Train journey to savour
It has often been said that the journey is more important than the destination.
Recently, I was fortunate to visit the city of Adelaide for the first time.
Obviously, I was excited about visiting the capital of South Australia, but more so, about how I was going to get there.
I would be travelling to Adelaide via the famed Indian Pacific train.
Now, the Indian Pacific is not so much famous for the train itself, but for the extraordinary journey it takes across Australia.
Slim Dusty has sung about it, and historians and well-known authors have written about this journey.
Since I was a child, I have dreamed about the romance of such train adventures, including the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian Railway.
I’ve had the fortune to travel through Europe on trains, but these are different beasts that move at incredible speeds.
The Indian Pacific is something entirely different.
Arriving at East Perth Terminal, we were greeted by our crew, who checked us in, and would remain with us for the entire journey.
Once boarding the train, we were escorted to our cabins, that were, simply, something special.
They were a private sitting area that was later transformed into a double bunk sleeping arrangement, with a private bathroom too.
Unlike trains in Europe, the Indian Pacific is a grand lady, that chugs along with dignity, style, and grace.
And while she travels across some of the most amazing landscape, those on board can make their way to the ornate dining cart, or to the adjoining bar/cafe carriage. Am I creating the picture? There is relaxation to burn. The passengers onboard were a diverse group, from wealthy British and American tourists, to elderly sisters, mothers, and daughters, and a Japanese family here and there.
So the conversation at dinner, over a drink, or while having a coffee was wide and varied.
Couple with this the stop-offs. A visit to Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Super Pit, breakfast at a sheep station siding, and a visit to possibly Australia’s smallest settlement were also part of this adventure.
Three days later, we arrived in Adelaide, and said “goodbye” to fellow passengers and crew, who had shared a unique experience.
“Oh the Indian Pacific she goes rollin’ down the track, 5000 miles to travel before she’s there and back, From the waters of the western sea to the eastern ocean sand, The Indian Pacific spans the land, Oh the Indian Pacific spans the land.”
From the great Slim Dusty.