Monday, April 09, 2012

Travelogue: Australia – Weekend Side Trip: Sydney 1) Getting There

It has been another whirlwind weekend! I made my plan to get back to Sydney at least once before heading back to the states and then my trip got extended and so there was no actual reason I had to do two successive quick side trips, but then had I know that there was no reason to make the plan and get it done… But it is what it is.

My side trip for the weekend is a quick trip to accomplish some of the things I have yet to do here. For one thing, I want to see more of the countryside. For another, I wanted a couple more days to see the sites in Sydney. There was so much to see and do and according to my friendly concierge, I only just barely scratched the surface on my last visit.

So, here it is, my second consecutive butt-ugly-early o’clock weekend start-out and where am I? Well, that is part one of the things to do list: see the countryside.

I have booked a train ticket across the southern end of New South0ales and am going to be spending the next four hours seeing the countryside. The itinerary says we make only six stops along the way, so until the last two or three, we are crossing the farmland, ranches, and mountains of the southland that until now I have only seen from the window of a plane.

The sun is just coming up as we leave the Australian Capital Territory headed northeast. The train builds-up a pretty good clip making the view of the scenery better than the photographic opportunities. Which is a shame, really! For the most part the view out the window could be almost anywhere in the world. But the occasional glimpse of fauna of the hopping variety catches my attention; those are kangaroos! Ah! Right, I am still in Australia!

I have lots of speed-blurred pictures of kangaroos. But I could picture the discussions they would spawn: “No really, that grey blur, that’s a kangaroo… or a rock. I can’t be sure!”

Other than the occasional kangaroo sitting, the only noteworthy thing about the journey was the fact that the person who sat next to me absolutely reeked of cigarette smoke. He boarded one stop after I did, sat down and silently scowled at the floor for the remainder of the trip.

Now, I am not one of these pain-in-the-butt militant ex-smokers who preaches, but here is one for everyone to live by: If you cannot board a train for a four hour trip at six in the morning without first (apparently) ashing an entire pack of cigarettes to steady yourself, please consider driving!

Other than that the train trip was a lovely one! It was a lovely start to a beautiful day, and a perfect Easter Weekend Adventure!

Wherever you are this morning I hope that you have had an adventure this weekend!

Don Bergquist – 09 April 2012 – Canberra, ACT, Australia

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