As part of Aisling’s 30th birthday celebrations, we booked a cabin at Lake Bennett, just over an hour’s drive from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Two of her friends, Meredith and Julieta, ‘the girls’, who had flown up from Sydney, booked into the adjoining Lake Bennett Resort.
Brian, Joshua and I drove down in the ute on the Saturday afternoon. David and Aisling had left earlier in Tara’s Mazda. They picked up the girls from their hotel in the city and, after having brunch at the Parap Markets, drove to Lake Bennett via Buley Rockhole in Litchfield National Park.
David and Aisling ferried the girls back and forth between the resort and the cabin as required, so they spent most of their time and had all of their meals at the cabin, much to the chagrin of the resort management. Being away for the long weekend, we were missing out on the Greek Glenti in Darwin, so for our first dinner we had chicken and lamb yiros.
David fired up the barbie on Sunday morning and cooked us all bacon and eggs.
Later he taught Joshua to drive the boat and how to fish, before taking most of us for a boat trip to the submerged forest.
Tara drove the Getz down in the afternoon, arriving just in time for Aisling’s nachos and drinks on the pontoon interspersed with floating in the lake on inflatable giant thongs – flip flops – and a crocodile.
Brian and I went for a walk across the dam wall to the resort then home via the walking track – saw a wallaby.
Everyone enjoyed dinner that night – various chicken skewers, rolls and salad, followed by the movie ‘The Monuments Men’.
Monday started with pancakes with the lot: maple syrup, banana, pineapple, lemon juice and sugar. Then the girls, Tara and Joshua made the most of their remaining time before having to return to Darwin for Meredith to catch her flight back to shivering Sydney.
After they left, Brian and I went for a drive. Later Aisling and I went for a walk and had a chat with one of the owners of another cabin, then tried to photograph parrots Brian and David had spotted in the bush across from the cabin. Late in the afternoon we went for another boat trip to the sunken forest and got some great shots of waterlillies, birds, the moon and sunset.
I had my first experience of cooking on a barbecue – chicken kiev flavoured sausages – delicious.
Later, David drove the Getz back to Darwin so he could catch his flight to Sydney.
Tuesday morning saw Aisling cook scrambled eggs and baked beans on toast for breakfast while we packed up before departing for Darwin.
I think it’s safe to say a good time was had by all with everyone returning relaxed and refreshed, ready to get back to the real world – for now anyway!