Monday, May 21, 2007


All your tropical cyclone belong to us

Here I go again with the delayed gratification. I'm a one-man movement against the "I want it all, now, and I want it delivered" internet ethos. Either that, or I'm both busy and/or slack, or all of the above, take your pick.

Darwin. We were in Darwin in late February and early March (this being written in late May, hence the delayed part). February and March are well and truly the wet season, and this was well and truly exacerbated by Tropical Cyclone George choosing the Top End as the perfect place to gestate. It appears that a weather system gravid with a cyclone manifests as an awful lot of rain -- we got March's entire normal rainfall in 3 days, and as I believe I've mentioned, March is normally a wet month anyway. The old laconic Aussie strikes again; when they say "the wet", they mean you could just about wring out the air.

Unsurprisingly then, the area is green and lush, in a swampy sort of way. It's quite funny to see eucalypts in such a green environment, but there they were, quite happily standing above dayglo-green grass and steamy puddles (if the malaria mosquito-parasite combo ever makes it to Northern Australia, all hell will break loose).

I had expected the Top End to feel like Queensland, only more so, but it doesn't. It has a real independent-spirit frontier kind of feel to it, that I like. Also, unlike Queensland, you can get decent coffee. The roadside cafe type place at Coolalinga had one of those hand-pull espresso machines; I've never seen one of them in use before, it must just about be an antique. The Northern Territory only got open-road speed limits quite recently. The "130" signs all looked very shiny. There was an article in the (British) Top Gear magazine about how it was a shame, but probably for the best, seeing as Australians can't drive for toffee. In fact, he said:

"From coast to coast, Australians drive with the distraction a 90-year-old who's just found Viagra instead of Werther's Originals in the glovebox of his Austin Allegro".

Never a truer word was spoken...

Oh, and I've finally got somewhere other than blogger to put pictures online. Go and check out my flickr account if you want to see what I've been seeing. It's mostly got pictures of Citroens in it at the moment though.

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