Today marks the start of my 16 day excursion up the East Coast of Australia. I’m excited to see what else exists in this vast country beyond the cultural hub of Melbourne….
830am – Boarding the train
After three weeks in Melbourne I’m leaving this amazing city to venture up the Australian east coast by train. Through the scenic state of New South Walkes, to discover Sydney then onwards. Through Queensland to explore Brisbane. Because I already feel this innate connection with Melbourne, I am considering this 16-day excursion to be a vacation – a backpacking trip. Yes, me, backpacking. And a hilarious scene its been already: a confused Canadian wondering through Southern Cross Station decked out in a plaid shirt and metallic flats. Too stubborn to ask for help I’m convinced that the local Metrolink (ie. GoTrain) will get me to Sydney. I’m not able to check my luggage because I don’t have a paper ticket nd something due to privacy laws means I have to haul my overpacked bag around. But don’t worry – I have a booking reference number so hopefully I won’t get kicked off of the train. Ok, so I’m a high maintenance backpacker. At least I have a pack and not luggage on wheels.
…So in the midst of buying snacks for my travels and tripping in my flashy shoes my backpack breaks. Not because it is overpacked – because I had no idea how to adjust the straps. And there I am in the middle of the station – finally on the right platform no doubt – broken pack and silver flats. But don’t worry, I have my chocolate milk, a box of crackers and a book (my essential comfort items) to get me through the 12 hour train ride ahead. No frustrations though, after all, who said backpacking was glamorous? Only the princess trying to be stylish on her first outing.
….three hours in thus far, an uneventful train trip. Rural Australia. Reminds me of home – a vast stretch of Roseneath plains. Perhaps a little dryer, even more rustic and worn in. And to my disappointment no wild kangaroo sightings. Nine hours to go. Its tolerable though because I have the lyrics of Ryan Adams to get me through.
…Ok, so there is absolutely nothing between Melbourne and Sydney. My brilliant idea of this surreal and serine train trip between two major Australian cities where I would see red flat land sprinked with kangas and kualas is nothing but a fantasy. Yes, I know that my vision screams stereotype but hey, its Australia! What else am I to expect mate?!?
Well, at least I got to see a lovely sunset on the train ride. When the sun sets here it lights up the entire sky. There is this profound warmth as the day is kissed goodnight and a bed of stars peeps through the early night sky. Without question this is my favourite part of the day – a still calmness as the charm of Australian night life rolls out.
Wandering thoughts jolted by the train leaving whatever small town station we’ve stopped at. Now that it is dark out my excitement of spotting a kangaroo has faded. But that is okay because in less than 2 hours I am going to be reunited my dear friend – JG – who was one of the inspirational factors in my decision to move down under. The anticipationg of seeing her after five months of separation is excitement all in its own. Am I there yet?
A passing though while passengers got off the train at Strathfield Station: one of the happiest, touching things to witness is strangers runiting after a long travel.
And there she is. My darling JG. How excited I am to see a familiar face in Aus. One of my favouritie faces from home too – Sydney, watch out. Canada is here!
The rest of the night – amazing fun. Went with JG to her friend’s house for a clothes swapping party. Wine, sushi, girls and treasures from fashionable closests. Australians spend money on quality fabrics and they have a rockin’ style. So you can only imagine the scene at this party! It was like shopping but without spening money. Brilliant concept for a party and it was so nice to be surrounded by beautiful, warm girls who were the best of friends.
It made me miss my girls back home immensely.