Saturday, June 25, 2022

Sydney 2, messing about in boats

Monday we were up early to fly to Sydney and Tuesday we are again up early to meet our friend Victor and his friend C at Central Station at... I can't remember. We caught the train from Museum to Central and found Victor and C on the famous Sydney Central Concourse. 

I am a jaded older gay man and not much excites me, but this trip did. Sydney trains are so smooth, quiet and comfortable, which is just as well as we spent an hour on one to reach Hawkesbury River Station. At some point it did reach 115 km/h but not for long. Most of the track was so curvy and so the train was heavily speed restricted.

Victor had booked for us a trip on the Hawkesbury River https://riverboatpostman.com.au/ 

The boat travels around the huge tidal Hawkesbury River to various locations to deliver mail. Some of the locations do not even had a road to use, totally reliant on boats. The boat also offers lunch, which we had,  and a running commentary. I can't recall what I ate....yes I can, some kind of Ploughman's Lunch. The trip was for three hours and just wonderful. Mail was delivered, as were parcels and items picked up. There was so much to see. Here is a little of what we saw.

From the train, views of the Hawkesbury. Looking lovely.



At the boat walkway, a pelican.


Lots of river craft moored.




Our table was the first on the left. Apparently there were people below in steerage lunching as well. The poor will always be among us.


A typical river settlement.


Oh, this is quite some bridge in the distance.


More settlements to deliver mail.




Post Mistress and boat boy exchanging mail.


This is the rail bridge over the Hawkesbury. 


There are pylons of the former rail bridge, that were constructed very badly, hence the newer rail bridge. 


Train!!!



The boat pulled in to near the shore line to view these 'beautiful' rocks.
 

They are nice enough rocks but I felt a sense of underwhelment. The boat's passengers were all on one side to admire the rocks as urged by the boat's captain. I recall writing in blog about something similar many years ago when we urged by a guide to look at something rather basic and everyone did. I called my own behaviour and questioned why I was doing this.  A woman standing next to me made a sarcastic comment about the rock viewing to me, and I totally agreed with her.


You don't agree they are stunning rocks? Everyone else seemed very excited about the rocks. The 'beautiful rocks' became a bit of a joke between the four of us later.


Rail bridge and road bridge above our boat.


Post Mistress (yeah, I know what I said about sexist language but hey I am old) coming along the pier.




A blurry photo of fast travel, the river taxi.


The electric must cross the river at various points, protected by visible...thingies. 



The train times and the boat departure and return match really well and we didn't have to wait too long for the train back to Sydney. The trip back seemed faster and I mentioned to our friend Victor that it was because we are going downhill, which is nonsense as the river is tidal here, so we are not really elevated from the Sydney Harbour shoreline. 


There were mangroves along the boat trip and here are some exposed mudflats. 


Nearly back to Central we passed by the preserved Mortuary Station, where funeral trains would once depart for Rookwood Cemetery, where my paternal grandmother was buried. 

At ground level of our hotel is a Thai restaurant. We have dined there a couple of times before and it was good, so why not again. This time we realised it is also a cooking school. It is not expensive, the food is so well presented and the super polite staff, if a little formal but can also be quite friendly. I highly recommend Marko's Restaurant

26 comments:

  1. What a wonderful, wonderful day. Your friends chose your outing really, really well. It looks as if the weather was kind too.

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    1. EC, I expressed interest in the trip to Victor and he worked it out from there. The weather was good the whole time we were in Sydney.

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  2. I would love this cruise! I have never heard of a mortuary/funeral train. Also love cooking school restaurants.

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    1. Jackie, the students go an extra mile with presentation. See WWW for more on mortuary train.

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  3. I'm stuck on Mortuary Station. Brilliant and I love the postal service. What a marvelous day you all had.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, it was a great day as I knew it would be. See Cathy below for more on funeral trains.

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  4. Anonymous9:16 am

    I did the mail cruise a couple of years ago and loved it. It was February or March and I remember seeing loads of jellyfish. Some of them were really big. Oh, and I loved the rocks! Bunyip

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    1. Indeed Bunyip and strangely we have no memory of you trip. Not a jelly fish was seen, which might have been more interesting than rocks, as nice as the rocks were.

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  5. Sometimes you don’t know what’s there until you’re told. Someone told me about a train to Springvale Cemetery- I wasn’t so sure but here it is https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Vale_Cemetery_railway_line

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    1. Cathy, my grandmother used to catch the Springvale Cemetery train from Oakleigh Station to visit her parents graves at Springvale. Later she used the replacement bus. Some buses from Oakleigh to Dandenong divert to the cemetery. I have written about the train to Springvale Cemetery but I can't remember when.

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  6. Middle son lives on the Central Coast and I love the train trip up there. The Hawksbury is a magnificent piece of water. I would love to live in a house with water access only.

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    1. Ah Caro. I did not know that. It was a lovely train trip. I think the housing on the Hawkesbury is quite expensive.

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  7. The train trip to the Central Coast / Newcastle is one of the country's best trips, even if it takes forever!

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    1. James, we certainly liked the truncated Newcastle train trip we took. Very comfortable and scenic.

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  8. My youngest is selling his gated home in Goldcoast, and buying another in Goldcoast. One of those riverside settlement homes would have been nice. He recently offered to buy a home for us so we could live in Oz. Perhaps he'd buy us one of those!

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    1. Such a place would suit you and Lady M so well Cro. I just wonder about medical emergency evacuation.

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  9. In fact, as you probably know, Andrew, there is a very long uphill at the start of the trip back from Brooklyn.

    The reason I say you probably know is because of a terrible train accident in 1990 which I'm sure you will recall.

    A steam train run by enthusiasts put sand on the tracks to gain traction on its ascent. This stuffed up the electronic signalling with the result that a regular train following rear-ended the steam train and 6 people (driver and passenger in following train and 4 in the rear carriage of the steam train) died.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowan_rail_accident

    Amongst other things this led to a total rethink on the way that such enthusiast train trips were permitted.

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    1. No MC, I did not know about the hill, but I certainly know about the train crash. I didn't know Brooklyn was near where it happened. I think the official report became available on the net and I read it. My conclusion was a predictable event.

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  10. A three hour round trip sounds like heaven to me. Watching deliveries and pickups, seeing the people and river houses, I'd love every minute. I like the 'beautiful' rocks too, they are a nice colour with unusual shapes.

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    1. It was an absolutely wonderful trip River and didn't cost a fortune. The lunch was plain food, but ok.

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  11. A great day out then. The train ride sounds good and your photos turned out well, enjoyed them.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. It was just such a great day.

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  12. Now to look up the Hawkesbury online. Thanks for the tour.

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    1. Strayer, while you have very large wide rivers, they are unusual here. The Hawkesbury is an exception.

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  13. Pelicans are a joy to watch. And I think those rocks look really cool. Of course, I'm easily amused by outdoor vistas. Don't judge. Heh... Trains and boats can be such fun rides. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Darla, I've seen two pelicans both having a beak grip on a fish and they fought for at least 15 minutes without one getting the fish before I left.

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