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Published: October 27th 2014
Whoo Whoo it’s the Choo Choo
I had only worked a half a day on Friday, I have been ramping my hours back up and realised I was doing more than I could cope with and was exhausted, my occupational therapist, who was next to useless said my fatigue may last a year, so I still need to take things relatively easy, that was about the only sensible thing to come out of her mouth.
By the time Caroline got home I was nearly packed and after a quick shower we were both heading to Leeming for another fun packed evening with the Bayley’s.
Our weekend started on Friday night staying with Andy and Karen, Chinese was on the menu from our favourite Chinese Restaurant, unfortunately when Karen tried to book we found out that it was booked out for a private party so I was takeaway or nothing.
We had been waiting for this weekend for a while and we were all very excited about it, something different than 4wheel driving and camping. The concept originated when we were all sitting in the Pinjarra Bakery a while ago on another weekend getaway trip, when we went
to Boyanup, shortly after that trip we had looked into the concept and before we knew it Karen had booked us onto the train and gave us a list of hotels to choose from.
This time our adventure takes us by train to Kalgoorlie, some 600 Kilometres away and about 7 hours each way on the Choo Choo otherwise known as The Prospector, an apt name for the train as the main thing about Kalgoorlie is gold mining, and I think has the biggest gold mine in the world, locally known as the superpit which we have visited on a couple of separate occasions.
So Andy and Karen, Peter and Leigh and Caroline and I were being picked up by Maxi Taxi at 06.10 on Saturday morning. I was up at 04.30, showered and shaved and coffee taken in to Caroline by 05.00, the Bayley’s house hold was awake really early, by 05.30 Peter and Leigh had arrived and we all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the taxi.
As usual the Taxi was late arriving at 06.22 and we had already discussed a fall back plan just in case it did not arrive at all. Thank goodness
Karen had booked it to give us more than enough time to get there.
We arrived at East Perth at 06.45 in plenty of time to pick up coffee and a breakfast ham and cheese croissant, the train was in and we were surprised to see that it was only three carriages long including the engine.
The train left at exactly 7.11am, Caroline and I were in seat 29 and 30, Andy and Karen 31 and 32 and Peter and Leigh were in 27 and 28, the seating was fantastic just like an aeroplane in business class with big seats and loads of legroom, which included sockets for charging, screens in the back of the seat in front, movies on demand and driver cam, we loved driver cam, a forward facing camera so we could see the view that the driver could see, although we think we had a little bit of a delay.
Our first destination was Toodyay arriving at 08.30 and following that we settled down into our journey, I was so looking forward to 7 hours of watching the world go by, seeing some more of rural and outback Australia, and not having the
arse ache of having to drive, navigate and all that palaver, this way we could both rest and have a relaxing journey.
Our Route to Kalgoorlie would go through the towns as listed,
East Perth, Toodyay, Northam, Meckering, Cunderin, Tammin, Kellerberrin, Doodlakine, Hines Hill, Merridin, Burracoppin, Carrabin, Bodallin, Moorine Rock, Southern Cross, Koolyanobbing, Bonnie Vale and our final destination of Kalgoorlie.
The train arrived in Merriden at 10.40 the buffet car had closed a while earlier and it was announced that it would stay closed until a staff change over in Merriden, we were last here a few weeks ago when we had a 4 wheel drive club trip to Elachbutting rock and had stopped here for a lunch break where we went to the pie shop. Karen and Andy and Peter and Leigh got off to stretch their legs and Caroline and I stayed on as we were uploading some photo’s and preparing for another blog. The train staff advised everyone NOT to cross the car park and go over to the pie shop as when the train was ready to go it would leave without waiting for people to get on they would not check
Woohoo it's the Choo Choo
On board Train cam, a forward facing camera so you get to see what the driver see's
anyone back in and there would be no whistle to warn anyone (something tells me that this is from experience) and they would certainly not wait for anyone who was not back in their seat.
Anyway the train rolled on through its last leg of the journey, the scenery had gone from views of the city to huge open golden paddocks of wheat to very densely packed green scrub in red earth, I had imagined Caroline and I being out here on our own, enjoying the solitude of an area like this, man I bet its packed with snakes of all varieties and when I say all varieties they would all be venomous and grumpy.
Karen had been making some rustling sounds from their side of the train, and with a little cutting of some packages had created a small buffet lunch which she kindly passed around which consisted of a box of crackers, cheese, chorizo, olives and a dip, she had done a beautiful job and this lovely little snackette had been passed amongst us several times until we had had quite a hearty little lunchette and of course the entire contents had vanished.
Woohoo it's the Choo Choo
Lunchette, thanks to Karen
train entertainment was pretty good, we had a selection of films, I reclined my chair, plugged in my headphones and watched the Monuments Men, which I had seen before and I still enjoyed the second time around, I also liked looking through “Train Cam “ it was pretty cool.
The trained finally pulled in to Kalgoorlie at 2.10 pm which was exactly seven hours to the minute since we left and as we alighted the train the contrast temperature was amazing, stepping out in to the train station car park we were greeted with a wall of heat, it was a gorgeous 34 degrees and the sun was hot.
The great thing about our hotel was it was about 4 minutes walk from the station, literally across the car park, so with rucksack on back we all wandered into the Railway Motel and collected our room keys.
The motel actually looks quite new but it had been styled to match the old buildings and surrounds, only to find out that this motel had in fact been burnt down, not once but twice before.
Caroline and I were in room 84, a simple room, nicely furnished with
a nice spa bath in the corner and most importantly an air conditioning unit to cool the place down a bit, it did only seem a bit the room felt quit stuffy and humid.
Our bags were unceremoniously dumped and after a quick freshen up and cup of tea we regrouped at 3.00 pm for a quick yomp around Kalgoorlie, so off we strode out in the afternoon sun and headed into town.
Kalgoorlie is famous for two things, (actually probably more, I just can think of anything else at present) and they are Brothels and Gold and as Kalgoorlie is home to KCMG’s Superpit, which is an open cut goldmine, if you have been a regular reader then you will see that we had been here twice before and the last time we were here they found an unexploded bomb in one of the main streets.
The price of gold is down at the moment and also as the mining industry is not in a boom state it was 4 years ago and this reflects in Kalgoorlie, when we came through about 5 years ago the town was buzzing, but it seems to have lost its
buzz, the mines in the area have laid off about 10,000 personnel (most of them are probably back in Perth and still looking for work) but it is cyclical, they will return when mining picks up and it will.
We had a wander around town, the girls had ducked into a few shops and we lost sight of them, that and we had got bored of waiting so us boys ducked in to a pub for a cold beer, you know to get out of the sun and all that, the girls joined us and after suitable refreshment we headed off.
We walked around in a big loop, heading back to our motel we gently meandered past a couple of the touristy brothels, Questa Casa and Langtree’s, you can go in at certain times to have a look around, the girls don’t bite, (Well they do if you pay em!) actually Langtree’s I believe is not really a brother any more, it seems to be a hotel/ country club (I won’t spell it how it is spelt on the front door but you can use your imagination) it is quite pricey to stay there.
Back at the
Motel at around 5.25pm and agreed that we would all meet at reception at 7.00pm for dinner, we had dome some research and made a few phone calls to people who knew Kal (so called by the locals and friends who have had the fortune to live her in the past) well and they said one of the best restaurants is the Blue Monkey, so that’s where we wanted to go.
We all retired to our rooms for a rest, shower and shave and the like and soon it was seven o’clock and time to step out again.
We walked across town, really not far, probably only 10 minute walk and happened to walk past the Questa Casa which was clearly open for business. It was a lovely balmy evening, our restaurant of choice didn’t look too busy and we got a table for 6 easily, we all ordered, the wait wasn’t too long and the food was really very good, everyone had something different except for Peter and I who both had the spare ribs, they were very messy as ribs are but still very good, I think by the time we left it was around 9.30
and time to head back to the Motel.
The night air was still lovely and warm it felt nice to be in Kalgoorlie a place we like very much, it really is charming and well worth a visit.
We got to our digs, it had been a long day and I was just about done in and needed my bed everyone else had the same take on it, so back to our rooms Caroline and I watched a bit of a film on Foxtel until our eyes drooped, by then it was probably about 10.10, the night was warm and the air conditioning too cold so the warmth of the night won out. TO BE CONTINUED
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