Travels in Australia, Siberia and Canada.

I really enjoy looking at photos I’ve taken on some very memorable rail journeys (especially when I’ve spent months under “house arrest”).

The Indian Pacific’s locomotive gets fuel and service just before heading due west to Perth on the Indian Ocean. Here we’re about to start down the longest stretch of perfectly straight railroad track in the world: 297 miles and straight as a string. The name of the town where we’ve stopped is Cook, population that day was 2: two married ladies who ran a souvenir stand. The husbands were due back in a week from a fishing trip.
Heading south from Darwin on The Ghan, the train’s P.A. advised us several times that we would soon be crossing the Fink River. And there it is–not quite bone dry! As soon as I could, I looked it up in an encyclopedia: “A major intermittent river in Australia.”
The train from Berlin to Moscow was Russian equipment and had a Russian crew. There was some problem with the tickets this family had and the two car attendants (the two men in white shirts) were trying to get it all sorted out. There was a lot of yelling.
After leaving Moscow, we crossed Siberia and entered Mongolia. It appeared to be quite fertile–there’s a stream running behind that yurt-and we passed by a herd of about 50 yaks–great shaggy beasts. Several of us were invited into one of the yurts and, as special guests, were offered a small bowl of fermented mare’s milk. Yes, it was awful!
Back on the North American continent, a long sweeping curve gives us a good look at VIA’s train #1, The Canadian. We’re coming from Toronto and have just entered the Canadian Rockies. This train caries three dome cars and two dining cars in the summer months.