Wednesday, December 10
I love trains but there's not a lot of chance on Rarotonga to ride them.
There is a steam engine here, in the upper Tupapa valley but sadly it no longer operates.
However, whenever the opportunity arises I'll take the train.
In 2013 we had to get from Raro to Boston to visit family so after travelling by Air New Zealand to Los Angeles (on a 777-300R - one of Air NZ's premium quality planes and very nice too) I decided that if we were going to cross America from one side to the other I wanted to see something of it. My husband wan't quite so keen but he came along for the ride anyway.
Amtrak operates some interesting long distance routes and one of these is the Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Chicago. It travels through eight states; California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Iowa and Illinois. That's almost 3600km (2200 miles). The train left Union Station LA in the late afternoon and arrived at Union Station Chicago in the early afternoon two days later.
That's a long journey but we were in a two-person cabin with a shower and toilet, cramped but comfortable. The dining car provided breakfast, lunch and dinner; and coffee, water and juice were available all day at one end of the sleeping car.
So here's a very much condensed video of the trip - 2 days in 2 minutes.