent only 5minutes in this pool before getting out. We walked back to the car and drove to Berry Springs Tavern mainly to see the saltwater crocodile in the enclosure out the back, but also, I think Allan wanted a beer and something to eat. We sat and had chips and gravy and Allan had a beer, before heading out the back to look for the saltwater crocodile in the enclosure. They also had a pen with emus, geese, chickens and goats. We were unable to spot the crocodile, but I’m sure he could see us! We left Berry Springs Tavern and took a detour back to the caravan park to Nightcliff Jetty, which was unfortunately under construction so we couldn’t walk along it. We went back to the caravan park, and I got ready for my trial shift at Char. I left Allan at camp and drove into the city to Char. I was a little anxious, as I had never worked in hospitality aside from waitressing a few weddings as a young teenager. I met the floor manager and manager who introduced me to the other staff and went through how the pass works, as well as what he expected me to do. There were only 44 bookings for tonight, which is very quiet for Char, but they did expect a few walk-ins. I met Hannah the girl who was working the pass tonight and who was going to be teaching me the ropes. Hannah showed me the table number system they use. Service got under way at 6pm and I quickly learnt what the meals look like and what was needed for each meal. I got to see how it worked and how to talk too the chef. It didn’t get busy until about 7-7:30pm and I did a lot of running, because they were one person short for running. I kept getting confused between different steaks, how they were cooked and their gravy, especially when I was taking out 2 or 3 steaks at a time. I don’t think I did too badly, but I learnt more about running food than how to work the pass. I had to leave at 8pm because I was only working a trial shift and I legally wasn’t allowed to stay. I enjoyed the experience and was grateful to have been given the opportunity and I was offered another trial for tomorrow night. I said I would go home and think about it and then message them tomorrow to let them know. I went back to the caravan park where Allan was waiting with a bottle of Bird in Hand sparkling wine to crack open to celebrate me completing my first ever shift of hospitality. He had walked 1.9km and then organised an Uber to drop him back to the caravan park to get the bottle so I couldn’t really say no. We had the bubbles and told Allan all about my night. We discussed whether I should continue, we decided that it probably wasn’t worth me being taught and learning everything and then leaving in 2 weeks. With that decision in mind, we went to bed.

Day 118

Allan woke before me due to itching his midgie bites and got up, because he was scared that he would wake me. Allan had the day off work today, so we chilled out at camp for a bit before heading out for brunch to Besser Kitchen and Brew Bar. We both ordered a long black coffee using their coffee beans of the month. The waitress explained that they get new coffee beans in and do a “coffee bean of the month”. The coffee was delicious, slightly bitter, but quite a smooth, easy flavour. It took us a while to choose what to eat, because everything on the menu sounded delicious. I settled with the breakfast board which included smashed avocado and fetta on toast, a small bowl of homemade granola with Greek yoghurt topped with strawberries and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Allan ordered poached eggs on a homemade potato hash with pulled pork and chilli hollandaise on top. Both meals were huge and delicious. Allan and I were both impressed and want to go back to try something else from their scrumptious looking menu! We went back to the caravan park, had a swim in the pool, then went out again into the city to Six Tanks Brewery. Allan ordered a paddle of six beers 250mL each and I had a schooner (pint in SA) of Magnus Cider. We sat and chilled out at Six Tanks, then went across the road to have a look at the souvenir shop of Crocosaurus Cove. We could see out the back to where the crocodiles were swimming in their aquariums, and they were huge crocs!! We decided we will go back and have a proper look when we were more sober. We got back in the car and wanted to go to One Mile Brewery, but it is closed on Tuesday’s. We researched Beaver Brewery and Willing Distillery, but they too are closed on Tuesday’s. Allan was running out of patience, so he decided to go to the waterfront. We went to Hot Tamale a Mexican Restaurant for food. Allan ordered a jug of red sangria and chorizo nachos, while I ordered a chorizo quesadilla. The food was delicious, and the quesadilla was just the right portion for me not to feel too full. Allan really struggled to eat his nachos, so I had to help him. We went back to the caravan park, booked more nights at Reception, then went back to our site. We chilled out, went for a swim in the pool, played Monopoly Deal (Allan is winning 28 to 22). Allan had leftover carbonara for tea, while I had a pear, because I just wasn’t hungry. We relaxed outside until the midges just got too bad, then we went to bed.

Day 119

We had coffee and drove to Charles Darwin National Park, which has many mountain bike tracks, a lookout and picnic area, some WWII bunkers and information about WWII and a short walking track. The walk was quite easy, but Allan forgot to put Bushman’s on and was getting bitten by midgies. The WWII information was very interesting and showed how close Japan got to invading Australia. We went to Woolworths to get some food supplies, then went back to the caravan park and had steak and salad wrap for brunch. I went and donated plasma and left Allan at camp. I enjoyed the snacks after donating plasma and brought some cheese and Jatz biscuits home for Allan as well. I went swimming in the pool while Allan got ready for work. Allan left for work, and I chilled out at camp. I went to the gym, wrote the blog, went for another swim, then cut up some mangoes from the $10 bag we bought from the stall on the side of the road on the way back to Darwin from Dundee Beach. Life hack… I cut the sides off the mango then used a spoon to scoop the mango flesh from the skin, which I found to have less waste than other methods I have used. I made guacamole and cooked nachos for tea. I chilled out at our site at the caravan park and went to bed.

This week we adventured around Darwin between Allan’s work shifts and I had a trial in hospitality which I didn’t hate. Stay tuned for our adventures next week in Darwin.

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