Australia Tour 2006/07

The train ride from hell

G'day Poms - greetings from sunny Aldershot (Daily Planet readers only).


Yes now in Adelaide for some more uplifting, quality cricket and I was ambushed by the Daily Planet journo at nets the day before the NZ game- a shame his geography wasn’t up to scratch but you cant have everything!


Had he bumped into me after the game against NZ, I'd probably be subject to a libel action on return. The non-performance was diabolical and after initially bowling quite well we simply surrendered the game. To those going to the World cup a little tip – don’t book hotels / flights for the later stages. Canada and Kenya look too strong for us in the group stages.


Luckily as I write this I haven’t got a ticket for tomorrow’s game against the Ozscum and as its Australia day unlikely I will do unless its off a scalper - or tout, in proper English. It’s likely to be mayhem with a lot of hillbillies from Broken Hill coming into town to get drunk so maybe just as well!


Re the ticket - those of you who may ask "why haven’t you got this – you’ve already paid for one " please send your question on a postcard to the Barmy Army.


To be honest cant say I’m that bothered after Tuesday -- the beach seems a better option!


And so to the train journey from Sydney.


I had arranged this in order to get a perspective of the outback by heading north from Sydney through Broken Hill and also to try to break up the tedium of flights, airports, treadmill.


Arrived in Sydney by plane on time, had a few beers in the Crystal Palace bar near the station then checked in my luggage and settled down expectantly for one of the "Great Railway Journeys of the World" - The Indian Pacific. Michael Palin eat your heart out (again). Or so I thought.


The train set off on time and I was having a nice little doze just before some bar action when there was an announcement over the tannoy. Due to flash flooding in Broken Hill where the track had been washed away we were being re-routed via ****ing Melbourne i.e. south instead of north.


Regular readers may possibly be aware Melbourne isn’t quite my favourite place in Australia despite the scenic river cruise some of us enjoyed previously there.


Thus a torrid journey through featureless scenery began until we reached the grotty Melbourne industrial suburbs where there was a convenient siding for the train to turn north towards Adelaide.


Like an ocean liner it took four hours to achieve this. Charles Bronson, in the role of Paul Kersey, would have been afraid to get off the train where we had stopped.


Graffiti everywhere and about as scenic as the 8-06 from Gorton to Piccadilly - altogether, for 30 hours!


Thus I got p****d and had a kip. You couldn’t even smoke.


We set off from Sydney I recollect at 2.55 pm Saturday afternoon and finally arrived in Adelaide at 8.45pm Sunday evening.


I hope all you find this as amusing as I found it disappointing but rest assured the railway CEO will be getting a letter from Aldershot when I get home.


The Daily Planet have asked me to start a regular column entitled S*** Railway Journeys of the World which I have agreed to so if any of you have any contributions towards this I'd welcome same. I’m sure those readers living near Bolton Burnley or Oldham will be able to provide material!


Adelaide thus far has been fun apart of course from the cricket - very friendly town and glad I’ve returned here - thank God no more visits to Melbourne on the agenda.


Si, Davo and Richard have been good fun we went out for a drink last night and probably the best chinese I’ve ever had - Mr Michael Gegg you may remember the restaurant concerned on Gouger St where, just before Xmas, we ate with Tom, Tractor, Howie and Jim and your meal consisted of an empty plate and liquid beer diet only! We did have one or two beers ourselves last night, as I recall.


Well that’s all for now - must get off to the beach my suntan is fading fast.


Don’t forget to post me those railway journeys!


Next stop Sydney. By plane.


Regards Al



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