Archive for the 'Darwin' Category

by Squage
on May 2nd, 2007

More About Darwin


Long time no speak – it seems Pat’s been hogging this blog space to gush about diving and rant about Fast(to-Charge-You-Fees-But-Rather-Slower-At-Actually-Providing-A-Service)hosts. Thought I’d fill you in on a couple of the bits about Darwin that Pat missed out:

  • Sitting By The Pool
    The Awesome Pool At The Cavenagh HostelPat mentioned this, but what he didn’t mention is that on one of the many times he (and often Liz) were sitting by pools, he couldn’t really see very well and was spending a fair amount of time moaning about painful eyes.

    Yep, despite previously falling for the same trap in a pool in Broome, he figured that the salty pool water meant that it was 100% desalinised and 0% Chlorinated.

    After 30 minutes or so of mucking around underwater, he noticed his vision had gone a little cloudy. Then came the chlorine pain. I have no sympathy, frankly…

  • Sights Of Darwin
    On his first full day in Darwin Pat took an early morning (well, around 9am – that’s bloody early for backpackers when they’re in a city) stroll around the town and coast line. Here are some piccie highlights from his trundle:

    Cairns Town Hall. The old one. As you might guess:

    War Tunnels (closed, alas, but I almost got through the grating!):
    Squage And The War Tunnel

    Pretty Coastline:

    Various War Memorials And Placards:
    What Is It Good For?

  • Darwin Museum And Art Gallery
    After going to see Liz’s travelling companion Melissa in hospital (alas one of her million “Broome Souveniers” (mozzie bites) had got infected so for 3 days of her Darwin trip the sights were somewhat limited to a curtain around her bed, whilst the sounds were limited to the sounds of someone coughing their guts up at the other side of her room), Pat and Liz went to get some culture at the Darwin Museum And Art Gallery.

    Clearly frightened by this concept, Pat ensured that the opportunity to be as childish as possible for as long as possible wasn’t missed and so on the way to the museum insisted that the following photo was taken:
    Pat tells me it’s funny. I don’t get it.

    Anyway, the museum was actually pretty cool (apparently… I was stuck in Pat’s back in a locker at reception. Maybe they were concerned I would be a Squage FULL OF BOMBS…). Pat recommends going there if you get a chance as a) it’s free, b) the stuff about Cyclone Tracy is both compelling and shocking to see and hear, c) it’s free, d) there’s an excellent area surrounding aboriginal history, e) it’s free, f) the area on the history of the planet is really interesting, g) it’s free and h) there’re some cool looking stuffed animals to see:

    Pat’s looking nervous there, but just you wait until you see the Litchfield ones below! (Aww wow, that was like a little radio tease that Pat used to do on SGR Colchester. Maybe I should play some ads here or something? Ok, here goes:

    Come to Cairns Diving School!
    It’s really pretty cool!
    We’ve got a swimming pool!
    We’ll teach you all the rule! (…s of diving)

    Cairns Diving School. A Diving School. In Cairns. YES!
    Come to Cairns Diving School!
    Or you will be a fool!
    Others may pull some wool!(…over your eyes regarding their quality of dive programmes)
    But we’re the only school! (…which teaches diving that is in our opinion of a high enough quality to be of use to you)

    Ok, that’s enough. On with the blog! (I think you need some sleep, mate – Pat))

  • Trips To “The Vic”
    Evening entertainment was had at the main backpacker pub/bar/club “The Vic” a number of times during the week, the most notable being the evening that Raf arrived from his 5 day Kimberlies tour and saw plenty of (i.e. far too much) alcohol consumed by all in attendance.

    Early in the evening, Liz took advantage of the free body painting service:
    Liz Getting Finishing Touches Cool!

    Then Raf took part in a drinking competition:

    He didn’t win. Mind you, it WAS ginger beer. I don’t blame him.

    Then it was onto the usual bout of sobriety:

    Pat was also very excited when, on the night after that above, he WON A HAT in a “guess the intro to a song first” competition. The premise was this: a song intro was played. The first person to run onto the stage and guess the song correctly won a prize. Pat spent the first 3 songs sitting down going “Yep, that’s blah by blah” about 10 seconds before anyone got on stage. On the 4th it was suggested that maybe he should actually get on stage with the next song. He did. He won a hat.

    So, believe it or not, there is a real advantage gained from doing prerecorded radio shows where all you hear is the first few seconds of each song. I think we can all agree it was worth it. I mean, for a start the hat Pat won was a beautiful fit:


  • Litchfield National Park Visit
    Starting with a 6:30am pick up, which Pat was really very happy about having stayed up drinking until about 12:30am, this was a surprisingly good day given how bloody awful Pat felt for at least half of it.

    The morning revolved around Crocodiles, which are abundant in the northern part of the Northern Territory – stopping firstly at the tour headquarters, where a 2 year old croc was in residence. In Pat’s first Mental Act Of The Day, he decided to hold it:
    Smiling With FEAR!
    Apparently it was soft, a bit scaly and rather cool to the touch. And a bit growly…

    Pat’s second Mental Act Of The Day involved saying “Ok” to the invitation of sitting in a small boat, setting out onto a river and watching his tour guide feeling an over-5-metres-long Crocodile called Hannibal The Cannibal (he eats anything, which was comforting news for the people on the boat to hear…) – at rather close range:

    Here He Comes…
    Here He Comes...

    Eyeing Up The Food…
    Eyeing Up The Food...

    Open Wide!
    Open Wide!


    Mental, I tell ya.

    The rest of the Litchfield experience revolved mainly around swimming at, around and under some gorgeous waterfalls and gorgeous water holes:

    And also admiring some of the local wildlife:
    Trying To Look Scary.  Actually Looking Comical. Termite Mounds: Big

    Before finally ending up back in Darwin for a champagne (and prawns, for everyone else) sunset:

So, yeah, a bit more to tell you than Pat had bothered with, eh? Hope that wasn’t too arduous. If so, watch out – I’ve still got Pat’s Cape Tribulation weekender, some Cairns stuff and a whole lot of Diving Bits to go on about!

By the way, if you want to see the Diving Photos, check them out here!

Toodles for now!


by Pat
on Apr 20th, 2007

1:40am Flights Are A Bad Idea

Particularly if you’re already tired due to a night out at The Vic in Darwin the night before, then do a (great) day trip to Litchfield National Park during the day and then go out in the evening prior to the flight.

Nevertheless, I made it on my flight from Darwin to Cairns… via Brisbane (hooray for the budget flight involving doing about twice the distance needed)… and am now in Cairns, feeling a bit better despite being awake for about 28 hours – as I’ve had a nice 5 hour sleep this afternoon.

I’ve noticed that I didn’t really mention anything about Darwin – well, it’s nice. Not a great deal to do, but the city’s clean, people seem pretty nice and the coast is lurvely (despite being somewhat inaccessible due to jellyfish). I spent about 4 days there and did such things as a) use the Internet (wow), b) visit the Museum and Art Gallery (very interesting, particularly the stuff about Cyclone Tracey), c) Walk around in the sun and d) sit by a pool at one of two hostels, occasionally doing some swimming. “d)” was mostly performed.

Now I’m in Cairns and there’s lots more going to be going on:

  • Cape Tribulation / Port Headland Visit – Tomorrow Raf (from my Perth to Broome tour), James and Liz (both from my Heading Bush tour) are going to be hiring a car and heading up to that gorgeous area, staying overnight. Should be ace!
  • Atherton Tablelands – Again a hire car will be involved (although not sure who’s coming yet) and we’ll be enjoying the impressive views in the ‘lands
  • Kuranda Scenic Rail / SkyRail – A lovely scenic winding old railway into the forests, followed by some Koala holding at an animal park and then a trip on the world’s longest Gondola thing (a full 7.2km long) across the hills and valleys
  • Minjin – Not quite a bungy, more of a biiiig swing thing that you sit in. It’s at the Cairns bungy site and is run by the same folk who somehow convinced m e to jump off a bridge with in New Zealand…
  • 5 DAY LEARN TO DIVE COURSE! – On Thursday I’m going to be embarking on a 2 day classroom, 3 day “on the sea” diving course to get my PADI Open Water Diving license – and have an amazing time. It’s with Pro Dive Cairns, who a number of people tell me are the best (big thanks to Mr Gib for the recommendation!)

For now though, I’ve got some dried clothes to fold up and then some dinner to have. Live the dream ;-)



A bit tired