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  #21  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:15 PM
nissanneill's Avatar
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
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Thumbs up Re: Crossing Australia by rail

I see that they have reduced the size of the NT stubbie down to 2 litres. The one that I have as per picture is 2 1/4 litres.
No matter what Wylie, I know that you will enjoy the trip and you are welcome to contact me for a visit or winery tour, maybe a lunch at Russell Jeavons Pizza Restaurant if they are open middays.
Let me know your itinerary when in Adelaide and we'll see what we can organise?

Dave,
I think that you summed our pubs and hotels up well. The pubs especially outback and off the beaten track are even more interesting and appealing as their habits and traditions are usually quite specific to Australia.

Cheers.

Neill
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  #22  
Old 03-30-2013, 02:52 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Well the Australian trip is almost over tonight, Wylie and wife will be picked up and taken to the airport tomorrow for their flight home.
I had them up for a pizza night on Good Friday, and took them on a Fleurieu Peninsular tour today. I'll leave it up to him to bring you up to score.

Neill
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  #23  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:17 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: GREENHILL SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Posts: 111
Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Neill,
I admire what you have done. To open your house to another, and make them feel welcome is truly a wonderful gift. The commonality of wood fired ovens opens up the world to all. I hope that Wiley and his good wife enjoyed their stay in Australia, and particularly the best parts, South Australia. I hope they had the chance to enjoy some of the worlds best wines and beers (Coopers) while they were here. As Wiley likes a Stout, I hope he tried a Coopers Extra Stout, It gives Guiness a good run for your money.

Cheers

Craig
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  #24  
Old 04-01-2013, 01:56 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
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Thumbs up Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Craig,
our friends who work for Great Southern Rail went back to work (after knocking off at 11.30) to collect them from the Ghan at around 12.30 and I got a phone call from Wylie who was crook with larengitus and a bad cold and was prepared to cancel everything. I convinced his wife to bring him for the pizza feed and they could then leave early if he/they felt poorly. Well it was after 11.30pm before they left, we had a ball with a small group with common interest, a very enjoyable evening!
I collected them at 10.00 am next morning and did a cooks tour of Adelaide proper, then down to Glenelg, ha morning tea at the Orange Spot bakery (one of the most awarded in Australia) and the Old gum tree, along the coast and into McLaren Vale where we had a winery visit. When I cam out of the Men's room, his wife was talking to a young lass who had an american accent and found out that she grew up in Florida, now lives in Australia as an entertainer and was very friendly and chatty, showing that we Aussies are a great and friendly lot. Onto Willunga to the produce market and saw where Russel Jeavon's restaurant once was, onto Victor Harbor, and Goolwa where we enjoyed the traditional fish and chip lunch after checking out the steam paddle boats and the steam Cockle Train arrival. On to Strathalbyn for coffee, Mount Barker for a visit to Whistlers second hand store, (got a bargain there with my $50 Hobart 20 quart mixer a couple of years ago), up to Mt Lofty and back to their hotel. Quite a busy day and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
At east they saw some of the most interesting spots but would like to have more time to take them around the Barossa, but that is a day's effort in itself.

Quote:
I hope they had the chance to enjoy some of the worlds best wines and beers (Coopers) while they were here. As Wiley likes a Stout, I hope he tried a Coopers Extra Stout, It gives Guiness a good run for your money.
Unfortunately, Wylie was off colour and didn't partake in the alcohol, but we did introduce him to our pavlovas.
I look forward to his reply on his travels and will leave his trip critique up to him.

Cheers.

Neill
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  #25  
Old 04-02-2013, 06:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State USA
Posts: 778
Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

We arrived home late yesterday and the jet lag is wearing off. The "crook" mentioned by Neill was looked at and medicated this morning by a local physician. I hope to start feeling better soon!

I come away from our visit to Australia with an increased feeling of optimism regarding the future of civilization. Did they really mow all the lawns and pick up all the litter the day before we arrived? Or is it always this picked up and tidy? Although we only spent a couple of days in each city (Sydney, Perth, Darwin and Adelaide), each was cleaner and better kept than just about any city of similar size that I have ever seen in the US. And it would be easy to launch off into a rant on how bad the roadways are here in America, but a trip to Australia simply evaporates any argument a government official can have about it not being possible to have a big city and good smooth streets.

We were easy to identify as tourists, two people with packs and bags. A bit different perhaps in that we are older than the usual backpacker, but a simple pause in our stride and a stop to look at a map, brought people eager to offer help and give directions. And the people, well I didn't know there were that many beautiful long legged blonds anywhere outside Sweden and Norway. And while the average American is overweight and out of shape, I would think, from what we saw, that the average Australian was much fitter and healthier.

Perhaps the easiest way to review the trip would be first city by city. Then make a separate posting for the actual train rides. There were only four cities: Sydney, Perth, Darwin and Adelaide.

Sydney was too much city with too many features to try to take it all in in the short time we had allotted, and so we concentrated on seeing a couple sites in more detail rather than seeing many with little depth. We chose the Power House Museum and several smaller parks. Waiting for the Museum to open we had one of those encounters wherein one strikes up a conversation with a stranger only to discover that the two of you live only a few miles apart, in our case just up lsland about three miles away. One can easily spend an entire day enthralled by the items that are on display. We were blessed by fine weather. We saw ibis in the parks and were told they were considered pests. Last time I saw Ibis was in Egypt!

The fine weather continued during our stay in Perth. There my wife and I hired bicycles for the day and rode to Fremantle along the shores of the Swan River. It was a beautiful day and bicycle ride, and it was good to see so many people using the pathways. By coincidence, on that same day the city closed part of the freeway to cars as part of a "cycle to work" program and it was heartening to see so many (literally thousands) availing themselves of the opportunity to ride on the freeway into the city. The ride to Fremantle was listed at 27 kilometers one way with the suggestion of taking the train back (bikes go for free on the train!); however, the day was beautiful and my wife and I rode there and back. In Perth we encountered our first parrots of this trip and really enjoyed their presence. We also saw lots of the famous Black Swan, the state bird.

Darwin's humidity brought back memories of the tropics. Not as clean a city as either Perth or Sydney, it does have more of a rugged, more frontier image. We were lucky in that, although still the wet season, it rained only a short time while there. We wanted to see some saltwater crocs and on the advice of another tourist we tried the Crocosaurus Cove. This looks from the outside like it might be a cheap sideshow sort of thing but pleasantly proved otherwise. It's an amazingly huge complex intertwined in multiple levels so that one can see the crocodiles from both above and below. Included is a large display of the venomous snakes as well as reptiles and fish of Australia.

And so our last but certainly not least city was Adelaide, the memories of which for us will forever be entwined with the generous and kind hospitality of Neill and his wife and their friends and family. Neil put on a great pizza feast with more toppings than I have seen at any single pizza gathering anywhere. Each guest made their own pizza and cooked it in the oven as well. As Neill mentioned I had picked up a bug in Darwin and was fearful of infecting them, but they would have none of that, and so I did my best to keep from being infectious and we had a great evening. Neil is a very accomplished craftsman and has more talents, capabilities and interests than one can imagine. Many many thanks for his hospitality.

OK so pictures, everyone wants to see pictures. There are only five permitted per posting so I'll select five photos of each city. Then make another posting with five of the next city. Lots of photos to select from...

Here's Sydney:
Attached Thumbnails
Crossing Australia by rail-good-use-bank.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-rich-old-architecture.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-power-house-museum-1.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-city-park-maritime-museum-end.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-ibis.jpg  

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  #26  
Old 04-02-2013, 10:32 PM
Master Builder
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State USA
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Perth has some of the most remarkable bicycle pathways we have seen or had the pleasure to enjoy riding upon. Lots of beautiful birds and scenic vistas. It is apparently one of the places one moves too when one is successful and wants to preen in public. But the bicycle pathways and the Crown Lands between the road and the water were open for enjoyment by one and all. If a great many of its days are as we experienced one can see why although many of the homes did seem over the top to our tastes.
The pathway in the panoramic photo is in reality gently curving and is the path in front of the homes on the bay in the second photo.
Attached Thumbnails
Crossing Australia by rail-panoramic-photo-waterfront-homes.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-another-view-bicycle-pathway.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-jeannette-feeding-black-swans.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-more-parrots.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-pelicans.jpg  

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  #27  
Old 04-02-2013, 11:33 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
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Thumbs up Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Great to see you arrived safely home and getting back to normal.
Sorry we didn't have more time as I would have loved to take you "out back" to experience the real Australia.
Will catch up with you through private emails.

Cheers.

Neill
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  #28  
Old 04-03-2013, 05:30 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Thanks Neill, We are slowly recovering. Amazing how the flights (14 hours from Adelaide to DuBai and then four hours layover followed by another 14 hours from Dubai to Seattle) really took the last stuffing out of both of us. But the meds have started to kick in and the zombie eyes I had when I got off the plain with have recovered to something approaching normal.

Interesting aside: I looked like something out of a modern "÷utbreak" or "Contagion" thriller movie when I arrived in both Dubai and Seattle. Swollen red oozing eyes, harsh cough, fevered and yet not one entry official pulled me aside or questioned me regarding my condition. Real life check that there are no checks or safeguards for disease transmission around the world.

Anyway, on the mend here and hopefully no one at your end has come down with anything.

Here are some photos we took in Darwin. The ones of the Salties were taken at Corosaurus Cove where those with the desire (and cash) can get in the water and close up. These crocodiles are animals that were collected as nuisances and posed a public danger. The Crocosaurus Cove people are part of a farming operation and have some 60,000 crocs of various ages. They are hatched and raised until about age 5 where they are harvested for leather and meat. These larger and much older beasts have no value for meat nor leather. The older animals are upwards of 80 years old. There are some serious scratches in the plexiglass but the crocs know that they cannot get to the people inside and are reacting to bait on the end of the poles. Supposedly when a new large saltie first is brought in it is much more interesting as he explores whether he can get to the people in the "Cage of Death". There are four crocodiles over 4 1/2 meters and one over five meters. Lots of little ones that can jump so high as to get their hind legs out of the water. Also many live snakes (Tai pans etc.) and other reptiles in cages.

Here too are a couple of photos of some of the rigs seen on the streets. Serious guards but honestly we didn't see any that showed that they actually used off road. I expect that like here in the US a great many of the off road rigs rarely see off road.

Bests,
Wiley
Attached Thumbnails
Crossing Australia by rail-thats-some-bite-.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-another-jump-.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-taking-break.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-rig-roo-guard-snorkel.jpg   Crossing Australia by rail-serious-guards.jpg  

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  #29  
Old 04-03-2013, 06:11 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Wiley,
Thanks for the post!
Neill, thanks for hosting a fellow American and FB member.

I've only been to only a few countries, outside of the US. Those all boarder on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. My oldest brother, who passed last summer, almost relocated to Australia back in the late 60's. There was some kind of land grant offer back then. But, he stayed in the US and finally paid off those back taxes to Uncle Sam

One day, probably not in the near future, I would love to see the outback. I live in what we call "the country". A rural area with neighbors..... not in the line of sight. That is still to dmn close .
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  #30  
Old 04-03-2013, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulf View Post
One day, probably not in the near future, I would love to see the outback. .
If you can live feral for a while, come in winter and Ill take you to see the real outback, I generally go opal, diamond and gold hunting for two weeks at a time.

Camp fires, booze, night skies, crapping in a hole, showers far between, you get the idea....


Edit:- This invite is for anyone adventurous.
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