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Markets, Museums and a harbour cruise not to be forgotten !

So last weekend we hit Parap markets nice and early this time without Kate who had ditched us for Uluru – yeah tough choice really, which unfortunately didn’t save us from the heat or the disgusting sweat drippin down our arms as we attempted to eat breakfast – oh yeah baby its a pleasant little world up here !! But at least the nuttella and strawberry crepes tasted great !!

After eating ourselves silly – which seems to be a common theme with us – we headed to East Point Military museum to check out the guns. We wandered around the museum checking out the 9 inch guns and NT war mementos, pictures and stories – stories of the Japanese bombing of Darwin that i knew nothing about, now i know that i didn’t like history all that much as a kid but i reckon I’d remember learning about 200+ bombs being dropped on Australian soil by Japanese bombers pretty much destroying Darwin (for the first time – second by Cyclone Tracy).

We then took a lazy afternoon before meeting up for dinner – at the apartments we are staying at – which apparently have the best ribs in town. They were pretty good but i wouldn’t say the best i have eaten – those Lone Star ribs are damn good ! And apart from the obnoxious waiter we had a lovely night topped off with Cold Rock and Baskin Robbins.

Then Sunday – wow what a day. We woke up before sunrise and watched it rise from down at Stokes before boarding our mangroveroute.com habitat and harbour cruise with our friendly guide Jim. We had an awesome morning cruising the harbour, learning some of the history and checking out the croc trap and mangrove alleys. We even attempted to catch some crabs but unfortunately no luck for us, but Jim did have some juicy sweet mangoes on hand to keep the hunger pains somewhat at bay.

The tides are quite amazing, and the sheer extent of them was going to be crystal clear to us later in the day. Jim showed us the headland and the congruence point of the harbour and watching the sheer power of the water at high tide swirling around extraordinary, and the colours of the rockcliffs, you could really see why the aboriginal people regarded these areas as sacred – truly amazing!

We headed back to the wharf a little disappointed we didn’t see any turtles or dolphins, but to our delight just as we were about to tie up at the jetty, some hawk eye spotted two swimming around – oh that’s right it was me !!!

Starving and needing some fuel we headed to Macca’s for bacon and egg mcmuffin … mmmmm. After refuelling we braved the shopping centre for a little while before heading back to the wharf hoping against hope that it was just going to be us on the lunch time “let the tide decide” cruise with Jim again 🙂

We arrived at the wharf, to find that “yes” it was just us. Spinning out at the tide, again we had seen low tide at the wharf but this was really low and we cant seem to get our heads around the difference in the tides – todays went from 7.2m (left) down to 0.26m (right) – mind boggling hey.

So headed out of the wharf off to find our lunch spot, the boys had pointed out a pole on our trip this morning and had said “this is where you will eat lunch” ( up to the right) and to be honest we didnt really think about what they were saying, had we thought about we probably would have thought they were talking about the waters edge not what we came across …

we rounded the point and there rising like a monolith of the water was a sand spit/island/mountain where only 2-3 hours earlier had been rushing water and there was our pole no longer looking like the tide was going to push it over but rising out of the sand like a triumph of the industrial era to even get it to the middle of the harbour let alone remain standing ! (and yes the little figures at the bottom really are the girls, to see the height difference look for the little red marks on the pole!)

With blue sky and orange/brown sand, the ocean/harbour lapping at the sand this was the ultimate in harbour dining.

Jim slide the boat up on to the sand, pulled out our chairs, tables and umbrella’s, put our bubbly on ice and proceeded to set up our dining suite on top of the mountain whilst we remained still in shock and awe of what we were seeing.

After a few photos of the spread and tucking into what was a delicious bento picnic lunch box and downing our bubbly, waving to the somewhat awestruck boats going past a site that must have have most certainly appeared as very strange to say the least we wandered around our island, as we had come to refer to it finding beautiful shells and corals lining the waters edge.

Watching the time and the even closing in storm someone decided that we should explore both sides of our island – oh that was me again. The sand was as we had found getting off the boat was extremely hot – now you would think that after being drowned by metres of water for more hours of the day then it is dry that it would be soft and cool but no it was hot, to hot to walk on, but anyway back to the story of crossing our island. So i thought it would be nice to see the view from the other side, the girls were sceptical but i convinced them it was a great idea, so tash lead the charge and about 15m away started running like the wind, but it was too late for me and georgie we were on our way and yep we were running like the wind too legs flailing to the sides as we tried to run on air because it was actually possible for the sand to get hotter much hotter, so hot that it felt like our feet were being burnt to the bon
e and running across the coral at the top was like running on glass – not pleasant.

But do you know what, like all my adventures the girls were laughing – see they are fun !

We got back to lunch table to see the boat rounding the point just in the knick of time, as by the time we had loaded everything back onto the boat it had started sprinkling, then about 3 mins later as we headed towards the wharf it came, we couldnt see 10feet in front of the boat and we were getting drenched by monsoon rain that was so heavy it hurt when it hit your eyes. Unfortunately for Georgie wearing white in the wet is not a good look so she was trying to hide behind the seats and laminated information sheets and the rest of us, we were laughing our heads off it was the absolute best finish to one of the best days (if not the best day) we have had ! The worst part we were so wet and laughing so much none us took any pictures !

(more pics: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=88736&l=24e78&id=645435069 )

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