After Uluru & Kings Canyon we took a 2-day break in Alice Springs as the drive South, towards Adelaide, promised to be again a long one amidst a whole lot of nothing. After some roadhouse overnight stops in towns from which I can't even remember the name we ended up in Coober Pedy. Which is supposedly the Opal capital of the world. If you have no clue what opal is, no worries, I didn't know it either ;) But apparently it's that white, pearly kind of marble often with many color tints. (I have added an image in case my explanation makes no sense at all) It reminds me of Christmas a bit, not sure why but probably because it's shiny and yes as soon as I saw it I wanted one, however they're rather pricy.. Anyway, I googled Coober Pedy as I hoped to be able to make my lifelong dream come true; to present in our vlog as a 'Vlaanderen Vakantieland' host. For those that have never heard of that show, imagine your average local 90's travel show being broadcast every Sunday at 7PM (Yup I honestly wished I had a bike from which I could ride into the shot to then abruptly stop and start telling about the history of the building in my background, talking about life goals..)
I may have expected something like Tatooine, if you've seen Star Wars. To my disappointment it wasn't fully like that, I had read that Coober Pedy is a mostly underground town, with underground bars, hotels & shops (usually to escape the heat above the ground). There were some, for example we went to an underground mining museum because we had to get a glimpse of how the mining business was. We visited the Old Timers Mine Museum which was pretty cool, only the mannequins they used as dummies freaked me out completely, yet I kept my screams to myself as I was scared the mine would collapse (probably not really a threat but anyway, would be a stupid way to disappear). The museum showed what a miner's office looks like, not too exciting if you ask me, however I can understand the thrill you get when you see those lines of shiny Opal. Next to that, the museum also featured a couple of underground houses as they were back in the days and now, yet I'm not sure if there were still people actually living underground. The houses looked very much like 'That 70's show' so I guess that's when they were most fashionable. We also checked out an underground church, which was pretty cosy knowing they couldn't profit from the usual colorful painted windows. I lit a candle, as my candle addiction was on a low level these last few months.
Yet the rest of the town is simply a couple of streets, some mining heaps here and there, a store, 2 restaurants and 2 gas stations but still on the 'Big Winch lookout' the overview of this town intrigued me a bit. Behind the sandy roads, houses and heaps of collected junk lay nothing but desert. The roads went up and down because underground wasn't going down a stairs, another misconception of ours, it was simply a building that lay on the edge of a hill, so that the entrance was on a normal level but everything else lay beneath the earth. I'm not sure why but this unique town surprised me, no wonder it is featured in a couple of movies!
From Coober Pedy we drove further to Port Augusta. Nothing too special but it came to our attention that at last we had left the desert behind us and joined civilization again. Everything was clean, the big fast-food chains were there and it felt like that average seaside village, I was even more happy when I found out that our campground the Shoreline Caravan Park had rain showers, such luxury I hadn't seen in months, as Port Augusta was a bit chilly in the evening it felt like I stayed in the shower forever :) Lovely! On our way there (I mustn't forget telling you) we saw a salt field, Lake Hart, I never really saw one so I loved it. I had to get pictures on that ;) Funny that I can be so astonished by such peculiar things!
From Port Augusta we headed off on our final part of our drive from the Red Centre to the South, and were we right when I said we left the desert behind us. Finally our drive was accompanied by several towns, gorgeous mountains & scenery along the way, including pink lakes! I was so happy to finally see one for myself, I guess I don't have to explain to you how cool pink lakes are, I mean they're pink. I may not be the girliest girl alive (meaning I don't wear 5kg of make-up) but pink lakes do make my heart jump! And so with happy faces we arrived in Adelaide, we haven't seen much of it yet, but we're already a fan of this civilized, clean & modern looking city where we were welcomed super friendly by the Levi Caravan Park... To be continued :)