"When Dave and I..."


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Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy
July 7th 2014
Published: July 7th 2014
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Desert Ship Territory Day 4 Log



This morning afforded us a bit of a sleep in without the routine of having to pack up and leave. We enjoyed our new digs and the novelty of living underground for a few days. There were a heap of grey nomads with a difference staying here. They were all on their motor bikes zooming around the desert. If you ask me they should be tucked up at home watching ABC documentaries. Our first stop was the town lookout, The Big Winch, but it was closed and some how we ended up in the neighbour's place. In this quirky place nothing is very well sign posted and when it is, it's just hand painted signs. Now this guy was a real 'old timer' Chinese character. With his deeply lined face, beanie and dusty unkept appearance he beckoned us to have a look at his mine. So we looked down a shaft that went for about 30m, then he wanted to show us his opals and then, of course, he tried to flog us some. He managed to fleece $5 out of Lleyton. He was from Hong Kong and sounded like he just got off the plane yesterday, but in fact has been here 1979 and he tells me how lucky I am to have two boys as he has 5 girls! We went to the tourist bureau and booked a tour for the morning. We then checked out a few opal shops and Brendan bought me a lovely opal ring which I chose as it is our 14th anniversary tommorrow.

The lady in the tourist bureau told us where the public noodling place is, so we parked up and started noodling. There were some punters noodling in the loose semblance of a car park and I thought that was an odd place to noodle. I'm sure I wouldn't know an opal is if I tripped over one, but I saw a lot of interesting rocks Brendan showed me a tiny opal, so now I have opal fever and spend the next hour noodling with no results, but I had fun and so did the boys. Ironically, back at the motel I found an opal one the car park, so that other couple were onto it when I saw them noodle in the public noodle car park.

We then bought some supplies from the local IGA which was impressive and a hundred times better than Coles in Narrogin. I guess that's not hard to achieve. By this stage it was time for lunch so we went back to the motel to knock up some sandwiches. Then Brendan fell asleep so I spent my time talking to the lady who works here and she told me her life's story. She was Phillipino and been here for 27 years!

"When Dave and I....". If I hear this statement one more time I am going to stab Brendan. About a hundred times a day I hear about the fable of Brendan and his mate, Dave, and their adventures of travelling around Australia in 1991. Constant reminiscing about how wonderful it was. This leads me to the fact that we had to relive the "Crocodile Harry" story whilst in Coober Pedy. Crocodile Harry happened to be in the pub "when Dave and I" were in there for a drink. Harry, who is a classic old timer, says to them, if you buy me a drink I'll tell you some stories. So they did. Before too long Harry is plastered and regaling them with stories of his croc wrestling days in the North and is asking for a lift home. "When Dave and I" are looking at each other and wondering just how far up the road he lived, it could be 250km up the road. Luckily for them it is only about 5km out of town and it turns out he lives in an underground house he dug out with his very own hands. Anyway, we had to go and see it now. Sadly Harry was no where to be seen and I am at a loss for words to describe his place. It was like a rabbit warren and decorated with a plethora of paraphenalia and a lot of junk. There was writing all over the walls and no one was in sight except for a pink and grey galah which kept saying "chook, chook" everytime I walked past. It is actually open to the public and we could've walked of with anything as no one was there

Once we were done there we drove about 30kms out of town, to see the Breakaways which are striking hills (striking because they are the only small hills within cooee of a lot of flat, barren landscape) that are deeply eroded and the colours look great at sunset. There were a few look outs and we had to race around a bit to catch all the photos I wanted before the sun sets at a rediculous 5.30pm. There was also the Moon Plain which I thought would be better than it was. This area was used as a backdrop for a Mad Max movie. Then we encountered the longest fence in the world, the Dog Fence. It is 5300km long and passes through 3 states. It is the only thing stopping the Dingoes from taking my teenagers and the sheep from pastoral areas south of the fence. Bobby decided it would be good to shoot a David Attenborough style video of the Idiot Proof Fence, where Idiot Lleyton was on the other side of the fence displaying aggressive behaviour by throwing rocks. We near the end of day 4 and it seems like we have been gone for weeks already. I was the last person who wanted to come here, but now I'm glad I came.


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7th July 2014

When Brendy and I...
Oh Adrianne I know your pain!! If I have to hear the story about them sharing one can of baked beans all the way around Australia again..

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