The movie, not my van's dodgy electrics.
Everyone remember where we crashed
What I particularly liked about that movie was the way it was shot, the planet they crashed on was always shown in washed out colours. It made me think, the light from an Alien sun wouldn't be the same spectrum as ours, or pass through the same atmosphere. Great idea. I assumed they used some kind of filter like they do on Top Gear.
They didn't, Pitch Black was shot round here, the sky is light blue the whole landscape takes on that washed out look. Wired doesn't even begin to describe this place. The whole town looks more convincing than most Scifi sets will ever achieve. Most people live in old Opal mines underground. I slept in one last night. Very cool, very pleasant and practical.
Even the middle of town, and yes it is a real town, 1500km's since I last saw one I should know. Is riddled with mines, wrecks spoil heaps and random shafts.
The road into town is real desert scrub, see the Coober Pedy Gallery for pictures. The heat got to me I drove the last hundred km using the air con . Actually had it on for about 150km but its got "issues". As you aproach the desert gets lighter and more alien as the piles of white opal mine output dot the landscape. Trafic is light, you can sit in the middle of the road, or the middle of the railway.
I've actually booked a tour, the half day one got cancelled but the sunset tour is a goer. I could drive out their but after the trip down from Alice about 1500kms of driving I'm looking forward to a proper tour. Matt's kindly found someone who might be interested in me, I'm supposed to be doing a CV. I did actually do some work before going out to see the mining machine demo. Stuck my hand in a 6 cylinder diesel powered vacuum cleaner called a blower. How much fun can one man have? CV's can't compete. The little dog laughed to see such fun and nearly got sucked up too.
Now, even if I kick it right now, I'll have some pretty great things behind me. I had a little list I wrote at boarding school that I wanted to do. A bit teenage, no I won't tell you what they were. But they're all behind me. My bucket list would be relatively short. And for all you bucket list composers out there, heed this advice. The best things happen serendipitously, the journey's as important as the destination. You can go see Ayres Rock, book a flight, a tour and a hotel or you could buy a banger van in Darwin, live in the most fabulous place in Darwin, with excellent people. Yes its not as comfy as an actual hotel. Its a garage. Then drive, ok the fretting over whether your going to make it make it less pleasant than the plane, to the Uluru, and poke around your semi broken engine with the help of a Canadian Hitchhiker while you wait for the sunset.
A beer after a a hard morning's racing down Brighton Sailing Club tastes far better than a can of Stella from your fridge at home, likewise all the fabulous things I've had the pleasure to see, and many of them have been trully extraordinary, wouldn't have been the same without the background, the long sails in rough weather to get there, the people I met along he way.
I was just passing through Coober Pedy, Plan a was have a beer and a steak sarnie look around and head on. Instead this is quite the most amazing place I've ever been, certainly the weirdest. Add it to your bucket lists!
And when you start worrying, reach mid life crisis and start panickally to fullfil said lists, for gods sake don't rush it. Take your time, choose the alternative route to your destination, cos you'll miss the good stuff other wise.
No wonder they shoot scifi films here