Monday, August 9, 2010
Kupa Piti, Aussie Opals, and Grass-less Golfing Greens
Ok, I know I have written 2 days in a row already (this will be 3), but I am getting so freakin' excited about everything. The more I research, the more exhilarated I am. I was doing a little research on Coober Pedy today. The name of the town is actually derived from the Aboriginal "kupa piti," which means "white man in a hole," which I don't know if this comes from them mining or the fact that they build the buildings into the sides of rock or underground, maybe both. Coober Pedy is known as being the opal capital of the world. I've already decided I want an opal necklace with the opal in the shape of the continent of Australia. Do I know they make necklaces like this? No, but doesn't it seem like they should? I'm already picturing what I am going to be buying for myself and for other people (currently accepting postal donations!)
There is actually a golf course in this town (note the picture, at least they have sense of humor about it!), which I would imagine is like no other golf course in the world.
And this area of Australia was also famous for being the location of the Mad Max films, as well as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (one to be adding to the Netflix list if you haven't seen it, trust me. And yes, that is Guy Pierce and the agent guy from the Matrix that always calls Neo "Mr. Anderson." Didn't you always dream of seeing him in drag?). I mean, this place is empty as far as the climate, vegetation, and sheer number of people, but at the same time, it seems this void is filled with a sense of wackiness. I am so excited it's on my list of cities.
I had sent an email a few months back to inquire about the rates and availability for October. I received a very polite email response from someone named Mike. Anyway, fast forward to today. While researching hotels in Coober Pedy, I came across the TripAdvisor website, which always reviews the top hotels for each city (and was very important in the selection of my parents' hotel for their 25th wedding anniversary) and guess which hotel was number 1? My Underground motel. And every single review was not only positive, but glowing. And people were talking about how amiable Mike was, that he offered free lifts to and from the airport and bus terminal and around town, and advice on what to do and where to eat. I was so excited to hear my instincts had been so dead-on. I cannot wait to get out to the outback, to Mike and the opal and the grass-less greens and the underground hotels. Gah, what an amazing, crazy town.