We are now in QLD and have a few weeks to update. We were fortunate enough to secure a last minute house-sit about 25 km out of Darwin CBD, the idea of a house sit is that we look after someone’s home (and/or pets) in return for a place to park our caravan.
We looked after and became fond of the following pets:
2 x miniature donkeys,
1 x pony
5 x geese,
10 x birds
2 x dogs,
1 x cat
Esther loved her morning walk with Dad waving to all the pets.
For memories sake here are photos of the pets:
Esther is now sleeping through the night again!
You may remember I mentioned Esther not sleeping well in the caravan… she started waking up anywhere between 2-6 times per night. As you can imagine it started wearing thin, at one point Dan offered me a “girls night out at a hotel” just Esther and I… So he could have one night’s decent sleep ha ha! We tried everything we could think of, including all the ideas in Jo Ryan’s Book “Baby Bliss”, which I’ve found really helpful since the beginning. So we ended up paying Jo to give us a consultation over the phone. Best $100 we have spent… And the phone consultation was cheaper than a night at a hotel and had longer lasting results! After one night of tailored advice she was sleeping through and has been (mostly) ever since.
We think we know where her disrupted sleep pattern stemmed from. When we first started traveling we experienced still quiet nights that were so peaceful! However it was the change in temperature from 34 degree days to 16 degree nights, in a poorly insulated caravan in un-powered campsites that made it a challenge to work out how to dress Esther for bed. We were at the mercy of the outside weather predicting the inside temp of the van. This meant she would wake up cold and we would jump up and try to soothe her, with such stillness outside I was worried she would wake up the whole of the park with her crying. This then became a pattern that we would intervene with anything to ensure that she would be quiet (yep.. I did it, Dan was not impressed, one night I brought her into bed with me… After 3 months I was worn down and I just wanted her to sleep).
After one blissful week of us all getting to sleep through the night and 5 nights into our house sit… the German Shepherd barked constantly from 0200-0630 (with other dogs in the street). After Daniel checked on the dog mutliple times, we lay there defeated… while Esther slept! The irony was profound.
Then the next day we found this note on the fence:
Hahahahaha…. we know!
We really enjoyed our time in Darwin and found it hard to leave, there were still a few things we could’ve done, we have just finished reading a book called ‘An Awkward Truth: The bombing of Darwin February 1942’ by Peter Grose. It’s a well researched, easily read book! I’ve been reading aloud while Dan drives and Esther sleeps, so even though we have physically left Darwin we can now picture many of the places he describes and it makes the account all the more meaningful. It is an ironic read given the news about current overseas conflicts.
I also recommend this book and “All quiet on the western front” a book about WWI we read when we travelled through Europe on our honeymoon. I find I absorb best through this style of reading. Either that or these writers are better than textbook history writers!
On our honeymoon we visited a WWI museum on the western front in Belgium, at the back of the museum there is a huge banner, with the inscription “WWI: The war to end all wars:” followed by a list of all the wars since! It’s astounding that we are slow to learn or quick to forget.
Dan LOVES museums, we visited the War Museum, the RFDS museum, the Museum of NT and Art Gallery, the WWII oil storage tunnels and Daniel also visited the Aviation Museum (home of the B52 Bomber).
This quote really affected me; written by John Flynn, who founded what became the Royal Flying Doctor Service:
We are where we are today because we stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before us, in one way or another!
Here are some photos of our visits to the Museums… and where Esther got to crawl all over the floor.
The first time we visited the RFDS Museum (which also includes “The Bombing of Darwin Harbour”) was a very well planned day, we went to Rhyme Time at the city library after her morning nap, then had lunch before heading to the museum where we naively thought Esther would nap beautifully in her pram, while we perused the displays… The museum is really interactive involving Air Raid sirens and holographic displays. She didn’t sleep. She cried. We left. We were given a voucher to come back. So we did, when she was not due for a nap!
Darwin was warm and humid, which made for seeking out places to swim. We were fortunate to have friends of friends in Darwin, which we have now claimed as our own (Thanks Michelle & Emily) and caught up with them down at the Darwin waterfront, a really nice place for swimming as crocs, stingers and sharks infest the ‘Top End’. Emily & James also have a little Esther!
There is also a wave pool for those with older kids, although didn’t suit us with Esther. Lots of cafes and restaurants, along with an ice cream shop 🙂
Have you ever left something somewhere you never planned on going back to? We accidentally left Esther’s bathers and pool floatie at Berry Springs a 25 min drive from where we were staying.. They were still there when Dan drove back almost 2 hours later! phew!
All in all Darwin was a place I knew nothing about and thanks to Dan’s passion for visiting museum’s have now left understanding a small part of it’s rich history!
Next: Kakadu National Park