A night without sleep in Darwin

Being middle aged, but young at heart, my sister and I decided to stay at a Backpackers hostel during our recent trip to Darwin.
And we can certainly say that this scruffy, loud and street savvy establishment, with the most quirky, confusing and laid back staff we have ever come across, added to the adventure...big time.
After arriving in the middle of the night, we were greeted by an overworked and somewhat jaded security manager.
But it was when we opened the door of what was to be our room for the next four nights that we questioned our devil may care attitude.
We were overwhelmed by the heady blend of body odour...almost an entity, and smells of the street...and what was that rustling in the corner? The linen looked questionable to say the least and my mattress had more bumps and contours than a corregated iron roof. The windows had been closed, despite the tropical heat, and the ceiling fan appeared limp and disinterested. We quickly opened all the windows, that faced the main street, and went in search of the fridge in the tiny, cell like room.
We vowed to buy the largest container of Glen 20 we could find the next day. Despite exhaustion after a four-hour red-eye flight, sleep was never an option. I felt all manner of creepy crawlies running over my body during the night (bed bugs or imagination?) and the constant slamming of the front door (as late night party-goers returned home) kept us alert into the wee hours. And those mattresses proved unwilling bed partners. My sister found if she slept in a question mark formation she could escape the bulk of the torment. But I wasn't so lucky. We drifted in and out of sleep in between the slamming door, scratching and wafting putrescence. There was also an interesting incident with the police and our next-door neighbor. At about 4am things appeared to settle down. At last, some sleep we thought! But little did we know what the central business district had in store for us. A howling dog pierced the stillness with blood curdling precision. The noisy street cleaner was soon on duty, with a man with a motorised litter blower hard on his heels. As daylight broke the construction crew arrived for work at a highrise building next door. Jack hammers, cranes and whistles vied for attention. Bleary eyed we greeted our first day in Darwin.

Posted By Mary-Leigh on 10th August 2006

Updated : 10th August 2006 | Words : 407 | Views : 2031

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