I sew a bit and cook a bit but not enough to fill a blog and anyhow that's not what this blog is meant to be.
My life recently has been filled with looking after elderly parents ( 3 over 90 ) and it's all a bit humdrum so today's post is about a place in Australia which I think is interesting and quite unique.
We visited it about 20 years ago during the Winter school holidays when we had an outback camping holiday with friends. Temperatures during Summer can be over 50 degrees C so it is virtually off limits then.
Some of the photos are mine ( scanned from old fashioned holiday snaps ) and some I've taken from the internet ( I'll mark these with *)
These beautiful stones are opals ... and they come from a place in Central Australia called Coober Pedy.
Coober Pedy is an opal mining town about 850 kilometres (ten hours' drive) north of Adelaide in South Australia.
It's a tiny outpost surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of red desert, sandstone rock formations and massive cattle stations. Aboriginal people called this place Kupa Piti which means White Man in a Hole and which sort of sums the place up !
In fact you might wonder that a town with around three thousand inhabitants has so few houses.
Look closely, though, and you'll see chimneys sticking up from what looks like piles of red earth. These are ventilation shafts to deliver fresh air to the rooms deep underground.
Coober Pedy has evolved in to one of the most unique places in Australia and perhaps the world. It is a cosmopolitan town with a population of around 3,500 and over 45 different nationalities.
The relaxed and friendly lifestyle of the town has made it a breeding ground for cultural tolerance, diversity and acceptance.
Coober Pedy is probably best known for its unique style of underground living. There is a range of underground accommodation (as well as a small amount above ground if you prefer).
The above photo is a hallway in a five star under ground hotel .
Then, for the hardy, there is this backpacker accommodation.
It's called Bedrock (shades of Fred Flintstone !)
The day we arrived the temperature outside was a searing 40 degrees C but when we walked through the glass sliding doors into this underground facility it was a very pleasant 18 degrees C.
Look comfy to you ?
Backpackers have to be a hardy lot.
four to a room, somewhere to hang your towels and a mattress when you pay !!!
Of course if you really want to spend the night in your own tent you can put it up in here where it is cool!
The next day the temperature plunged as it does in the desert and we were back to wearing jumpers but inside Bedrock it was a constant 18 degrees C.
There are authentic underground homes to explore
Inside this home is very comfortable
with all the conveniences needed to accommodate a family !
( He's only posing for a photo, I promise !!!)
Of course, when you are "building" your home you take out a Miner's Permit and you may come upon this
or this in your walls and then your fortune is made !!!
Sally and Hayley making themselves at home!!!
and outside in the "garden" my friend and
I waited for our families under a rare, shady tree.
(The rooms at the front of the house are the bathrooms and toilets to save moving all the plumbing through the other rooms as the "house" goes straight back into the hill. )
( Told you it was 20+ years ago !!)
Around the town there are also underground museums, opal shops, art galleries, underground churches and, of course, opal mines.......
where you have to wear the required safety helmet.
What all well dressed miners wear !!
A visit to unique Coober Pedy is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Many of my fellow Australians have never been there.
I'm so glad I had the chance to see it.