Tom & Matt’s Four-State Road Trip
Days 8 — Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011 — in Darwin, NT

 

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A Day of lying about and catching up

We always knew that Day 8 would be a lay day. We didn’t do exactly nothing, but it was a very quiet day for all that. Each of us did a couple of loads of washing (after all, we have been on the road for a week), I managed to get Day 6 and Day 7 written up as well. Apart from that, we stayed at home while Kris and Sean each went out to do a normal day’s work. Matt slipped out for about ten minutes at one stage to buy a few bits and pieces (he cooked dinner this night). But the day was a nice quiet, relaxing one, thank you very much.

I did take the opportunity to have a good look at Kris and Sean’s second home and to take a few photos. This page is devoted to that.

floorplan

 

 

 

This is a rough sketch of the floor plan, at least of the main floor. The house is built up on stilts (gives much better ventilation) and everything but the laundry and a tool shed are upstairs.

The house is at an angle to the street (making for a tricky little twist in the driveway that has to be negotiated in reverse when backing out) and it is an odd wedge=shaped block, heavily vegetated mostly with bamboo and palms but with several other tropical plants unknown to me.

As you may have noticed in yesterday’s page, the wall facing the street has no windows. The rest of the house, however, has windows all over the place, as you will see from some of the following photos. All of the windows have glass louvres with one exception: one window in the bathroom is more like a hatch that is opened with a prop to hold it open and it is really part of the wall when it is closed. If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry about it.

It is a very pleasant house in the Northern Territory style (would be far too airy and ventilated for southern climes) and we are enjoying our time here. It is also good, of course, to catch up with Kris and Sean. Matt and Sean, as ever, stir each other endlessly, much to the amusement of Kris and me.

Backyard shot 

 

 

This is a shot from near the back corner of the back yard, showing the entire house. The street is to the right. The main bedroom is on the left and the “stalk” holding the house up is the laundry and, out of sight but matching it on the other side, a tool shed. The white area that can be seen beneath the main bedroom is the house next door.

The mesh netting in the middle of the yard is protecting a healthy-looking tomato bush. It needs protecting because the neighbourhood includes at least one roaming native peahen (not nearly as colourful as the common peacock and peahen) who would love to tear it to pieces.

 

Spa Pool 

 

 

In the back yard is a spa pool. Matt and I have been promised our time in it, but somehow we haven’t got around to it yet. Frankly, I wonder just how often Kris and Sean make use of it as they seem to live fairly busy lives. I suspect it came with the house, whether they wanted it or not, and they use it only occasionally.

 

Front steps 

 

These are the stairs leading up from street level to the front door. There is a small landing at the top of the stairs, unlike the larger deck on the other side of the house as you will see in the next picture.

Kris and Sean park there car underneath the house in the space you can glimpse beside the wheely bins. I don’t know if that is one of their hub caps leaning against the wall.

 

Back steps 

 

 

They look much the same as the front stairs, but these rise from the back yard to the deck. You can see how dense the vegetation is.

 

Balcony or deck 

 

I get the impression Kris and Sean (when they are not entertaining relatives from down south — and sometimes even if they are) spend a fair bit of their spare time out on this deck, just off the loungeroom. It is well shaded and relatively private from the street and the neighbours. You can see the Webber barbecue and Sean uses it a fair bit (as he did on our first night).

 

Title 

 

 

This is their lounge room with some of Kris’ paintings hanging on the red wall. You can see the louvred windows on the outside wall and, if that wasn’t enough light coming in, they have a solar tube in the ceiling (that looks like a bright light in the ceiling). There is another one in the kitchen that has a smokey-glass cover that subdues it a little. Note, too, the big circular ceiling fans.

 

Kitchen 

 

 

Off the lounge-and-dining area is the kitchen. Considering this is a rented property, it’s not too bad, There is adequate bench space and it is certainly light and airy. It may not be obvious, but the panel in the door of each cupboard is gauze mesh, to allow better air circulation, Without it, cupboards in this high-humidity climate quicky develop mould and mildew.

 

Title 

 

 

Leading off the dining area is a passageway leading to the study (currently serving as Matt’s bedroom) and the two bedrooms. Notice that the walls of the Study and the second bedroom do not reach all the way to the ceiling and are furnished with wooden louvre windows — all for the sake of ventilation.

The other side of the passageway is an outside wall and is furnished with the usual glass louvred windows.

 

Me at my Mac 

 

The only other photo to show you from this day is one that Matt snapped of me sitting at the dining room table and writing my blog for the previous day. That little laptop has served me well on this trip, as it has on several other trips overt the last four years. I keep wondering if it is time to upgrade it. Maybe not just yet . . .

 

So that was our first full day in Darwin. We have Thursday, Friday and Saturday to go before we hit the road again and drive south to Tennant Creek. But let us worry about that when Suday comes. Oh, and Matt’s video for Day 7 has been posted on that page.

 

 

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Want to respond to this or something else on this site? Contact me by e-mail: pardy@ozemail.com.au