After last night, I had a bit of a lie in today. I was planning on going out with whoever was visiting the Lichfield National park, to see waterfalls and have a mellow day out, but as my bankcards were still in the post, I decided to hang around the Hostel and wait for them instead.
Jennifer Parsonage, Linda, Maartje, Liv and Isabelle got a car between them and were out all day to Lichfield and had a great time. Maartje showed me her photos when they returned and it looked gorgeous. I hope Kakadu National park, that we are heading towards tomorrow is as nice!
After my lie in I went online and spent a good hour tracing my parcel through parcel force in the UK onto a company called EMS and eventually to Auspost, where the latest entry had my cards in the drivers van at 0528 this morning. I managed to get through to auspost on skype too and had confirmation that the package would arrive at 100% adventure travels office, just across the road sometime before 4.30pm. So it turned out that I made a good choice not to go out for the day!
After mellowing out with Lisa and sending a few emails at lunchtime I headed out for a wander around town. I made my way to the seafront and onto the beach, only to have a 'Kenneth', moment when I nearly sank into the mud. I quickly left the beach and the salt water crocodiles that we are told lurk there somewhere. I had a really nice walk around town in the baking heat and sweated a lot of the alcohol from last night out of my system. When I arrived back at the Hostel, Matt and Awal were preparing a Thanksgiving dinner, with Becky, Frankie, Natalie and Laura - It looked really good and they all seemed to enjoy their afternoons celebrations.
I wandered out again and headed in the other direction, towards Parliament house and a new development down by a wharf, where there is a swimming area and an outdoor wave pool. Earlier in the day a few of us nearly went down there for the afternoon, but the girls decided instead to go and watch the New Harry Potter movie in a nice air conditioned cinema! Lisa and Bev both enjoyed the movie and I enjoyed a nice afternoon strolling around a lovely part of town.
When I got back to the city centre, I spotted about 4 or 5 Auspost vans and postmen, but none of them seemed to be carrying my package. However, I spotted a plain van with a temporary sticker saying 'Auspost', parked across the road from the 100% office. I didn't want to ask stupid questions like ' Do you have a package for me, but with the address for that office over there?', so I sat and watched the postman deliver about 20 parcels to everywhere but where I wanted! Her then got back into his van and sat for 5 minutes, before finally grabbing a big envelope and dropping it into the office!! I calmly walked over and the really nice girl behind the desk was just about to call me and inform me it had arrived, when I walked in. There on the desk was my envelope and my replacement cards!! Result!! If you ever need anything in Darwin, then go to 100% travel in Mitchell street, the girl who works there and the rest of the staff are ace and really helpful!! Thank you!!
I left with a big smile and went straight to an ATM to check the cards. One worked fine, the second after 2 attempts and the 3rd wouldn't work at all!! Bugar.
After a few frantic phone calls home to my mum and dad and to the card issuers, it turned out that I had my pin numbers mixed up and would have to wait a while to get the card reset and try again.
There was nothing else for it, but to have a beer and a pie from Tommos pies (again) and then veg out and chat to everyone whilst they had their dinners and talked about their days.
This was the first day on the whole trip, where I have done virtually nothing with anyone else and even though I had a nice enough walk around town - it had been a poor day overall. I thought at one point I would be staying here when everyone leaves tomorrow to wait for my cards, but was glad that now I can leave with everyone else.
After a couple of hours, I rang the card issuers again and they confirmed the card should now work, so I left my laptop with Jennifer Parsonage and joined a queue at the ATM to try.
It worked first time!! Thank fook for that. I can now pay off my debt to Lana (Thanks for lending me some dosh, Lana and Jennifer Parsonage!) and have enough money to last the next few days whilst we are travelling south through the outback.
Its now 10pm and everyone has had a really quiet night in. Some have watched movies in the TV room, others just vegged on the Internet and some are mellowing out in their rooms.
Darwin is a really nice place and id love to come back here sometime. We had a really good night out and did some decent shopping. The pies are great and the weather is lovely.
Its an early start tomorrow so bedtime soon, but we are now camping out for the next 3-4 nights (using 10$ bought sleeping bags instead of 20$ hired ones!)
We are expecting to get very little Internet till maybe after the weekend, so there may be a gap between this post and the next. Ill try and keep updated off line and post online when I get the chance!! So far though - Australia is ace!!