We're in Darwin - Far too much luggage - CycleBlaze

April 22, 2024

We're in Darwin

And it's hot!

Getting 2 bikes and 3 very big and heavy bags required a van to get down to Tullamarine to fly Virgin to Darwin.  Most flights into Darwin arrive very late at night (usually just before or after midnight) but this flight on Saturday arrived at 8.30pm so a little earlier.

It has been a long time since we took bikes on a plane so we thought we would get there early so if there were any hiccups we had time to rectify them.  Alas there was no issue and it was a very easy process (even self checkin) although due to the oversize of the bike boxes and one of the bags they did require the help of an Virgin airline assistant as the baggage code sticker is highlighted and weighed (this was done by asking us how heavy it was!)

Being a domestic flight it is a simple process of going through bag security.  There was just alot of waiting and passing the time until the flight leaves at 4.30

Waiting waiting waiting
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We were gasping for a cuppa tea but not too many places use loose tea and being the tea snobs we are ... we just don't pay to drink tea via teabags!!!  So a flat white was the best option.

We decided to wait at our gate 4 and when we got there we saw our bike boxes and the trailer bag just sitting there waiting for the plane that was arriving from Gold Coast about an hour before our departure.

Whew our boxes and trailer bag waiting to be loaded (lucky it is not raining!)
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Frank DenmanGood to see a pic of Neil in the chair and he is awake,also Sandy carried a tin of herrings around in her panniers on the Silk Road and it opened somehow and spilt all through the pannier what a mess your sardines reminded me of that.
Don't go hurting any flies now stay safe xxx
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1 month ago
Janet O'BrienTo Frank Denman🚴‍♀️🤣
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1 month ago

When we arrived at the gate there wasn't alot of people but by the time we were due to depart the gate seating was very full and yip there weren't many seats left empty in the plane.

The flight is 4 1/2 hours long  and tea, coffee and water is complimentary but you buy your food/snacks.  The flight time passed quite easy when you have movies to watch - I squeezed in 2 while Neil chatted to the people next to him (typical!).

We left a tad later than scheduled but arrived 15mins early however the landing was rough ... I swear we hit a massive pot hole or the wheel clipped the edge of a cliff.  There was just an almighty loud bag and a massive jump then bang again in the rebound.  Oh my gosh the 2 ladies next to me squeeled, I said Jesus what the *#@K and everyone just put there hands up to the seat in front of them to brace themselves.  But nothing from the pilot so it must be normal!  So you could say it was a hard landing!

Collecting all our lugguage at Darwin airport (close to 110kg)
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We had to disembark from the plane at the front and I took my woollen jumper off as it was 29 degrees outside.  As you step out of the plane I was anticipating a huge smack in the face of heat but there wasn't.  You coulf feel it was warm and just a very slight breeze but not much humidity to speak off.  Whew that was a relief as I really though I was gonna die from the humidity but there wasn't much to speak off.  If it was a few weeks earlier then that would be a different story.

The lugguage was quick to come out in the terminal.  Smooth sailing so far and now to wait for the maxi taxi that we prebooked to come at 9.30pm to take us to the Darwin Free Spirit Resort down near Palmerston.

We managed to get everything into the maxi taxi and it was about a 15min drive down to our accomodation.  We were dropped off about 9.45pm and our key to our cabin was in a lock box. We still had to arduous task of lugging these 5 pieces of luggage about 250m to our cabin.  Fortunately someone came out of the office and rang the person who looks after the park after hours and he came with his ute and we loaded the luggage on the back tray.  

Happy to be in the airconditioned cabin.  Not a great nights sleep which I knew was gonna happen as it is a strange place.  I did manage to get 2 ours sleep until I was waken by 2 drunk guys arriving back at there cabin near us and once I am awake that is it I was awake until day break.  

It was cool outside and pleasant around 19 degrees.  An early breakfast and straight into assembling the bikes and trailers.

Best to tackle the bike assembly in the morning
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Beginning to look like touring bikes
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Took us around 3 1/2 hours to get everything completely done.  Lunch and then off to the local supermarket to pick up supplies.  There is a bike path that runs along the back of the park so we joined it at the path alongside the cabins near us.  No one was on the path and it is about 3km to The Gateway shopping plaza.  Got most of our supplies, forgot the lighter (and spare one) and woolies doesn't sell metho (we use a Trangia stove)  but Bunnings was a bit further down the bike path so we got it from there - naturally I made Neil go in and ask for it!

After lunch it starts to get really warm and although there is a strong south easterly breeze (common at this time of the year around here) it would be a little miserable without this breeze.  We are sweating but not uncomfortable.  It has clouded over now.  We spent the last part of the afternoon packing up our gear and food supplies and Neil dismantled the 2 bike boxes for the recycling bins. 

Everything is stored inside the tiny cabin
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We've left a narrow pathway in the cabin to move!
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Since we are in the cabin again tonight we decided to store the bikes and trailers in the cabin!  

Tomorrow we will move to an unpowered tent site and there is no caravaners at the moment only the permanent ones that work here in Darwin or live here in the park.  It is a nice park and the tourist site area is nice and I can imagine in another 1 months time this place will be full!

Tomorrow is back down to the shops for more supplies.  We googled the supermarkets between here and Katherine and they are only small general stores at Adelaide river and Pine creek, so we will have to carry more food initially than what I had anticipated.

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Leanne RobertsonGlad you finally got there. That park was chockers when we stayed there. Have a great time.
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1 month ago
Russell RobertsonCan’t wait to hear how the journey goes. All the best.
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1 month ago