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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Travel Tuesday - Stranded in Kakadu!

This week's Travel Tuesday takes us a bit further... all the way across the world to Australia. The Northern Territory in fact. Even the name sounds wild and remote doesn't it?! We went to Australia on our honeymoon, nearly 6 years ago. It was one of the countries at the very top of my list (along with Japan, Egypt, Norway and Canada - have only managed to cross off the latter at the moment). An absolutely fascinating country, with unique wildlife, a vast, desolate interior, but people that we Brits can very much relate to.

The NT was the last stop on our tour. We started in Port Douglas, Queensland, then Sydney and the Blue Mountains, then over to Uluru, the Olgas and Alice Springs and then up to Darwin and Kakadu.

We took a 3-day organised tour of Kakadu. Everyone on the trip was staying in one of three particular motels/hotels in Kakadu on the first night. We happened to be in the same one as the coach driver. That evening we were chatting to him, while we were waiting for something to eat and said a cheery "Night, see you tomorrow,".

The following morning, we said a few hellos to people from the coach as we had breakfast and went to collect our bags and go and wait for the coach, which was leaving at 8am. As we were early, we had a quick look in the motel/hotel (I'm not really sure which it was!) shop, which was just by the car park. A few minutes before 8 O'clock, we thought we'd better head out to the coach. You can see what's coming here can't you??

We looked for the coach and we stared at the car park for a bit. It wasn't a big car park, in fact, the motel/hotel wasn't huge. But we still stared a bit longer, then we wandered around the reception area a bit, looked at our watches, said to each other, "It was 8am we were leaving wasn't it?" And "Well, they can't have forgotten us, we saw them all this morning and we talked to the driver last night!". After a few minutes realising that they had indeed left without us, we had to get the lady on Reception to phone ahead to the next hotel.

It turned out that the driver had got his numbers muddled up with another motel/hotel and thought he had everyone so they'd left a few minutes early. He didn't find out until he got to the next motel/hotel, which meant everyone had to come all the way back  - an hour's drive each way!

Anyway, as Aussies are so easy-going, it was all a bit of a joke and everyone remained happy! Although we were perfectly safe, being at a motel/hotel, it does kind of make you wary that had we been elsewhere, things may have turned out quite differently... Reminded me of a couple who went scuba diving off the Queensland coast (I think), only for their boat to leave without them. Not such a lucky outcome...

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