After four days of being ‘off the air’ so to speak, we arrived today in a little town of 2000 people called Coober Pedy where opal mining dominates EVERYTHING in the town.
Dear friends, it is the wild wild west as far as I am concerned! It is situated in the middle of nowhere. However, having said that, it is a very interesting town with more opal jewellery shops than you could ever imagine … at least about thirty of them.
When I left you last, we were leaving Uluru to go to a canyon called Kings Canyon 300 ks away. Everyone said, it was a ‘must see’ before leaving the area and it did not disappoint.
We stayed at an outback station called Kings Creek Station where we found Camel Pie on the menu – the camels were looking so innocent when we arrived. I wondered if they realised they could end up in a pie if they weren’t careful? They were also used for camel rides as well. Plenty of camels out there so perhaps there is hope for some of them!
Since leaving Kings Creek, we have stayed in two overnight stops – one in Kulgera (pop 50) and the other called Cadney Homestead (pop 30). Basically, these places are kept going by the grey nomads going up and down the centre of Australia staying overnight.
They are virtually a Roadhouse with petrol, food a pub and some groceries. We’ve had some very interesting experiences at these places although they have no mobile phone or internet access however, they attract a lot of people to Happy Hour at the Bar as well as meals. It is here you meet and chat with fellow travellers.
Now, we are back in so-called civilisation here at Coober Pedy, I am writing a post to fill you in on our travels. We’ll be in the wilderness again from Saturday onwards. We have decided to stay here two nights as there is a lot to see.
We visited a church this afternoon which is underground. Yes, I did say ‘underground’. It is so hot in summer that they have dug out areas under ground and turned them into churches, houses, restaurants or gift shops. Fascinating place this town!
I visited 45 years ago and it was a very small town then. I couldn’t believe how much it had grown and changed. Geoff and I did a walk of the town this afternoon and met some locals which is always great.
Now dear friends, I’ll leave you with this tale I was told whilst in town. We went to a Bakery to buy cake for afternoon tea (yes, I know … naughty naughty!) and saw a paper clipping on the counter “Thief breaks into Bakery and cooks himself a late night snack!”
When I asked the owner about it, he said the thief had been caught on CCTV and he was doing all kinds of bizarre things like dancing in the dark after he had cooked himself eggs. He also hit himself on a beam and got knocked out! He was found fast asleep in the storeroom and taken away.
The owner said “Oh, apparently he was from Melbourne and it seems his doctor is looking for him!” Don’t you love this story … and what’s more, it is true! It could only happen in Coober Pedy.