I woke up early this morning to cars and bikes leaving. I lay there contemplating all the traffic so early and then it hit me. Sunrise viewing.! I lay there some more. More cars leave. It’s only sunrise after all and I did see the sunset over the rock last night. I do need to get on the road early as I’ve got more miles to do. I lay there some more.
What am I thinking! I quickly jump up throw on a pair of jeans, a jumper and runners and make the 30 km dash to the sunrise viewing platform. When I get to the park entry I then realise that I left my national park entry ticket in the tent. Luckily she waves me in.
Sorry no photos at this stage as I left my phone in the tent as well.
Once I am back and packed up I make my way back to the Stuart Highway and head south to South Australia.
About an hour after the second fuel stop for the day the weeks riding really started to catch up with me so I found a nice tree and had a nap.
There is an awful lot of grids on the Stuart highway with lots of wandering cattle signs. What is actually happening is that the highway passes through cattle stations. After each grid, where this is the case, there is a sign telling you what station you are now on.
In my planning I noticed something close to Coober Pedy called the breakaways. When I saw the sign I had to go the 11km to see what it was. The road was gravel that seemed to go on for ever and I hoped it was worth the effort as I was fast running out of daylight and fuel.
There was a big information board there that I didn’t read that explained the cultural significance The Breakaways were to the local aboriginal people.
It was a very beautiful place.
By the time I was returning to the highway the sun had started to set.
When approaching Coober Pedy the first thing you notice is that the landscape is filled with white mounds. I was speaking to a local over dinner and he said that this is the sandstone that has been dug out of the shafts put down to the layer that contains the opals. From there they dig out. This used to be all done by hand, now these bores can be done by machine.
Coober Pedy looks like a fascinating place. I’d like to come back and have a better look around.
Tonight I pitched my tent about 15km out of town a nice location but a bit hard to find a decent location to put a tent on.
Day 9 – 826km
Total – 6,326km