Kindly take all reasonable steps to purchase your tickets was the sign board on the train as i grabbed a seat along with my friend for a Sunday morning adventure. I wondered what they meant by that line , cos I had taken the escalator and did not climb any steps. Lol ! Myself and Ramesh , one more friend of mine decided to go to Ballarat , a little town on the outskirts of Melbourne on a bone chilling day at 13 degrees. I was excited at the prospect of a train journey as this will ensure me ticking off travelling by all means of transport on land ,sea and air. I always used to look at these funky looking aerodynamic trains called the Vline , as i walk across the southern cross station. Today I was on one of these so called high speed trains in Australia. First impressions were nice with me checking the foam , the interiors and legroom of the seats. I looked at the coach and see just a few people seating scattered all across the coach. I wondered to the colossal waste of infrastructure , 50 people and a 300 seater train. Well what do i care , i said to myself and gazed at the window seat as the train made It way out of the station and then was this irritating sound which goes like rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr the humming sound of the engine . To my utter dismay the vibrations of the engine could be felt all over the coach, so much for advanced technological coaches, trains back in India never have these things and its just the sheer pleasure of hearing the clickety clack , clickety clack of the tracks as the train rumbles along. And then are these windows shielding you from the elements outside.
Hated the eerie feeling sitting in the train , I just love train journeys for the fact that I can gaze at the window seat with diesel soot smelling air or the whiff of the brakes on my face across the country side. Nothing beats the sleeper class coaches of India. 2 hours later as we reached Ballarat , we were ushered in straight onto a waiting bus where the bus driver was giving us instructions when he said that he would pick us back by 3 30 . There was this Chinese girl who said in a thick accent , bus leaving at 4 30. The driver said no , its 3 30 and after which i lost count of the time he had to reiterate stating its 3 30 , on my last count he said at least 17 times.
10 minutes later and we enter Sovereign Hill , home of the Gold rush , this is the place of the 19th century gold rush in Australia where large gold deposits were found. The place was really nice with the feeling of one being transported into a time machine back to the past. The setup and people in the periodic costumes made it so realistic and me and ramesh enjoyed every bit of it. And the ride was ended with a very nostalgic horse drawn carriage ride. By 3 o clock we were done and we were walking the streets of Ballarat scouting for food . And food was there indeed at 5 bucks , to our amazement regular pizza and drink at 5 dollars. We wondered if 3 pm still meant lunch cos the offer said so , we hungry souls went in and asked , err is that 5 thing still valid ? to which the lady replied yes it is , job done and as we waited for the pizza , one of the guys in the shop removed the 5 thing and out revealed another offer. Me and Ramesh gave each other the pheww look.
Pizza on the backpack and off we went on the beaten track to the bus ready to drop us off at the station. The train back to Melbourne was at 4 10 , so we settled down one the station benches to have the luncheon. Ramesh and myself were chomping away and suddenly from nowhere the pizza box from his lap went flying in the air did a flip over and landed smack on the floor . It was quite a scene , we both had pizzas in our mouth and we just were gazing at each other eyes rolling side to side with the oh shit expression !. Luckily the pizza was inside the box and escaped contamination. Back again on the train and this time after the half box pizza in the tummy , we escaped the humming sound of the train by putting on the headfones. The last i remember was some regional number playing in my ear and i had gone zzzzzzzz. I woke with a startled look when i heard the voice 'Tickets please'. Some power nap it was for 45 minutes , both me and Ramesh woke up just what a place to get up . We opened our eyes when the train was at a station called Sunshine. Home sweet homies in 30 minutes and crashed to my lower berth couch in my room.
Until next time ....