Travel Diary 101 : Kakadu Missed, Litchfield Take Over
I planned my adventure in northern and western part of Australia before my visa expired last February 2017. I returned to Australia after 1.5 years and had my last travel in the said country. After having a free tour in Singapore last September 29, 2016 as my worthwhile layover which described in my post entitled Free Transit Tour in Singapore , when I was on my way to Australia I thought everything that I planned as my adventures will be happening until something went off on that day. I arrived in Darwin, the capital city of Northern Territory on September 30, 2016 few minutes earlier than its scheduled arrival time of 5:25 AM in the morning. The plane was not full of passengers, it was not the same of my previous flight to Sydney nor my previous flight to Melbourne. From the time that I disembarked the plane until I retrieved my luggage, I kept looking in my watch because I need to catch-up my tour around 6:20 AM in Darwin Transit Centre.
It still dark when I left the airport past quarter to 6 AM in the morning and I felt at ease while inside the taxi as I thought that I will be able to catch my tour. The cab driver dropped me off in bus terminal in the city. I asked the driver if its Darwin Transit Centre and he said it was. So I got off the taxi and waited a bit. I looked around and I felt there was something off in the terminal where I was at that time. I knew that I was in bus terminal but there were no people around. Time was passing, I felt uncomfortable and suspicious. I had a feeling at that time that I was in a wrong place. Since I don’t have internet in my phone yet as I just arrived in the city less than an hour ago, I was not able to verify if I was in the right pick-up point based on the GPS of my phone.
I was alone in the terminal and I waited, hoping that it was the right one, but the time of pick-up point was approaching and it’s almost 6:20 AM. And when I saw two Asian women, I approached them and I asked them if the bus terminal is Darwin Transit Centre but they responded to me that they were not sure as they were new in the place too. There was a tourist vehicle stopped near where I was standing, a guy got off the vehicle and he looked liked a tourist guide because of what he was wearing and I approached him and asked him if the terminal was Darwin Transit Centre and he responded to me that it’s not and its few minutes drive from where we were. I felt desperate because I knew that I will be left behind by the tour that I booked since I was not at pick-up point yet. The man who I asked offered me to dropped off at Darwin Transit Centre. An old man approached us and he asked which place I was looking for and I said to him the same place I responded to the first guy. They seem to know each other and the second man instructed the first guy to dropped me off in Darwin Transit Centre. I learned from them that the terminal I was dropped off was Darwin Bus Interchange Terminal, at that time, I thought that the cab confused it with Darwin Transit Center terminal. I also learned that I need to walk at least 10-15 minutes to reach the transit center.
At that time, I was sad because of what happened of my first day adventure after I returned to Australia. After the conversation with two men that I barely knew, I trusted them and accepted the help offered of the first man who I talked to. I hopped into the front seat of his vehicle and my luggage inside the car. On the way, we talked a bit and we conversed how the cab driver didn’t even knew or familiar with Darwin Transit Centre where in fact the said terminal is tourist affiliated center. We drove few minutes, then we reached the said location and I was very thankful to the man who helped me. After I got-off the car, I looked around and I saw the tour company office that includes in my email from Viator. I went inside and I asked about the tour that I suppose to join though the pick-up time has already passed, it’s almost 6:45 AM at that time. They told me that the bus already left which did not surprised me at all. They asked my name and they mentioned that they were actually looking for me. They received some of my updates in the email about my pick-up location. I explained to them what happened. They talked to me and told me that they don’t reimburse payment of any tour. They asked me if I was available the next day and I told them that I was not. My only option that will be a bit fair for me was to join their another day tour. I asked what are available options. The tour that I booked was higher than what they were offering me and the famous one but at that time I didn’t have a choice but to choose a tour that I can still join to maximize my first day in Northern Territory. The tour that I chose to avoid ruining my day was Litchfield National Park Day Tour.