Letho's Blog

Coober Pedy

by on Dez.04, 2010, under The Outback

Wednesday, 1st December – Saturday, 4th December

Coober Pedy calls itself opal capital of the world and opal shops are what you first notice when driving along main street. Even before you reach the town you can see huge sand hills from the dugouts of the opal mines or opal searching tries. Apart from opals you get all that is connected with it – sand, heat and a small outback town with all of its curiosities.

Due to the temperatures that have been relatively cold when we arrived there, only in the small 30’s (almost like winter they said) most of the houses are underground (dugouts) with the advantage that the temperature constantly stays at about 20-25°C.
We tried it ourselves and spent three nights at Riba’s underground camping site.

It was nice, cool and quiet – until during the second night somebody started snoring and the sound just echoed and increased : (
All over Australia you find the Big Things, huge objects like lobsters, oranges or in this case The Big Winch. In the past, winches were used by miners to transport loose stones that have been dug out to the surface.

Old Timers Mine gave an insight into what mines looked like in the past and described working conditions of the miners. Every miner had his own shape of an entrance hole dug according to his size. Opal mining in the past seem to have been a hard process in a difficult environment.

One area is reserved for noodling, the search for opals with your hands and a sifter. We tried but didn’t succeed in finding opal and gave up before the scorching sun could do any damage to our skin.

The day ended with dinner at John’s Pizza Place

The next day we went to Tom’s working mine, a mine that is partly still working i.e. searching for opal but is for most parts showing tourists what a normal opal mine would look like.
If you want to find opal one way is to find the slide, grab two pieces of metal and hold them in front of you, start walking and as soon as the move towards each other you found your opal right beneath you. Magnetism? Tell us if you know. Furthermore, you need a certain gift to be able to work the metal sticks, Frank had it I didn’t or did you move your hands Frank? ; )

Injured kangaroos find a place at the Kangaroo sanctuary where they feed them and try, if they can, to release the animals into wilderness again once they are fit for it. They often receive joeys (baby kangaroos) when their mother has been injured or dead and they try to raise them.

Now for a really nice little joey:

You can even hold a little joey on your arms for a little while:

We stayed more days than we had planned due to the fact that our muffler had exploded before and therefore the car roared like a genuine American muscle car (so I have been told). In the middle of the Outback every spare part has to be brought in from Adelaide, a 850 km long drive, which first takes time and second explains the higher prices. But we had no choice but to wait and pay in order to have a functioning car.

When we finally left Coober Pedy with the almost brand new car that suddenly started at the first try and didn’t give us heartattacks anymore we took a small detour to The Breakaways:

Größere Kartenansicht

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