The strain of three days without wifi is beginning to affect Lorna’s morale. We haveoccasional mobile signals, courtesy of some extremely remote telecom towers along our route, but data roaming if you are from Great Britain is on a par with communications between Earth and the International space station, in terms of complexity and cost. So no face time or whatsapp updates of photos of grandson for Lorna, and no e -mails or blog posting for me.
Not really a hardship really in the grand scheme of things, and we have settled into an easy rhythm with the train. I say rhythm, but at some points, truth be told, the track does get a little bumpy. Sleeping has become easier, but shaving and/or applying makeup is proving to be a challenge for many of us onboard. Telltale signs of blotchy foundation or tissue paper on cuts, are much in evidence.
Arriving in Adelaide early in the morning for a three hour stop and crew change, we went on a city excursion, taking in the sights from the aptly named Mount Lofty, where I took some fantastic pictures of low cloud and some unidentifiable buildings in the far distance.
Our tour of the city itself lasted only half an hour in total, and all on a coach, so we did not see much, but it looks like a very beautiful place.
Back on the train, we headed out, initially back North and then East towards Sydney. There was to be one more stop today, at another mining town, Broken Hill, where we would take on water and fuel. Passing up the thrilling excursion opportunities of a visit to a drag act cabaret or local art museum, we decided instead to take a stroll through town with another couple.
The town appeared to be generally closed and not seeking our or anyone else’s custom. We did gain entry to one shoe shop which had not closed its doors in time. I was looking to replace my walking boots with boots actually designed for walking that would not explode when exposed to ground temperatures above room temperature. The shop did not apparently have anything in my size (I do not recall specifying a size), so we headed off to explore the rest of the town.
Seven minutes later, we had seen all there was to see, so popped in to the only bar that appeared to be open. Have you ever seen those movies where a stranger strolls into a bar in the wild west and the locals all look up and observe “You’re not from around here are you friend?” Well, this was pretty similar. Our friends asked for Heineken, a reasonable request I thought, given its worldwide popularity, but this might have been moon juice as far as the landlord was concerned. We settled for dirtback ale or whatever the local brew was called, whilst trying to blend in.
We drank quickly and left the bar, seeking the sanctuary of the train.
You do not see this town in many guide books. I cannot think why.