SATURDAY 12 FEBRUARY DARWIN
Moving day today. Had the original plan worked, we’d have been returning from Kakadu today.
Left Star City about 10.30am. Couldn’t go into our apartment at Cullen Bay until 2pm, so had time to fill in.
Went to the weekly Parap Markets and wandered about there. Unlike the better known tourist destination of the Mindil Beach Market, the ones centred on the Parap Village centre operate all year round. They are not of the same scale as Mindil Beach, or at least they weren’t at this time of year. But in some ways, I preferred these to Mindil Beach. They seemed more geared to the permanent residents of Darwin, and less to tourists.
There were many food stalls and some selling fruit and vegies. There were a few stalls with the usual Darwin market kitch offerings.
We bought some greengroceries – our apartment was self catering, and I fancied a salad tea.Tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, red onion, a dragon fruit because John wanted to try it.
We browsed the surrounding Parap shops too. Went into one art gallery shop. I was initially attracted by some aboriginal print fabric that was on display, thinking it would make up into great cushions. But then we looked at some limited edition prints on paper. John was very attracted to a stylized one of an owl. I loved it too, so we bought it, for $350. One of only 20 made. It would be mailed to Melbourne for us. With my artist brother now specializing in doing prints on paper, these days I had more of an appreciation of print making as an art form.
From the Markets, drove to the Wharf precinct and wandered about some more. We only had cool drinks there. We’d both had a final big breakfast at the Sunset, this morning (despite my supplies purchase yesterday), so neither of us was hungry at lunchtime.
All that filled in the time for us. Our final stop was at the Nightcliff shops for more supplies for the apartment. I bought olives, feta cheese, a carrot, some mixed leaves, milk, bread, margarine, a little jar of marmalade, bananas and oranges. Bought a couple of pasta dura rolls for tonight, and a Weekend Australian – that cost $4! We needed to be careful not to oversupply ourselves with foodstuffs. It wasn’t like a caravan park, where we could take food with us when we moved on.
So, to our establishment at Cullen Bay Apartments.
We had Apartment 403, several levels up. The complex was built around a central atrium, like Sky City. Maybe it’s a tropical thing, for some reason? However, unlike Sky City, this had more of a roofed effect because of the walkways at each level, so was gloomier, with no plants growing.
The underground car park spaces were tight to get into, because of the placement of pillars. But at least, they were under cover, with a degree of security, and with lift access to each floor.
Our apartment was fine. It was clean. We had a bedroom, kitchen/living area, bathroom off the bedroom. There were two split system aircons, ceiling fans, a good TV, couch, a couple of tables. All we needed to stay in comfort – except there were no microwave specific cooking dishes.
We had a nice little balcony, where we could sit out and look over the Cullen Bay Marina – interesting in itself. Below us, in front, a street of waterfront houses edged this part of the Marina. Presumably, the residents accounted for a number of the definitely upmarket boats moored there.
If there were any lightning storms over Darwin, we should have a good view of same, from our balcony.
So, I was happy with the unit. Back in 2006, we had visited a friend of M’s who lived in one of these serviced apartments, provided as part of her job. So I’d had a fair idea of what they were like.
We unpacked. John watched sport on TV. We had a beer each for happy hour, out on the balcony, watching the boat activity in the marina, and the sunset over it.
I made a Greek salad, and a leafy green one, for tea. These made a nice change from all the large and heavy meals we’d been eating. We didn’t have any wine with the meal – again, a change. I only had one bottle left from the supplies we’d bought, and was saving that for another time. The dragon fruit tasting was really a non-event. John wasn’t keen on it.
There were some storms at night, but no lightning.