Welcome to Nowhere (Coober Pedy)

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

My day in Coober Pedy started a bit late, since I slept until 9am! (Quite a change compared to recent days) It was great sleeping in an underground dugout, no ambient light to wake me up; I just woke up when I was fully rested. I started my day by going to the motel lobby to get directions to the sites I had already picked out. Namely the spaceship from Pitch Black that sat in the middle of town. I did that strait away, and though it was cool, I was a bit disappointed, because it was described as being so grandiose. I snapped some pictures and trekked on. I ended up at a self-guided tour of an opal mine (Old Timer's Mine). It was very cool, displaying underground mines, housing, and a museum of tools and 100-year-old merchandise. They also displayed $100,000+ opal deposits in the rock (as it would be naturally).

After that I was inspired and in close proximity to the public noodling site, to try my hand at finding opal. The good news: I found opal! The bad news, the small piece that I found was potch (no color, and no value). But at least I found something! I also pulled out some cool rocks (not opal) There were heaps of gypsum! As in big boulders of the stuff. Too bad it's worth less than actual gravel... But it looks cool.

After that, I went back into town, but instead of going immediately back to shower (mining = dirty) I stopped in an opal shop. After a few minutes inside I realized I had brought along a friend from the rock pile... A 3inch long cockroach with extra desert flare (antenna, legs, and other extras, basically cockroach 'bling'). Once that was taken care of, I commenced operation: Buy Opals for Mom. Note: Jewelry Shopping is hard. I did nothing but look the rest of the day, getting an idea of prices all over town, and styles/choices I had available.

Once all the shops had closed, I went to get some dinner at the highly recommended Italian restaurant. It was amazing. I have never had pizza like that. I ended up going back for every other meal in Coober Pedy to that same shop.
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