Alrighty, it’s Friday night! Ok yes we haven’t progressed very far in terms of hours in the story, but we have had received some news about our luggage lost somewhere in Cairns. It won’t be arriving I am sorry. There was some mumbled apology somewhere in the conversation I am sure, but otherwise they weren’t able to fit our tiny duffle bag on the flight and it may, emphasis on the may, arrive the next day around lunchtime. No confirmation or reference number, just you may get it tomorrow and you will receive a call to confirm drop off before it comes.
This resulted in us having McDonalds for dinner.
Now it’s Saturday. It’s nearing lunch time and we haven’t received a call. So me being me, I called Jetstar to find out what was happening. Turns out Jetstar had not entered any of these lost bags into their system, in other words if we wanted to claim for not having our stuff we couldn’t as there was no record. But the lady on the phone was able to tell me that they were still intended to be on the flight, but there was no confirmation on her end, she would find out from the ground staff and call me back.
As you can guess I never got a call back. I am slightly fuming at this stage, I mean ok yes they are just clothes and stuff but we didn’t pack much with us for this trip and most of what we owned was in that bag. And really it is just uncool!
But relief came mid afternoon when our bags did in fact arrive. The courier beeping his horn, banging on doors and yelling ‘hello’ continuously got our attention. I almost hugged the guy, yay a win for us, we got our bags back!
So skip forward a bit, it’s now Monday. The dreaded leeks continued all weekend and at this point Alex is really worried. We take it back to the mechanic, he has a look and says its it was a leak from the transfer case. Anyone like me without car knowledge, it was a major leak.
Cool cool so he can fix it, but wait he is full for the day so he can’t do anything for us, we have to take it back the next day.
The car was alright to drive though, so instead of getting annoyed that our trip in Darwin was yet extended by another day, we decided to go out on a crocodile tour.
We had intended on taking the tour when we left Darwin and headed into Kakadu, but circumstances changed that as you have read, so off we went.
The tour was on the Adelaide River, not to be confused with the town of Adelaide River which also has the Adelaide river running through it, also outside on Darwin but the other direction to where we were going.
The tour promised crocodiles and it delivered. At first when we got onto the dinghy type/style boat we could only see seriously dirty cloudy water and not much else. But less than 5 minutes in, we had seen a number of crocodiles swimming nearby and in the distance. The driver on a few occasions pulled out a large rod with some steak attached on the end, used it to entice the crocodiles closer and then proceeded to get them to jump for the meat.
Now this all seemed quite exciting and was pretty scary to see a crocodile jump so high and frightening to hear that crunch sound their jaw made. However it was not nice to think that the crocodiles were being used as entertainment in this aspect, that part did not sit well with us. I don’t think the crocodiles minded, after all the got fed every day on rotation.
At one point on the tour, we saw a giant male crocodile. He came up to the side of the boat I was sitting on, Alex was standing behind with his camera to take pictures. Now I was sitting low, with my head behind the roaling just because, well it was a crocodile. The driver proceeded to dangle the meat and did so quite close to the side of the boat, my side. The crocodile jumped and collided with the boat. Right before that moment Alex asked me to turn and smile for a picture, so when he bumped the boat, Alex took a shot of me and it’s safe to say my smile turned to a holy f*** face of fear.
For us, the tour was a great experience and it was definitely exciting to see some crocodiles in the wild finally, but we are happy to not go again.
So we fast forward now to the next day, it’s Tuesday. We drop the car off and ask that if possible instead of us waiting to replace the other two shock absorbers, please replace them also since it was in the shop for the day. That was no problem. Now I said we dropped off the car, but it was actually Alex. I was a little annoyed that we had had to wait so long to get in, even if the circumstances were out of our hands. So whilst he was speaking with the mechanic and having over the keys, I was over the road at McDonalds, using their unlimited Wi-Fi and their bathrooms.
We entertained ourselves for the day by heading down to the waterfront and lying in the sun. We had brought the computer with us, so I was typing a little and caught up.
It was nearing the late afternoon, we knew the mechanic finished at 4pm and well we hadn’t received the ‘its all fixed’ call. We had wandered back to the McDonalds across the road from the mechanic just to again use their Wi-Fi and enjoy some air conditioning. A call came, but it wasn’t to give us that good news.
The mechanic said that he needed to keep the car overnight, because in replacing the other two shock absorbers there was a screw he could not get loose. Alex told him we were right next door and that he would be over to continue the conversation. I was not allowed to go with. For the mans safety not mine…
In the time it took Alex to walk over the road, the mechanic had been able to loosen the bolt but then realised that he didn’t have the correct seal to actually fix it, and so yes he needed to keep the car over night.
Alex came back and got me from McDonalds, where we then went to collect some clothes for the night and then figure out where we would sleep that night.
At this point I want to punch something, afterall our car is our home in a way and not only was this costing us $$ and time, we now had to find somewhere to stay in the late afternoon on such short notice.
You can imagine I did not say hello to the mechanic when we collected our things. I then had some tears over how inconsiderate and unfair the situation was, while we walked into the city and found ourselves at a motel/hotel/inn which in the end found out was in fact an inn, they just liked covering all bases with their signs.
So luckily with somewhere to sleep we got dressed nicely and went out for dinner in the city. We wanted to have a fun night out, make the most of being central, however with all the stupid car stress we were a little exhausted, so one beer stayed at one beer.
Now finally it’s Wednesday. We did not get to pick up the car in the morning, like we expected, no we had to wait again a whole other day. It was not ready until the afternoon, giving us the impression that the mechanic just did it last. Either way I was seriously unhappy, unhappy about having to wait, bring it back, being forced to leave our home and because again we were sitting in McDonalds!
It’s safe to say that once we received our keys back, we were out of that garage and out of Darwin.
Now please don’t think I am awful in hating towards the mechanic, but the circumstances just made the whole process terribly annoying. It’s safe to say we may have survived the Gibb River Road when we drove through it, but we have suffered slightly in regards to emotions and $$ after the fact.