The flight here from Sydney was long. I mean long — over four and a half hours, and though I secured an exit row, I was seated in the middle with a portly, bearded guy to my left and a frigid woman to my right. (Chick could have moved to the middle seat across the aisle to sit next to her husband, but nooo…)

I told everyone I wanted to go to Darwin — which, at about 90,000 people, is by far the smallest capital city in Australia — because it was hot. When we landed, I was not disappointed. Though it was nearly 1 am ACST (a mere half hour difference from Sydney) the heat was still firmly asserting itself. This during the pleasant time of year; in addition to temps in the 90s, the airport shuttle driver cheerfully informed us (when he wasn’t putting down the mic to switch gears), we could expect 99% humidity to come as soon as “the Wet” arrived. (As I write, it’s a mere 55%.)

Oh, and “the Wet”? The driver claimed one recent storm brought 15″ of rain in 15 minutes. “It’s something you really have to see,” he said dryly.

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