Ben and Leah hit the NT

Trip Start Mar 15, 2008
Trip End Oct 02, 2009

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hey everyone so here we are writing to you from the fantastic NT! (Well Leah is writing this time to be precise!)

We arrived in Darwin after an eventful first night...I'll start at the start so if you want to skip bits then you can.

So our last day in Adelaide was spent finalising the last few things, catching up with our parents and in my case eating lots and drinking 5 glasses of wine before heading off to meet up with our farewell party for our 10:15pm flight to Darwin.

The flight went off without a hitch despite the unusual squealing noise coming from the wheels every time they were used to go forward, backwards or anything really. Other than that we had a great flight which lasted about 4 hours we even managed to arrive early on the tarmac by 25 mins. However that's when things started to go a little pear shaped. We weren't allowed off the plane due to the storm that was electrifying the air around us (although only every 15 mins or so it seemed) Luckily the wait only lasted 10-15 mins and we happily left our squeezy seats for the humid atmosphere of Darwin.

We continued into the airport to quickly pick up the keys for our hire car before they closed for the evening and then settled down to wait for our luggage, which we were told, would be a little delayed again due to the weather. So we waited 15 mins....30mins......1hour.....1 hour 15 this time I had curled up on the airport floor with my rock hard daypack under head figuring that I needed to get some sleep and at the rate we were going the hostel beds we had booked would go unslept in! Anyway after more than 2 hours our bags finally made it through on the little carousel. We grabbed them and piled into our little Toyota Yaris before heading off to find the hostel we had booked that advertised 24 hour reception.

We arrived to find a completely quiet and shut reception at 3:15am and was about to panic when we noticed the sign with the phone number to call for after hours check ins! Whew at that state of sleep deprivation I may have been inclined to do something hasty. Instead we called the number and got the security guys to head out and let us in. After being showed our room and given a key by a guy who was originally from Adelaide (for a small city Adelaide certainly populates Australia well!) we settled into bed at 4am. I'm pretty sure I was asleep within a couple of minutes and it seemed not much longer that my alarm went off at 9:30 am to get up again. We had showers and packed up with the plan to grab something to eat drive around to see a bit of Darwin including the interesting WW2 oil storage tanks and then catch up for coffee with a school friend of mine who now lives in Darwin. All went well especially the choccy milk for brekky which I am trying to fill up on before leaving the only country in the world with GOOD flavoured milk.

We then headed the 317kms to Katherine where we had more friends to catch up with who kindly offered for us to stay at their place for a couple of nights. We fell into bed early that night with bellies full of the most delicious Barramundi I have ever had! The next day saw us sleeping in and then heading down to the wonderful Mataranka hot springs after a quick tour of Katherine. The springs were great even though they had been flooded only 3 days before. We had a relaxing dip and saw some local wildlife including a wild pig, wallaby and lots of spiders and fish. Unfortunately no bats as we were there at the wrong time of the day. We them raced back (love the 130km speed limits in the NT) to make the last Katherine gorge cruise of the day. Alas we missed it by 10 mins and had to head back to Michele and Scott's for the evening with plans to make the 9am cruise the next day. We made the cruise and managed to get a fully clothed dip in a waterhole beneath a great waterfall as part of the refreshing!

It was then back to Darwin where we missed the last jumping crocodiles cruise for the day by 15 mins (are you seeing a pattern here???) so consoled ourselves with a visit to a crocodile park before catching up with friends for another free feed. Our flight didn't leave until 1:30 am so we got there a bit early around 10:30pm and returned the keys and waited (because there was problems with the computers at the check in counter) before we finally boarded the plane to Sydney!!!! YAY!

It was good to revisit quickly places I hadn't been to for 10 years but I'm also looking forward to adventures that are awaiting us in Sydney!
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