Backpackers will at some point find a place on the road to bunk down for a while, often for want of employment and that fabled second year visa. I on the other hand am one of those people who needed a stint back in reality, so to speak; Darwin was where I opted to spend a bit of time ‘living’, but this inexperienced choice was made back when I was getting used to the whole independent thing, but by no means is this regretted. The top end was a good stay, even with the ups and downs, but that’s always going to happen. Think an old woman who wouldn’t accept my accent for Australian and who kept insulting select minorities. I know, lucky.
I came during the dry season so sunshine was guaranteed but in my foolishness I didn’t take advantage of the before said opportunities; in my defence I didn’t have my passport back then and I still had a month of travelling to consider so my one day tour had to be chosen carefully. With this and other factors weighing me down I pretty much made my time a homestay experience (could’ve chosen a better hostel though). Timing proved most beneficial because the Greeks were holding their Glenti festival where there was much consumption of baklava.
When it came to the people, each one was very different from the last; some had more than enough potential to make it into some written fiction of mine. There was a Canadian who taught me just how serious his countrymen were about ice hockey, a Taiwanese girl I was claiming stalked me (she had a sense of humour about it) and an Irish guy who I now consider a friend for life. Normally I would rely on a tour group for befriending others (remember, asocial) but this was a more than positive step in the right direction. I was learning confidence.
Highlight wise, here are a few things that can take up some of your time; most of which is in convenient walking distance of the city centre. The waterfront is easily reached and is a good spot to lie back and get some sun on your skin; mellow and not over crowded is what it was to me so be sure to add it to your bucket list. It’s enclosed and close to help if needed; Darwin’s waters are famous for attracting crocodiles and box jellyfish.
Adding to the night time endeavours I’m happy to say a few words about the indie Deckchair Cinemas down by the water. At the invitation of… the Irish guy, I went along to see the 2010 flick The Way Back (starring Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Saoirse Ronan) which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Now for something that I insist everyone should check out, and by ‘insist’ I mean ‘DO IT!’, the Mindil Beach Market. On every Thursday and Sunday during the dry season the market invites all to taste the flavours of Darwin. I made the trip… three times, all of which I enjoyed very much.
Mindil Beach, Darwin, Northern Territory (taken by Camila Bertolazzi, 2015)