Bike Odyssey
Sydney to Darwin 2001

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Journal for 8-Aug-2001 : Darwin
Date: 08/08/2001 (Location=Darwin, Dist=0km, Total=4584km)
I really enjoyed Darwin much more than the last time I was here two years ago. I think it might have something to do with the fact that last time the entire experience was dominated by trying to organise a series of replacent bits for the bikes, as well as a bunch of other unpleasantries, like paying TAX etc. This time it was pure relaxation rather than frustration.

Today was a rest day, so the bikes got to laze about in the hotel room while we explored the town on foot. Bloody hell, walking is s l o w . . . !! We wandered down to Cullen Bay where Darwin puts on its best face. OK, Darwin's real estate developers have put the best face possible on this property development precinct which is sprouting gleeming new apartment blocks from every vacant scrap of land. They all line a beautiful section of Darwin Harbour that is so pretty at high tide, the developers
have bannished the low tide mud flats to the outer side of yacht lock. It is impressively beautiful, glitzy, upbeat, upmarket yet still retains Darwin's relaxed slow pace the warm humid weather generally imposes, air conditioner batteries not withstanding. Here, people who can, or just think they can, afford to live the million dollar lifestyle rub shoulders with the every day Joe who saunters down to catch a fish or two off the pier. Here, the miniscule difference between a fish and chip shop and a sw
anky seafood resteraunt is only detectable by close inspection of the business licence.

Its very easy to get into the swing of Darwin's hot and occasionally (Sept to March) humid weather. Just slow down a touch and try to remember that this is not really paridise, and it isn't like this all year. I'm told "the buildup" isn't quite so dreamy, when it gets hot and very sticky and you have to spend most of your time dealing with people who haven't been able to sleep properly the night before - when you havn't had enough sleep yourself. The local's refer to this time of year as the end of "the
chill", when it gets so cold Darwinites have to close some of their windows. As we sat in a park by the beach watching the tide go out, and out, and further out we reflected on how much easier it is to adjust to warm weather than to cool weather.

David F

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