Train travellers’ treat

2016-01-27 06:00
Tourists, Pat Thorn and Peter Roberts at Blue Sky Mining Backpackers Lodge. Photo: Tania Sandberg

Tourists, Pat Thorn and Peter Roberts at Blue Sky Mining Backpackers Lodge. Photo: Tania Sandberg

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TWO pensioned tourists, with a sense for adventure, recently visited­ Warner Beach, using the backpackers bus route - the “Baz bus”.
Their trip however, turned more adventurous when they took an impromptu­ train trip from Amanzim- toti south as far as it could take them in a couple of hours.

“The Baz bus is a hop-on, hop-off bus that travels from Cape Town up to Durban, and from Durban via the Drakensberg, to Gauteng and back. The bus stops at backpackers lodges along the way, which you pre-book, making it a safe way of travel,” said Canadian tourist­ Peter­ Roberts, who travelled with Pat Thorn from England.

“We met on a boat trip in the Amazon two years ago. Now we meet every six months and travel for six months and then return to our separate homes,” Thorn explained.
They landed in Cape Town in December and will complete their trip at the end of December.

Roberts explained how the Baz bus was only due to pick them up in the afternoon, but they had already vacated their backpackers room, so they decided to visit Warner Beach.
After spending some time on the beach, they noticed the railway line and decided it would be great to take a train trip further south.

“We could not find anywhere to pay and another passenger told us you can go on the train and the conductor will take your money, so we hopped on.
“Nobody got off at the next station and nobody asked for money, so we decided to carry on,” Thorn explained.

“We thought we would go one hour in one direction and then come back. We were not sure where the train would take us.
“We passed Karridene (Winklespruit), Umgababa, Platform 1 (township area), Umkomaas, Clanstal, Renishaw, Scottburgh, Park Rynie and Kelso. A security guard found us and was extremely good to us. He was open and friendly and laughed at us. When we returned he went to the driver and told him to be sure to stop in Warner Beach. He put us in the first car and made sure we were okay,” Thorn said.

“On our way back, school children got on at Park Rynie. They were showing off to each other, doing somersaults and swinging on the railings inside, we saw it as entertainment. They climbed off at a station merely called Platform 1,” she added.

Roberts explained how the security guard laid on everything for them, and made sure they got off at Warner Beach.
“The driver even left the train and the other passengers to help us off.”

The couple intend on travelling to Durban and further north on the Baz bus, and then even further north, where they will visit Chobe National Park and the Victoria Falls and back to Johannesburg.
From there they will travel in style this time in a speciality train the “Premier­ Classe”, to Cape Town.

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