Coober Pedy was a great stopover on the way south from Yulara. We had all been looking forward to it, as we stretched the budget to stay in an underground motel (huge bucket list tick!), and the kids were determined to find opals, as if they simply lay around on the streets for them to find!
Checking in to the Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience was fabulous. Debbie is the very epitome of kindness and welcoming, as is Melissa whom we met later. When Debbie met the kids, she took them in to the Opal Room to learn about opals and how to “noodle” for them in the mullock piles at the mine next door. Her magic trick with our youngest daughter, had both children and parents entranced, and I’m not going to spoil it for you by telling it here. Go and stay with your kids and you’ll soon see! The kids got to noodle in a bowl of stones for four pieces of opal each, and it was just like finding treasure for them.
Being underground was a surreal experience. The room was comfortable, and just outside was a gorgeously comfortable lounge area, where we parents later sat and contemplated the shapes and cuttings in the stone walls & ceiling, once the kids were asleep.
We took a little trek out to the Dog Fence, which is the longest fence in the world at over 5000km. It was flat and dusty and altogether beautiful, with the Breakaways ranges visible in the distance.
Back in Coober Pedy, we spoke to one lady at length about our trip and how it all came to be. She was amazed, and empathetic to our cause as she has also suffered severely with depression in the past. It snuck up on her after she nursed her child back to health after an accident, and took her quite a while to pull herself out of that dark space.
A self guided tour through the Old Timers Mine, next door to our accommodation, was brilliant. Hard hats and all, we descended underground to see opal seams, and mining conditions from over 100 years ago. The kids had an awesome time in the tunnels, however Paul and Kirstine will be booking themselves in for chiropractic adjustments after leaning over to traverse the same tunnels after the kids! It’s been a while since we’ve wished ourselves young AND short again, and boy did that ever happen during the tour!
The kids spent nearly half an hour noodling again in the mullock pit (think – sand pit) out the front in the car park, and even us parents got in on the act. Everyone found some shiny wee pieces of opal, and thus our very personalised souvenirs of Coober Pedy.
The next day took us to Woomera and Roxby Downs, and we now find ourselves in Cudlee Creek, just outside of Adelaide, where we’ll be for the next 3 days. We were very touched to have a lady come up to us at Port Augusta and ask to give us a donation. Her son’s life was saved by reaching out to organisations like the ones we are supporting, and she became emotional as she blessed us and continued on her way.
As tiring as it can be as we travel, we are finding that people are so very receptive to our story, willing to share their own, and for the third time now, give us a cash donation. Kirstine will be transferring that money to our MyCause page shortly, noting the location that we received the donation at. For those that don’t like using credit cards online but would still like to make a donation, keep this in mind. If you need a tax receipt, all we need is an email address, and we can arrange that electronically. If you have $5 to spare, it’s all we’re asking, unless you have more to spare, in which case, please feel free!