Tuesday 31st May 2011, Darwin.
Another reminder that the weather here is something we have to come to grips with: The fact that the temperatures are so consistent, i.e. 30 during the day and 18-20 during the night, is not so hard to get used to, but walking during the day is just about a must before midday as it just gets too hot in the afternoon, and definitely do not go off walking without water. I guess the weather conditions here would be easy to get used to though, with the exception of the wet season.
Another maintenance day today with the cleaning of the front door security screen for what must have been the first time ever. I have noticed lately that it needed cleaning with obvious dirt on the rails, and Linda said today was the day while she was making up new curtains for the same door. When I applied some soapy water to loosen the grime the effect was to really show up the dirt, and when I had cleaned half of the door it was so obvious how dirty the whole thing was, nice and clean now though, and all the much better with the new curtains.
I have finally taken the plunge and bought that six foot step ladder that I have been thinking about for so long. I did a little TV job for a fellow camper the other day and to get up on the roof he had a table beside the van and a small 3 step ladder placed on top of it, a bit precarious, so when I saw another chap close by with one of those fully fold up ladders I asked if I could borrow it to find a storage place if I were to buy one, and found the remaining area on the roof rack would accommodate it perfectly, so seeing Bunnings had these ladders on special I made the purchase. I had a bit of a practice today unfolding it, and was very easy, and used it to climb up on the roof of our van to have a look at the job I have been putting off because I didnâ€™t have a decent ladder, and made the statement â€œ Why havenâ€™t I had one of these beforeâ€?. I can see the benefits of having it are just going to be so numerous that I can see that one day I will make the comment â€œHow did I ever do without this ladderâ€?.
Thursday 26th May 2011, Darwin.
What is it with us and running into records with weather conditions wherever we travel? At the moment in Darwin they are experiencing an uncommon cold snap for this time of year and last night recorded the coldest night for May on record. This morning the weather bureau reported that last night the minimum temperature was a colossal FOUR DEGREES below normal at 16 degree just before sunrise, and the maximum for today was a low 29 degrees. I must admit we were expecting a cooler evening and put a blanket on the bed in readiness, but thatâ€™s not as bad as the stories about local people having to put the heater on in the car on their way to work. Things must be tough to be a local in such low temperatures, some were even heard to say â€œWe may as well be in Melbourneâ€?, I reckon they would be in for a shock.
Wednesday 25th May 2011, Darwin.
I remember someone on the Sunshine Coast last year trying to tell me that there was a time period, even within the dry season, not to visit Darwin and the area, but I canâ€™t remember what the reason was, if it was ever given to me. I think I may have figured out what it might be: This time of the dry season sees most of the national park walks closed because of either water or crocodiles. This may not be a normal reason though, as this years wet was the wettest for a very long time and they may be taking a while longer than usual to get over it. This does not bother us as we are going to be here for a few months and all the walks will eventually be open for us to partake in, but this is no consolation for those who only come here for a very short visit. A short drive today took us to a couple of the parks that were closed, but now I have accessed a web site that gives information on access to all parks in the area. We did visit an attraction called the Window to the Wetlands, and it was just that. It was a lookout on the only hill in the area looking out over miles and miles of nothing but flat wetlands, something we were just not expecting so our visit here has been very enlightening already.
Monday 23rd May 2011, Darwin.
Today I decided to chase up that ABC radio story that I gave the interview for back in Alice Springs before Easter. We very seldom listen to ABC, as I prefer some music rather than talk shows, so between being out of radio area at times since, and forgetting to tune in when in area, we missed the show when it went to air. I have found out that it did in fact go to air on the 11th May and have downloaded a â€˜Pod castâ€™ of the show and had a listen to it, the URL is Country Hour ABC 11/05/11 if anybody wants to listen, our story is the last of the show.
Saturday 21st May 2011, Darwin.
We have now had several look-around trips around Darwin and have the opinion that we do rather like the place, apart from the constant heat at night, but we will have to get used to that. We will now have a few days of relaxation though as Linda has a minor problem with her back and has to take it easy for a while. There is car racing on this weekend so that decision wasnâ€™t very hard to make. I have also had a look at the local public transport, busses, and have found that us old seniors card holders are eligible for free transport, but the only problem is that there arenâ€™t many busses actually go past the caravan park so that will make it a little more difficult.