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Looking out, cliffs that blocked the westward progress of the early settlers were evident, though the railway cheats by using tunnels to get through rather than over, the escarpments. 

Around 5:15 a sign indicated the presence of a Grandview Hotel, a reminder of home, but as we hit Katoomba darkness was upon us, and that was it as far as viewing the scenery was concerned.

Since that was the case, I wandered towards the Club Car, passing through the Restaurant Car where the Red Service were onto their entrees. The Club Car was densely populated when we made our way there for the 6:30 Welcome Reception. We were greeted with a complimentary glass of bubbles and evidence to suggest, had we arrived earlier and downed the first while stragglers were making their way to the rendezvous, a second may well have been on offer. 

The briefing covered most of the obvious bases and contained a fair bit of promotion regarding The Ghan and associated trips operated by Great Southern Rail, but it was over just after seven. 

With no further freebies on offer while we were on the edge of a group that had seemingly settled well in for the next hour, so it was back to the cabin and an assault on the Travelogue backlog before they called us for dinner at eight.

Eight had passed, and we were about to check things out when the announcement arrived, so while the vanguard beat us to the Club Car, we were among the first seated at the Tucker Trough.

Menus came with extreme rapidity as introduction were made across our table. 

© Ian Hughes 2017