Our train left Perth North station on time, at 11.55, for its three-day ride to Sydney, on the other side of the continent.
Check-in in and luggage drop-off was quick and easy, and I was there way too early, as usual.
Our vehicle was a fine looking, endless, metallic retro-train, the interior also had a great 1950s feeling to it, especially our mint green Mathilda Café, where I spent most of my time.
Seats were comfy, there’s way more legroom than expected, by any airline economy standard, and the seats recline pretty far. Two nights in there should be somewhat feasible.
I was bummed however that my requested window seat was only a half window, and I was sitting basically next to a wall. Not quite what I had in mind, and I had taken the more expensive ticket to be able to be moved to a window.
The irony: my initial seat would have been at a full window seat. Bummer. I think I’ll write a little mail to Great Southern Rail…
As for the trip: smooth ride, so far. Once we rolled out of Perth, the landscape quickly became rural.
To my surprise, the first 200 kilometers were pretty much covered with fields, all harvested of course, but clearly agricultural land.
I somehow had expected a sort of half-desert to start right behind Perth.
Only slowly the land became more and more empty and signs of human inhabitation became more rare… for some time we were parallel to a road, but then even that disappeared and we just rolled through a flat grass and bush land, with huge flat white surfaces, maybe salt basins.
No animals on sight, for me. I slept a bit in the afternoon, and later a fellow traveler told me he saw some Kangaroos and Emus… Damn!
Tonight I’ll go on a visit to a gold mine in Kalgoorlie, one of the biggest holes dug into the planet’s surface in the hunt for gold.