The long Weekend - Darwin
On Thursday, August 10th, we left the Sunshine Coast a little too early, and arrived at the airport with time on our hands, so we had to sit around for a while before check in. Finally it was time, and we lined up, I actually thought I had asked for a wheelchair when I purchased the tickets but was told by the lady at Jetstar that I hadn’t, she was so lovely, and even tried to get us a one but there were already 2 passengers on board who needed assistance, and on domestic flights they only have enough staff to cater for 2. Which I was unaware that this happens. That was fine, we’re used to doing it without assistance.
Jimmy loves flying. His giggles as the plane takes off are hilarious, and he usually sleeps most of the way. Right before they told the flight attendants to get ready for landing, Jimmy had a lovely little gift for me. I could smell it. And when I checked, he’d done the biggest poo, lucky I got it when I did or it could have ended up everywhere…. Not something you want to deal with walking through an airport. Changing him in the plane toilets is me squatting down with my legs apart, and Jimmy holding the rails with his butt in my face. Not fun, but I literally laugh to myself because he finds it funny when I wipe him, and I’m in an airplane on my way on yet another holiday. 22 years of changing nappies, I’m used to it.
We arrived in Darwin at about 1am, and finally I got to sleep at 3am. Jimmy kept laughing all night, and I ended up having to lay beside him and tell him to GO TO SLEEP! He was having the time of his life, and I think just stoked to be in a bed.
The Motel Darwin City Edge was great for the price. It had everything we needed.
The next day was hot, and Piggybacking Jimmy in the heat was terrible. It took us 17 minutes to walk into the main street. I had the sweats up bad, and Jimmy did not enjoy it either. But it’s all part of our experience, so we just deal with it.
Upon Arriving at Crocosaurus Cove, the lady at the front desk already knew who we were, as I had emailed her about Jimmy and my blog. She was so lovely, and quickly explained where we needed to be for the Croc Cage. While there we got to be in the Crocodile show feeding some little crocs with Jimmy on my back. It was more fun for us than Jimmy, he had no idea what we were doing. After this, it was time to be in with Crocs in the Cage of Death, and before climbing in with the big crocs you pretty much sign your life away, which was scary in itself, but it's a risk you take. Jimmy and I were first up, and my anxiety kicked in and my heart was racing. I know, I was more scared then Jimmy because he had absolutely no idea what we were about to do. I'm lucky I had Elise there, as she knows Jimmy really well, and the staff trusted us to communicate on how Jimmy was feeling.
Getting into the cage, we had to climb down a ladder. I was at the bottom, Elise at the top. This was really scary for Jimmy, as he didn’t know what was going on and I had to talk him through putting his foot on one step at a time as well as guide his hands, once we got him at the bottom he was fine and just gave me a big hug. When the cage started moving, he held me tight, giggling. He thought this was hilarious, but I was not so sure. Next, the water started rising, Jimmy got a little scared, gripped onto me tight. It stopped at his chest height and he calmed down. During this experience, I had to constantly talk to him explaining that there is a big crocodile swimming around us, just like the little one we touched earlier. Every moment in the cage is both terrifying and amazing. Jimmy was listening to every word I was saying to him about what we were a part of. The whole time I kept an eye on Chopper the Croc, and he seemed to be eyeing Jimmy off, and when I mentioned this to Elise, she said the staff had actually said that they thought chopper was intrigued by Jimmy. This is what makes me wonder do all animals’ - even crocodiles - sense disabilities, or did Jimmy look appetizing? Overall this was one incredible experience, and if you ever get to Darwin, it’s a must on the bucket list.
That afternoon we were all so tired, and didn’t even make it back out to dinner. We slept right through the night. It was a big day, and we knew we needed to get some sleep, as the next day would be even bigger.
Litchfield Dream Tours;
On Saturday about 5.30am, I woke Jimmy up and got ourselves ready for the Tour. We had 5 stops and the first was with Spectacular Crocodile jumping. This was so rad, soon as the boat would start the crocodiles would swim towards us and then the guys would get them to jump out of the water. Obviously, for Jimmy, this was just a ride in a boat as he can't see what’s going on. We also saw some whistling birds which are pretty cool, they would fly in fast and grab the food with their paws that had been thrown into the air.
Next stop was some Termite mounds, and the place lived up to its name, ‘The Graveyard”
After the mounds, we stopped at a few waterfalls. The first one was Wangi, where we could go for a swim, then Florence falls which we only had time to see from the lookout. Lastly, we went to Buley Rocks for another dip in the water. This was so refreshing. I took a moment to reflect, and think about how lucky I am, that I can take Jimmy on such a great tour and enjoy every part of it. On the bus ride home we all had a little nap, it was a big day.
By the time we got home, it was late but we still wanted to head out, as we’d been told that Darwin City goes off. The nightlife is crazy. It was 8pm, and we caught a cab into Mitchell Street to a great place called Six Tanks Brew Co. It was packed, and luckily we found a table. After a nice feed and a drink, we caught one of those passenger bikes around the block. I’ve done this before, Elise hadn’t and I wanted Jimmy to have his first turn. He absolutely loved it. We asked our rider where a good place to go that's not too full on, and she told us to go to Lost Ark and dropped us at the door. As we arrived the first thing that was said to us is have you got ID and kids aren’t allowed. I showed them Jimmy’s ID and they looked at me weird like I was lying, but when I explained he was blind and disabled they told us to go line up. We got our ID scanned but here you get your fingerprint as well, and Jimmy’s fingerprint would not work. The manager still let us in. Once inside we did get a few looks. I understand this happens as Jimmy looks like a child, but after sitting down, a guy came up to us and said you can’t have kids in here. I said he is 22 and blind.
He laughed and repeated himself I had to tell him about 3 times, and then say ‘HE IS DISABLED’….
After that, he apologized to me. . Not long after, a young girl came up and asked to meet Jimmy, as “he is the cutest guy”. Her name was Maddy, and she gave Jimmy big hugs and went on her way. Lastly, I noticed a couple of people looking at us the whole time, but only one person got my attention. He shook his head at me in disgust, so I gave him a smile, and let him be the judgmental person he was… Now don’t get wrong I understand people will assume, and look at us when we go out. That’s fine, but when I get nasty comments or looks it's very frustrating. I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes it does. After such a big day, and really not liking the Lost Ark, we decided to walk home at midnight. Jimmy enjoys piggybacks after I've had a few drinks, listening to Elise and I talk crap. He giggles a lot more than when I'm sober.
Sunday morning we took our time to decide what we wanted to do, before I took Elise on her Surprise helicopter ride (which I blew the week before by accidentally telling her). It was a * “facepalm moment, but she was so excited.
It was about lunchtime when we to the Darwin Museum, and had a beer. Why the hell not? We’re on holidays. The Museum was great for anyone that can see, but for Jimmy, it was a waste of time.
The afternoon came around so fast and Elise, Jimmy and myself were about to have our first ever helicopter ride. Can I just say I wasn’t even nervous, Elise was though, and Jimmy didn't even know what was about to happen. Soon as the pilot started the propellers, Jimmy was in hysterics laughing. His face said it all. Happiness comes from within, and you can tell when he's happy. Today was the happiest for Jimmy. It was so beautiful seeing Darwin from above, and learning more about this city and it crocs, they are literally everywhere.
Lastly, I just want to thank Airborne Solutions for allowing us to come along, and take Jimmy for free. It was truly a great experience. Just a little side note; before ringing Airborne Solutions I called another company as I always do to ask and explain that I will be bringing Jimmy, and talk about his disability. The lady on the phone said: sorry, unless he can get on and off the helicopter by himself, we can’t take him in case of an emergency. I then explained that I can do all of this quite quickly. She replied: you’re doing a wonderful job, but no we can’t take him sorry. I said thank you for your time, and called Airborne Solutions. I explained everything to the owner, and he was wonderful. Even giving Jimmy the free ride, plus Elise and I a discount. Want my opinion? Go with someone who gives everyone a chance. Also, Airborne do a pub crawl via helicopter! If I had the money I would have done that, it just sounds so much fun.
Anyway, so here we are at the end of our trip to watch a beautiful sunset at Mindil Beach, reflecting back on the last few days. It was another wonderful, exciting holiday to spend with my best friend, and my little man, Jimmy. I wish I could take all my friends on holiday with us. It’s because of them, and their support that I can do these things.
This is our life, and it’s only getting better… more adventures coming soon.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be very afraid of standing still.” - Chinese proverb
Photos - In Gallery