Travel Day of Epic Proportions #1 departed from our hostel in Port Douglas at 8:00 am Friday morning and deposited Courtney and I at our hostel in Darwin at 1:00 am the following morning. Oh, the adventures that transpired in between!! Actually, it wasn’t that thrilling at all. It WAS a travel day after all.
After our hour shuttle to Cairns and storing our luggage at Monica’s hotel, we strolled the Esplanade before stopping at Coast Roast (yum yum) for a leisurely brunch and coffee.
We bought some opals and checked out the tourist information centre before showing Monica where the Night Markets were and INSISTED she get a massage or two while she was in town. WHAT LUCK! Even though the food court and every other stall in the market was closed, one of the massage ones was open! Hell ya! We went for the full treatment: feet, calves, back, neck, arms. Ohhhh ya. We slo-mo’d back to Monica’s hotel just in time to check out her home for the next week and hop on our airport shuttle.
Hungry Jack’s fed us for $5.00 – sharing a two mini-burgers, small fry, small coke meal – and straight onto the plane for Brisbane. Our “meal” at the next airport was much less satisfying – $8.00 for a croissant with a minimum of ham and cheese and a maximum of melty grease. Bleh. Darwin Airport welcomed us at 1:30 am packed to the gills with people waiting to get on their departing flights. Bizarro. Yet another shuttle dropped us in the alley across the street from our hostel.
As we emerged onto the main street, saw the neon sign for Ashton Lodge (advertised along the lines of a small, family-friendly type place), heard the music from multiple night clubs, we looked to each other with some trepidation. “Positive thoughts, positive thoughts!!!” we were both thinking. I managed to sort out the lockbox to get our key, into the lobby we go, and, well, still sounds like we are in the nightclub. It’s okay, our room is upstairs – one flight at least. Ah, terrific, it’s not so loud in the hallway, we can handle this. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts, it’ll all work out right? We’re all prepped to walk into our cozy little suite that is all bed-and-breakfasty….and walked STRAIGHT into the club. Well, not really, but we were directly above the outdoor dj and his tunes. Sweet. Those single paned windows are not awesome! The hair left on the pillow and gritty not-so-well-swept floors didn’t add to the ambience. So, we immediately took advantage of the one plus of this hostel (terrific Darwin visitor guides and phonebook) and took turns calling around for a new place to stay.
By 3:00 am the music downstairs (but not down the street) had stopped and we had a room reserved for us at the Quality Hotel for the next day (a Saturday of the holidays, what are the chances?) if we were able to cancel our next two nights at Dance Club Ashton. A few hours of sleep later, we put on our “travel plans have changed, we can’t stay” sad faces and got to work cancelling – we even got a full refund on our next two nights! Phew! Off to the Quality Hotel we trudged with our heavy-ass suitcases basking in the 30 + degree heat. Not only was our room still saved, it was $10 cheaper a night than we’d been originally quoted, had the most gorgeous pool (where we spent the next hour planning our weekend), it was a CLEAN, gorgeous, huge room with a king bed and deliciously fresh, clean sheets. AAAHHHHH. Bliss. There’s that Disadvantage vs. Opportunity factor I wrote about on the other blog! Yeehaw!!
We settled on a self-guided walking tour of they city that ended at the tourist info centre where we booked our car, got our park passes, gathered plenty of reading materials. Check, check, check! Lunch, internetting, trinket shopping, groceries, all that really fun stuff, then back to enjoy the luxury of our hotel for the evening.
I know, not a thrilling post for today. Sunday’s adventures in Darwin could be more exciting? I’ll work on it. 😀