Wow! What a long day yesterday. I can now safely say that I know what is between Sydney and Melbourne. Absolutely nothing as far as I could tell. It was sort of like driving from Denver to St. Louis (minus Kansas City), but with less to look at. I don’t think I really need to do THAT again. But, I left Sydney with the goal of travelling to Melbourne by train.
So, here’s how it went. My train was to depart from Sydney Central Station at 7:42 a.m. and I didn’t trust that I had set the alarm properly so at 3:30 when I woke up, I was afraid to go back to sleep so I finally got up at 4:00. Needless to say I had plenty of time to get myself ready, the only problem being that I had done all this the night before. I finally departed the house at 6:30 knowing full well that I only needed about 15 minutes to get to Central Station from the Kings Cross station which is two blocks from where I’m staying.
Yep, I arrived at Central at 6:50 (I walked slowly to Kings Cross) so I had another hour to sit on the platform and just watch, but that wasn’t too bad. I bought a first class ticket because the train ride was about as long as flying from LA to London. I sat down on the train in what was clearly a coach seat (I know this because I walked back to one of the coach cars…the seats were absolutely identical!) and quickly got to know my immediate neighbors…3 four-year-0ld jabbering (loudly), bouncing (continuously) girls. Yes (ahem) they were adorable for about 7 minutes.
We departed the station right on schedule. A few minutes into the trip, there was an announcement that, because of flooding, we would have to “alight” from the train at Cootamundra and take a “coach” the rest of the way to Melbourne. We got to Cootamundra around 1:30. As I was waiting for the “coach” (which obviously means a bus in Australian) I learned that we still had six hours to Melbourne. I watched closely to see which bus my newly-found juvenile friends boarded and immediatley chose another.
This was the longest bus ride possible. Like the train, it felt like we were moving in slow motion and the scenery was identical to the previous six hours. On top of it all, I didn’t have one of my new friends kicking my seat from behind to keep me alert.
We finally pulled into Melbourne at almost 9:00 pm. It was raining, dark, and hot. But it was blissful to me. I wish I had pictures of the little “darlings” from the train, but they wouldn’t be still long enough. I wonder what they are up to today.
Back to my goal. I didn’t make it all the way to Melbourne by train, but it was a good lesson. I figured out on the way down here that if you miss the goal, simply readjust it. No worries. My new goal: to travel from Sydney to Melbourne by land. I certainly achieved that one.
I’m flying back to Sydney. It takes about an hour…just enough time to set myself a new goal.