Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Superior gold.

Checked out making sure we made as much noise as possible.  Damned kids :p

Scurried to McIver station and awaited a train.  David wandered off to shoot some DMU  that passed by.

At East Perth our train was in the loop so no rush there. We settled in and in the mean time D arranged a tour of my Western Colleagues' workplace. Cool.  It was interesting how small their system is but essentially the same as ours.  They do like ATRC and CRN and perform both signaller role and train control role whereas I have signallers to work with separately.  Mind you we have a higher system and more trains (generally).  Lovely people..

Last to board the IP (Indian pacific)  David had a surprise left in store for me. A gold superior room.  Bigger than gold twin and smaller than platinum it's the second to top tier on GSR (aside from hiring your own carriage)
We had our own mini bar,  a 3/4 double bed and our own table.  Awesome.

I happily wrote for the journey out of Perth and across to Kalgoorlie.

As always, the Indian Pacific overfeed you... there are rich sauces, cream, chocolate tarts etc etc etc. I just weighed myself - I put on 4kg over the past 2 weeks. Hmmmmm (Glares at self)

A tour of the Kalgoorlie open cut mine. Very cool, lots of lights for getting a late night shot if not for the wet and windy weather. Thanks WA. :-( The tour ran around 2300hrs, so it was after 0100hrs when we returned to the train. All the sensible people had gone to bed.
The bed in the Gold Superior room was a 3/4 double. Not a double.. but wider than a single bunk that you get in the gold rooms. The platinum rooms have a full sized double bed. The room is converted from two twinette rooms and allowing for the two bathrooms that were removed, it has the space of three twinettes or so. Alas, the AC in this room can only cope with the size of a normal room, so it is very hot in there at night. That, along with the not quite a full sized bed, made for a hot and sweaty broken sleep. There is more than enough room to put in a full sized bed.. so I don't understand their thinking. Still a luxury for me as I am usually crammed into a tiny bed when on a train.
Still I didn't sleep. SIgh.

Next day was a huge breakfast and around lunch a stop at Cook. I was looking forwards to Cook, as I had wanted to post some cards to some friends, but the general stop was closed. Bah. I spent so much time looking for the shop that has ceased to be that I missed seeing the pool. WHAA...The wind in Cook was so fierce that I was very glad to be wearing bloomers, but some fellow travellers certainly got an eye full.. Haahaa

Onwards and I settled into lunch where I met a lovely lady from the UK who had upgraded from Red to Gold. She had caused a stir amongst the crew as this is apparently not too common. Gold to Gold Superior, yes and Gold to Platinum, yes but red to Gold.. Not often.Still, she has battled and paid the fee and here she was. I was so glad to meet her, very interesting young lady and she was now heading to NZ as her working Visa here had come to an end and she was unable to gain sponsorship. Boo. She was told that she would have to pay $20 for the bus to the markets or $75 for the whole tour, but as David wasn't enthusiastic about the market tour I had forced on him, I offered her my ticket and thought David would show her some other interesting places on the way. He didn't want to go and certainly not without me, so he wasn't thrilled with my plan. Hey! I try to be nice to people. We drank the rest of the afternoon and watched the scenery go past.

Anyway another sleepless night mostly due to the room being so very hot. Had a fabulous shower though.. my tattoos kept me up as they are at the shedding stage when you wish you could rip your skin off. Its a theme this year I think.. Itchy Skin.
The breakfast was a light refreshment.. Boo. That meant pastries, and as much as I love pastries, I don't want them as my only food for the morning. There was supposed to be a fruit platter for my room but someone stole it.. chuckle.. The lovely carriage attendant got my two plates of fruit a bit later.

Off on the coach with Laura, as D had preferred that I go. We were dropped off at the Adelaide markets and given breakfast.. SUpposedly. We were told only coffee, tea or hot chocolate, and a ham and cheese croissant. Those big horrible dry ones. A lady, thinking better than I was.. protested and got yoghurt. Bah I should have done that. I left the giant unheated pastry and just had the coffee.

I spied a chocolate stall and purchased a giant freckle for David,  but as SA don't have plastic bags I had to carry it around in my hands. Again, I wasnt thinking.

The tour was OK, but reasonably boring. We couldn't stay and have a closer look as the group would move on, and only some stalls were involved.  We ran into the dept Premier of SA on this was around the markets..He had channel 9 with him.
Tried to buy stamps at the newsagent but to no avail. I was relieved to go back to the train. Me and Adelaide, we just don't agree.

Laura headed off to your carriage and I waited at my carriage for entry. The lady (New crew from today) in charge of car K (Next to mine) was down right rude to me, I was going to enter the carriage and walk to J but she was so snarky and told me off.
David appeared in a foul mood... Hmmmm I asked what happened and he had also had a run in with the new staff. Great. 90% of this crew had a chip on their shoulder.  Even Lynn an older lady had noticed and made it her mission to make the barman smile.

Passing scenery

With David sleeping

All prepared to sneak away
I was going to take my sparkling white wine to Red to visit Laura whilst David slept the afternoon away.. but as I snuck out, he woke up. SO he joined me on my trip to the front of the train. 
We arrived but the Red cafeteria apparently had different licensing arrangements and we were shooed away. We dragged Laura up to our cabin instead for booze and a chat.


The world passes by

Ready to see Broken hill

By late afternoon we had arrived at Broken Hill. We were hussled into the bus and supposedly taken to the Broken Earth Memorial for sunset, but the coach driver pulled up outside the PO and gave a long long speech about the 1890 riots for water. Meanwhile the sun set. Aw. Missed it. The driver explained it was not the right time of year to get the sunset at the hill, but several of us argued that his speech could have been moved to AFTER seeing the monument. 
We had some fun at twilight with the strong wind and  my skirt, before getting a coffee and scones inside. 

Leaving Broken hill, we made a late night dash across NSW for home.  I actually slept so deeply for once that when the repair tech and the lady with the wakeup coffee came, I didn't stir. During the night, the air compressor to the toilets on Car J had failed, so no one had toilets. Oh dear. We had to go to car K for the nearest ones and they were pretty putrid. (Also You pay extra for an ensuite.. so epic BOOOO)

Breakfast was a sweet affair again. I would have preferred yoghurt and muesli. 

I had woken up sick and was coughing a lot. Boo. We just packed the rest of the AM and watched the Blue Mountains go past. 
Arrival into SYdney was just in time to get the Southern Highlands connection, but first was needed to watch part 2 arrive as our train was a double consist.

Home to a huge pile of mail and my new reading glasses that mother had kindly picked up for me. 

New Glasses!

Mail for two weeks. Geez!


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