WEDNESDAY 9 AUGUST DARWIN
We left early, to take Truck to Landrover, for a new assessment and eventual fix. We were lent a little Mitsubishi Colt for the duration – no charge for this, since they hadn’t fixed the clutch problem last time. We appreciated that.
M was going to do her own thing this morning, while we did assorted mundane things. I think washing figured large on her agenda.
After leaving Truck, we went to the Cool Spot for breakfast. It was really pleasant – almost decadent – sitting on the veranda, in the morning’s warmth, looking out over the sea.
We went to Casuarina shops. I found a place that could cut my hair, with little waiting, at a reasonable price. The cut was adequate.
We found an optometrist where John had his eyes tested. Two new pairs of glasses would be needed – one for normal use and one for close up work, as per usual. He ordered these – they would be ready for collection on Friday week. We knew we would be here until at least then, because the Rumble in the Jungle Bowls event was not until 19th.
Went back to the van for lunch, after doing a grocery shop.
In the afternoon, we all drove into the city centre. Took Tiger Brennan Drive, which we could get onto easily, not far from the caravan park. This was the closest thing Darwin had to a freeway and allowed traffic to avoid the heap of traffic lights and slower going of the Stuart Highway.
Darwin was still small enough to be able to get a parking spot not too far from the central Mall.
I wanted to stroll the Mall, looking at the tourist oriented shops, with a view to getting Xmas presents for the family. There was no shortage of places to look at, though the merchandise was pretty repetitive.
Bought two rubbery crocodiles, some 25cm long, for my two grandchildren. I remember my son having one, as a little boy – could not remember where it came from. He loved it and had to have “Fierce” at bedtimes. I hoped the two I bought today might become as loved.
John bought a polo shirt with a Darwin logo, and me a T shirt with a small, stitched logo. We bought a couple of stubby holders, and two somewhat risque souvenirs for son and my brother.
M did some similar shopping for her family members.
We walked around some of the central streets, just browsing.
At a shop called House of Pearls, John bought me a pair of pearl earrings that I liked. They were dangly ones, with several tiny pinky coloured pearls – freshwater mussel ones? – on long wires. Rather “different” , for $50.
After a sojourn back at the van, we all drove back to town, to the Stokes Hill Wharf, for a very nice seafood dinner. The set up there was that a number of hawker style food outlets had been set up in one of the former shipping buildings. Seafood predominated in both Asian and Australian establishments. The procedure was that one bought their food, then found a spot at one of the tables outside, on the wharf apron, and ate, overlooking the sea. Very relaxed, cool, enjoyable, and very pretty at night.
It had been a day of being tourists, which was very pleasant to do. We were able to enjoy Darwin, without a heap of business to see to and without having to head out of town on a long drive at the end of the day.