Journals #41 and #42: Darwin
Cover Photo: “All the Above”
Killer Animals Spotted: 0
Photo: The famous Darwin Waterfront at Sunset
***Authors Note: This will be the last entry for a few days, as I will be camping in the Australian Outback***
***Authors Note 2: Tonight I made the mistake of drinking with one of two Northern Territory carriers of the “Fernet Challenge Coin.” Evidently this is a super rare coin given only to the most dedicated drinkers of Fernet- which is a nasty Italian amaro. Whenever you are next to someone with the coin on the table, shots of said liquid begin to appear. I have no idea how many of these we drank- but suffice to say, my grammar may be impacted.***
The last two days in Darwin! What a crazy place this is- on one side it is completed dominated by European and Australian tourism and on the other hand is the epicenter of what can only be described as Aboriginal poverty.
The nice thing about having (almost) five days here is that I’ve had time to observe the various cultures and lifestyles at play in the Northern Territory. The city in general functions just like any tourism-focused town: plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops in a concentrated downtown area. The flip side of that is there is a large number of homeless, which predominantly seem to be Aboriginal people who have migrated to the cities.
What’s interesting about the Aboriginal clans is that a decent number of them still live in “the Bush”(i.e. in the wild, miles and miles from anything resembling civilization). The bush is a strange place because there is virtually no farming out there (largely due to Australia having no native “beasts of burden (i.e. horses, donkeys, camels, etc.)), so the natives have had to learn to understand the natural cycles of wildlife.
One way they do this is by monitoring kangaroos: The female kangaroos have the ability to control how fast their child or “joey” grows in their pouch- if they decide the next year will be a draught, they will keep their joeys as tiny embryos; however, if they decide the year will be fruitful, they may grow multiple joeys. In other words, they are kind of like the “Punxsutawney Phil” of Australia.
Anyways…tomorrow I will be leaving early to head south into the outback for a total of five days: the path is from Darwin to Daly Waters to Alice Springs to Kings Canyon to Uluru and then back to Alice Springs. We will camp three of the nights and stay in a hostel the other night.
“Camping in the Australian Outback” has been another bucket list item for me, so I’m really looking forward to it. If I get a chance, I will try to blog in between the days; however, this may be impossible.
If that is the case- so long for now and I will be back on the 17th (my timezone) with an epic blog post!