Heading Up The Track

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, April 3, 2006

Woke up at 5:30am to get ready for work. Breakfast sorted and motored along to McLaren Vale for the start of another days grape picking. Confused to see loads of cars driving away and figured we must be late. Speak to the boss and he tells us there is no work until at least Wednesday! We've heard that before and it means there's no more work full stop!

Arrive back at the campsite and we are all a bit pissed off. Seeing as there is no work we could either carry on sitting around in the campsite for the rest of the week we had paid for or get the hell out! We chose the later! It was time to get back on the road again!

Packed everything up, filled the water tank, petrol tank and Jerry can before setting out on the open road again at 9am. We had a long way to drive today and it's a good job we were up so early.

Antti took the wheel and headed through Adelaide and towards Port Augusta. We were all knackered and falling asleep but I managed to stay pretty awake. Ant couldn't drive any more after 250k's, 100km's short of Port Augusta, so I took over.

I had no qualms about taking over the driving and wanted to get a few kilometres under my belt. Finished the drive to Port Augusta, refueled, grabbed a meat pie and a red bull before carrying on the drive.

Shortly after Port Augusta we arrived at a cross roads, west to Perth or north to Darwin. Headed north towards Darwin but that was days away, our destination for tonight was Coober Pedy.

The road suddenly became straight and the landscape became more barren with every passing kilometre. The speed limit along this deserted road was 110km/hr which was a bit of a joke really as it was straight and there were hardly any cars about. There were a couple of road trains though but I thought they would be a lot bigger than they were.

I carried on driving for 600km's in total before stopping at a roadside stop for a stretch and we decided to eat dinner. It was in the middle of nowhere, still 70k's short of Coober Pedy, but we sat around enjoying the pasta dinner and the sunset. The amount of flies was incredible! I had heard flies were everywhere in the outback but not like this. It wasn't uncommon to have about 20 flies crawling over your face at one time! It was disgusting but we were going to need to get used to it.

A car pulled up and asked if we had any spare petrol as he didn't have enough to get to Coober Pedy. Let him use most of our Jerry can and gladly took $40 off him to refill it once we got to Coober Pedy. Jumped in the car and Ant drove us the last 70km's as it was getting dark.

We could have stayed in the car for another night but the only reason I wanted to visit Coober Pedy was to stay in an underground dorm! As it gets so hot during the day in summer/cold at night in winter, the people in Coober Pedy live in houses dug underground. Quite weird but much cooler once we had descended 6.5 metres and found our dorm room.

You may wonder why anyone would choose to live in the middle of nowhere and the answer is opal. The whole town is built around the opal mining industry and it is a really strange town. We walked to a pub and drank a few bargain beers before playing a couple of games of pool with the locals. Some of the people in the bar were just what I had pictured before I arrived. Crazy old men with big white bushy beards, who had been searching for their fortune for years, nursing their beers and wondering when they were going to strike their fortune. It was a weird place and I was quite pleased to be leaving tomorrow.
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