20th July, 2011
21st July, 2011
22nd July, 2011

Wednesday, 20th July, 2011

Indian-Pacific photograph

Geoff and the Indian Pacific Train

Drop Cap p at dawn for our drive down to Central to pick up the Indian Pacific. Through tedious traffic, it took over two hours, it was about 10:30 when we drove into the Motorail holding centre. There was no problem there and we went into the station for coffee, then lunch and a time filling stroll around the Heritage Centre, quite interesting.

Drop Cap he train left at 1500 (on time too)and we were off! It is funny but by the time we were passing Blaxland it had taken eight hours to get back to the same place we started from!

Inside Indian-Pacific photograph

Mac on Board the Train

Drop Cap eoff has a very small cabin with an arm chair which converts to a bed. He doesn't have a toilet or shower, though. We had a welcome drink and nibble in the lounge, very nice with sofas and tables and we enjoyed a game of Yahtzee with another family.

Drop Cap inner was quite nice - Mac had pumpkin soup and fillet steak, I had smoked chicken salad and steak, Geoff had the chicken and roast salmon. We are all tired and Geoff is getting up early for a tour of Broken Hill. We are on late sitting for meals so hopefully he can get something before he goes on the tour. We have brought a bag full of nibbles etc so can top up his carbs, I hope.

Time to sleep.

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Thursday, 21st July, 2011

Drop Cap very long and uncomfortable night, lots of turbulence but mostly the solid discomfort of the bunk bed which resulted in sore hips and bum.
We woke at about 6 a.m. coming in to Broken Hill. Mac got up and dressed to go and have a very substantial early morning tea with Geoff before Geoff went out on his tour of Broken Hill. Geoff seems fine, said he had a reasonable night, one down, two to go.

Broken Hill Station photograph

Rosemary on the Platform
Broken Hill - at 2°C

Drop Cap got up and dressed and Mac and I strolled up and down the platform in the two degree chill. It is quite foggy this morning, but will probably clear later. We came back and warmed up in the lounge. Breakfast isn't until well after we leave Broken Hill as we are on second setting, but the Hospitality Manager has promised us early setting from Adelaide. Hope so, for all our sakes.

Leaving Broken Hill photograph

Scenery after Broken Hill

Drop Cap fter Broken Hill the scenery became red, arid and treeless, almost as if we had already reached the Nullarbor Plain, no doubt the result of many decades of mining works all over the area. It was a rather spectacular scene, however and we watched the changing view with interest.

Field erosion SA photograph

Green Fields and Erosion in SA

Drop Cap hen we reached South Australia the scene became more pastoral, with fields covered in small yellow flowers and green grass. There had been a lot of rain recently and the fields showed the result. However it could not disguise the erosion of many years - great gouges out of the fields showing where water had once run.

Lights Vision Adelaide photograph

Statue at Lights Vision Adelaide

Drop Cap e came into Adelaide in mid afternoon on a very pleasant day. We had a two hour whistle-stop tour of Adelaide, a pretty, planned city (unlike Sydney) with wide streets, and surrounded by lovely parks and gardens. There were many lovely old stone buildings, some still with the original function (GPO, Government House etc) others converted to businesses. Lots of old style English type pubs. We got out at Light's Vision, a hill with a statue of the founding father looking over the city. I don't think the huge banks of floodlights over the Oval were in his original charter, though!

Drop Cap ell, we got the early setting and it was OK, but Geoff's meal was very low in carbs. We will have to fill him up before bed. We repaired to the lounge after dinner where we had a champagne reception like last night. I have decided to stay up as long as possible before bed.

Drop Cap o far I don't think I have been too bad with WW points. Lunch today was vegetarian and about two points all up. So far, good. Dinner was lentil soup - very tasty, roast lamb rump and vegs. We had a glass of champers later in the lounge. I deliberately stayed up until the bar closed and had a much better night. Mac gave me his doona and it helped mine to cushion the mattress.

Friday, 22nd July, 2011

Drop Cap e woke at about 5:30, the moon and the stars were blazing in the clear night sky. The toilet fault light was lit so we organised someone to fix it. Breakfast was good with cereal and juice, full breakfast or continental.

Nullarbor photograph

Approaching the Nullarbor Plain

Drop Cap oday we reached the Nullarbor Plain. Sometimes I wonder about the Nullarbor. You expect it to be an endless expanse of nothing but it really isn't. There are bunches of scrubby trees, there were quite large clumps of wildflowers (I did mention that there had been a lot of rain this year), there is the occasional unexplained small building, often fenced all around, with solar panels.

Nullarbor photograph

Signs of Civilisation, Nullarbor Plain
( The only signs ! )

Indian-Pacific Cook photograph

Indian-Pacific refuelling at Cook, SA

Drop Cap t about 10:15 we reached Cook , "Queen City of the Nullarbor", population 5. On the way I saw a camel, the only wildlife so far, although I saw a bunch of emus yesterday. Maybe later on. Cook hasn't changed much, we had a walk around and took a few photos, then had to walk almost the length of the train to get back on. A couple of activity points!

Long Straight rail line photograph

"Long Straight" looking East from Cook

Drop Cap he view of the Long Straight, the longest straight section of railway track in the world, stretching into infinity from both ends of the train gives a good impression of the remoteness of Cook.

Drop Cap e had another vegetarian option for lunch, so we are still doing well. Saw several eagles but no animals as such. We get into Kalgoorlie after dinner and have arranged a tour (whistlestop). Should be interesting.


Drop Cap he tour was quite interesting, taking in the historic centre and the two main highlights of Kalgoorlie/Boulder, the "SuperPit" (upgraded from the Big Pit we saw in '98) and the Hay Street red light district. Due to the time change we have lost one and a half hours so it was much later than it seemed and I was dropping off as the tour was ending.

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