Bye Bye

MH122 SYD KUL, Monday 14th February 2005
It takes time to say bye bye to the outback. The walk around Uluru was last Tuesday, yet only now, the next Monday I really leave the rock.

Last Wednesday evening the bye bye dinner was a bit tough for me. The special group, on a special tour, in a special territory gathered for the last time. It is odd to see this group together for the last time. "What will we do tomorrow" seems a much more logical question. This tour lasted only three days, yet it feels like I've known these people for a long time already.

On the Ghan a small reunion takes place. The British flying sisters travel from Alice Springs to Adelaide to meet and old friend. In Adelaide their fellow English Lizi will board the Indian Pacific to Sydney. It is a multi phase bye bye.

When the Indian Pacific glides out of Adelaide the group of 10 is now back to 2. It is hardly a group, but more just two people with some common memories.

Just outside Adelaide the scenery changes quickly. The city gives way to farmland, the rich grain fields of Australia pass. Afterwards it is low density cattle in an area that looks much like desert to me. The land gets drier and drier. Hip hip hurray, here is the desert again.

The train is a few hours behind schedule. There is no time for the planned tour in Broken Hill. A self-made mini tour of a few minutes is the maximum possible, a quick stroll through the town centre and a quick return to the train. Funny to see that the train is far larger than the platform. Passengers have to board in turns.

After Broken Hill comes the last night in the desert. This delay is not too bad at all. It gives me plenty of time for breakfast and say bye bye to the outback. Lizi notices me getting a bit sad, when the desert gives way to grain fields. I really did enjoy spending two weeks in a desert climate. The bye bye to the outback is more tough than I thought it would me.

A few hours later the farms stop and the forests start, the Blue Mountains are next. The whole crew seems to know that I'm getting off at Lithgow. They proudly tell me at what time the train will stop and how much extra time I'll have because of the delay. One of them fetches my big backpack and puts it near the exit. Bye Lizi, bye group, bye rock tour, bye outback.

A few day later... From the Malaysian Airlines aircraft window everything passes way to quickly. Alice Springs comes into view after just a few hours, but Uluru is too far away. So, I do have to come back to for a proper bye bye.

Till next nut,