Tuesday 21st April 2009
Day 15 - Glendambo to Coober Pedy - 253kms.

The norm is back. Blue skies and no clouds and about 33 - bloody hot.

We left Glendambo about 8am and stopped at the Rest Area about 100kms from Glendambo, we didn't stay too long because the smell from the RA toilet was overwhelming. Our next and last stop was about 50kms from Coober Pedy, at both Rest Areas we were nearly carried away with the flies, there are millions of the bastards.
We arrived at Stuart Range CP about 11:30am, picked our site and setup camp, in hindsight, I should have camped under the shade roof, which fits about 8 caravans, anyway we didn't and setup camp in the hot sun. There is no water connections in any of the Coober Pedy caravan parks. The flies were out in force and at least the breeze was cooling.

During the afternoon, we drove to downtown Coober Pedy and bought some supplies, the first thing I noticed was the amount of Aborigines, they were milling around the shops. Back at camp, we had a couple of chilled refreshers, and watched our new neighbours setup camp, one was in a VW Kombi and the other was erecting a tent.

Tomorrow, we are doing a tour which takes in the following: Breakaways, Dingo Fence, Opal Fields, Moon Plains, Opal Mine, Town Area, Underground Home and Underground Church.

Bon Bon Rest Area - the smell from the toilet was overpowering.

Ingomar Rest Area - Notice the background scenery.

Coming into Coober Pedy.

Diggings around Coober Pedy.

Where are we?

Welcome sign.

More diggings.

More diggings.

Our Coober Pedy camp at Stuart Range Caravan Park.

Wednesday 22nd April 2009
Day 16 - Touring around Coober Pedy.

The norm has gone today, woke up to a cloudy and very windy day with prospects of rain later in the day. It is expected to be 30 today.

We are booked in for the afternoon tour commencing at 1:15pm. This morning, we queued up to do our washing in the camp laundry, as we can't use our washing machine in the van as we do not have camp water connected to the van and I don't want to use our own fresh water. The warm wind is blowing hard, probably about 20 knots, the washing should be dry in about 90 minutes. It was.

Our tour was brilliant, Geoff our driver and tour man was very knowledgeable, a $100 very well spent. First was a tour around Coober Pedy, he gave us a history of the town, some guy blew up the Police station twice. Then off to the Breakaways, but on the way, we went through some of the current Opal field diggings, we saw a 'blower' in action, finally arrived at the Breakaways and extremely glad that we were in Geoff's bus and not the mighty Navara, because the corregations were bloody awful. I hope that the pictures do justice to the vistas. After taking numerous photos we were off to the Dingo fence, it runs a total of over 5,300kms through Qld, NSW and SA, it pervents dingos from entering the sheep grazing area in the south. I haven't seen any dingoes in Melbourne, so it works. Next on our journey, was the Moon Plains again my photos don't do it justice, I saw where Neil Armstrong and Buzz made their 1969 moon landing movie. Back into town and around other parts and then off to the Umoona Opal mine and museum. This was a worry, as I bought a stubbie holder for $8, but Marg bought an opal bracelet, it cost more than my $8. Finally, we visited the Serbian Church which is also underground, I am sick of saying this, but my photos do not do it justice, they were just magic. So here is the plug, Stuart Range Tour (afternoon tour for $50 per person) is well worth it.

Our caravan park (Stuart range) prides itself on their pizzas, I ordered a large Jani's Special for 6:30pm, after the tour, it was delicious. We invited our neighbour Dirk-Jan Ent (a dutch tourist who is touring Oz for 12 months) for dinner, he had ordered a pizza as well. A very nice guy.

Tomorrow, Marg and I are going noodling, (see noodling fields in google) and then we will check out the shops. Marg did spot the pub with pokies.

Coober Pedy Golf Club - 1st hole green.

A blower which acts like a BIG vaccum cleaner.

One of many mine shafts.

The Breakaways.

Magnificent coloured hills.

The 5,300kms long Dog Fence.

The Moon Plains.

The Oonnadatta Track.

A mine.

Marg coming out of the mine, it was 85 feet below.

Nice Opals.

The Aliens have landed.

The Serbian Underground Church.

The Serbian Underground Church.

The Serbian Underground Church.

Thursday 23rd April 2009
Day 17 - Shit! It's raining in Coober Pedy.

It's raining, well, not really raining, but it did drizzle for 30 minutes and then stop about 7am.

We are happily sitting in the van on the internet. Deciding what to do, I think I am doing it for the day. If the rain continues, we have heaps to do in the van, watch DVDs, watch TV shows that I have recorded such as classics like Law & Order, The Mentalist, Life, Life on Mars and Rove.
Late morning, when the rain had stopped we went to the public noodling area, where we DID NOT find any opals. I dug a big hole. When we finally gave up, I read the signs in the area, one said, to do it in the sunshine and look for the glint of the opal, we did it in overcast skies and shock, horror, we didn't find any.
On the way back to camp, we stopped at the Old Timer's Mine and did a self guided tour ($8 each), I am now over mine tours, I am sick of hitting my head.
We spent most of the afternoon in the van with the windows and hatches closed, as it we had a stiff breeze all day with rain squalls. We were on our laptops all the time and watched Eli Stone which I recorded onto my laptop. At one stage, the satellite dish blew over, I couldn't be stuffed to set it up again, so I didn't. In future, when I setup the dish, I will peg it to the ground. Early night.

Tomorrow, we are off to Marla for an overnighter about 233kms.

Noodling Area.

Marg really is mad.

She did find shards of opals.

In the Old Timer's Mine.

In the Old Timer's Mine.

A carving in the wall.

Underground home.

Underground home.

Underground home.

*2009 - Index page*

**NEXT - Heading to Marla**