Monday, 9 November 2009

Coober Pedy;

Mining started in 1915. In 1920 the town was named from the Aboriginal word Kupa Piti;
white man's hole or water hole. ( for a better view please click to enlarge the pics.)

The mining areas look like anthills from a birds eye view.

The desert Cave Hotel where we stayed. some of the rooms are dugouts.

I had a dugout room, or cave room. No windows. It is pitch black. It was very comfortable and very quiet. The stone is soft and crumbly. In an emergency I probably could have dug my way out!

The town looks like a perpetual construction site.

Most people live in dugout houses. Summers are very hot more than 50 degree C and winter is cold. The cave houses keep an even temperature of about 23 degree C.

A pretty arrangement at the entrance of the church.

One of the many cave churches.

The cemetery for all religious nominations. The Christian graves face the desert and the Muslims face Mecca. There are about 45 Nations in Coober Pedy.

No this is not Egypt, this is a mining area.

They never lose their sense of humour.

The holes are very deep, it is dangerous, because there are so many and generally one can't see them. Our driver drove very close to them!

The stony desert;
Everybody wants one!

A splash of beauty. The aptly named Desert Pea.



ingrid said...

Hallo Titania,
dein Bild von der Höhlenkirche ist faszinierend, so karg und reduziert und gerade darin aussagekräftig.
Herzliche Grüße

sweet bay said...

I think to live there you'd have to have a sense of humor! The aerial view of the mining areas is amazing.

Nicole said...

When I was a small child I read an article on Coober Pedy in national geographic, and found the whole thing so interesting and exotic. I can still remember the pictures of the beautiful opals (my birthstone) and the the cave homes. This post brought back that long ago learning experience!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Titania, thank you for this very interesting post! I had no idea how this area looked and never seen dug houses. Amazing what people could do and where they could live.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Trudy, what an amazing place! To think that the temps could be at 23* inside... must be great! Have to agree about the sense of humour!! Thank you for this educational tour.

Janie said...

Fascinating that so many people live below ground, although I suppose it's practical from a temperature standpoint. I love the below ground church.
Interesting post. Watch out for the holes!

Titania said...

Ingrid, danke fuer deinen Kommentar.
Du hast recht, da kann man sicher nicht von Pomp sprechen. Sehr ansprechend in der Einfachheit.

Sweetbay, I think so too. I would say the turnover is big, but many stay. Our driver Guenther lives there since the sixties. This is one place great to see, but living there no! It is always dusty!

Nicole; the opals are beautiful and very expensive too. Like you say it is very exotic and fascinating.
My big love is the desert. It has a mighty call!

Tatyana, it is amazing; In the evening we went to a Greek restaurant, the owners have lived there for a very long time. There are lots of shops! I can not remember how many people live there permanently mostly in dug outs.

Thank you Kanak, it is a very raw looking town. Very interesting so.

Gail - Fort Rock Glimpses said...

Wow! Modern day Cave Dwellers. Sounds like they are making good sense using the insulating properties of dugout caves. I love it. The stone is actually pretty cool looking. Loved the picture of the cave church.

Laura in Paris said...

I have always been fascinated by maps ... how men made maps without seeing the earth from the sky - as you show in the first shot. I also love the flower, so red amidst such rough brown nature!

Prospero said...

What an extreme environment! I love the church shots. No wonder I could never get my Desert Pea to flower in my even climate.

Titania said...

Janie, yes there are so many and one can barely see them, warning signs are everywhere.

Gail, everything was very interesting.

Laura, perhaps they stood on a mountain and looked down, would be very difficult in the desert! The desert pea in the pot was standing in front of a cave book store. Even in the desert I can't go past a bookstore without
browsing the books.

Prospero, yes that it is.

MedaM said...

This is really great post and impressive. How interesting a dugout room is. You surely are not a claustrophobic person if you were feeling comfortable in it.:-) The cave church is also very impressive to me. And their humor really made me smile. Wonderful post indeed! Thanks for sharing such an interesting experience with us.

Stephanie said...

Hi Tatania, I laughed when you said you need to dug your way out from that room he he... but it must have been quite an experience. Not just this hotel but the whole place. That cave church is so interesting. I wonder how was the sound. Lots of echos?

Patrick Gracewood said...

What a interesting place. -all the more since it's now cold and wet here for the next four months. Hope you got to look for opals yourself!

Tui Cook said...

you know...I always wanted to live in a old mine..And btw thank you for your comments about my art and photography. I have no camera at the moment so no new pics have been added for a while but check back after christmas cause I am HOPING to get a camera for christmas.

Siru said...

You have nice pictures,I like them.

Sunita said...

Trudi, that cave church is amazing! I love that photo. I guess it makes sense to live in caves with that kind of temperature outside. Phew!
And the resident' sense of humour had me giggling. That 'keep off grass' sign really cracked me up :D

Kerri said...

What an amazing place, Trudi! That underground hotel room is beautiful. Quite a surprise to find in such a raw town.
That constant 23º would be much appreciated in those extremes.
That's one huge opal!
One wouldn't want to overindulge at the local pub and then go for a stroll among those holes!
I was in an opal mine once in Lightning Ridge. They are deep. My uncle was an opal miner.
Very interesting photos of a fascinating place, Trudi. Thanks for sharing.