Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Coober Pedy

We arrived in Coober Pedy on Monday after a long drive from Port Augusta. We left really early - 6.30am, which was a bit of a mistake as it was still dark, and there were signs warning to look out for animals, cows, sheep, as well as kangaroos and emus. There are no fences on the side of the road, and I did see one dead cow as we went along. The scenery was really interesting once it got light, varying from trees, to low shrubs to grassy plains then back to trees again. The land stretched away as far as the eye could see on both sides.

We had a stopped to refuel at each little township and stretched our legs. I even drove for about 100 kms, the road just stretched out in front of us, and it was really easy to pass other slower caravans. Randall passed a road train that had 3 'carriages' on it - apparently they can get 5 carriages!!!
We stopped at Woomera briefly, but it was a bit of a disappointment to us, and nothing was open as it was only about 8am when we got there. We had a bit of a walk around and looked at the rockets and planes on display.

We knew we were getting close to Coober Pedy when we started seeing mounds of gravel in the distance. Randall had been in touch with an old workmate who was also on the road, and he said he was staying at the Stuart Range Tourist Park, so we headed there straight away. We also knew that Randall's Aunt and her partner were also in Coober Pedy, so we looked out for their little A Van and sure enough, they were here too!!(There were 2 other parks they could have been in). They were on the mail run, and we knew they would not be back til late, so we left a note on their door. To add to all the fun, we saw Allan, the groundsman at Illawarra Primary- we'd also caught up with him on the boat. So, you can't get away from the Tasmanian connection!
The township is just so interesting - not a blade of grass, very messy, I suppose just like any mining town - Queenstown for example!

We did a tour the next day, going around various sites in the town, then out to 'the breakaways', an amazing geological feature a few kilometres out of town.

Our tour guide was an absolute pain, and talked far too much for our liking, a lot of it just stupid jokes etc. However we did see and hear about lots of local stuff so we put up with it. We drove out to the dog fence as well, a fence longer than the great wall of China. It was put up to stop the dingoes coming south to kill the sheep. It is called a dog fence now, as apparently there are no pure bread dingoes on the mainland, only on Fraser Island. (I've acutally been there and not seen one dingo!)

We have spent 3 nights here, and our plan now is to head up towards Uluru. I cant' wait to see it all- again, it is all new territory and wonderful to see such interesting places.

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