Now that we have our morning pack up routine running as smooth as a fine clock, we were on the road by 9am. The girls in the back and the tunes pumping. The days destination was Cooper Pedy, a mere 250 off kilometre drive. The drive was fairly uneventful, however the surroundings on this drive went from bare dry dusty vistas to one that contained ants nest type of diggings.
We arrived at Cooper Pedy by lunch and topped up our fuel at the servo. To our surprise, we received a discount on the fuel purely because we were travellers. Having not spoken to anyone, we decided to set up at the free camp on the outskirts of town due to all of the paid sites that we checked being full. We weren’t concerned, as there was definitely no need for power for heating etc due to the temp reaching over 30 degrees Celsius. We set up and headed back into town to check out the sights. I guess it wasn’t a surprise that we visited the vast number of Opal stores in town, after all the Opal is what put Cooper Pedy on the map. Many of the shops and residential premises in town and the surrounding district are underground. One such place is the Catholic Church which was open for visitors.
Cooper Pedy Catholic Church.
Cooper Pedy is a bit of a quirky town, one of the opal shops had is own home made ‘Space relic’ akin to the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. As we only had a one night stop, we stocked up on some supplies and headed back to camp.
Space junk at an opal shop?
Upon our arrival back at camp we were greeted by European back packers in Toyota Hiace type vans we affectionately called ‘Whiz Bangers’, after the sound their sliding doors make when being opened and closed over and over and over and over again… The ‘Whiz Bangers’ had set up within about 10 metres of our camp. Ordinarily, this would be a bit on an invasion of our personal space given that when we set up on a mere 3 hours or so ago, there was no one nearby, nor was there now, except for the ‘Whiz Bangers’ of course. The only saving grace was that they were awesome vocal musicians which helped us drift off to sleep.
Again, come 9am the following morning, we were ready and on the road. Now came the terrible task of emptying the camping toilet that the girls so love to use. The terrible part of this ordeal was the awful mess created by other travellers that don’t seem to have their aim right when emptying their waste……… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
Anyhow, needless to say, after that we were on our way. The destination being somewhere near the South Australian and Norther Territory Border. The days drive was an easy one. Appointment’s came to Phill at lunch when we had lunch at the Marla Roadhouse. It was his realisation of the missed adventure that would have been the Oodnandatta track which travels along the path to the now disused ‘Old Ghan’ railway line. Due to rain and wet roads, we decided against travelling on it. However, it is a trip we will be making the pilgrimage to tackle in the future.
With lunch done and dusted, we hit the road and arrived at the South Australian an Northern Territory Border. We again set up and even managed to make a little fire to relax around. The following morning, we were on the road by that amazing hour of 9am on our way to Uluru.
SA NT border.
Again the drive was one of outback arid surroundings. We stopped for lunch at the Erldunda roadhouse were we shown the girls the Emus they had there. If you’re interested, look up what sound they make. It blew Phil’s mind. Listen here: https://youtu.be/Lkg7_6iaPdY. Anyhow, after lunch, off we went to the resort township at Uluru, Yulara.
To our surprise, we had to wait to enter the campground. There were at least 20 vehicles ahead of us!. Turns out it was School Holidays and the place was packed… We eventually got through and had to set up in the dusty ‘Overflow’ campground out the back. It wasn’t bad, however to use the amenities one would have to walk about 200 metres there and back. This slight inconvenience was all worth it.
Our fist shot of Uluru!
Although we had been to Uluru not long after first getting together back in 2010, Uluru in it amazing beauty did not disappoint. More on that next time. Also out comes a secret we managed to keep…