We did the 6 mile hike around Ayres Rock
and visited the Olgas for some more hiking.
We pretty well OD’d on red rocks and were starting to miss the ocean so we headed south. 150 miles east to the Stuart Highway then south to Coober Pedy. Coober turns out to be a very unique place. In addition to being the Opal Mining Capital of the World, most of the town and residences are built “underground” in old mines. Even the Catholic church is underground!
We stayed at a very interesting underground motel. The owners bought an old mining claim, opened it back up and started digging out the motel.
They struck it rich with more new veins of Opals. They financed the completion of the motel with the profits. Our room was very nice (once you got used to being in a cave) :=) I ask about the two umbrellas,
and was told that there were two air shafts to the surface and when the wind blew hard, small pebbles would come down the shafts. Another interesting thing about the room was that when you turned out the lights, your eyes NEVER adjusted because there was NO light from the outside. Nightlights were required.
We toured a working Opal mine next door.
and I was able to “snag” an Opal for Julia that came from the demo of the equipment.
Christmas shopping done!! :=)
From there it was further south toward Adelaide. The scenery changed remarkably. Vineyards and wineries all around.
Lots of chances to sample local wines.
Next up was “The Great Ocean Road“. This is billed as “One of the most scenic ocean drives in the world”. I agree with them. The road runs right along the ocean, sometimes next to beaches
and sometimes high up on bluffs that overlook the ocean.
The rock formations formed by the wave action on the different layers were gorgeous!
The ride WOULD have been even more enjoyable if it were not for the CLOUDS, RAIN, and GALE FORCE side winds. I am sure they escaped from the Patagonia! :=)
We are now heading toward Melbourne to catch a ferry over to Tasmania. Julia said it was totally appropriate for me since I was a little “devil”. :=)
More new pictures here starting about page 90!
Posted by Rick McDermed at November 08, 2008 12:33 AM GMT
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