October 20, 2005

South Australia

The rain is definitely following me, but it has been an unusually large amount of rain that has brought about some not so ordinary circumstances in the middle of this hot, dry desert that I have only seen as cold and wet. South Australia is the driest area in the world, but not these days! The high Todd River running past our hostel is usually a dry river bed. Some said they haven't seen this much water for years. We had a delay in our trip when there was a slight obstacle in the road... a 3 foot high river! Our driver swore he had never seen anything like this and was hesitant to cross in case water got inside the engine and killed our bus. Then we'd be another of those gutted, dead cars on the side of the road! Everyone who had to stop got out to take photos of all the trucks passing through. After enough had survived, we crossed with a tarp across the front and made it safely, yay!

It was a 2 day, 1500km drive from Alice Springs, down a long, straight road to Adelaide. The landscape seemed to change every couple of hours, starting with the rugged mountains to flat areas of grass clumps in red sand. Suddenly there were green bushes, which then turned into a forest of trees and then back to absolutely nothing for miles. Past a shimery white salt lake where the light blue water matched the sky exactly. Soft rolling hills with divided farmland into squares of golden yellows, lime greens and deep green bushes lining the borders.

Our Stop for the night was in Coober Pedy, the Opal capital in the world where half the population lives in dugouts cut out of the side of the hills. This area gets so hot during the day and so cold during the night, these hideaways are perfect for protection against the harsh weather. Surrounding us where small mounds with pointed peaks... all dirt that had been dug out searching for the precious stones. Opal had been created from the sands beneath the sea. The layers had compressed back into stone which I thought was unusual. I had always thought of stone only turning into sand, thinking eventually there would be no rock. P

No comments:

Post a Comment