Darwinian catch-up

Darwin’s become one of those places where I just chill and catch up with people. Spot on as the forcoming few weeks are going to be hectic beyond all belief. As a result, not a lot’s gone on but I may as well bore you all and give you a quick rundown.

Katie’s sorted herself with a house so she’s checked out of the dorm. Hopefully she starts work on Tuesday. Sad to say that as a fully qualified vet (with two degrees – smart girl) working 5 1/2 days a week plus emergency call out she earns less than a nurse on a 4-day week. Good to hear nurses are well paid here, shame vets aren’t up there as well.

Esther may be checking out very soon as one of her friends has gone to the UK for six months and he needed to rent his house out. Needless to say, a private abode without people waking you at 5am while they pack bags is worth the extra money. Add in the enormous DVD collection, huge telly, popcorn and hot dog machines… no-brainer!

Delphine re-appeared from her mammoth Adelaide to Kakadu trip. In tow were a bunch more French people, several of whom I’d met in Adelaide. As happens, people crossed paths on the various small tours that made up the long-haul one. There are essentially three tours left in Australia that I want to do: Adelaide to Alice Springs (3 days); the Northern Territory parks (up to 10 days); Perth to Darwin (21 days). Plus a trip to the areas north of Cairns. There’s $3000-worth of touring there. Ouch.

I managed to contact a diving company, Darwin Dive Centre and had a great chat with Dave who works there (and probably runs it). Really nice guy – someone who obviously loves his job. It turns out that the diving around Darwin is surprisingly rich. Around 20 wrecks both in the harbour and outside, an underwater mountain, huge fish and huge schools of those fish, non-threatening sharks, undisturbed reef… I am so going to have to come back. Sadly, the tides right now aren’t good for diving, so I won’t have a chance to get underwater again before I fly.

The only really annoying thing right now is that one of my wisdom teeth is having a wander around at the moment, so the left hand side of my mouth is in permanent agony. I’ll let it be (bar ibuprofen) until I get to Singapore. If it’s still swollen by Thursday, I’ll sort a dentist out there. Much cheaper than the ones here and they’re really good.

Tomorrow I’m going to mail a package home including my snorkel and mask. I’m going to have to skip Borneo as I just don’t have time, and my rucksack’s full to bursting – literally. I’m going to have to stitch it before I get on the plane on Thursday. The mask comes in a large box and that’s not helping. For the sake of one dive in Israel, I’m not going to lug it around any further.

That’s pretty much it so far. A couple more days and I’m off to Singapore again. Then the rush begins. No more planning ahead, no more comfy food, no more relaxed days!

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