Sunday, May 17, 2009

Indian Pacific - Adelaide to Perth

So I bought a ticket a few weeks ago to take the Indian Pacific train from Adelaide to Perth. This was only half the journey of the Indian Pacific as the train originates from Sydney. In total the train takes three days from Sydney to Perth, and for me it was 41hours. I've taken a 36 hour train ride in Africa, so I kinda new what I was getting myself into!
I boarded just after 6pm on May 10th, and was in carriage R, one of the closest to the front and also the furthest from the check in counter!! There are three classes on the train, the Gold, which is quite obvious the fanciest, with nice big beds to sleep in and all food included. Then there is the red kangaroo, smaller beds, but still privacy, and then there was the low class, overnighter kangaroo class. When I was approaching the carriage, I felt like i was in the low class section of the titanic. A bunch of backpackers all trying to get on the train!! I had a seat that reclined about 30 degrees for sleeping, and thats all. (unlike the train i was on in Africa where i had a bed to sleep on and I paid a hell of a lot less!) I was a little worried who I would be sitting beside, but as it turned out it, he was a cute young german who was kind enough to share his sleeping bag with me to keep me warm at night as all I had was my towel!! (And I had a nice cuddle session! heehee) I ended up meeting heaps of people of the train including Marina, an english girl who I ended up going on a 4 day tour of southern western australia which I will tell you more about later, Warwick, an english guy touring australia and asia, and who I am now going to Bali with in June for a week, Gary, also English, Gemma , English as well, Amanda from Canada - Edmonton actually and Andy, the cute German who had his van on the train and moving to Perth to find work. We all chatted tons and before we knew it, it was after 10pm and they where turning off the lights for sleep time. We left Adelaide in the dark and so we didn't see the sun till the morning when we were in the middle of nowhere. On Monday we went through the Nullarbur plains, miles and miles of nothing, literally nothing upon nothing. Kinda reminded me of the nothingness of the north in the winter, except it was brown!
We weren't stuck on the train the entire time, we had a brief stop at Cook - population 5. It is in the middle of the nullarbor plain,s and had trees, but these where planted in the 80's specifically for the town. The next stop was Kalgoorlie-Boulder, which has the oldest working Brothel as well as bars in which the servers are in nothing but bras and undies. Interesting none-the-less!! We had 3 hours here and so headed to a couple of the pubs in town and got nice and drunk before heading back to the train for our last night on the train! I thought there where going to be lots of people snoring on the train and keeping me awake but, surprisingly there where not that many. As for food, I could have purchased food on the train, but decided I would save on money and bring my own food, so I had tuna and bread, cheese and crackers, and a bag of salt and vinager chips for a treat! Good ole' backpacker food! I'm glad I brought my own food as the food that was available was fairly pricey for the amount you got.
We arrived in Perth central just after 9am and Andy was kind enough to take Marina and myself to the YHA in central Perth. All of us except Amanda from Edmonton where staying at the YHA so we all hung around the hostel that evening and played cards. What an awesome experience it was and I met so many great people. All in all it was a great trip and I would take the train again in a heartbeat!!

Carriage R - seated about 60

Me at Cook

My train friends!!

Entering Western Australia - can you see the huge difference in scenery?!!

At one of the 'skimpie' bars in Kargoolie!

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