TUESDAY 23 MAY DARWIN
The three days off would be a welcome break from the cafe, and a chance to get Truck worked on.
M would not get her day off until Thursdays, so she would usually have to do her recreating on her own.
We left after an early breakfast, to drive to Darwin. Decided to go via the “back” way – the partly unsealed road that circled to the NW from here, crossed the Finniss River and came out by Berry Springs. This had only recently opened for traffic again.
It was a pretty drive, on a fairly good gravel road surface. Much more attractive than the usual route, and considerably shorter. I could see why it was closed during the Wet – the little low level crossing of the Finniss River would go well under.
But that was the nicest part of the day. The rest of it, in Darwin, was most unsatisfactory!
To begin, as we came into phone range, received an extremely nasty message from J’s daughter, which upset him, which had clearly been the intention.
Then, we wrecked a front tyre on Truck – probably from a piece of metal cast up in road works we’d gone through. That meant a road side stop to change the wheel – never an enjoyable task. So then we had to buy another tyre. John decided to go to Truck City – a big service centre area on the approach to Darwin. From the tyre place there we bought a second-hand tyre, that seemed good, and had it fitted to what would now be the spare wheel.
Once in phone range, I tried to book our accommodation for the two nights we would be in town. My first option – Lee Point – did not have en-suite cabins. Free Spirit Resort, another place I knew the quality of, from having camped there in 1993, only had a unit available for one night. I was then able to book a night at Hidden Valley Caravan Park, about which I knew little. So we must move after tonight – not ideal. The town was far more booked up than I had expected, at this time.
We went to the mechanic friend that one of the bosses had recommended. He was very pre-occupied with some personal problems and very vague about dealing with us. We decided to take it to the Landrover Service Centre instead, and drove there. They couldn’t look at it until Thursday – which could cause problems if any repair couldn’t be done that day.
I was definitely gaining the impression that getting things done in Darwin was not all that easy.
John wanted to get lunch at the food court at Casuarina, so we drove over there. The clutch was sticking quite regularly now which made driving harder for John. We had to park Truck on the roof top parking area, where there were not low height restrictions, like in the underground parking areas.
John had an Asian style lunch. I had sandwiches. Went to a supermarket there and bought some food to make tonight’s tea – bread, cold meats, cheeses, some salad.
On the way out, after lunch, John got confused and misread the signs/arrows, and drove into a lower part of the car park. The roof rack scraped along some low hanging pipes and made an absolutely horrible noise. We did not stop to see if there was any damage – to car park or roof rack! John just wanted to get out of there!
Then he tried to drive down a one-way street – the wrong way. I shouted “No”, then got yelled at for giving him a fright. The man was definitely rattled.
Booked into the Free Spirit Resort at Berrimah. After a $9 discount, we paid $81 for the night.
The cabin was pleasant enough, and clean.
John spent the rest of the afternoon messing about on his lap top. I had a lovely long swim in the very nice pool at the Resort. After the day we’d had, it was most enjoyable relaxation.
Phoned son and wife. It was great to talk to them. She seemed much more relaxed about this bub than about the previous one – understandable. The first one is always the hardest.