Darwin: expensive and rough around the edges

I’ve been quiet on my blog for the last five weeks and now that I’m done touring Australia, I finally have something to write about! Here is the first of my daily entries from my travels, and more photos are available on Facebook.

from June 27

When I landed in Darwin today the first thing I noticed was how red the earth is here. I wasn’t expecting red dirt until I got to the centre of Australia.

After checking in to the luxury of a hotel room after two weeks camping and five weeks in a hostel, I almost didn’t want to leave the room to explore the city. The Comfort Inn was a far cry from the Sheraton or Hyatt where I often stayed for work a year ago, but looking back on the circumstances then, I realize I am so much happier now, even if I have traded down in other respects.

Conceding I should explore the city while I had the chance, I walked down Mitchell Street, where all the pubs and shops were. The street was much like every other city boasting its renowned party district, so overall, the experience was underwhelming.

I stopped by a pub to have a drink but headed back to the hotel for food. Darwin is really expensive; almost as much as Sydney. It was a shock to the system after enjoying cheap prices in the backpacker-friendly Cairns. Despite the prices, there are a surprising number of backpackers here. I’m beginning to notice a distinct “backpacker” smell, and they’re all starting to look the same.

Dinner was order-in pizza, and it was 90% grease  with a bit of cheese and pepperoni thrown in for good measure. It wasn’t great, but it did the trick.

Overall, my impression of Darwin is that it has a certain rough-around-the-edges vibe that makes me uneasy, and I can’t wait to leave.


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