Sitting on the train on 10 Nov, from Sydney to Melbourne, not long after we set off, I was looking out of the window about 8 am and was surprised – confused – about the countryside I saw. It looks a ‘little deserty’ I thought! Then I remembered it was desert-like and dry .. because I was in Australia and not England; still confused to come to English speaking country after Asia, readjusting to familiar things like people understanding me, foods I know, asking directions in my native tongue and not using sign language to support my enquiries and trees, dress, skin colour all life long familiarity.
From the Aussie train then – the reason I like train travel – I watch rolling hills, different types of trees, some familiar English like, others slim, grey barked bushland trees; grazing cows and horses too, something I saw few of around Asia! The low rise, colourful bungalow homes and farmsteads, with lots of open space around them, huge grasslands of farm holdings and horse stables, bushy tufts on the ‘fields’ and muddy creeks and water holes.
I can see roads in the distance, lanes nearby, deep blue skies and light white clouds but not the radiant green of well- watered English grassy fields, as the underlying red sandstone rock peeps out at times too, and rocky outcrops appear from nowhere. Lets hope the blue skies hail a warmer sunshine than Ive had since arriving in Sydney!! I had to buy a cardigan as I only have light clothes and short sleeves!!!
I can feel the excitement when I pass the first Aussie suburb, with industrial sites on the outskirts, one road running through and out into distant hillsides; herds of cows grazing under trees and fields on the left, wilder bush-land to the right through large clean windows I can see a lot!!
The train journey is part of my ‘enjoyable journey’ including the stop list including Wagga Wagga (pronounced Woggawogga) and Warranbatta not quite so familiar to my ears as Broad Meadow is!
The train is great – clean, spacious in first class, varied menu and nice food in the buffet; locked doors between stations, regular and clear information over the tannoy, thorough and detailed. Also, regular trains are also double decked, entry with a few seats along the side then a few steps upward and down to many more forward facing seats!!! Again, clean, respected and well managed with friendly, helpful staff at stations and on board!!! So far, enjoying my travel experiences, including the hop on/off tour in Sydney that got me everywhere I wanted affordably. Taxis too have GPS and drivers are friendly, helpful and polite.