I'm noodling for riches in the wastelands of Coober Pedy, our first stop in South Australia.
The entire town is Opal Obsessed. Everywhere you go it’s opal this, opal that.... for a crazy looking shiny rock the town has gone mental.
In my complete and utter ignorance I always thought opals were opaque whitish with crazy speckles of every colour imaginable. Turns out there are tons of colours and every piece is different. I saw brilliant blue ones and rich purple with unbelievable colours sparkling inside. WOW!!!!!!
We went to the Old timers mine to check it out, and I can't believe I didn't take photos of some of the funky veins of opals still left in the wall. They never removed them showing how it really is. The mine has someones underground house displayed as well. Most people crazy enough to live in this town today have there houses built in the side of a hill so it keeps cooler during the insane heat of the day.
The town reminds me a bit of Niagara Falls since it's so touristy and so much kitschy stuff everywhere. Not much else here but dirt and opals.
We tried our luck at the free noodling area in town. Noodling is when you dig with no equipment and you can still find some things. Apparently the best place to do noodling is where the large machines have been and carelessly leave a bunch of opals in the soil. The problem with that is you need to ask permission, and know who to actually ask. This area is one of the major Opal areas of the world, but it's still just the luck of the draw weather you find something or not. We heard tales of men who spent their lives digging and never finding much at all. Only to die and have the next person dig one foot away from the original tunnel to find massive opal formation.
Chris and I were lucky that the mornings have been overcast and considerably cool compared to the usual punishing heat. We noodled away and found some pretty little opals. Nothing too crazy or worth much, but definitely pretty. We also found some shells that had fossilized into opals over the period of about 4 million years. Although we were told they were not worth anything I thought they were cool.
So we didn't strike it rich in Coober Pedy, but we did have some fun :).
Now we are off to Adelaide.............
Talk to you soon