52 hours of train

So, Karen and I did the train thing to Johannesburg and back a couple of weeks ago. It’s 26 hours one way (from Cape Town, remember!) People said, “Are you insane? Why don’t you just hop on a plane?”, but we knew better.  We knew better because we’d made the same trip about 15 years ago, when we had small children and husbands and unpleasant jobs. That trip gave us uninterrupted peace and quiet, and ever since our code phrase for “my children are driving me mad” or “I never want to lay eyes on my husband again” or “what a foul day at work” or “the next person who asks me what’s for supper will get punched in the face”, has been “I wish I was on that _______ train….”


So we did it again.

It was fabulous. Even better than the first time.

Karen packed a massive hamper full of good food and coffee, enough to feed the entire train. We had books, music, phones, ipads, and crochet, but mainly we relaxed. Karen spent most of her time relaxing, actually, relaxing and looking out the window and resting and sleeping and dozing and reading and napping. And a small amount of crochet.

After my first big rest, I was happy to get some serious work done. We can’t all have a salaried job, after all!

I made nine hats. I cheated a bit because I didn’t use any patterns, so they went pretty quickly. The one with the five horns is my favourite.

train hat 6 train hat 2 train hat 3 train hat 4 train hat 5

I need to do a proper stock-take tomorrow, my market bags have got all mixed up and I don’t know how many hats are in each one. It could go one of two ways — bad, or very bad.

21 thoughts on “52 hours of train

  1. craftlyn

    Back in 1999 I traveled from Chicago to California by train–4 days one way. I loved seeing places I’d never seen–even in the dark. I would do it again if I could, only I would get a berth instead of traveling economy. The lines for the washroom were killer! And I would do like you and take my own food. Although we made one stop in Albuquerqe that had a food truck that I remember to this day. It may have been 900 degrees outside but the burritos were excellent! :D

  2. gentlestitches

    I totally get it and I think it would take probably an entire week on a train to be over it. Thanks for posting. It made me smile and remember train trips. :-D

  3. katechiconi

    It makes me think of going anywhere by road in Australia. You turn the car into your own personal survival pod because the distances are so vast, sometimes just a tree is exciting. The Husband and I have promised ourselves that if we win the Lottery, we’ll go round Australia by train. And then Europe, and then perhaps Africa – or at least parts of it. I love train journeys… And I love the horned hat and also the pinky lilac one.

      1. katechiconi

        Er, yes, actually, hundreds of them. The Ghan, the Indian Pacific, the Sunlander, all famous trains and routes. All the ore and coal we export is carried by train. All the sugar cane we harvest is carried to the mills by trains. We still have a few picturesque steam trains that run on tourist routes, just for pretty.

  4. tgonzales

    Loved this post. You always make me smile and laugh out loud. I can only imagine what it would be like to ride a train with you two. I know you are back and working hard at getting things ready for your next sale. Thanks so much for sharing your train ride with us. Love and hugs, Tamara

  5. Elizabeth

    This piece reminded me of a plane trip we took 30 years ago – 14 hours! We don’t remember many details of Hawaii, but we talk about that plane ride to this day!

    1. Nice piece of work Post author

      The pinky ones? The colours are actually delightful, they don’t show up well in the pics. Although by the time I’ve made another….hundred, I’ll probably be sick of it.


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