Gary is currently in Mississauga, ON (Sep 15th, 2014)
 

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Cya Coober Pedy

I’m off to Alice Springs tomorrow at 5:30am. The bus schedules out there are really odd.

I took a lot of photos and video the last few days and hope to be editing them over the next few days. Coober Pedy is a very unique place. I’m having a hard time trying to explain everything which is here, why it exists, and trying to capture the place.

Some fun facts which you’ll hear about in a future podcast:

  • 65% of the population here lives underground.
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome as filmed here, as was Percilla Queen of the Desert and several other movies with a post apocalyptic theme. If you are looking for desolate waste land, Coober Pedy is your place.
  • I got to go out with an opal miner for an afternoon. All the mines here are operated by individuals, each staking out their own claim. It is one of the last spots in the world where people mine like this.
  • My knowledge of opals comes from one day in a lab for my mineralogy class. All I knew before coming here was that opals are technically not a mineral as they are amorphous. Opals might now be my favorite gemstone. I am particularly fond of Boulder opals from Queensland. If I had a girlfriend, she’d have a ton jewelry now. Not only Australian opals, but Tahitian Black Pearls, and Hawaiian Olivine (my favorite mineral).
  • The people in Coober Pedy are some of the most interesting characters you’ll ever find. Legend has it that Crocodile Dundee was modeled after Crocodile Harry, a croc hunter from NT who moved to Coober Pedy. They filmed some of the Mad Max scenes at his house.

All I have left on my Australian schedule is Uluru (Ayers Rock). I can’t believe my planned two months in Australia turned into six. Especially consider how expensive it is here.

Many readers of this site have probably only been reading since I’ve been in Australia. I may be sounding like a broken record, but I’m a really looking forward to South East Asia.

  • 4 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Gary says:

    The photos are ready to upload, I just need some real bandwidth. It is painfully slow in Alice Springs.

    I also have a lot of video, I just need to put it all together.

  2. Carrie says:

    Despite the isolation and the heat, I still think Coober Pedy would be a great place to visit and it has been on my travel list ever since I read Bill Bryson’s account of his travels there. Will you be posting photos?

  3. Erik Smith says:

    Gary, I would be really interested in hearing what you proposed Southeast Asia intinerary is. I think that Cambodia, Laos, and Burma sound really interesting.

    I heard on another podcast that China was not granting any new tourist Visas until after the Olympics.

  4. you have visited more of Australia than I have, and I live over here! My parents when to Cooper Pedy when they were first married and told me how interesting it was there.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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