Thursday 31st May Lying in bed at about 3am listening to the wild can be quite daunting if you don’t know what to expect. We got up early packed up camp and paid our camp fees which was an honesty box by the gate. There were many campers there. Farina is now one can say a ghost town of homes in ruins with parrots making their homes in chimneys and the sand dunes sort of moved into the ruins it has a beauty all of its own as you can see from the photo’s we have taken below of the Post office Hotel 1878 which closed in 1960.
Leaving the ruins and arriving at Marree to put petrol in and my petrol price rising the further we go into the outback. We are now going to Lake Eyre stopping off at a camp
site along the way which also has an honesty box; we just stopped for tea only to discover Dozer had an injured tyre so major surgery was booked. Using the plug kit for tyres, surgery began by removing the foreign object and with surgical tyre instruments a plug was inserted to stop the air from the tyre escaping hence a chemical reaction had taken place and surgery complete. Once again we were on the road to visit the Lake and what a spectacular sight as far as your eye could see so the salt laid and during the raining months here this is full of water so there is no way one can go into the lakes to see it but only from one of the main roads.
We had something to drink here too and let me tell you that the flies are very friendly here they sit on you without permission causing the most irritating itch to the face and body not pleasant at all, so out came the fly net which is placed onto the hat and then the flies do not bother the face. We decided to go back to Marree to camp arriving there at about 4 PM setting up camp and making a fire to keep warm and of cause roasting marshmallows. Found the folk most friendly and the caravan park interesting.
Friday 1st June: Up early having showered and then bacon and eggs for Breko’s it was time to start the Oodnadatta Track.
We left Marree and about 53k’s out there was Road art.
Having seen that we stopped at the Bubbler which is in the Wabma Kadarbu Conservation Park. It’s a spring that bubbles and also looking over the arid terrain. Walking down to the Blanche Cup on Hamilton Hill. It’s amazing to see water spring up in places one would never think of it being there and this makes one realize how God supplies all our needs, it a place like this for the creatures of the desert to drink.
From here our journey led us to Coward Springs with another Honesty box of entrance fee $1 it also has an honesty box for the sale of post cards and paintings. One can get into the spring which today is but just a small place but the water is rather warm. The buildings here have been restored taking many volunteers helping a hand but I can say the flies are shocking here thank goodness for my net over my face.
Our next leg of the journey is to William Creek arriving there 12h50 dining at Dingo’s Restaurant where we had hamburgers and what a size it was, most interesting town with no cell phone coverage but a Telstra booth to phone and a phone card is needed. A most enjoyable lunch. Parking meter money is donated to the outback Flying Doctor.
Below is a beautiful painting found in the Dingo Café wall.
Below is a beautiful painting found in the Dingo Café wall.
A most enjoyable lunch. Feeling refreshed and back on the road to Coober Pedy, arriving a Riba’s Caravan Park at about 4 PM. Now this is a town one will not find anywhere in the world like this? The people are very friendly and most homes are
underground. The temperatures remain the same in summer and winter so it’s a constant heat which is just right to live in. The office at the caravan park is underground and most warm welcome entrance to office. We decided to take our camp site underground too but putting up tent is another story especially trying to knock in the pegs into almost stone. The stone is very soft and light but a problem to knock the pegs into. Anyway all set up with lights to show us the way so it was off to the pizza restaurant which of cause I had fish and Den had steak as well as Maryleen and then Nathan had Lasagne for Dinner it was almost going on for 7 PM by this time the campers all gathered around at office entrance for A demonstration and walk through the opal mine and the do's and don'ts of the mine this was part of the camping package so we now know how to mine opals very interesting. Taking heaps of photos’s which you can see from below. This took about an hour and bed it was as the next day we will be sightseeing around the town. What an odd feeling it was camping underground.
Saturday 2nd June: up at 5h30, after breakfast it was off to walk around the town each of us going our separate ways taking heaps of photos’s and just enjoying all the wonderful works of people’s hands the making of jewelry and how they actually live. We ended up at the Old Timers Mine paying $10 to walk through this museum. This mine was the original opal mine dating back to 1916 it actually has the kitchen bathroom and bedrooms and the actual miner actually chipped out the stone by hand to make his daughters bedrooms. This old Time mine was filled in the shafts, hiding the mine below and nobody knows why they never returned to dig out the opals still waiting? It was in 1968 that the hidden mine was accidentally discovered when an underground home extension broke through revealing the precious opals which is still there for you to see today. Apparently it’s like having a fever and just wanting to go into small tunnels seeking opals. This mine has actual opals still in the wall at the value of about $250,000 but if taken will collapse the mine as it’s the main the pillar of the place but then the owner also says it’s for the public to see what it looks like in natural form in the rock
There are stone sculptures are in the mine wall of the Old Timers Mine as you walk around here one can see opals in the wall. We also had a demonstration of the instruments and machinery of how it works. The blower which sucks up the unwanted stone and sand and blows it out which Nathan and Dennis had the honour of holding the stones for the blower to suck up some instrument which you can see from the photo’s. After a wonderful time spent in town it was bed early for an early rise of 4:45AM
End of Part 2..............Yesterday is History, today is a gift and tomorrow is a mystery.