FRIDAY 18 FEBRUARY ADELAIDE
We followed the same morning routine, breakfasting as the train passed through Port Augusta. This was our last train meal.
The route from there to Adelaide seemed to me to be a bit round about as it wound around, but was interesting, as we passed through little towns at regular intervals.
Just out of Crystal Brook, we saw where the line where the Indian Pacific train, from Sydney, joined ours. We’d already added the Indian Pacific journey to the bucket list – a mutual decision. The Indian Pacific and Ghan shared the same route, from Adelaide, to Tarcutta, north of Port Augusta, where the line to Perth headed west.
Pulled into the Adelaide terminus about midday. It wasn’t the old, main station I’d assumed, from where I’d sometimes caught the Overland to Melbourne, but one on the western edge of the city – newer.
After getting off the train we had to wait around for what seemed like ages, for our luggage to appear, on trolleys. It was pouring rain. Then there were not enough taxis, so we had to wait for one of those, too.
We were booked into the Comfort Adelaide Riviera Hotel, on the northern edge of the CBD. The only reason we were overnighting in Adelaide was to give a buffer time, between the train getting in and our flight to Melbourne going out. Delays can happen and it seemed smarter to have some wriggle time.
We had decided to fly back to Melbourne rather than catch the Overland train. That would have been a long day trip, sitting up, with no private compartment. The idea did not appeal.
Our room was adequate, but not in the same class we’d become accustomed to! Our room window looked out onto a light well, hence a wall. Yuk. It felt a bit gloomy and caged in. But it was clean enough, even if some parts were showing their age. The staff were very helpful – a plus.
I went online on the laptop and got our Qantas boarding passes for tomorrow. Had them emailed to the hotel, then went down and got them printed. Good service.
John wanted to go for a walk in the CBD, find some food, despite the rain. I wasn’t keen, especially as we could get what appeared to be perfectly adequate meals in the hotel. But off we went.
We got very wet as we walked the few blocks to Rundle Mall. There were the usual city centre shops in the Mall. There were also performers from the Comedy Festival that was happening. We wandered up and down the Mall for a while.
Ended up eating in DJ’s food court. John went for the usual pie and pasty, I had a Nando’s salad. That was late lunch/early dinner.
Walked a different route back to the hotel. It was still raining. John was looking for a place to buy some takeaway alcohol, but such are pretty rare in city centres and he didn’t find same.
Back in our room, I read the paper, John watched TV. I snacked on chocolate biscuits bought in Darwin.
Repacked for the plane, transferring our train stuff back to the big cases. Kept our on board items to an minimum, not being sure what we could take on a Dash 8 plane.
Our room was, at least, quiet, and we slept alright.