This has been the un-christmassey-est Christmas we have ever had!
Missing home and family big time!
Cyclone Grant didnt arrive, just lots of rain, so we have left to drive
south and after 5 hours driving, it is still raining.
Darwin was empty except for pockets of people in hotels and bars. The
city shops were deserted on Christmas eve, and many of the shop units
empty. We did a trip to Litchfield National Park and had a wonderful swim
at a waterfall. Australia’s national parks are truly fantastic!
It was looking as though the cyclone would not reach Darwin, (we would not
wish it on them; everyone still talks about Tracy and our hotel has photos of
cars that were picked up and dumped in the swimming pool) So we took a long
sweaty walk in 99% humidity to the NT museum where they have a mock up cyclone
that you can experience. But this “open every day” museum had closed till
the 27th, leaving a little group of perplexed tourists whinging in the cafe next
door. The highlights of the day were walking by mistake through school
grounds and having to scale the fence to escape, and finding a dead dog at the
park entrance, whose mouth and head were full of blowfly maggots.
Darwin has some lovely architecture, fine government buildings and some
good restoration work, but Cyclone Tracy destroyed much of the city and there
are now a lot of nasty 60’s looking developments. Aussie towns we have
seen have been wonderfully litter free but Darwin’s parks are strewn with
litter, bottles and cans deposited by drunks.
We (I) did plan to do some volunteering in our 4 days, but somehow, the
prevalent tropical inertia took over and we watched a lot of TV in the cool of
our hotel room. We did go for a lovely Christmas buffet dinner on
Christmas day and teamed up with a super couple from our hotel, who met in
Darwin 37 years ago and had come back to celebrate.
But our overriding impression of Darwin for Christmas was “rather be