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Random Fridays: Hot Chocolate Trio

I’ve had a number of “tasting flights” over the years — wine, beer, whiskey, port — but never one featuring hot chocolate. From left to right: chili (too fiery for my taste), standard (good), gingerbread (excellent). From The Gingerbread House in Katoomba, Blue Mountains (west of Sydney). I’d just spent 1.5 hours walking in the ceaseless rain and 15 degrees C, and these hot chocolates were wonderfully warming — as was the heater I sat beside. 😉


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Fence line

This is a small section of a fence in the Australian Outback, designed to keep dingoes away from sheep. According to the sign below, the entire unbroken fence stretches 5,300 km (3,293 miles). That is a very long line.

Posted as part of October Squares Lines&Squares

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Tulip Time

Spring means tulips! Even if, in Australia, some effort is required to get them to perform.

The tulips are in a town called Bowral, southwest of Sydney. Every spring, Corbett Gardens bursts with colour — 75,000 tulips and 15,000 annuals, plus flowering trees. 2019 is the 59th continuous year of the festival and this year’s dates are 24 Sep – 7 Oct. It’s a very popular event, so if you go, be prepared to shuffle.

It’s a big thing (and quite the money maker for the town!). I noticed tulip motifs throughout the gardens.

I despaired of getting a photo of this pergola, as every time I looked at it, people were posing for photos or seemed to have moved in. And then, ta da!

Pergola with no people! It’s too early in the season for that cherry tree to be flowering, alas.

This flowering tree was in full bloom.

More tulips to finish off.

And the band played on.

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We like to watch

Watching the change of engines.

Yesterday I travelled in a vintage train from Sydney to Bowral. The train was hauled by vintage diesel engines to Picton, where the real star of the day took the place of the diesels: steam engine 6029. As you can see from the heads sticking out the windows and the people watching from the bridge, it was quite a popular show! (And yes, I got these shots by sticking not just my head but also part of my body out the window. The adjoining track was closed while the engine change occurred, so I figured I was safe.)

The train carriages were an assortment from different years and different trains; my carriage, the lounge with observation deck, dated from 1936 and was refurbished from a decrepit shell in 2004. It was at the rear of the train going to Bowral. This position gave the opportunity for some marvellous shots of the train curving around bends and also for the photo below that shows the full length of the train.

Unzoomed view of the train from the end carriage.

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6029

This very shiny and lovingly maintained steam locomotive will be hauling me (and a few hundred other enthusiasts) to see the spring tulips tomorrow. Vintage train cars (or carriages, take your pick), a steam locomotive and 90,000 (really!) tulips! Definitely a grand day out. I’ll post about those 90,000 tulips soon.

“6029” is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest operating steam engine. More about the trip and the locomotive here. Scroll to the bottom of the linked page for info about the locomotive.