Darwin, Boxing Day
Tue 27 Dec 2011 09:00
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 in Ukraine”