The Ghan (II)
Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
85Trip End Jan 08, 2012
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Things started well, but I only managed a couple of hours before being woken up by the constant stuttering of the train as it stopped and started throughout the night, At about 1am, I gave up trying to get some kip and decided to watch some tv on my laptop. I'd had the foresight to load up my hard drive with some movies and tv series for the slow moments, just like this. So, what might you ask do you think I might have watched to help me relax and possibly send me back to sleep? The Walking Dead. What possessed me to watch a series about zombies on a train full of people that I didn’t know?? I was never going to get to sleep after that! Eventually, I ended up with about 4 hours sleep in total.
At 9:20 this morning – 21 hours into the journey – we finally left South Australia and crossed over into the Northern Territory. Let me make sure you understand what I’m saying: It took us TWENTY ONE hours to leave the state. Just how big is this country? And we’re still 5 hours from Alice Springs, which maps misleadingly put as just over the border. Yeah, right.
Here’s a burning question that has finally been answered. What do you do if you have a guide dog on a long distance train journey? Obviously the dog can’t use the toilets like we do, so what’s the solution? Well, the train is stopped (more than once I might add) to take the dog for a walk so that he can do his business. Yes, seriously.
Lots of red dust on the way, which became a little monotonous. Despite having things pointed out to us, like The Fink River, supposedly the oldest river in the world, they merely served to prove how drab the countryside had become. In the instance of The Fink River, this was because, despite being the 'oldest’ river in the world (just how on earth is that measured?), it was bone dry. That’s right there was not a drop of water in it, and when I say no water, I mean there was nothing, zip, nada. Oddly enough, the only things in the river bed were some camels (though I didn’t see them).
Finally, we arrived in Alice on time – 26 hours after departing from Adelaide. I will never complain about long journeys ever again. Although to be fair, I can’t think of a single journey in Europe that would be longer (voyages by ship don’t count). Anyway, I’m in the red centre of Australia. Time to see what it’s all about.