This outing transported me back to India and our adventures on the Shimla-Kalka railway in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Shimla Kalka railway was completed in 1903 and was built on a narrow gauge. It had 103 tunnels. Here the mountains are not so tall, the people not so plentiful, but the effort and the hardship that went into building this railway must have been about the same.
This one was constructed to deal with the mining needs that had grown up in the area.It was built by hand really - picks and shovels. The men, some of whom lost their lives working there, constructed 15 hand made tunnels, 55 bridges and 98 curves. Construction started in 1886 and it was opened in 1915.
Travelling on it we were assaulted by a barrage of Australian rules and regulations - dont lean out of the window, dont put your bags in the aisles, dont let children stand on seats, don't leave your buggies unattended and so it went ... we listened and smiled as did our lovely Aussie fellow travellers who said this was Health and Safety gone mad. We had such an enjoyable journey up, looking at the view, the rainforest and the falls and exchanging many stories with this couple from Victoria who were heading north to pick up their camper van, a favourite mode of transport in this vast country.
Robb's monument - an impressive rock formation which serves as a monument to the John Robb's engineering skills.
The Barron Falls - this is the dry season so there was little water.