After an amazing time in Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, it was nice being back in civilization. Adventure Tours dropped us off at the Cavenaugh, where we all picked up our backpacks and large bags. Ross and Gill from Scotland, Bec from Gympie, Australia and I caught a cab to Ross and Gill’s hotel near the airport. It was the seat of luxury compared to the accommodation we had been in for the past three days. It had electricity and everything!
After checking in, the four of us made our way to Ross and Gill’s room. Ross and Gill had a few bags and needed a cart for their stuff. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to roll quite right and the bags kept falling off. Either that or the unbalanced bags were causing driver error.
Once inside the room, we were able to relax and actually get a decent shower. Ross and Gill kindly let Bec and I borrow their bathroom to wash off the dirt that had accumulated over the past few days. I never would’ve imagined myself as an outdoors person but the past few weeks of roughing it has really been a memorable experience.
After a good ol’ scrubbing, we all left the room spic-and-span and on the prowl for dinner. We headed for the hotel restaurant and enjoyed the proper table and shiny utensils. How far we’d come in just a matter of hours. Gill and Bec opted for steak and potatoes while Ross and I chose pizza. Topped off with our choice of beverage, we were in for a great meal with even better company.
At home, these experiences are so common that they are rarely worth mentioning. But when you’re in Australia with new friends, somehow everything seems ten times more wonderful. We chatted about the Kakadu trip, our homes and our future travel plans. Ross and Gill are so taken with Australia that they are seriously considering moving here within the next year or two. That’s how incredible this country is.
Sooner than we’d have liked, it was time to go. Bec still needed to find a flight home asap. So we settled the bill and returned to the room to collect our bags. After many good byes and promises to keep in touch, Bec and I caught the hotel’s free airport shuttle, which zipped us over to the departures terminal.
Upon arrival, Bec inquired at a couple of airlines but they were all booked. She had to wait for the next flights to open up their check in so she could try again. We sat in the departures lobby and just chatted as we waited for our flights. After a couple of hours, my 2:20 a.m. flight on Jetstar was open for check in. I put my large backpack through and carried on my small backpack. As Bec checked on availability, I headed for my gate. I still had to wait two hours for my flight, but I didn’t mind as it was already late and I was tired.
When it was time to board, it surprised me that we had to walk on the tarmac to get there. It had been a long time since I’d done that and it was quite a novelty. Surprisingly, everyone loaded quickly and we were rolling out of the gate in no time. I can’t tell you when we actually lifted off as I was fast asleep before then. If nothing else, this trip has taught me to sleep when and where I can. It used to be a real problem for me to sleep in new places but not anymore. Give me a moving bus, train or plane and I have no problem catching some shut eye.