Centenary World Cruise Day 58-59: Darwin

Day 58:

Because we missed out on Bali, we spent two days in Darwin, capital of the Northern Territories. The first thing we saw is that it was only a fifteen-minute walk from the ship to the prominently-labeled CBD. Back home, CBD is something you get from a cannabis dispensary, and is good for alleviating pain, helping with sleep, etc. We guessed this wasn’t that. In Australia, CBD is “central business district,” or city center.

The small amount of Darwin we saw was lovely. Lots of parks, everything very pedestrian-friendly. One of the things we found was the grocery store, and guess what? HUMMUS!!! And not just hummus, but vegan yogurt, lunch meat, and cheese. I was looking for some kind of hair glue or styling wax, but there was no such product, although there was an entire shelf with 20 different kinds of dry shampoo. Evidently, Australians are far more concerned with staving off the greasies than with keeping their locks locked down.

We saw a spectacular pair of boots, but they didn’t have them in his size. They did, however, have them in another store and could have them sent. Just not by tomorrow. Not to worry – they have several stores in Syndey, so they can be sent there. So now we have at least one objective during our time in Sydney – find the store where the boots were shipped and pick them up.

Day 59:

Yesterday, on our walk to town, we’d seen a Mexican restaurant near the beach. The Pirate and I have been dying for Mexican food. I think this is probably the longest I’ve gone without Mexican food in my entire life. We also saw a sign pointing toward something called “WWII Oil Tunnels.” We decided we’d kill two birds with one stone and go have Mexican food for lunch, then check out the tunnels.

We left the ship and walked to the restaurant, only to find it closed. Disappointing, but not terribly surprising. About half the businesses near the beach have signs saying that they’ve closed due to staffing shortages. It’s the end of the summer here, so lots of the kinds of people who would normally be staffing the restaurants and shops near the beach (students and tourists on 6-month work visas) have already left.

We opted for the Italian place next door, where we had decent pizza. The pizza on the ship is disappointing – made from frozen, industrial crust that’s not baked long enough, and with sauce that lacks flavor. This pizza was just beautiful, and I had plenty left over for dinner.

After lunch, we walked to the oil tunnels and had our second disappointment of the day: they were only open from 9am – 1pm. If we’d gone there before lunch, we’d have seen them. Oh well. We went back to the ship, happy that at least we’d had a nice walk around.

The most charming thing, though, was that by the time we were preparing the leave, a crowd had gathered on the sea wall to watch us pull away. As we started away, the people on shore waved, and we all waved back.