Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Coober Pedy

Yep, we’re still in Coober Pedy. We swapped out motors and did a mech check in the morning. During the motor swap, a bunch of team members were just idling so we went and played on the playground at the campervan park.

motor swaps and mech checks
motor swaps and mech checks
IMG_9072
a panorama of orange vest playground — note that there are two Saras on the swings and Kelsey has no legs
the seesaw was surprisingly fun
the seesaw was surprisingly fun
Hayden doing pull-ups on the monkey bars
Hayden doing pull-ups on the monkey bars #swoll

Once the car was ready to go, we headed out from Coober Pedy for another long day of speed runs.

the truck on a pole and the solar car
the truck on a pole and the solar car
Anna T driving and Emily rodeo clowning
Anna T driving and Emily rodeo clowning

Anna T had a nice, long shift through the afternoon. We had our first flat tire! Good thing we did wheel swap practice.

DSC_0969
pulled over on the Stuart Highway
some quick roadside repairs
some quick roadside repairs

While waiting for the chase vehicle to pack up, Hayden and I hung our heads out the windows of the lead vehicle and snapped some photos.

taking pictures of the convoy while we wait
taking pictures of the convoy while we wait

Back on the road!

"chase to solar car, now entering an 'animals on the road' zone"
“chase to solar car, now entering an ‘animals on the road’ zone”
"scout, you are clear to pass"
“scout, you are clear to pass”

We did an end of day mech check at the truck on a pole, and to see some hard-to-reach bolts, I had to do some clambering upside down in the driver compartment.

"Rachel, that's not how you drive..."
“Rachel, that’s not how you drive…”
rab is trap
rab is trap
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lone man running to nowhere
Hayden stretching against the truck on a pole
Hayden stretching against the truck on a pole

After a long day we headed back to our campervan park for an evening off. The next morning, Hayden and I went for a run down the Stuart Highway. I brought my Polaroid along. If we went south, the Next Thing was Port Augusta. If we went north, the Next Thing was Alice Springs in the Northern Territory! Running south, there was utter nothingness in the distance. I realized that if we just kept running, eventually we could actually reach the point of no return. Instead we turned around and had a nice 30 minute jog, ending up at the truck on a pole at the end.

next to the famous Danger sign
next to the famous Danger sign

After our run, we checked into our underground backpackers hostel (all the beds were covered in small rocks), which was really unique and smelled just like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Everyone headed out for a nice day off.

wearing his tourist hard hat in the tourist mine
wearing his tourist hard hat in the tourist mine

There are about 4 restaurants in Coober Pedy — two are cafes within gas station mini marts, one was closed because “the chef is on holiday,” and the last was a pizza joint. Hayden and I ate lunch at the lattermost and then went to do the self-guided mine tour. It was indeed a tourist trap, but there really wasn’t anything else to do around Coober Pedy and it was still a hell of a lot better than sitting around being eaten by the flies in Glendambo.

the famous rocket of Coober Pedy... or something
the famous rocket of Coober Pedy… or something
cool stuff outside the mine
cool stuff outside the mine
a kangaroo eating wasabi peas from Hayden's hand
a kangaroo eating wasabi peas from Hayden’s hand

Later on, we went to Tourist Trap #2 of Coober Pedy: the kangaroo feeding. A random art gallery in Coober Pedy also rescues baby kangaroos and other Australian wildlife and then accepts donations to continue their work. The kangaroos came out to eat the food, going BOING BOING BOING out from their homes. I was excited to see my first live kangaroo.

After feeding the big kangaroos, the head kangaroo dude brought out a baby they’d just recently rescued. The baby wasn’t really that cute and I much preferred the big ones.

waiting for snacks
waiting for snacks
scrawny baby kangaroo
scrawny baby kangaroo

IMG_1712IMG_1720Next day, we were back on the road again for more test driving. I passed out in the lead vehicle for two hours until my afternoon shift. After my shift, a bunch of huge semis hauling tanks rolled in to our truck on a pole stop. The driver and military dude were both really nice and let us just casually hang around and inspect the tanks.

IMG_1748

More Coober Pedy to come, because we’re still here!

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