We've Found the Ocean once more!
Trip Start Jan 23, 2010
27Trip End Jan 29, 2012
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We were on our way to Ayres Rock/Uluru, hoping that this Australian icon would re spark our sightseeing, as we really couldn't look at another gorge. OH my goodness. Did it EVER!! (Now for all of you that are scornfully wondering why I am not using only the aboriginal name here, you need to read on further down - not very politically correct, so prepare yourself!)
We headed along Lassiter Highway towards Uluru and then saw Mount Conner
Another hour and then we saw IT and this time there was no mistaking. For all of you that have made this trek, WHY can you not stop looking and marveling at this amazing almost spiritual rock! I took 126 photos!!! REALLY??? How many do you need, but you seem to get under this spell and need to capture it in every possible light, and at every possible angle. Tell me you didn't!!? And if you haven't been here yet, put it on your bucket list!
Then after the initial wonder, we were faced with the 'to climb or not to climb?' I did not know before I got here that the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal people prefer you not to climb it and in order to respect their culture, request that you don't. Well try explaining that to my children, who have just spent the last 2 months seeing Aboriginal people who certainly didn't appear to be respecting our culture OR theirs come to think of it! (Not allowed to say that?? - okay, they 'allegedly' didn't appear to
HOWEVER after a trip to the magnificent cultural centre at Uluru, you certainly got a feel for the magic and whilst there was not an Aboriginal in sight, I for one was totally absorbed by their amazing culture and traditions. If only we could get more of them to be the same. Their rules, their mens business and of course their woman's business, all intrigued me and made an awful lot of sense. My only criticism would be the lack of geological explanations, as to how this one rock is here in such a huge expanse! Only one page in the brochure was dedicated to this and it was very much; 'We think this' and 'Maybe that' which I have to say only added to the intrigue!
We walked round the rock, marveled at it, stared at it, but we didn't climb it. Respect at the end of the day, starts at home.
We stayed a few days longer than anticipated as we felt strangely uplifted by the whole experience. A trip to the Olgas/Kata Tjuta, whilst is fabulous, you cannot help but compare it to Uluru and it just didn't hold the same magic to us. The weather was strangely cool in the middle of this apparent dessert. It rained three out of our four days her and talk about green, we found ourselves here at the greenest it has been in over 60 years
So we headed to Coober Pedy - This is the name that I would have called my business if I had remained single and started up my own podiatry business! ...... Need an explanation? My maiden name was Coomber - so similar to Coober and Pedy similar to pedicure/podiatry! ?? Okay, I have way to much time on my hands!!
Coober Pedy - on approach I got all excited with all the mounds everywhere where the average Joe has got his permit and has been mining for opals. Someone said that 90% of the worlds opals were found here - I really wanted to give it a go....BUT settled for a bit of 'noodling' (sifting through the earth that 'real miners' have left behind - we DID actually find some - small, but nonetheless opals)
Then after the approach we arrived in the town and I really did not know what to think. It looked desolate, dusty and bleak....however...it had something, that I couldn't put my finger on. The longer we stayed the more we loved it. I really mean it, I loved it! I will return to Coober Pedy one day.
People really do live underground
A trip to the Old Timers Mine is a must and the children loved the opportunity to use the 'blower'. You can see these scattered all over town, where they are still used to suck up all the mined rocks and blow them out the holes. Everyone you meet who has settled here, mines or has mined at one stage. It felt so personal, not like the cast crude open mines we have seen all over this country.
A trip out to the Breakaways just outside Coober Pedy was an experience. On the way there, we found the Moon Plain, featured in numerous movies (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome being one) due to the unique landscape. Also there, The Dog Fence. The fence being one of the longest structures in the world, 5614 km long. Built to keep out the Dingos out of the more fertile areas further south in the 1880's. The Breakaways, are also an important Aboriginal site and the colour of the earth in this wonderous place was amazing,
The children's favourite thing was a trip to the local Kangaroo rescue centre
We continue our trip and finally complete the Stuart Highway (Darwin to Port Augusta) a total of 2834 kilometres. We felt like we should have received a certificate! We spent a few days there before hotfooting it to Adelaide. We headed to the seaside town of Glenelg and stood looking and smelling the ocean. We only had a few days to spare as Fabio had a job to get to in Robe. With only two days there, we bumped into The Howe family from our school! The children loved catching up with Amber and Cody and I think I talked poor Annette's ear off. We only had a few hours together so they have promised to come and see us in Robe. So good to see someone from 'home'.
Robe is the nicest of little towns where the population hovers around the 900 - 1000 mark most of the year. BUT I am told swells to 23,000 - 24,000 in the coming weeks! I just hope the sun comes with them. The children didn't seem to mind and insisted that they got in the water that we have longed for for so long. We told them it was cold, but they didn't care they wanted to surf, so in they went......taking Fabio with them. Blue, they were blue when they came out......still, lesson learnt. It's certainly no Scarborough!
Talking of home...we have moved into a house
Until next time.........
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