Journal Entry : Part One
26/11 – “The alarm went off at 8am sharp, but with us being underground it still felt like night time! Thankfully though, as we walked down the long room that was our bunkhouse, we could see that the sun was gloriously shining!! YAY!! After grabbing our breakfast, we all had a much needed shower and soon we were ready to start our next day!
First thing on the agenda today was Umoona Opal Mine. Here we watched a video that showed us the history of how the Opal was discovered, and how many locals own pieces of land around the village, meaning they are able to dig on their patch of land for a small fee. As long as they work at least 20 hours a week, they can keep this patch of land. However, our guide then went on the tell us how the whole opal mining business is a game of luck. You could be digging for years on your patch, and not find anything, yet someone can buy a piece of land right by you and find shit loads of opal! You really need luck on your side! Then, there’s the question of where to stop?! You could think you can stop digging now… but what if there was opal just that little bit further?! You’d go nuts!!!
We then got to have a look around the opal mine shop where they had loads of beautiful jewels and set jewelry on display. Myself and Linda decided to treat ourselves, and bought a ring. I bought a gorgeous white opal ring with tones of red and blue… love it!!
Our next destination of the day was Josephine’s Gallery. It displayed some amazing Aboriginal art. But the best part of the gallery was actually what the owners did in their spare time. Terry and Jo care for baby roo’s!!
The joeys they look after are usually abandoned babies left behind from their mothers who may have been killed, or knocked down by cars etc. so Jo and Terry take the joeys into their home and care for them as if they were their own children. After a certain age, the kangaroos are now old enough to care for themselves, are released back into the wild. How amazing. They were such a lovely couple and what they did really touched me. I had to give a wee donation for all their hard work :).
We were then given an hour of free time to go and explore more of Coober Pedy, before we headed off for the next leg of our journey later this afternoon. So myself and Linda, with Sarah in tow went to do some ‘noodling’! This is where you can dig for your own opal in the rubble that’s been left behind from others, and its free!!). What an odd name though! We found a few pieces that are worthless, but after a wee clean I reckon they can look pretty!!…”