Day 7 - Darwin in the tropics

Trip Start Feb 04, 2012
Trip End Mar 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Diamond Princess Cruise Ship

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Saturday, February 11, 2012

We reached Darwin around noon, so it was a rather short port stop of about six hours.  Darwin is in the tropics so again the temperature was in the 90s and humidity right up at the top.  Many people stayed on board rather than going out into the heat, but we couldn’t stand the idea of being at Darwin and not experiencing some of what the city had to offer.  
A twenty-minute walk along the oceanfront took us from the pier to the downtown area of Darwin.  This is a city that was bombed during WWII and leveled by a cyclone on Christmas Eve 1974, which left only four hundred of its 4000 homes intact. The city has taken quite a beating, but had a strong resolve to rebuild, so once again it is a beautiful seacoast town with tourism as a major source of income. 
We dripped with perspiration from the moment we left the ship.  Besides doing some walking around, we went to a place called Crocosaurus Cove, right on main street, which boasts the largest collection of reptile species in Australia.  Probably their claim to fame is the 15-foot crocodile living there that was the star in the show, “Crocodile Dundee”.  He is now 80 years old! 
An incubation area for baby crocs is another feature of this site, and we watched their feeding time.  Meat is put on the end of a line and dangled over the water, so the crocs actually jump right up out of the water to grab the meat!  It’s pretty amazing to see.  We watched some of the huge, older crocs do the same thing, and observing those big crocs getting that kind of weight out of the water to catch their food was very entertaining.
On the way back to the ship we stopped in a little air conditioned pub and had a pint of beer each (it was for re-hydration, you know).  Getting some water and beer into us rejuvenated us enough to walk along the coastal walkway, which was lovely.  I stopped to wade in a lagoon, which was so warm it wasn’t refreshing at all.  So when we got back to the ship, we went to the pool for a swim.  Even though the ship pools are quite warm, it was refreshing.
Dinner theme was Thai food, and I love that kind of food (they always have "regular" food options, too).  We attended a juggling/comedy show by entertainer Jeff Bradley, and then went to a recital by the ship’s string quartet which was astounding.  The entertainment on board is very high quality, and it’s all included in the price of the cruise.  We toyed with going to the Movie Under the Stars out on the top deck, but I knew I’d sleep through most of it, so went to bed instead.
Another full and lovely day.
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