After a nice late breakfast at the hotel, we walk to a nice jewelry store to look at opals. They have a very pretty 10.9 carat bolder opal. It was neat in that the opalescent colors formed the look of a peacock with his tail feathers spread. If it is still there when we return in a month Carolyn might just have to buy it. Dick buys a kangaroo lapel pin with an opal in its belly. It will be Dick’s answer to formal night attire on the ship! There just was no room for a tux on this trip!
Since we need to check out by 2:00 we head back to the hotel, gather our stuff and turn it over to the Bell Captain while we get a bit of lunch. At about 1:45 we head to the train station and check in. We wait about 10 minutes on the platform before we can board. It is stifling HOT! Once on the train we get settled in our compartment and cool off. During the day it is a couch with a nice window to watch the country go by. At night the steward makes the compartment up into two bunks. There is a compact but functional full bath.
The departure from Sydney is very slow due to work on the rails but once out of town we head up into the Blue Mountains. This is a very pretty ride. The mountains have the blue haze like the Blue ridge mountains in VA and NC, but don’t seem as rugged. We really enjoy it till the sun goes down. We are second seating for dinner and eat about 8:30. A couple from rom Queensland are our table mates. They will get off tomorrow and catch The Ghan to Darwin. Dinner is a three-course affair with two choices for each course. Dick has fish and Carolyn has steak. The food is well presented and good.
When we get back to the compartment, we find it all made up for bed.