May 21, 2007

All your tropical cyclone belong to us

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:17 pm by Chris

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
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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