Day 12: Coober Pedy to Port Augusta

Arrived just on sunset at Port Augusta, after 597km today.The morning plan at Coober Pedy had been to head north to look at the rock formation called 'the breakaways'. About 10k after finding out via google maps it was actually 30k north, including 8k dirt I bailed out, U-turned and headed south again. I did some laps of the town, found the highest spot and generally absorbed the place. In summary, Coober Pedy is unique, a mix of opal retailers, tourism and associated hotels & backpackers and lots (and lots) of miner's junked machinery.

Kevin the local bush mechanic stopped me for a chat about his sv650 (same engine as vstrom). I had not allowed for the number of people who seem to want to chat to a solo motorcyclist. They fall into three categories: 1. Ex motorcyclist, now married with kids. 2. Current motorcyclists (either grey nomad or on tour with family) 3. Would love to be doing what I am doing!

Next stop was Glendambo, population 30. The ride down was scenic, with the vegetation slowly increasing. The cross winds were very strong, so bike leaning one way and body the other. It changed direction further south, to be a little more comfortable

Took a detour into the previously restricted rocket town of Woomera (unfortunately aka detention centre 1999-2002). Every school age kid in the 60's learnt that australia was in the space race. We were the 4th nation to launch it's own satellite, so the museum was very interesting to me. Due American military presence they built a bowling alley and swimming pool.

Camping at Port Augusta tonight, on the least grassed site yet. PA is a metropolis compared to everywhere else. I'm tired from the long day on the bike and should sleep well with the full sized pillow I purchased for $5 at woolworths!