Trip Start Jan 28, 2006
Trip End Feb 20, 2007

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Flag of Australia  ,
Thursday, August 24, 2006

I landed in Darwin on Aug 15th.  After reading through the Lonely Planet guide book I picked a few things that I could do that wouldn't send me to the poor house. Australia is a great country to explore, but far too expensive to be able to see and do everything. I saw all the free sights, including the botanic gardens, Australia's Northern Territory museum, the red sands of Mindil Beach, and the ever so bland downtown area. The highlight of the first week in Darwin had to be visiting Litchfeild National Park. It's a National Park with a few billabongs (swimming holes). The swimming holes have waterfalls that fill each swimming hole with the perfect amount of warm swimming water. It's an ideal place to chill out for the afternoon. After a week or so I came to realize that Darwin is much like any city in Australia. It has it's backpackers pubs, its hostels and a beach. I wanted to do a tour of Kakadu National Park, but prices start at an expensive $350 per person. Not only that, we heard that Kakadu really wasn't all that great. I felt I needed to figure out what I was gonna do next. Darwin is an isolated smaller city that does not need all that long to see. The closest two places to travel to from here are Alice Spings & Uluru in the center of Aus, or the far west camel capital, Broome. Each place is at least fifteen hundred kms away from Drawin. Without a vehicle for the road trip I was stuck in Darwin. I called several camper van rental companies, and managed to find vehicle for relocation to Alice Springs. It would cost $25 a day, and the journey had to be completed in 4 days.. I figured I could drive to Alice Springs, and visit the big red rock a few hundred kms from there. From Alice Springs I would somehow find a ride to Broome. I figured it would take two or three weeks to do the 4000 KM trip. So, I got my stuff together and said goodbye to the Darwin hostel. I was all set to go, until I turned up at the camper van rental agency. Appolo camper van rentals politely informed us that they mucked-up, and the camper van was not ready because it was in the shop being repaired. I was furious of course! They apologized blaming it all on head office, and assured me that it would be ready for the next day.

It turns out that I couldn't have been more lucky not securing the camper van that day. I heard from another traveller at the hostel that the local travel agencies in Darwin had a special on for Bali.  I checked it out, and booked the package deal that same day. I was off to Bali in three days. I knew absolutely nothing about Bali, but the price was right.

Next stop, Dempasar, Bali, Indonesia!
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