Day 9 circumnavigating the Australian continent…Too poop to pop!

The downtown area of Darwin with office buildings, restaurants and shopping.

“Sightings on the Ship in Australia”

Art sales and auctions attract a number of passengers during cruises. Happily, Tom always says, “We don’t have any walls!”

Today our ship is docked in the port of Darwin, Australia.  On April 24, 2016 while on another cruise, we visited Darwin, taking a bus into town to explore for a few hours. Mostly, it was about shopping, with the numerous shops lining the streets.

As a result, we stayed on the ship today along with about 25% of the other passengers who may have been to Darwin in the past and saw no reason to venture out on such a hot and humid day.  (It’s almost summer here in Darwin and the hot season begins early).

Here’s link #1 our visit to Darwin
Here’s link #2 our visit to Darwin

The port arrival building in Darwin.

After a poor night’s sleep, awakening at 3:00 am and falling back to sleep for only about 30 minutes, today I’m pooped, as sluggish as I can be. Having fun late into the evenings is taking its toll on me after many months of relative inactivity while my injury healed and staff had done all the cooking and cleaning.

Listen to me…complaining about having too much fun! Each morning when we’re tired from staying up late, I think, “Maybe tonight we’ll lay low, go to bed early, avoid the two glasses of wine.” 

Invariably, after we’d showered and dressed for the evening, we wander off to the Diamond Club Lounge at 5:00 pm. In a matter of minutes, we find ourselves engaged in interesting conversations with little motivation to end the evening early.

The ship is being fueled while in the port of Darwin.

We met two fabulous couples from the US, Cheryl and Stan from Texas and Lois and Tom from New Jersey, all within our age range, all lively and energetic travelers. 

These past several evenings, we’ve sat with them in the happy hour Diamond Lounge and last night we joined them and another couple for dinner in the Cascade dining room after the happy hour. What a delightful evening!

When they all decided to “call it a night” after dinner, Tom and I weren’t done and the evening continued for us for a few more hours.  We don’t seem to have trouble extending our evening well into the night; a little dancing, lots of laughing and leisurely strolls on the deck.

Some adventurous passengers decided to walk to downtown in the heat, returning to the ship exhausted and weary.

When I think back to all the nights over these past many months that I was pooped by 9 pm, struggling to stay awake, it feels great to be social and playful well into the evening. I’d begun to wonder if I had it in me or this late night lack of energy was a by-product of aging.  Apparently not.

Now I’ve mastered the ability to stay up later and enjoy a few glasses of wine. Now I need to master the ability to acquire a good night’s sleep after all of our fun to prepare me a similar repeat the following night.

Perhaps, today, after the movie at 1 pm, a nap will be in order. Never able to nap in the past, doesn’t mean I can’t learn to do it now.  You can “teach an old dog new tricks!”

Most of Australia’s 23 million citizens live close to the ocean since the barren interior, the Outback, is relatively uninhabitable.

Don’t forget to vote! We submitted our absentee ballots weeks ago and will carefully follow along tomorrow via the web.  

Photo from one year ago today, November 8, 2015:

One year ago, a Paul Gauguin cruise ship sailed by our view in Fiji.  For more photos, please click here.

We’ve arrived in Darwin…Soon, we’ll get off the ship to see this popular city…Photos!…Year ago photo…All here today!

Last night’s sunset from the ship.

We’re thrilled to be in Darwin today. We plan to get off the ship to tour the town after  having purchased round trip shuttle tickets at US $10, AU $13, per person.

This morning’s sunrise over Darwin, Australia.

Now, our big decision for the day is; do we go to town early and return to do the balance of today’s post, or do we head out early after the crowds getting off the ship thin out and to avoid the worst of the heat of the day? 

The interior of the casino where many passengers hand over large sums of cash to the ship.

Today’s high temp is expected to be 99F, 37C, with relatively high humidity. Apparently, it’s always hot in Darwin, a tropical climate. Both dressed in cool, casual clothing, we’re as prepared as we can be with plenty of Australian cash, insect repellent, sunglasses, and the camera on hand (including an extra battery).

There’s no doubt we’ll be back tomorrow with photos of the city, beloved by Aussies and tourists alike. A tender boat is not required here with a convenient pier to accommodate massive ships such as ours.

On several occasions, we attended movies and shows in La Scala Theatre.

We continue to have a great experience, dining, and chatting. It’s surprising how many passengers aboard this ship have had extensive travel experiences, many with much more than us over a period of many years.

For us, having traveled very little in our old lives due to my prior poor health, we have a lot of catching up to do. Even after 42 months we still have so much of this world left to see.

Cruise ships tend to have somewhat of an overly done, gaudy, often 1980’s theme, even when the ships are new or newly remodeled.

At this juncture, we continue to discuss where we’d like to visit in years to come. We’ll never run out of options.  It remains a matter of planning both financially and geographically what ultimately will work for us.

It’s funny how when we’re cruising, after hearing of countries and venues others have visited and loved, we open up our minds to a wider range of options for the future.

View of the Promenade Deck from a distant railing.

By the time we’ve completed the upcoming cruise to Antarctica on January 23, 2018 (21 months from now) we’ll have been to every continent on the Earth. This fact is mind-boggling. Who’d ever thought this was possible for us?

However many continents, countries, and cities we’ll have visited we’ll still have so much more to visit.  One could spend an entire lifetime and still have more awaiting their curiosity. 

Each sea day, Tom attends the Shed meeting in this bar, the Pig & Whistle located on the Promenade Deck, a street down the center of the ship.

It’s not as if we have a goal of any particular number of countries to visit or sites to see. We didn’t want to place that kind of pressure on our travels. For us, it is not about quantity and more about quality for those experiences in which we learn, thrive, and grow. One is never too old to acquire new knowledge, health providing.

As I began writing today, the answer became clear…finish today’s post and then take off for Darwin. The lines for disembarking the ship and boarding the shuttle will eventually thin out and soon we’ll be on our way.  There’s no point in standing in line for an hour.

With land at a distance, we captured this sunset shot.

Thanks to all of our readers for their patience over these past several days. Most likely, it will be equally difficult to post in the upcoming week with more sea days on the horizon until the cruise ends in Singapore and we fly to Bali. 

Once we’re settled in Bali in eight days we’ll be back to our routine of posting daily with new photos and of course, the photo from “one year ago.”

Have a beautiful day!  We plan to do the same!

Photo from one year ago today, April 23, 2015:

Driving down a road we hadn’t traveled, we followed the shore of the Hanalei River in Kauai. For more photos, please click here.