Wednesday, 5 October 2011

16th to 19th November 2001

Fri 16th

Got the Indian Pacific for Sydeney, though I paniced on arriving at the station as they moved the train and I thought it was leaving.

When I got to my seat half of it was occupied by the large German man in the next seat so it was good to find that third class passngers were allowed to use the lounge car of the Holiday Class sleepers. The door to Gold Class was firmly locked. We stopped in the evening in Kalgoorlie, where I was surprised to find a trendy wine bar disguised as an outback pub.

Sat 17th

Slept uncomfortably and woke early to a view of the Nullarbor, a totaly  flat area that according to the taped announcement is two times the size of England. Around 11am we stopped at Cook, a near ghost town with only four inhabitants, then back on the train for the long run to Adelaide.

After a while we left th Nullarbor for an area with trees and hills but in general the vegetation seemed to be back to the desert standard. Clearly there is only green grass near the cities.

Sat up in the lounge till 2am when the train manager stopped telling people not to sleep there. Then slept there until 5.30 when he came back.

Sunday 18th

The train stopped at Adelaide for breakfast and on reboarding I was moved to another seat with no one next to me allowing me for the first time to lie down and sleep.I did visit th lounge again but the music was as Bryson said from the complation album "songs you hoped never to hear again".

We stopped for an hour and a half at Broken Hill a small town surrounded by large mines, that were apparently five years from closing. getting back on the person in the next seat still hadn't appeared so I could sleep, or could if not for the fighting couple in the seat in front.

Monday 19th

Woke to a landscape of hills and farms that gradually gave way to suburbs. Sydney was cold and wet and looked very English. Had lunch in a Vietnamese restaurant, messed about in an internet cafe then took an overnight bus for Byron Bay leaving at 10.30, so yet another night without a proper bed.

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