Tuesday, 7 May 2013


After the festivities at Ayers Rock it was an early rise again. 800 Kms drive today towards Coober Pedy. The outback is a bleak place and this is the nearest town down the freeway. The scenery is always the same save for an occasional dead cow or other animal. We stopped just before we reached the town to see a place called Breakaways which was the location of a Mad Max film. Wasn't familiar with it as I don't watch them but others seemed to recognise it. Coober Pedy is where they mine opals and a lot of the people live underground. We stayed in a Mud Hut hotel where the walls were made from mud. Very effective. We went to see the opal mine called "Old Timers Mine/Museum. Had to put on a hard hat as we went underground to see how they mined for opals. Sorry but it reminded me of the old Sabden Treacle Mines. It was a bit of a joke. The woman there boasted she visited 30 years ago and just had to stay - why on earth would anyone want to??? Another 500 Kms and reached the next town of Port Augusta. It looks dead. Lots of bars and they all have gambling within them. The people are strange (that is when they come out). These towns looked like ghost towns to me. Even in the bar at night the few that were in looked strange and didn't smile. Weird. We left Port Augusta for the dizzy heights of Adelaide. We have now travelled 2000 Kms in our little mini bus and we can feel it. On the way to the city we stopped in the Clare Valley to visit a winery for some wine tasting. Now that was more like it. Wasn't keen on the whites but the reds and rose were good. Bought a couple for the city and we were off. Wow, we are back in civilisation. It feels so strange. The outback is an experience but not one I would repeat. Free day next day so went to the Australia museum to see the aboriginal artefacts. All free and really interesting place. Next had a walk to the Botanical gardens where we bumped into a couple who were on our tour the week before and who we left in Cairns. It is indeed a small world! On to the Parliament building of South Australia state. A man took us on a tour and it is very influenced by Westminster in the style. It also has two houses, the House of Assembly (Commons), and the Legislative Council (Lords). Even to the green and red interiors. The House of Assembly has a green carpet with a red line called a blood line around. It is traditionally meant to separate the government and the opposition and the width is two arms and two sword lengths apart! In the upper house the Queen has her own chair at the top and I got to sit in it. I've shared the throne! Saw a couple of interesting churches, one being a Scottish church which was familiarly laid out and really pretty. Adelaide is a lovely city, easy to get around with all free transport and very civilised. If you are in Oz at some point give it a go. Heading downwards tomorrow on the last leg of Australia. Feeling very nomadic these days, like this is my normal life but am sure will be brought back down to earth at some point. Hope all are well. Lots of love xx

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