Really Awfully Steamed Up


(Click on appropriate section of sidebar on right for translations, writings, compositions, awards and special series.)

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Easter Monday: what to do?
Travel in an old choo-choo!
Kloof/Inchanga trip by steam
Is a highly scenic dream;

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Views providing some of thrills –
Valley of a Thousand Hills;
And some other pleasing sights
Up in Hillcrest/Drummond heights.

 Towards Inanda Dam A winding road (Inanda)

Part of Comrades route this sees,
Runners, which is sure to please:
For some fitness without strain
This is a good way to train!

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Through a tunnel: what a choke,
Coughing in a cloud of smoke –
That, when all is said and done,
Simply adding to the fun! 

Hour’s halt, then more coal burn
For providing the return,
Steaming on the self-same track
Chugging slowly up and back.

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Gradient as steep as hell …
Not the cost: that’s worth it, well …
Memories of this will last
As a great blast from the past.

Umgeni Steam Railway put on this attraction with a group of dedicated and wonderfully talented volunteers and no government assistance – in fact, frequent obstructiveness from official circles – despite the immense tourism value.  Oh, no, of course – I forgot.  Transport finance needs to go in far more important directions, like seven new Mercs for the Zulu king’s six wives plus a spare (car, not wife), and a set of new jets for President Zuma and his cronies to flit around in when going to parties and pointless yak sessions … 

Anyway.

During the stopover we bought an extra bird feeder, which – after careful inspection – was adopted by our local flying club with enthusiasm and a quick demolition of the supplied seed.

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This made me invent:

What is the difference between a bird fancier and a rabbit fancier?

One keeps a bird feeder and the other a furred breeder.

(OK, Rs about face *grin* so it isn’t a perfect spoonerism, but close enough!)

Colonialist April 2015 (WordPress)

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About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
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24 Responses to Really Awfully Steamed Up

  1. Tokeloshe says:

    I think I would enjoy the train ride, I love the photos of the train.
    Every-birdie welcome 🙂

    Like

  2. The Asian says:

    This makes me think of the Apple Express down in Port Elizabeth. I really used to enjoy going on trips on that train.

    Like

  3. Arkenaten says:

    What a smashing post.
    One of my favorite Top Gear episodes is where the team race each other from London to Edinburgh. One on a bike , one in an old Jag and Clarkson … in a steam train.

    Like

  4. cobbies69 says:

    A sad moment when one remembers them as part of the rail system, and collect train numbers, even have a book to mark numbers off…

    Like

  5. Patrecia (with an E) says:

    oh those beautiful trains…I can remember as a child staying with my grandparents out in the sticks where the transport was few and far between…so the train coming was an event. We children would watch it from the railway bridge, chugging aling the line then under the bridge and then see if we could get to the other side before the engine emerged….that is if you could see through the smoke…..There were no cars to run us over just the occassional pony and trap.
    Ah President Zuma…what can one say about such a man who wastes the countries money on himself, his wives , his family and his lifestyle…while his countrymen live in shanty towns….and starve, no education and no running water….

    Like

    • colonialist says:

      Something about trains has special appeal for children. The grandkids still enjoy seeing our so-ordinary and rather run-down ones going by.
      Zuma is an embarrassment. A pity the majority of voters don’t see him that way.

      Like

  6. Grannymar says:

    Wesley looks in great shape! The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland is a not-for-profit charity managed by volunteers. I missed their “Easter Eggspress”, but see they have a month of “Steam & Jazz”: Belfast to a Mystery Destination & return trips, in June. I will have to tune in when the tickets come on sale!

    Like

    • colonialist says:

      So pleased that Ireland also have something like that.
      What I wish I could have done is the full old Orient Express experience. The whole scene with sleeper compartments, luxurious dining carriage, service on tap …
      Our railways used to be nearly up to that standard – but those were the good old days.

      Like

      • Grannymar says:

        The full old Orient Express experience was one of my dreams too, Alas I was born too late! I also fancied the good old fashionedelegance of First Class Cruising, I swap the modern fast speed planes with the crowds, modern security checks and long queues and people constantly eating their way across the country. ‘No Class at all!’ * wanders off with nose in the air!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve ridden one steam train, Col. I really loved it.

    Like

  8. Pussycat44 says:

    Thanks for the memories, Col. I never had the pleasure of that train ride, though. There used to be such a steam train going along the South Coast, but that stopped many years ago.

    Like

  9. de Wets Wild says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! Do the Umgeni Steam Railway run the train on a regular basis?

    Like

  10. MoreThanACat says:

    There’s something other worldly about steam trains. Indeed the things dreams are made of 😃

    Like

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