As we slowly pulled out of the station, I reflected on this wonderful and vast part of Australia. I really have enjoyed myself here and it continues to draw me back to it. For the balance of today we will be backtracking over territory I covered to Kalgoorlie. We took a wide swing North and followed the Swan and Avon River Valleys back to Northam and got glimpses of river winding through the hills, tall eucalypts and red roads
. Then we flattened out into the beginning of the grain country where there were bales of hay against the green-gray hills. Had what I expected would be a dry, dull lunch, turned out to be a very pleasant vegetable tart (I would call it a quiche) with onion jam (something like chutney) and a nice salad with lettuce, cucumber and Caesar dressing. As the afternoon progressed we started seeing the long pipeline and road which we followed in the other direction from Kalgoorlie to Perth in the other direction just a couple of days ago.
Along the rail route there was a running commentary of some of the communities we were passing through including history of the rail, water, gold links. Outside of Southern Cross the grain country ended and the arid region began. There is simply not enough moisture to grow anything. It is the centre of the gold and other mining industries.
After chatting online with some friends, I spent a hasty couple of hours packing and Helen drove me, via parts of Perth I had not seen before (such as Hyde Park and a wonderful bookstore I have already forgotten the name of) to the train station where I got my ticket for the Indian Pacific train to Adelaide. I am most fortunate to have a sleeper compartment where there is no one else so I do not have to worry about who gets the top berth tonight.