It is a very strange town again. This one is huge in terms of infrastructures, but with only a population of 13,000 people. It feels like a very large shell in which roam around a few cars and people. Imagine a town of 13,000 with every street as large as the Champs Elysee in Paris !
There is a Catalina memorial on the sea side, remembering the most popular war plane of the second world war, which was a bomber but also a seaplane.
Throughout town, there are mural paintings. And the most popular pubs are to be found in backpackers hotels.
The size of the town is enormous, but you can visit most of it in a couple of hours as everything is concentrated in a few blocks. And this time, no extension, no huge commercial centre outside town.
As we are creeping north along this east coast of Australia, the gigantic size of it downed
on us. If you look at Australia on a map at home, in the US or in Europe, it looks like a big island but manageable. In fact, when I did my planning before leav
ing Norfolk, I thought that I would leave Sydney around March 15 (I did leave on March 16) and that I would leave from Darwin early May. Well, we are still a very long way from Darwin. There are 700 miles to cape York, then another 700 miles to Darwin. And we plan to stop in Townsville, Port Douglas, Cairns, Cooktown, CapeYork, Thursday Island, Gove, Darwin, then maybe continue along the Kimberley coast and leave Australia from Broome.
My revised timing now would plan for departure from Darwin around end of June. This is OK as I am in no hurry now to round cape of Good Hope in austral winter. I will still be back in Virginia by May/June 2011.