Wow. So much reminiscing! My life has never been so full of adventures in such a short time.
Early December 2015, John and I found an advert in the Sunday Mail, in Adelaide, and could not resist the temptation of a rail/sea holiday. How exciting! A fantastic offer for 22 days! We booked straight away for April 2016, plenty of time to give notice, save and the things you do when you want something bad enough. Manifestation of good vibes. Sometimes you just need to make a decision and work out how to do it after! This is a great way not to stall your dreams to goals!
So, flight booked to Sydney, overnight stay at the Mercure near the train station. We had the whole afternoon to explore the Darling Harbour and it's beauty and of course Australian architectural icon, The Opera House.
I recommend the Mercure. We had a lovely stay and served a delicious dinner with a
bottle of bubbly. We had reasons to celebrate!
The Indian Pacific was waiting for us and was actually an easy access to the station with our luggage, so if ever....
We had a welcoming party to greet us and our excitement grew fast. I was sure when I spoke those butterflies were flying from my mouth!
Our cabin was 'Gold' class with 2 bunkbeds, ensuite and for a little cabin it was comfortable. Besides, we had plenty distractions in the bar compartment and dining area, making new friends! Even learnt a new card game.
Now, you may think why did we go to Sydney first when our first stop to Perth, went via Adelaide. We were a glutton for the full ride and we stopped at a few places on the way, after enjoying the gorgeous views and ambience of the Blue Mountains. Our first stop, Broken Hill, we explored the Mining Town by coach and took us up to the Line of Lode Miners Memorial. Some sad stories were narrated and we enjoyed a full view of the Silver City. Our next destination, Adelaide, our home city gave us incentive to visit the Seppeltsfield Winery and learn about the history and I got to taste this exquisite mead, but I cannot remember what is was called! Maggie Beer's Farm Shop in Nurioopta was the next stop for tasting of nibbles and browse the Farm shop and premises. After a while we were ushered into the events section where it was laid out with 3 long tables with seating for the selective passengers that booked this outing. And the food and wine was out of this world! A coach ride back to the station to settle into our bunks was most welcome.
Our ride along the track was a little rocky, especially more so from Sydney but from Adelaide across the Nullabor was a little smoother. It was weird, you know after being on a boat one says you feel like you have sea legs, man this was train ride legs! All so worth it. We stopped in this little ghost town called Cooke. It consisted of a rundown school, swimming pool, (dry as) airstrip, a few houses, a jail! And a handful of people who actually dwell there a few months at a time to help maintain the train and tracks as it passes through. Interesting. I love a Sunburnt country.
Rawlinna was our second to last stop of our journey through nothingness and we indulged in an amazing meal of barbeque meat and salad, seated at long tressles of white cloths and rustic atmosphere and light entertainment from a local band (somewhere) serenaded us while we ate heartily with an abundance of wine to set the mood. Candles and lanterns made the surrounding eerily serene and comfortable. We all boarded with a full stomach and light heads to continue our night as we rolled toward Perth.
A coach took us to our Hotel Novatel near the Swan River and took the opportunity to stretch our legs along the banks and enjoy what civilization offered us. What I saw of Perth, was beautiful and look forward to visiting again. After lunch the next day, another coach drove us to our biggest escapade from the workforce to the oceans surrounding the continent which we call home.