Train: Perth to Melbourne
“Would you like this?”
We looked up from our train seats to find Angus smiling at us. A young fellow with blond hair to match the golden fields outside the windows and a face full of freckles, he was holding out a picture of a boat he’d drawn.
“Well, thanks Angus,” we said, both surprised and touched by our unexpected gift. For the next hour we watched Angus work the carriage, giving out a picture to nearly everyone on board. The couple next to us put a sketch of his family up on the window. The woman in the seat ahead grinned broadly and then folded her rainbow drawing carefully into her purse.
Angus brought a smile to quite a few faces that afternoon and reminded us that sometimes the simplest things in life, the smallest gesture of generosity, can create great joy. If the lack of snow dampened our Christmas spirits, then it’s people like Angus who have lifted them back up.
People like Grace, a cycling friend we bumped into online some months ago and who met us as we descended in Adelaide, after 2 nights on the train from Perth. Grace and his partner Susan are legends in the bicycle community. They’ve been opening their doors to cyclists for the better part of 20 years and we’d barely set our bags down before Grace was imparting some of his wisdom to us. Three nights later, we left full of wholesome food, including Susan’s amazing apricot crumble, tips on cycling in Australia and with our helmets covered in reflective stickers. Grace is big on visibility and we have to agree. The more, the better.
Amanda and Will fall into our ‘wonderful’ category too – yet another example of the kindness we’ve experienced in Australia. Here’s a couple who didn’t know us at all (we only made contact because Amanda and Friedel both enjoy the cooking site Recipezaar) but nevertheless encouraged us to come visit in the hills just north of Adelaide. For the better part of a weekend, they took us on a tour of local breweries, villages and vineyards and, for our part, we tried to convince them to come visit us in Canada one day. We hope they take us up on the offer so we can begin to reciprocate some of the generosity that we’ve experienced on our tour.
Suffice it to say that anyone reading this site and passing by our door in the future has an open invitation to come visit! It’s the least we can do after spending so much time on the receiving end.
Now we’ve got just one night in Melbourne and then we’re off to Tasmania, where we’ll eagerly jump in the saddle again. We’ve every reason to believe that a few more stellar Aussies are in our path, just waiting to be met.