Wednesday, April 22

Darwin, Here I Come!

I am booked on the Ghan leaving Darwin on August 1st, for a four day trip down to Adelaide with stopovers at Katherine and Alice Springs (NT) and Coober Pedy (South Australia.)  How I a looking forward to it.  

I did of course pass through Darwin - in fact I stayed a couple of nights with friends which was great and perhaps I will see them again in July as we will be there a few days before we depart on the Ghan.  I do hope we have time for a little look around, but also hope to catch up with friends and a member from 5W

I have always liked trains, and am really looking forward to being on this special train.  I have been on the train three times between Adelaide and Perth (way back in the 1960's) and we often caught a train to Gladstone (SA), and Mt Gambier when I did my nursing.  In fact I still have vivid memories of that first journey to Mt Gambier with a couple of other girls who were going to start their nursing adventure with me.  I've also travelled on the train from Melbourne to Adelaide, and Sydney to Adelaide.

I have been on many trains - in China we occasionally caught a train from Shaoxing to Hangzhou or Shanghai.  On one occasion, a friend Sue and I arrived in Shanghai and as was usual one has to buy the return ticket when we arrived in Shanghai.  We asked a young man to help us, which he eventually did after protesting about it "poor" English - which wasn't "poor" at all.  He made a phone call when we were in the queue, and he purchased 3 tickets.  It seems his girlfriend, for whom he was waiting at the station, was going to return to Shaoxing on the Monday as well, so we all went together.  But she freaked.  She had never spoken to foreigners and hid in the ladies toilets.  Eventually she came out and realised that Sue and I were not monsters.  When we went to the station on the Monday, she was there to enthusiastically greet us, and she slept on my shoulder for the duration of the trip.

I did go on the Maglev in Shanghai - so fast, but the journey did not take one right into Shanghai.  

I have been on many historic steam trains - recently went on the steam train to celebrate 150 years of Queensland Rail, and in Carnarvon, WA,  I went on the Coffee Pot Train out to the end of the long jetty.

Last year I also travelled on the Tilt Train from Brisbane t Rockhampton, which is where I found out the details of the Ghan.

The Ghan stops at Katherine, NT.  There is a bit of a tour there.  Not sure what it is.


Darwin

Katherine


We will also stop at Alice Springs and Coober Pedy!  I have been to the Alice, but not for many years but I have never been to the opal mining town of Coober Pedy with its undergrown homes etc.  Again we do a small tour of Coober Pedy, but I don't know the details.

I do wish we were going on a steam train - then I could hang out the window with my camera. Much better images without pointing through the glass!

Anyway, bring it on!

I


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