This evening is a dark grey veil punctuated with the sooty black smudges of the upcoming night.
I am travelling on the Spirit of the Outback. It is midnight and the train rocks its travellers gently towards their destinations.
I sometimes wish I was more of a painter, when I am forced to engage with the landscape. This coming nightscape is quite captivating. I want to know its secrets.
Loud snores and snorts break the magic of this moment. A fellow traveller, blissfully unaware punishes those of us who remain awake.
Oh, I hate that!
I sleep in fits and starts.
The black night turns into a dense grey fog from which a pastel pink dawn emerges, in the company of a perfect moon.
I try to capture the moon in photographs, but all I end up with is smeary moonscapes. Of course the train is too fast.
Eventually the moon dissolves into an insatiable grey fog that greedily sucks the colour from all it engulfs.
The new morning finally clears, revealling a landscape with traditional Aussie style....hard-baked, harsh and inhospitable. (I love my 'sunburnt country'.....but I really don't know why.)
Streaking white across this bleak canvas, a dozen sulphur-crested cockatoos burn a witnessing into my memory forever...I tuck the experience into a neat little memory box labelled 'My wonderful experiences in the landscape.'
On we go, up big hills.....or perhaps they are small mountains, covered in 'Fred Williams trees' - without the colour.
We are almost at Alpha.