Saturday, November 14, 2015

Day 113 - Outback Day 4: The Long Road to Coober Pedy

This morning we stood up at 3:40 AM. 30 minutes later we already hit the road, but most of us were able to sleep in the bus a little. Since nobody wants to use the "bush toilet" in a bush- and treeless desert, we were woken up for the first toilet stop some time later, and from then on the bus silence was broken. Loud music, no more sleep. Next stop: the border between Northern Territory and South Australia! To kill the eight hours driving time a little, we tried to solve some riddles like "I have no top or bottom, yet I contain flesh, blood and bones"... (Answer in the next post)

These, btw, are the famous "Road Trains"
that transport goods from A to B where it's
not possible or not worth to fly it by plane.
They have three or four trailers and knock
everything down that's in their way.

the heaps of dust are the digging rubbish from single opal mines near Coober Pedy, the capital of opal.

The first thing we did in Coober Pedy was choosing a bunk bed - yes, a real bed! - and having a guided tour through one of the former opal mines which is now used as a museum. Part of that tour was also to visit a former underground apartment (no windows, just a shaft for fresh air). The reason for living underground was that, in the early days of Coober Pedy, there was no aircon or running water, but just heat overground. Underground the temperatures stayed more or less the same, day and night, all around the year. Later nearly everybody bought a small present of opal in the shop ;-)

Afterwards we visited a small private museum of aboriginal art that was run by an elderly couple. We could have a look and even try the didgeridoos. In the end the woman showed us their "kids": kangaroo orphans! There were three kangaroos scuttling in the garden. One was found next to its dead mother (car accident) with an open face, and already being injured by the birds. The other one was the lady's live savior, because it always licked the patches of skin where later skin cancer was detected.
After a while she brought two packs of towels from the shed, where after a while a 7 month-old kangaroo pulled his head out and wanted the bottle. But not only that one, but also an even younger kangaroo that was still almost naked appeared from another towel. How cute it is to see kangaroos doing a somersault into a felt sack. The bigger kangaroo was even given around to blow its nose: kangaroos recognize others by their breath, so it gave us kisses when we breathed out towards it *-*


After the visit at the kangaroo mum’s, we tried our luck in an opal field. Our guide found a small opal just by looking for one second on the ground. Another girl of our group found a quite big opal even with a few lightly colored parts in it, which is pretty awesome to pick up for free on the ground. The opals actually should have been easy to spot, because it had been raining recently. Such a pity that my father and I didn’t find anything (I bought a little opal in the shop then, instead).
For dinner we went to the fifth best pizza restaurant of the entire continent. Then “evening out!” was declared and we had some drinks and games in an underground hotel bar. As a minor for me only lemonade… But I had fun together with Ross at the racing car machine – I beat him! Him the bus driver, beaten by me the minor even without driving license ;-) Or did he intentionally let me win?

The night was awesome.


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