South Australia - Coober Pidy to Adelaide PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Thursday, 23 April 2009 13:04
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Day 81: Tuesday 11th December - Coober Pidy to Adelaide

Very early start 4.30am again although my day started earlier, as usual, with a toilet stop. As I made my way up the underground passage to the exit door John came towards me having already been and greeted me and pointed down to the ground under the sink area and said 'don't fall over him'. Curled up in a ball on the dusty, cold floor holding his camera like a child cuddling a teddy bear for solace was Ben. On my way back I contemplated waking him and moving him to one of the bunk beds above us in our room but he was soundly sleeping and it seemed a shame to disturb him. Also Rick would be waking everyone in 10 to 15 minutes and so it seemed a pointless exercise. What was more important was where was Das? Ben then told Ric, as he made his way on to the bus, how they had lost their way back to the accommodation after leaving the bar and eventually decided, in desperation, to sleep in a disused spaceship used for the film Black ?

After a couple of hours of cuddling together to keep warm in the near freezing temperature he set out to find the cave. When he went back to show Das the way he found that he had gone on walk-about. We spent the next twenty minutes trying to find Das and it started to get quite worrying when a very cold looking, shaking Das accompanied by Alex, who'd found him. It later emerged that Das had sought refuge in what he thought was the doorway to the hostel hoping some one would come out and let him in. The doorways was, in actual fact, the main entrance to the Opal Museum and that didn't open untill 10.00am.

Both Das and Ben were totally oblivious as the most beautiful sunrise of the whole trip developed as we headed down to Adelaide. In the space of a couple of hours the landscape changed firstly from shrub to a large salt lake stretching for as far as the eye could see and then flat harsh grazing land.

Very soon we pulled in to have breakfast at one of the wonderful roadhouses. These are literally oasis in the middle of the desert selling everything that anyone needs to survive; from Mrs Macs pies and Magnums to tee shirts and the more essential goods like beer and petrol. Set a couple of hundred miles apart they are able to charge what they want without too much complaint. You’re not about to set off a couple of hundred miles down the road to save a couple of dollars on a packet of tea bags and a bottle of milk. The other absolutely essential thing about these road side mecca’s is their social side providing information about everything that has happened over an enormous area to all those living around and those passing through on a regular basis.

My first and only impression of Adelaide was of a large city with very wide, well kept roads. the Lonely Planet says it has a reputation for being boring and I can see why but it had a sense of calm and cleanliness about it lacking in most modern day cities I have visited and so in a way I found it refreshing. The hostel was clean and I found myself sharing with Colin, John and Das and Ben. After a trip to a local bar I found myself sitting at the front entrance to the hostel smoking and talking to a young woman from China who’d been travelling for five years and was running out of excuses for not returning home to her father and a traditional life of marriage. We discussed Marxism, Maosism and the state of modern China and I eventually went to bed at 4.00am being no nearer to solving the young ladies dilemma. I hadn’t been in bed long when Ben and Das returned to share their nights experience with all of those sleeping on their landing.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2009 14:02