Photos Tell The Story.

It’s amazing how much enjoyment I get from going through the photographs I have taken on my travels over the years. I thought I would share a few over the next few posts. These are from my three-night crossing of the Australian continent, from Sydney on the Pacific Ocean to Perth on the Indian Ocean, aboard the aptly named train, the Indian Pacific.

Two hours before departure. Clean windows are essential. There was a second man working the other side of the train.
From Sydney, the Indian Pacific headed west, climbed over a mountain range, then swung south toward Adelaide, heading through farm land and past sheep . . . lots and lots of sheep.
We were only in Adelaide for a few hours, but I felt very comfortable there. In fact, it reminded my very much of Honolulu . . . except, of course, for all the cars driving on the “wrong” side of the road and the cricket games in the parks.
Adelaide far behind now, we stopped at the mining center of Broken Hill and have been heading due west for hours. I asked one of the Australians on board what was a good definition for The Outback. “Well, mate,” he said, “I’d say The Outback is everything east of the west coast and everything west of the east coast.” And he guffawed loudly.
Well into our second day, the Indian Pacific stops at the town of Cook. While the head end crew serviced the locomotive, passengers crowded into a small gift shop where two women were busy selling souvenirs. Someone asked what was the population of the town. “Two,” said one of the ladies, “but when our husbands get home from their fishing trip next week, it’ll double.” Cook is located at the beginning of the longest perfectly straight stretch of railroad track in the world: 297 miles and straight as a string.
Late afternoon of the second day, we slow to a crawl on temporary track as we roll by the site of a freight train derailment that occurred three days ago and, we have just been told, almost caused the cancellation of our train. Crews are cleaning up the mess left where a section of the main line had been undermined by a flash flood caused by torrential rains.
And, after three days of very hot and very dry, we arrived at Perth. I spent several hours relaxing in Kings Park and enjoying the view of the Swan River where it empties into the Indian Ocean.

More photos of my east-to-west crossing of the Australian continent in the next few days. And–yes–it’s an incredible journey–harsh conditions may exist outside the train, but the dining car food is of fine restaurant quality with everything prepared on board. And–trust me on this–you will always find clusters of Aussies and Kiwis (New Zealanders) in the lounge car who will call you “mate”, invite you to sit down, and buy your first beer.

More to come.