I am sitting in the train to Sydney. Early this morning we have left Brisbane and Queensland, the sunshine state that brought us a lot of rain. While we are passing green fields, forests and the odd kangaroo I am reflecting on last week.
Our plan had been to leave Cairns southbound to find beaches which are stinger free. Since we drove 8500 km in New Zealand we chose to take the train. There is a train called “The Sunlander” which runs from Cairns to Brisbane in 31 hours and it is regarded as one of the 25 great rail journeys in the world. It is thus similarly classified as for instance the Glacier Express in Switzerland. We went through changing landscapes but mostly sugar cane fields and secondary rain forests. It rained continuously and we started to joke about the name of the train and became afraid if our camping beach holiday had been a good idea.
Our campground was right on a beautiful white sand beach on Straddie island, a sand island outside Brisbane. Unfortunately we spent more time in the tent than on the beach. Our tent proved its water resistance especially one morning when we had water flowing underneath and we felt like lying on a water bed. To be fair it was not raining constantly and we managed to see a bigger part of the island when the sky cleared up. We did a mountain bike tour with rented old rusty bikes and saw the fresh water lakes of the island. We also did some walking and jogging on the white beaches. And finally on our last day on the island just as we were about to leave the sun came out.
I am still in the train, we are stopping at small settlements every hour or so. Most of the people in our carriage have just been happy to see one lady getting off as she has listened to music on a volume that everyone had to listen with her. Some things seem to be the same everywhere. We are travelling in economy class seats as we did on our Sunlander journey. We would have wanted a sleeping berth on our long journey but it would have meant hat Theo and I travelled in different compartments. But even after more than two months we still like to travel together.
We are soon going to leave Australia. It was good spending some time in cities like Sydney and Brisbane. We experienced a bit of the tropical rain forests in the north, dived in the Great Barrier Reef and saved ourselfs from endless driving going by train. We met some cute kangaroos in the wild and saw other famous marsupials of the country in a wildlife sanctuary. Last but not least the train journey and bad weather gave me a good excuse to read a couple of books which I enjoyed a lot.
Tomorrow we are going to fly to Bangkok to organize our visa for Myanmar. A completely different country and climate is waiting for us.