Day 19: Off to the Top End

After a weird morning, we started the day at the local Botanical Gardens in Alice Springs. We heard that the café over there served a really decent breakfast, and that their prices also were just right. And we can now fully corroborate both statements! The food was great, and prices ditto. The only downside to this all was that all seating is outside, and at 09:00 still in the shade. Normally, this would be a nice and welcome change from the blistering heat in the middle of the country, but today it is cold. Really cold. At slightly under 10 degrees Celsius it is chilly, even for us Dutch people.

As the café is in the botanical gardens, it attracts a lot of wildlife, especially birds. We sat there for quite some time enjoying the tranquil sounds of the birds still waking up and getting to grips with the present cold temperature. A few visited us very regularly to see whether we had spilled any of our bread, as they probably were hungry as well. Our stay at the gardens was over as we had to be back at the airport in time to return our Toyota FJ Cruiser, and catch the flight to Darwin.

We flew out of Alice Springs right on time, and landed in Darwin a mere two hours later after a truly uneventful flight. The only thing noting was that right before we took off at ASP, a humongous Hercules plane from the USAF landed. That thing is enormous! It easily dwarfs our puny Boeing 717. We couldn’t fathom why it visited Alice Springs, but apparently they had a delivery to make as that seemed to be what they were doing, unloading something on a semi trailer.

The weather in Darwin couldn’t be more different than in Alice Springs, it was around 10 degrees with lots of wind over there, and here it is 32 degrees with a gentle sea breeze. That is great news! We can finally wear our shorts again! After riding an airport shuttle service to our hotel we did some quick grocery shopping at a nearby IGA and went out for dinner at the Cullen Bay Marina. We found an upscale Greek Taverna, and dined there. Best Souvlaki in town!

Tomorrow, we’ll pick up our car and head out to the Litchfield NP. Let’s see what this part of the country has in store for us!