It was the first really warm night we had. Too warm for a sleeping bag in fact. Getting up, however, we noticed that it is significantly cooler than yesterday. A southerly brought colder air and made the whole affair much more bearable.
We continued on the Oodnadetta track for another 6km before taking a turn onto the gravel road to Coober Pedy. With the wind being fresh and cool and not a blow dryer to the face, I enjoyed the 166km much more than yesterday.
Also, for quite a while, we followed the bed of a creek which meant trees and much more vegetation than yesterday. Flo even mentioned that he’s a bit disappointed with how green the desert is.
Part of the scenery was covered in stones. It’s a weird event that happened just naturally: Soil kept flying away until a layer of stones emerged which now stops any further erosion.
We still had a couple of fun stops at the road side to rehydrate and take pictures of burnt out trucks.
Around lunch time we arrive at tarmac. Flo felt the need to kiss the first strip of proper road after 450km of gravel. Coober Pedy is a real town but completely depended on opal mining. Coming into the town we took the obligatory “Cooper Pedy” picture. We also got the information that it was only 22 degrees in Coober Pedy which is really not hot.
Since it felt as if we had been out of civilization for a while, it was pizza for lunch. Flo, again, didn’t feel too happy to be in a town and around tourists again. We checked out a church which has been hewn into the earth which was quite cool. After that we pressed on.
Coming into or leaving Coober Pedy shows you the mining aspect of the city. There are dig sites everywhere. It looks like big mole hills; one right next to the other. The picture doesn’t show it too well, unfortunately.
About 25km north of Coober Pedy is a lookout over a very cool valley. Breakways is a valley that has a lot of meaning to the local tribe. It has many different colours which makes it significant in the dreaming but European came in and named the place ‘salt and pepper’ because it looked most like spices to them. If you are a fan of Mad Max III or Pricilla Queen of the Desert, you might recognize the place.
Stuart Highway was a nice change of pace for the first while. Cruising along at 110kmh is different to the bumpy ride over corrugation we had for much of the day. But then, it is still about 2000km up to Darwin so I might get sick of it again. 😛
We had one more pause along the way before calling it a day at Cadney Homestead. Off to new adventures tomorrow.