Coober Pedy is strange. First of, sleeping underground here has it's mayor pros. You save a lot of energy on air conditioning, then again have to make up for that with ventilation. You have no clue what time it is down there, due to not seeing the sun or any other object for reference. Due to that I woke up at 9.30 o'clock, well rested and not sweating in the heat up on the surface. After some breakfast I got all my photos of the Oodnadatta Track sorted, updated the blog and rendered one time lapse I had made on the way. Finishing that I had a chat with a local doing some electrics in the caves and due to there being tons of opals all over the place he confirmed that we might be standing right next to half a million dollars or something along that line. Could be just rocks, too. He had been digging for a few years, but not amassed a huge fortune.
Then I went around exploring the town. Lots of aboriginal people walking around the place, but I was told that that is more normal here in the Outback than on the coast. I ended up in the Old Timers Mine, a museum of how opal mining used to be. I had a very interesting chat with the owner and we had a very in depth talk of how opals are made, where they find them, how they were mined, etc. She told of some people who have mined out here for twenty years and never found a thing and then you have someone who just wanted to add on a pantry to their house and found loads of the stuff. Apparently one guy ended up digging 21 extra rooms because he was so lucky to find a hotspot of opals and found a vein of them in every room. The most expensive opal they had in the shop of the museum was priced at 28.000$.
After that I went to a scenic outlook over the town and then back to the backpackers hostel to do some computer work and lunch. Back there I met two guys from Germany (they seem to be everywhere here) who are biking from Port Augusta to Darwin on a tandem lay-down bike. If the wind so permits they also have a kite to pull them. They are documenting their journey carefully and want to maybe get in to the EFT (European Film Tour) with their film they are going to make. If I met them on the way again, I might do a short film for them, so both are in the scene biking and not always just one. Till now they have had problems with the kite thought, as the wind has always been coming the wrong way (Headwind for bikers. Nasty thing, that). Shortly after a massive storm pulled over Coober in the evening, even the owner was out with his phone taking pictures and commenting on how rare rain is out here. He talked about how the miners will not be happy about it, as it will possibly flood some mines, but we have not to worry, he fixed up all the holes in the dorms years ago (I would hope). After witnessing the storm and saying a “see you later” to Julius and Andi I went of to bed to catch some sleep for the drive the next day.
Julius and Andi have got a website at “www.outbackcrosskiter.de”.