Posted by: tim ellis | September 16, 2006

Shongololo Dune Express – Friday 1st September

A change of vans today – Jimmy is driving us to the Klein Plassie museum followed by a quick shopping trip in Worcester to buy something for lunch. The museum is quite interesting with tobacco rolling, soap making and sheep shearing all taking place. We meet back at the entrance at 10 for a short train ride to their transport museum – which includes an old rover and some even older tractors.

Back In town Jimmy gives us until 12. I get back at 5 to to find him quite agitated as they want to load the vans and start shunting at 12. I am not last, however as Karin is waiting for the restaurant to make her a 3 course take away (with wine!).

We are shunted out by diesel, and then have to wait for the electric engine to arrive – there are lots of railway staff about but no train… Eventually we get underway arriving at our afternoon stop about half an hour late. Matjiesfontein is an old Victorian town (I am told by someone that they came 28 years ago and it hasn’t changed). There is a very posh hotel (with it’s own church in the grounds) a small transport museum & what appears to be a small museum of (mostly Victorian) artifacts, but when you get down to the cellar seems to go on for ever… We end up in the pub where there is a piano player and much communal singing. The party atmosphere continues on the train as Jenny, Karin & Tracey start an impromptu disco in the bar.

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