We docked at what appears to be a temporary cruise terminal. As we now had Internet access via the Australian mobile phone network, we caught up with phone messages and email. We received an email from Scott and Sally Petrick advising us that they had set off on their trip to the Kimberleys a couple of days ago. This was the only time that was convenient for Sally to take time off work. We were very disappointed to miss them, but this freed up our day a little. We will definitely catch up with them in July.
We had not booked any tours, but disembarkation was very smooth. We headed for the Big Red Bus and bought a $35 ticket each for the day. There are four double decker buses that travel a loop around Darwin, with 12 stops. Ticket holders can ride the bus and hop on and off as much as they like through the day. The top floor is open where the windows would be, and this allowed great ventilation when we were moving. The weather was warm and humid. Our first stop was at Cullen Bay, where we had a late breakfast at the Boatshed. Never had such a large bowl of muesli in my life! We originally planned to have lunch at Cullen Bay with Scott and Sally, but now we could have lunch elsewhere, possibly in the town centre.
To kill some time before we hopped back on the bus, we walked around Cullen Bay, which is a waterfront medium density housing development. Katie checked out a gift shop, and we immediately found a dress that suited her and will be perfect for one of the two remaining formal nights on the ship.
We enjoyed a long bus ride to East Point, which is a good place to have a picnic sunset. We started marking on our map provided by the bus company all the places we will come back to and spend time when we are back in Darwin in July, hopefully with Scott and Sally.
We disembarked the bus again at the Waterfront. This is just east of where the Majestic Princess was docked. We walked around shops, restaurants and bars, then walked up the Traveller’s Walk into the town centre.
The hub of Darwin is the Smith Street Mall. After looking at hundreds of watches over the past year on the Sun Princess, in Hong Kong, in Australia and on the Majestic Princess, Ian finally found the watch he was looking for—a solar powered Casio G-Shock digital watch that is water resistant to 100 m. However, our tummies were telling us it is lunch time, so we found Shennanigans—an Irish pub of the same name as the one in Maitland. We had a huge lunch—Katie had Thai beef salad, and Ian had fish ‘n’ chips, which he usually did on Friday lunches when working. The Guinness (Ian) and lemon, lime and bitters (Katie) helped to rehydrate us.
Katie hopped back on the bus and rode most of the circuit back to the cruise terminal. Ian walked back to the mall to reconsider the Casio watch, which he eventually bought for $129. Ian then walked back to the Waterfront across Skywalk and tried some One Mile Brewery Red Ale and IPA as part of his research into craft beers.
We met up back in our cabin. We had had a big day in Darwin, and hit the sack early after a quick snack in our room. Tomorrow, we had to get back to ukulele practice, including Brown Eyed Girl. By the way, saw this caravan that made me smile…