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Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Noodling




9th June – Tuesday

A beautiful clear day, no clouds but a cool breeze – no where near as bad as yesterday! I decided to do a load of washing – sheets and towels mainly – before we set out for the day. Put my $5 in the slots, set the machine going and returned with about 5 minutes to go. The machine had stopped with 6 minute left to run, refused to start again and when I removed my washing, discovered it was still dry! Trip to reception to complain – happy to pay for water when it is in short supply, but do expect some in the washing machine. Received a refund and will try again tomorrow.

We started the day with an organised tour of Coober Pedy (run by the caravan park) and we taken first of all to the Serbian Church, underground of course. The church was dug out in an old mining area, along with a large number of residences. Evidently, one can buy a modest dug-out (2 bedrooms) for about $65,000. Of course, if extra rooms are required, all that is required is a pick and shovel and lots of hard work. There is also the possibility of finding opal as well.

We spent some time “noodling” mullocks heaps in the town boundary – these are open to the public and no licences are required. Needless to say, they are noodled every day by tour groups and the chances of finding an opal would be smaller than winning Tattslotto. Cat did enjoy this part of the tour and was very happy scratching around in the gravel.

We drove past the hospital and the Aboriginal community before coming to the golf club. Eighteen holes of gravel with artificial grass at the tees and sump oil on the “greens” to keep the dust under control!

We ended up at an old mine now set up as a tourist attraction and were shown through the caretaker’s quarters, which evidently are still used. The temperature underground is a constant 25 degrees all year, which means no heating or cooling expenses. Approximately half the population live in dug-outs. Of course, the mine tour ended in the obligatory gift shop with a large assortment of opals just waiting for rich tourists. I purchased two post cards, but did spend some time talking to the assistant about the types and qualities of opals. Now all I need is about $9,000 for a pendant!

Had a walk around the main shopping street this afternoon – it is 90% opal shops, a couple of supermarkets and service stations, a very upmarket hotel and a pub. All the tinpot looking opal shops are actually very swish once inside – just like an expensive jewellery story.

The caravan park which was nearly empty by 10.00am is now full again.

It hasn’t rained today!!!

1 comment:

shan.deng said...

That's an expansive pendant. I think I rather have diamond.