We awoke early on the 12th Sept after a beautiful relaxing sleep, on the first night of our stay in the underground accommodation of Coober Pedy.
Tiredness from the previous days long exhausting driving journey had seemed to fade.
I think this was replaced with the enthusiasm of our first days exploration, of this unique opal mining town.
We took a couple of hours driving around the town, not that it takes that long, it can only be described as a unique Australian mining town and community.
Apart from two supermarkets and a pub and a couple of restaurants and takeaways, it is predominantly a tourist town now. There are quite a number of shops selling opal throughout the town.
There are underground churches, an underground book shop and an underground museum.
I will go into detail on each of these in a later blog.
I now invite you to a pictorial overview of this very interesting town, this will give you an idea of how the township is laid out, and the various styles of housing, and maybe you can imagine how this town gave birth to becoming the greatest source of opals throughout the world.
These pictures were taken from various sites around the town.
You will notice many abandoned cars and machinery, the cars were originally operational but over time it was impossible to repair them or service them, they were patched up until the death knell fell.
The larger mining equipment such as the blowers on the trucks, (looks like large drums), they lie neglected for various reasons.
The drums are actually blowers which suck the rubble out of the mines after borehole drilling has taken place.
Mining is primarily done by big corporations now, but many locals still operate mines on a smaller scale.
The next two picture are taken in the township of Coober Pedy .
They are actual props that were used in the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
For those that might recall the movie it starred Mel Gibson and Tina Turner.
I would like you to meet this beautiful desert flower known as Sturt’s Desert pea.
The flower grows in the dry arid outback and has become the South Australian floral emblem.
The flower is referred to as the ‘Flower of Blood’ by some Koori groups. This title comes from the legend which tells of a young woman who escaped marriage to an elderly gentleman by eloping with her younger lover. The shunned man and some of his friends tracked the couple down after some years and killed them both, as well as the relatives with whom they had lived. Sometime later, the old man returned to the place where he had slain the lovers and found the ground covered with the scarlet flowers that we know as the Sturt’s Desert pea.
Finally to round of my blog, I did do some fossicking and did find a small piece of opal,size enough for a pretty ladies ring,apart from that I also was able to extract a large crystalline rock from the ground, beautiful to look at in the sunlight, rather fragile as I think it is in the process of becoming crystal.Hope you have enjoyed my pictures and story of our trip of exploration to Coober Pedy, the Opal capital of the world. I will continue our journey in upcoming posts.