Day 31: Quorn, the Pichi Richi Railway, and Blinman

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, mums, and mother figures out there. (Note: I am posting this on June 7; this is how far behind I am on the blog!) Today also happens to be our nephew Ben’s 18th birthday! Happy birthday, Benny boy! We woke up in the pub again this morning (that sounds funny) and tried again to go to Emily’s Bistro in Quorn (the sign said “Open”; the proprietress said otherwise). So we ended up back at the Quandong Café for another satisfying breakfast – half an egg’s benedict for both Adam and me.

The town of Quorn was all aflutter this morning, both because it was Mother’s Day, and because the Pichi Richi Railway was doing its weekly (or so) run from Quorn to Woolshed Flat. Adam and I had tried earlier in the week to get tickets for the train ride, but to no avail. Still, I had not given up hope. Someone would cancel, right?

We wandered over after breakfast. Crowds (keep in mind that Quorn is a town of just 1,200 people) were gathering to see and hear this beautiful steam train.

I got in line at the ticket office, and we scored two tickets! We were both very excited. The train made a three-hour round-trip journey – an hour to Woolshed Flat, an hour there to have morning tea, and an hour back. I loved every minute of it.

The train ride featured beautiful scenery of the Southern Flinders Ranges – a hint of what was to come for us in the coming day or two.

The old train had intricate detail (and a surprising level of comfort). And I did lots of thinking and enjoyed many memories of the train-loving people in my life.

When we got to Woolshed Flat, we had scones and jam for morning tea, then had some time to wander around and through the train. (There was not much else to do at Woolshed Flat, anyway.)

We snuck into the caboose and got to climb up into the engine and see the coal and the inner workings of the train. Fantastic! On the way back, we saw a couple of wild camels and a few roos. We are so glad we got to do this! It was so much fun!

When we got back, Angus was waiting for us, and we had a final walk around Quorn with him and Tanner. Saw some really cool flowers.

Sturt’s Desert Pea ⤴️

Took in the rest of the town. Adam and I can both understand why Angus is so charmed with Quorn and his wonderful pub. It was a great visit, and we hope to return one day.

But it was time to head north, so we drove just a couple of hours to Blinman, where Angus, as well as Leah and Alby from Flinders Gin, told us there was another great pub, the Blinman Hotel. And it just so happened to offer camping out back – win-win!

However, because we got a bit of a late start leaving Quorn, Adam drove the first hour, and I took over for the second, twilit hour. NOT when you want to be driving (lest we forget our Broken Hill adventure early on). I felt like I was in a video game where you had to dodge all the kangaroos in the road. I was white-knuckled on the steering wheel, but we made it in one piece (as did Sherwood and the local roos).

Indeed, The Blinman Hotel had room for us out back, so Adam and I parked Sherwood and went into the pub to settle our nerves and have some dinner. Adam was very happy with the veggie soup of the day.

We dined early and retired to Sherwood. Adam fairly promptly fell asleep, while I caught up on some work and am now writing this. Lots of work on this week, so I think I’ll head off to bed now, too, dreaming of train travel – perhaps our next adventure.   

1 thought on “Day 31: Quorn, the Pichi Richi Railway, and Blinman”

  1. You gotta do what the Tybergs do— take the Amtrak from Minnesota to Seattle or Boston or Reno. Thirty-six hours on the train!!

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