19 July 2014

Getting Crafty During My Visit to Darwin

Well as it turns out, Darwin wasn't all that bad!

The old motto 'life is what you make it' really rang true for me this week; as I really did 'make' a lot. I made numerous new friends, I made myself sick with copious amounts of ice-cream, I made a bag out of a palm frond and I made a permanent mark on a wall in Cavenagh St in the city.

Not long after publishing my previous post about Darwin, I made a conscious decision to see the free trip for what it was worth (errr...free that is!) and try to enjoy what Darwin has to offer; misfits, backpackers and all!
Below you can see a collection of photos from my week. I've also listed some general info and recommendations for those considering a holiday in Darwin.
  • Standard hotel rate during dry season (May-Oct)- $250+ a night
  • Airport to Darwin City- 13km (20 minute drive)
  • Best restaurant- Ducks Nuts, Mitchell St, Darwin City (I had the pork belly and it was delicious)
  • Best cafe- Cafe 21, Smith St Mall, Darwin City
  • Best take-away- The Barra Bar (grilled local barra for $12)
  • Best shopping area- Village Arcade, Smith St Mall (Me & My llama for shoes and Embella Jewellery for handmade Jewellery)
Things to see & do:
  • Mindil Beach Market (Thursday & Sunday nights)
  • National Museum & Art Gallery (there's a cool permanent exhibition full of taxidermy NT wildlife, fossils and prehistoric bones & shells)
  • Darwin Waterfront (safe-to-swim beach & wave pool)
 Oh! And as for the 4WD course, it was a huge let down. We sat in a fumy shipping container doing theory work for a great deal of the morning, causing us to run severely short of time during the practical component. Positives: I learnt to use a jack, change a tire and come to a dead-stop whilst going in excess of 80km per hour. Negatives: I only got to witness how to use a snatch strap to pull someone out of a bogging (which involves two cars), so Adrian and I are still none the wiser when we get bogged on our own. Also to my disappointment, we only got to drive through one shallow body of water due to the lack of rain lately. The instructors were friendly and accomodating, however I wouldn't recommend the course (run by Top End Training in Palmerston)

Darwin Waterfront AKA backpacker hang-out
On the wharf looking back towards the city
Darwin Graffiti artists were commissioned to do four side-by-side individual pieces for the Darwin Fringe Festival. I was allowed to contribute by filling in the pink triangle.  

This was the design draft of one artist. He showed me how to get different effects using different nozzles and by holding the can at different angles

Artist at work- Most of the boys were grooving along to music as they worked; as if it helped them form flowing lines and remain steady-handed

I came back to check on their progress to find this! I must say, I was chuffed.

I learnt to weave a palm frond into a bag at Mindel Beach

Cecilia taught me to make the bag. She belly laughed when I told her I didn't know how to plait when there were more than 3 strands. "Look! Even the little girls can do it!" she announced loudly so that everyone was made aware of my incompetency.
Cecilia explained that they make good shell bags as they are very strong and can be washed out in the sea.

A man at Mindel Beach showed me how to make a paint brush out of a reed. He also showed me the paint brushes he uses to cross-hatch very fine lines; he glues a single horse hair to a Chupa- Chup stick. 

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