Continent Hopping Day 5

30DBC+Aug+2020

30 day prompt.
From your morning stop at the outback outpost of Manguri, you’ll venture into the weird and wonderful opal mining township of Coober Pedy, where more than half of the residents live underground. Here, you’ll enjoy a day of discovery, and a gourmet lunch in the most unique of locations: underground. Dinner is served back on the train where you can enjoy a nightcap as your journey continues.

We’e going to get dirty today. But maybe we’ll score an opal. Let your imagination take you wherever.

https://journeybeyondrail.com.au/journeys/the-ghan-expedition/

https://www.gemsociety.org/article/opal-mining-coober-pedy/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrCpNlPggtA

My response is: The guide said humans love Opals but I’m sure someone will deny that point. It’s his lucky day, I do like opals but would I say love them not necessarily but I’m in too good of a mood to argue but I do hate generalizations like that.  Sandy, Blue, April, Neal and Willie all seem to be enjoying seeing the underground homes. Whiteman in a hole makes the literal name of  Coober Pedy to the next level as I keep looking around for the exits. I’m out of comfort zone. I can’t help but wonder when the last earthquake was. I used to have nightmares as a child so I’m out of my comfort zone.
Once we got outside again, I took deep inhales in spite of the intense heat. I can’t imagine working in these conditions but looking around me I’m amazed at how many men versus women lived there.
It’s a harsh reality knowing how much work is involved and the risk of finding nothing.

I don’t know about you but just the short time I actually tried mining was exhausting. I looked down at my clothes and wondered how much hot water would be available once we got back to the train. I’m not keen on cold showers either.

I’m getting hungry again. I should have ate more at breakfast than I did especially if we’re going to have kangaroo or emu on the menu again tonight.


BCoF prompt is about Opals


https://www.opalsdownunder.com.au/learn/famous-opals/

https://www.gemsociety.org/article/famous-opals/

https://www.gemsociety.org/article/opal-mining-coober-pedy/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkhY9fcp54k

Weave us a tale about an opal heist.

My response is: We were all watching Yowah Opal Cutting and Polishing with Uwe Barfuss when I noticed a group of men approaching on camels. I looked over at Willie. She nudged Sandy . We’re more street savvy than some of our blogging friends. I whispered to Uwe that men were approaching on camels. He reached under the table for his pistol and tucked into the front of his pants.
I thought of my children. and grandchildren. I don’t want this day to be my last especially because of an damn opal.
Uwe nodded his head to the opening in the mine. We scurried quickly inside while he continued polishing the nut opal. He looked so calm to me.
Willie leaned closer, “Do you think they’re going to rob him or worse kill him?”
” I hope not.” But I didn’t dare say outl oud what I was really thinking.
Neal suggested we all hold hands and pray for our safety.
But April had a better idea, she suggested we create some kind distraction to give Uwe time to disappear safely. We quickly gathered the contents of our purses. Thank goodness some of us like nail polish. We quickly painted a slew of small stones with the polish and then switched them with the real pieces in his box so it was to heavy to carry.
Uwe smiled as he saw us make the exhange.
Uwe offered each of us a handful of opals to tuck into purses so we could carry them to safety in case things got really bad.. He said, “I don’t want my life’s work in the hand of swindlers. I have children to feed.”
We could hear the men’s voices getting closer. Uwe showed us the tunnel to the underground city, he told us to stay to the left when we came to each tunnel divide. He nudged to go before it was too late.
We scurried as quickly as we could, hoping to find someone that could help Uwe before it was too late. We met some men when we arrived at the restaurant . We told them what was happening to Uwe. They quickly ran down the tunnel.
We waited and waited or paced is probably is a better description of us. Finally, the men returned with Uwe in toe. He had a few brusies on his face but overall looked well. We all let out sighs of relief because the alternative was terrifying.
We returned his opals to him and thanked for his interesting exhibit of stone polishing. We were happy to be alive. It could have gone down much worse. We said our goodbyes and returned to the Ghan train and the next part of our journey.

Sitting in the dining room on the train, we hear on the radio how a group of women pulled off the greatest opal heist. The owner of Uwe Barfuss had been found tied up and gagged in one of the abandoned mines. He was flown by the flying doctors to Adelaide for surgery to remove the bullet lodged in his chest.

Willie grabbed my arm, we’re going to jail aren’t we?

“Not on my watch, we’re going to Katherine first then Darwin. No one is going to suspect us if we stick together.”

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