Emu Expedition Outback Australia Part 2 Continued

29 Sep

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.

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 photo IMG_0070_zps81b6e5f7.jpgThe 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.

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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.

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 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.

Keep smiling,

regards Emu

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized



33 responses to “Emu Expedition Outback Australia Part 2 Continued

  1. suzjones

    October 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    One day I hope to photograph the Desert Pea in it’s natural habitat. 🙂

    • The Emu

      October 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      First time I had seen the Desert Pea Sue
      Its a beautiful flower, and amazing it prefers the harsh dry desert conditions to grow in.
      Emu aka Ian

  2. Monica

    October 4, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Just fantastic, Ian. Opals are so beautiful, yet fragile, I understand. Wonderful pictures and details of your trip.

    • The Emu

      October 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Good evening Monica, there are various different colourings of opals.
      Bright rainbow type colouring through to the expensive black opal.
      I did find a few little pieces, not enough to become rich on.
      We hope to return one day to do some more fossicking.
      Emu aka Ian

  3. Sue Dreamwalker

    October 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Ian loved this post.. so interesting, I wonder how long it took to hue out the rocks for those buildings.. And Yes I remember Mad Max.. And the story about the Sturts Desert Pea is very interesting.. Also congrats on finding an opal.. Isn’t Ana the lucky one.. 🙂 Hope it gets polished for a dress ring.. Now that would make a good Christmas present LOL 😉 .. Eh Ana?? hehe..
    Great big find in that crystal Ian too.. 🙂 a wonderful posting 🙂 and there’s More lol 🙂

    • The Emu

      October 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Finally getting around to answering comments Sue, they seem to get away on me.
      The crystal is a great find Sue, unfortunately as I was using the pick to get it out of the ground,
      I broke it in half, otherwise it would have been twice the size of the one in the pic.
      Not sure about Ana’s opal ring though, the stone may be a little too small, we have to get it appraised.

  4. Clowie

    October 1, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Thank you for sharing your photos of this fascinating place.

    • The Emu

      October 1, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      Good morning Clowie, thanks for the visit.
      Glad you enjoyed my pictures and post.
      Australia really is a beautiful place.
      Emu aka Ian

  5. lscotthoughts

    October 1, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Reading about your trip and viewing your photos is truly fascinating, Ian. I hope to visit Australia someday, but in the meantime, I feel like I’ve already been there. 🙂 I look forward to the next! Have a great day, as my night is coming to an end. 🙂

    • The Emu

      October 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      Good morning Lauren, really pleased you are enjoying my pics and journey.
      Australia is a beautiful country and its great that you get the feel of it through my posts.
      Emu aka Ian

  6. cat

    September 30, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Every now and then my comments just go … poof .. guess, it’s “poof time” again … o, well … at least you let me come along for part of the trip … I like mining for gold, uhm opal better any day anyway … smiles … Love, cat.

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Cat, always get your comments, they dont go poof in my space, they are too valuable.
      Love having you along on my wanderings, tomorrow we are going underground into a church, later on an underground bookstore, another church then off to the beautiful mountains of Flinders ranges, bloody hell I am tired just remembering it all, and to think I covered it all in seven days, damn I love travelling and Emu expeditions.
      Cheers girl

  7. Mélanie

    September 30, 2014 at 4:39 am

    your post is really awesome-possum! 🙂 btw, have you ever thought of playin’ Indy Jones?!… 😉 look forward to readin’ your future ‘adventures’, dude… 🙂
    * * *
    I’m back home, too… 🙂 my very best and c u asap!

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      More adventures coming up Melanie, my Chilean wife already thinks I am a cross between Indiana Jones and Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin hehe, truth is its just I enjoyed my travelling adventurous life for twenty years in the Australian Army, and still got the adventure bug, but the old bones are starting to speak these days.
      Emu aka Ian

  8. wonkywizard

    September 30, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Emu, fascinating and rugged outback, which I missed in my years there. Good to know your body could take this long tiring journey. That white opals could win you many hearts, but be reminded about the “Flower of Blood”.

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Glad you enjoyed that post my friend, pity you never got to see that fascinating part of Australia.
      Australia is beautiful and vast, dont think I will ever see it all, even though I have travelled it a lot back in my army days, swap you a week in outer Mongolia for a week in outback Coober Pedy mate.
      Emu aka Ian

  9. cat

    September 29, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    “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.”
    … What a story, Ian … makes me wanna cry for my own reasons … they must have been gypsy, eh? … appreciating the pics of you as well … smiles … be well, friend, eh? … meow … Love, cat.

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      I think you must have read into the story, of the origins of the Desert Pea, as told by the Aborigines.
      Romantic touch I think, all our Aborigines were nomadic and all have beautiful spiritual romantic storys to tell.
      Think I must have a touch of gypsy in me from my wanderlust, then again , in my family we are supposed to be, what is called Black Irish, a cross between Spanish and Irish, damned if I will ever know.
      Cheers girl
      Emu aka Ian

  10. Eddie Two Hawks

    September 29, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    You filled in many blanks spaces concerning Australia’s outback with your personal tour. Nothing like really being there. Thanks for your great photos and story.

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Eddie, hope you enjoy the rest of my trip as well.
      Cant believe how much I fitted in, in seven days,yet absorbed it all.
      Emu aka Ian

  11. auntyuta

    September 29, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Great pictures, Ian. And five more posts to come of this seven day trip? I am very much looking forward to this.
    Cheers 🙂

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks Uta, was a great trip and covered a lot of ground
      Yet was still able to enjoy it all and absorb the beauty we saw.
      Emu aka Ian

  12. natswans

    September 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Fascinating never knew much about the Outback , apart from a desert place. what a story and those flowers are beautiful. You certainly covered a lot of ground in 7 seven days.
    Rest and thank you once again.
    Best wishes
    Sheila 🙂

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Sheila, we did cover a lot of ground in seven days, yet still was able to enjoy the scenery and absorb everything we saw
      A few more storys to post yet, the Desert Pea is a really beautiful flower, such beauty growing in a dry arid land.
      Kind regards
      Emu aka Ian

  13. einfachtilda

    September 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Eine ganz andere Welt. Fantastische Fotos.

    LG Mathilda ☼

    • The Emu

      September 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you Mathilda for your lovely visit
      And thank you for appreciating my photographs.
      Wishing you much happiness my friend.
      Emu aka Ian

  14. gpcox

    September 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    It is utterly fascinating to read all this and the photos are great!! I never knew any of this about Australia – Thanks, Ian!!

    • The Emu

      September 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks gpcox, glad you are enjoying my posts and pictures on my outback adventure, its surprising me how much I did fit into seven days, I still have about five more storys to post, which I hope you will find enjoyable.
      Emu aka Ian

      • gpcox

        September 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

        I’m sure I will, but forget the posts for now and just enjoy your journey, Ian.

        • The Emu

          September 30, 2014 at 1:19 pm

          Greetings gpcox, catching up on my outstanding comments mate.
          I am starting to get back into a routine in reading blogs and posting blogs.
          Have a few of yours to go through yet, I dont like to rush my reading on the military posts.
          There’s always new informative info in your posts.
          Emu aka Ian

          • gpcox

            September 30, 2014 at 5:34 pm

            Thanks, I appreciate that.

  15. prenin

    September 29, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Looks like it was well worth the journey! 🙂

    Love the flower story!!! 🙂

    Glad you are home and safe though – that must have been one heck of a trip!!! 🙂

    God Bless!


    • The Emu

      September 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks Prenin, great to know you are enjoying following my adventures.
      It was one hell of a trip to cover in seven days, and I still have about five more storys to post.
      Emu aka Ian.


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