Coober Pedy – it’s all about the opals

6.34am, Wednesday 25th July, The Opal Inn, Coober Pedy, far north of South Australia

Morning, folks, just about to repack the ute – thought it best not to leave our wine for Sunday’s tasting outside overnight – and start on the 700 odd kilometers left to Alice Springs. After the first 900 km of the trip, so far I only have one piece of damage to report – a nice solid chunk of glass chipped out of the middle of the windscreen – thanks very much to a piece of road thrown at us by the wheels of a ‘road train’. What’s that – for the folks that haven’t seen one before? It’s a truck (called a prime mover) with up to 3 trailers behind it. And when there are 3 trailers, the last one can ‘swing’ up to 2 metres either side of ‘straight’, and that can make it pretty scary to pass! You need a really long straight believe me.

Here’s a road train pulled up at Glendambo yesterday.


And Coober Pedy? It’s a whole different world out here. It gets so hot most of the year that much of the town lives underground. There’s even a motel that you can stay with bare rock face walls. And they really let you know what the most valuable commodity is out here:

See ya – have to go pack the ute … and do a Willie Nelson.

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