Last week we took the Shosholoza Meyl to Pretoria, at first I was very nervous about travelling 29 hours with a 5 year old but my nerves were for nothing, considering the time we spent in a small confined space he was actually rather well behaved.
We had a cabin all to ourselves, it was small but there were two bunks and he claimed the top one which left the bottom one and the table open to me so I could get a little work done, which I did. I also got a whole lot of snail mail done and dusted. Fysh spent time alternating between sitting on his bunk watching movies, playing with his lego and walking up and down the coaches for “exercise”, he made a whole bunch of friends doing so, most of them were older people though. At one point he walked into the cabin carrying a bag of chips and an apple, when I mentioned he isn’t allowed to take candy from strangers he quipped “but it isn’t candy”. Cheeky bugger, too clever for his own good.
The trip was long but thankfully you spend however long you sleep at night asleep which helps a lot, just remember that most of the time the train is delayed; I’d started counting down the hours every half hour and when I got to the last half hour I found out that we were delayed by an hour during to traffic. Joys. It’s not that bad though, but the last 2/3 hours feel like they last forever.
Once we reached Jozi we still had to take the Gautrain through to Pretoria, oddly enough Fysh preferred the slow train over the fast train and wanted to sleep on the train for another night. Strange child.
The trip back felt shorted but that’s most likely because The Person came back with us so I had company and cuddles, though I think Fysh drove him a little up the walls with all his talking (he never stops, he even talks in his sleep)and with him not used to it the 34 hours travelling (includes the Gautrain and Myciti) was a little bit much for him. And rather draining.
I’d suggest adding “take the train across country” to your bucket list. We want to do that long trip from Finland to Russia (orient express?) but will have to wait till Fysh is a little older and a little quieter and easier to handle in a confined space for an extended period of time. We will do it though. *starts travel piggy bank*
And with that, I survived a total of 62 hours of travelling with a 5 year old. I totes get points for that right?