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With more time on my hands these days, this gives me something to do. I hope you get some pleasure, along with me, in sharing this new stage of my life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

West Australian Wildflower Trip. Day 17, Indian Pacific - Crossing the Nullarbor Plain. 25 Sept 2014.

We wake up with the, seemingly empty, flat Nullarbor Plain stretching as far as can be seen in all directions. We are now travelling on the longest straight section of railway in the world, 478 kilometres (297 miles) long. 
The only obvious wildlife seen out through the windows were birds, and any man-made object a couple of metres high was greatfuly used as a nest platform. 
There was a bit of excitement while having lunch when all of a sudden what appeared to be smoke came billowing from under the train blocking the view out of the windows on both sides of the carriage. Drawing the attention of the female attendant, who was serving us our lunch, to the 'smoke' she quietly said " I don't know" and kept pouring the tea. Another attendant then went to the next carriage and soon came back to inform us that she had checked with others and the 'smoke' was in fact grey dust from newly deposited ballast for the track........milk and one sugar please.
A 40 minute 'leg stretch' at Cook, while the train topped up with water, gave you an idea of really how isolated this part of Australia is.
The flat plain ended abruptly when we reached the more vegetated sandhills, the change was just as sudden as going into another room. I nodded off and then it was time for dinner.

The videos can only be watched on this page.

Click on photos to enlarge.

The Nullarbor (no trees) Plain.

The Nullarbor (no trees) Plain.

Who said there was nothing to see on the Nullarbor Plain.

The Nullarbor (no trees) Plain.

Well ....... there was one.

When trees are scarse the birds make the most of what there is.

The Nullarbor (no trees) Plain.

Weedy hop bush on the Nullarbor Plain.

Track-side flora.

At last, something to look at.

Coming into Forrest.

Coming into Forrest.

Coming into Forrest.


Wedge-tailed eagle.

Leaving Forrest.

I don't these tracks are used much.

All of a sudden what appeared to be smoke came from under the train. We were told it was dust from newly laid ballast.

Looks like the train is in town.

Plenty of parking space at Cook.

Old lockups (prison cells) in Cook.

MEN OF THE TREES 60th Anniversary July 22nd 1982. 5 members each from Adelaide and Perth brought 600 donated trees to plant around the town with Cook school children to celebrate 'The Year of the Tree' and initiate the 'Greening of Australia'.

I'm just glad it wasn't an ATM.

Cook swimming pool.

Cook swimming pool. This must be the shallow end.

Is there any other kind out here?  Sign was in swimming pool sand.

School at Cook.

Cook school.

Murray Sims, Cook's longest serving railway worker.

It is a train town.

There was nobody there to argue the point.

Cook, South Australia, population: 2 (two), sometimes 5.

It is safer leaving your car at Seven Hills Railway Station.

Fill 'er up and check the oil please.

Ants view of town.

At last, the flies found a friend.

Old post office, repeater station and general store.

Cook Aquatic and Scool Complex.

Signs of Cook.    'Cook - Queen City of the Nullarbour',   'Our Hospital needs your help - Get Sick'.

Could be the ballast train.

Traffic jam on the tracks.

Flowers of Cook.

Nearly as crowded as Venice.
Back to the train now that we have all stretched our legs.

All aboard.

The Nullarbour finished and the sand-hills began.

The plains finish, and it's now sandhills.

Derailment, or new housing estate?

It's been a long day.

End of Day 17

Scroll to bottom of page, Click on 'Older Posts' to go to Day 18 (next day).

To go back to Day 1  click:  here.

Cameras:  Canon PowerShot SX10 IS and Sony DSC-W690.

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