Port Wakefield to Coober Pedy

Port Wakefield is far behind us after we just pulled a 750km drive today. So now we find ourselves in Coober Pedy. I have always wanted to visit, so it is great to be here.

The drive here was epic, I said yesterday I didn’t think we would make it, as it is a big ask on the kids, dog & mum. I actually just found out tonight the furthest my mum has ever driven is 52 miles (83km) & she just drove 750, I am impressed mum.

We left the south Australian Riverland early & soon found the landscape change as we drove through the Flinders Ranges. This has been a great drive so far. Joey loved it watching the extremely long trains carrying freight chugging along side the car.

We left with very little food for the kids so a quick pit stop in Port Augusta for some fruit & drinks & we were away again. Well that was until Joey tells us he needs the toilet. So he had his first long drop toilet experience out in the middle of absolutely nowhere. If I hadn’t have been holding him over the thing he’d have fallen down it. I had visions of that movie ‘slum dog millionaire’ as the kid falls through. Just as we got back to the car, he tells me he wants to go again, so back we go, seems he just liked the whole weird long drop experience & was having me on, so away we went.

The views from the car window today were fantastic, although we were flying along, it is starting to feel like we are away now & I have an interest in where we are. So many lakes for as far as the eye could see. There was one stretch along the Stuart Highway down to Island Lagoon, which was very picturesque.

We stopped in possibly the worlds weirdest town today, & that is saying something, having driven from the west to east coast of America, nothing tops Woomera. A military town used for missile testing back in the day. Now days apparently used for space research, but extremely strange never the less. It felt like as soon as you turn off the high way you are seen entering & may never leave, like you really shouldn’t have been there. Loads of defence force housing but all seemed empty. Joey had fun playing in the missile park, & although we barely saw a soul there, we made it out.

The next leg was the hardest, 3 hours left to Coober Pedy & such a flat desolate landscape, thankfully both kids slept most of the way but it just didn’t feel like it was going to end. I have a habit of talking about crazy shit just before we do something, a bit like watching Titanic before a cruise. I think I watch too many scary movies. Yesterday I said the motel might be like the Bates Motel, & today I was convinced Coober Pedy didn’t exist as the road just never ever ended & perhaps aliens really do exist. I think I’m just tired.

We are now in Coober Pedy, we got here, & for those back in Blighty this place is mostly under ground dwellings dug out of the ground, as it gets so damn hot in the summer. The town is all about opal mining & has over 70 opal fields & is one of the largest in the world. We are staying in a mud brick apartment, until Monday.

I can’t wait to look at some opals & just have a days rest from the car. The stars here are amazing, I’m about to walk Heidi & take a look at the sky. Joey used to have stars on his ceiling at home, now he has the real thing to look at.

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Long drive

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The view from the window 200km out of Coober Pedy

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Driving past the lakes

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Test sites for opal mining in Coober Pedy

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Joey at the missile park, Woomera

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Joey & his long drop toilet experience… twice.

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