This is an iconic train journey following the route of the Afghan cameleers after whom the train is named. Late start for us, so we went for a walk after breakfast before being collected at 10:30 for the short drive to the station.
The train is too long for the platform so the carriages were on two platforms. We got to our carriage (A1, Berths 13 & 14) by going through the underpass. Accommodation is in air - conditioned private sleepers with en-suite shower, toilet and basin! All very luxurious with a selection of toiletries, 5 radio channels, tea and coffee at the end of every corridor.
Once we were all boarded the carriages were locked down and we were shunted off to join the rest of the train. It was so long that you couldn't see the beginning and end of it.
dkc-1074-003-LR The Ghan at Adelaide
dkc-1074-009-LR Jaya waiting to board The Ghan
We had to wait in our compartment until we had been seen by our attender - Zac explained how things worked and that when we were at dinner the bunks would be made up and put away again when we were at breakfast....
Then we were free to go to the Observation Lounge Car and wait until we were called for our lunch sitting at 1. We had two glasses of sparkling pinot noir / chardonnay while we were waiting and we're seated around 2. Chatted to our fellow travellers.....
We were seated with another couple from our tour. Seating is at tables of 4 with whoever you get called in with by the waiter. Delicious lunch - local tasting plate (J), Wagyu beef (D) with a glass of Shiraz. While we were eating we saw kangeroos and emu! Sat in the lounge for a bit then back to the compartment to watch the world go by, sleep off the food and drink ...
dkc-1074-014-LR-2 Our 'Gold' lounge bar on The Ghan
Our dinner sitting was 6:30; despite not being very hungry, we made our way to the Observation Lounge and managed another glass of sparkling wine before being called into dinner. We sat with a couple from Cornwall who are in Australia visiting their daughter and son-in-law; this train trip was a present from them!
Another lovely meal, sorry about the list of food: cheese soufflé, chicken & mandarin chocolate tart, shiraz ( J), fish medley, lamb and cheese board, cabernet sauvignon (D). Sat in the lounge again for a bit chatting with some of our group, then back to our compartment where the beds had been made up.
There is a stop in Marla to see the sunrise: 6:30 am with bacon sandwiches and hot chocolate. Only a couple of doors will be opened as it the stop is so remote. I assumed it was because of train robbers but I heard someone say that they beat the ground to chase off snakes and other creatures!
So we set the alarm for 6:15 and retired to our very comfy bunks to read / sleep.