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08:05.

We’re aboard the Tranzalpine train, ready for the 08:15 off and one of the great railway journeys off the world. The train’s swankier than the last time I did the trip in 1999. There’s plug sockets and headphones nowadays, but one thing missing is the delicious West Coast Whitebait you used to be able to buy on the train. That said, there’s two modern buffet cars and observation coaches. This trains essentially two coupled together. I’ll post pictures when I can, but here’s a taster – the interior of our coach (F).

14:50.

We’re now in Greymouth after a superb trip. I’ll blog about it in detail later as there’s lots to mention, but right now I’ll leave you with these pictures. The first’s from the train as we climbed up to Arthur’s Pass.

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This one is as we head towards Greymouth.

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Here’s a couple of the stunning scenery you see from the train.

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21:18.

It’s been a great day. After picking up our hire car in Greymouth we drove down the West Coast as far as Franz Josef glacier. I’ve not been here for 30 years, so I was shocked to see how much the glacier has retreated. We don’t have broadband with enough oomph to upload the pictures I’ve taken today, so I’ll add them to this blog as soon as possible. One irony was realising that the backpackers that we’re staying in is the same one as last time I was here. At least some things don’t change – although in those days you didn’t get young girls travelling sporting bags of make-up, false eyelashes and a ‘trout pout’!

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