Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Monday, 23 September 2013

North by North West

One sure way of understanding the timeless quality and vastness of this country is to cross it slowly - by train.

Traveling this way is also a great deal more comfortable than by aircraft. Sitting in an aluminum tube with your lower limbs confined to the point of slow torture detracts somewhat from any appeal of the vista presented at 38000 feet.

Those who settled the country, especially those parts of it we're traversing at the moment, must have been made of stern stuff. There was no air conditioning, instant communication or swift medical help back t
I have some slight understanding of the third factor, living my early years in relative remoteness in a family where asthma was gifted in our genes, and watching my sister and mum disappear in the local ambulance, most often in the early hours of the morning, down a very poor road on their way to hospital.

The journey took so long that the asthma attack had usually resolved itself by the time the hospital was reached - obviously always positively, as my sister is still hale and hearty, if sixty years older.

Given the aged demographic on this train, the ready availability of the RFDS is a comfort for all.

The laid back nature of this style of travel appeals, I presume to this demographic. One of the advantages of age is the right to refuse to hurried. In TYOOL* 2013, this Zen like state is difficult to achieve.

The train is comfortable, although beginning to show its age. The "new" has well and truly worn off. Everything seems to work however, and the stability on the standard gauge track is superior to what I've become used to on Queensland's 3 foot 6 set up.

Fellow travelers, who have done the same kind of journey in European trains are, however, scathing of the ride. I'm OK with the train moving about a bit. It adds rhythm to the journey.

Evening takes us towards Woomera, after a crew change at Port Augusta. Apparently we took on 4 drivers - 2 who rest and 2 who drive.

I hope they don't get their roles confused.

*The year of our Lord.

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