23 April 2019 | Coober Pedy
We watched the movie, Jumanji, which was a newer version than we had seen before. It was action packed. Mark was not feeling well with his sinuses bothering him so we retired by 10 pm. Slept well. The temperature this morning was 17C which was cool and breezy. We saw a high of 24C this afternoon which felt more than hot. After breakfast and a shower, we packed up the car and headed north. Just as we were leaving town, I noticed an emu standing at the side of a golf course! We drove around 600 kilometers today, so it was good that we left by 7 am. It was a drive through very flat lands for almost the whole time. Lots of miles of nothing but a few tumbleweeds. We saw a huge amount of kangaroos and other animals that were road kill. There were several vulture type birds feasting as we drove along. Not too many vehicles on the road. At one point, two sheep wandered across the hiway in front of us, causing us to slow down. Today was the first day that we saw a truck road train with four trailers in back. I have never seen a truck that long before. It would not be something I would want to drive. We saw a few hills out in the middle of no where. It looked like a huge mound of sand on the flat terrain. We stopped along the way at the only gas station we saw, even though we weren't out of fuel. The cost was $1.79/litre! I guess the sky is the limit when you are out in the middle of no where. Mark let me drive for about 1 ½ hours. I have not been driving much since we arrived in Australia. Then we tried changing drivers but there really was no place to pull off. That is why I drove for so long. We had to wait for the next rest stop. We saw many derelict cars abandoned on the side of the road, but most of them were overturned, for some reason. It would not be a good place to be, if you had car problems. We saw the sign for Heart Lake and did not have enough notice to stop. Apparently, it was a salt flat that looks like water from a distance. It went back as far as we could see. Our internet wasn't working for most of our ride as there were no cell towers around. They did a few pull off areas. Most of them had a picnic table with a screen over it. However, they did not have a toilet. Thankfully, we were okay until we got to Coober Pedy just after lunch. We, again, filled up, but this time the fuel was $1.57/litre, which was a much better price that earlier. We had burgers at the Outback cafe next door. We took a tour of an Opal Mine and Museum. We got to climb thru their mine shaft. Some of the walls had shiny pieces within the walls. We also checked out some local opals. We stopped to check out opals at Opalios. Loved all of Stella's creations. We enjoyed meeting her and her son. All of them are so beautiful. Not very many people live here. They did have several opal shops. One grocery store and a gas station. Many opal mines can be seen from small town. Then it was tricky finding our underground motel. There was a caravan at street level and then we drove down a steep hill to our room. It is completely surrounded by rock. They also including some foods and drinks in our fridge, which was nice. I have to tell you that there are a bunch of flies here that like to crawl on our faces. It's so creepy. We did find the netting to wear over our hats. I wish we would have put them on as the flies are horrible. We have been told that it's only been bad for the past couple of weeks. Also, they have not had rain here in more than a year! We got settled into our room around 4 pm. We are happy to be inside and away from the flies. Thanks to everyone who sent emails and messages today. We are using our wifi connection tonight as there was none included with our room. Our plans are to leave early tomorrow and stay overnight in Erldunda.