DARWIN

Dazed and bleary eyed, we passed through the terminal and began building our bikes outside.  The air smells familiar – it’s good to be back in Australia. Twice we have locals approach us, and offer a place for us to stay.  It’s the wet season, and it’s pouring so we take up the offer.  Welcome to Darwin!

Darwin is an interesting mix and grows on you easily.  It is a modern capital, but with a distinctive frontier feel about it.  Twice it has been flattened – first by the Japanese in WWII, then by Cyclone Tracey in 1974.  Combine that with suffocating heat, waterways filled with crocs, and the constant reminder of isolation and you can start to appreciate how resilient and independent the locals are.  They also tell it like it is.  As we found out, fumbling around trying to insert our credit card in the machine at the supermarket. “This is Darwin, luv – swipe it”.

After a brief tour of the major sites, we headed to the ABC radio station to share our story.  A word of advice, you will never win trying to introduce your partner “boxing style”!  Jokes aside, it was a great experience and we thank Leon Compton for having us on his show.  You can listen to the reply on our Media page if you are interested.

Next we met crocodile guru, Tom Nichols, of Darwin’s Crocodile Management Program.  His team keep troublesome crocs out of Darwin’s waterways and teach locals how to be “Croc Safe”.  They trapped and removed over 250 crocodiles last year!  We patted a recently caught “saltie” and secretly hoped this would be as close as we ever come to one again.

We rounded out our stay, having dinner with Greg & Kathy, whom we met while fixing a puncture in Mitchell Street.  A retired couple they have cycled to Darwin from Sydney, and are now making preparations for the journey on to Western Australia!  It was a great dinner, and nice to realise we aren’t the only crazy people up here on bikes!

From Darwin, we head across to Kakadu National Park, then down the Stuart Highway to Katherine.

Stay tuned and enjoy the ride!

Jules & Jess

 

Want to learn more?  Then check out the link below;

http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/wildlife/becrocwise/index.html

4 AM putting the bikes together outside Darwin airport

 

Welcome to Darwin!

 

Thanks for letting us stay in your shop Phil !

 

Darwin - an interesting mix of capital and frontier town

 

Surf's Up! Darwin waterfront precinct

 

"The Wet Season" Storm clouds brewing over Darwin Harbour

 

"Sweetheart" The heavy weight king of the billabong!

 

Up close, with 5.1m and 780kg of crocodile!

 

Invasion fears, after the bombing of Darwin during WWII

 

A WWII gun embattlement on Darwin's shorefront

 

Jess "live" on ABC Radio Darwin

 

With Tom Nichols and a "croc trap"

 

Jess patting a "Saltie" !

 

Sunsets here are amazing!

 

Magnum's for dessert !! Dinner with Greg & Kathy before leaving.