Friday, November 01, 2013

Saturday, 10/19/13 Darwin

Saturday, 10/19/13 Darwin

Darwin is in the far north of Australia, which is in the tropics.  It is very hot and humid in Darwin, with only two seasons -- wet and dry.  Darwin was a gold rush town for a brief time, but then faded into a small town for years.  During World War II, it was bombed by the Japanese to prevent any military interference with Japanese takeover of Indonesian islands nearby.  In 1974, Darwin was flattened by a Cyclone Tracy (hurricane).  Over the years, Darwin became an important shipping port, particularly goods to and from Asia, and Darwin has grown in recent years because of oil and gas drilling.  Darwin still has a small town feel, although the population is now more than 100,000.

I learned that there is a hop-on/hop-off bus in Darwin, so I cancelled my ship tour.  I learned that if I purchased the transfer from the ship to town, the ticket also included the trip to the Saturday market at Parap, a suburb of Darwin, and I decided to go there first.  Unfortunately the Saturday market was mostly small booths where local crafts were sold, along with booths of hot foods for lunch.  I had thought the market might be a food market or fish market, but it was not.  The day was very hot and humid, and I purchased a flavored shaved ice cup, and then went to wait for the bus back to town.

In town, I wandered through Smith Street pedestrian mall, which was covered with a tin roof.  The mall was one block long, and filled with souvenir shops, a pharmacy, and a few other shops of odds and ends, along with a food court.  I learned that the entire mall area had free WiFi, and then I left and returned to the ship.  After getting some lunch, I took the bus back to town with my laptop, hoping to update some of my blog entries; however, I was only partly successful.  For some reason, the WiFi was not working very well, and I ran out of power on my laptop without making much progress in updating my blog. While I was at the mall trying to use the WiFi, suddenly, a hard rain began to fall on the tin roof, making a loud noise.  The rain lasted only a short time, and it did not get me wet under the tin roof.  It was a very pleasant experience, and perhaps it was the reason that the WiFi didn’t work well.

The entertainment was “Piano Man”, the same show I had seen on the Diamond Princess on the previous cruise.  It was not nearly as good on the Dawn Princess, but still entertaining.  The Dawn Princess has only two singers, male and female, where the Diamond had four singers, two male and two female.  In addition, the singers on the Dawn are not nearly as good as the singers on the Diamond or on any of the other Princess ships I have been on.  Still, the production shows are the best entertainment on the ship.

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