Tuesday 30th September 2014 Day 22
‘Alimentary’ as Sherlock Homes might have said under these circumstances.
A broken night (I trust I do not have to explain why) and we both still felt significantly unwell despite dioralite and stuff to bung us up. We experimented with toast for breakfast and second breakfast and this seemed to work and gave us more oomph. As a result by noon we felt we had enough energy to venture beyond the compound fence to find a pharmacy and whatever else we felt like doing.
Although the bus stop was right outside our hotel the schedule was not kind to us, so we headed for the chemist in the Mitchell centre in a taxi, where we were able to replace our depleted stocks of gastric medicine ahead of our 4 day outback trip beginning tomorrow. This accomplished we found the post office for two lucky people to receive post cards from us – the lottery was run fairly. You may ask why were these valuable items were not posted from their country of origin? Fair reader we will answer your eager question – the Airways (5 star) Hotel could not supply us with stamps! We hear the mingled cries of shock and horror and thank you for your understanding of our predicament. We admit that could have posted them from the Lodges in the Highlands, but lacked the address information to accomplish this feat.
Post cards properly posted we were free to explore the wonders of Darwin city centre but found little to excite. An active coastal town rebuilt after the devastation of the 1974 Cyclone Tracey, it is functional but unprepossessing. Admittedly we only traversed a short section of its urban area in a very short time while feeling distinctly under the weather (not a cyclone thankfully) which could have coloured our judgement. We were distinctly underwhelmed by the beach in front of the esplanade; we admired the monuments, including the cenotaph before retiring to a nearby mall for a drink. We had been aware of the lack of integration of aborigines into white society but we began to see signs of this hanging around in small groups and the behaviour of individuals in the bus station.
Our next task was to find some food, which we did by returning to the supermarket near the chemists. As we walked to the bus station we admired the renovated Victoria Hotel, the accommodation of choice for many aviation pioneers, the remains of the town hall destroyed in the cyclone and the civic centre gardens with its array of bells.
The return bus ride taught Eric a valuable lesson – press the stop button when your wife tells you. We overshot our stop by a large margin, but the driver at least dropped us at a non-designated stopping point.
We were able to eat a simple meal, which we hope behaves itself, and spent the evening repacking for the next excursion with its 15 kg baggage allowance.