Friday, September 23, 2011


I am travelling out to Longreach to meet up with Stuart who has driven out from home in Mackay as he is doing “Westtech” in Barcaldine, but before I board the train for Longreach I have to see the eye surgeon regarding an eye problem I have and It appears that in November I will be lining up for a Corneal Transplant in my left eye which will hopefully give me more vision than I have had in that eye since I was about 17.  This will be followed by one in my right eye next year.  I am really hoping that it will not interfere with our plans to travel next year.

Back at Ipswich and really looking forward to the trip on the Spirit of the Outback tomorrow at 1.00pm, and then on to Winton for the Outback Festival next week.

As the Queensland Wheelchair basketball team “The Spinning Bullets were due to play in the finals this weekend in Brisbane and their first game was to be at 11.00am Brett had to get me to the station by 9.30am to give them enough time to make it to the stadium in time.
Eithen and his big sister Mia ready to go to the finals
Little Mascot Number 1
 Last year the Spinning Bullets coach Tom Kyle made Eithen their mascot and so he has a replica singlet and leads the team out onto the court for their game. Tom is also Eithen’s coach for his basketball and has take Eithen under his wing and is very proud of the way he has improved in the last 12 months.
 Eithen in Prep with friend Charles on left and on right getting end of term awards

Mia and Eithen on Tramp at home

Mia on swing with Molly

After booking my suitcase in at Roma Street Station I caught a train to Southbank and wandered through the markets til it was time to come back and board the “Spirit of the Outback” for Longreach for departure at 1.10 pm.

Spirit of the Outback just coming into Roma Street Station

 About 1 hour into the trip we learnt that the on board computer which backs up the driver has failed and so as we approached Gympie 1 ½ hours late we were told that another driver had to be found for the train to continue.  I don’t know why I travel...............

The pod in which I live for 24 hours is small but comfortable with a very large window so I have a great view of the passing countryside.
The bed folds up into a seat with a full length window

The hall is very tight and zig-zagy with pods going off on each side.

Afternoon Tea of coffee, tea and scones was served at 2.00 pm and dinner will be at 7.00 pm with  choices ranging from soup and salad, steak, stew, fish and vegetarian as well as dessert.  Breakfast at 7am will be a surprise.  There was a choice of continental or full cooked and my breakfast companions were a couple from Brisbane and a nice young man from Italy who is travelling all round Australia and is currently going out to Winton for 3 days fossicking with palaeontologists.  He had some wonderful tales to tell about his adventures.  He also mentioned an Airline which goes all round Europe at incredibly low prices called RYAN AIR.  

We woke to find out that we are now 2 ½ hours late at Anakie and a few sighs in the dining room at this news prompted the waitress to say that we won’t be charged for the extra time on board.  I also noticed a major change in the poor condition of the line compared to the smooth coastal line.  These lines are very rough.

By the time we got into Longreach we were 3 hours late and a lot of unhappy people on board as they had to catch other transport to other corners of the country, but for me it was a welcome smile from Stuart and on to Winton.

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