....ohh and pencils and paper

Saturday, July 7, 2012

No Fortunes Made Today

We did a little exploring here today. One of the places we were told to visit by some friends we met on the road was the Serbian Underground Church. I so wanted to see it that I gave myself a good talking too and decided if I had a little 'freaky' I would just leave.
We entered through the door on the right and I thought this is ok looks like its on ground level....nope, we opened the door and down we went....into the bowels of the earth.
The icons straight ahead where carved from the walls.
The inside of the church was so quiet and peaceful with stained glass at the alter and the windows up on the alcove. I just love the way they have cut out the scalloped ceiling and the icons above the alter. We entered from the door on the right and as we left we had to turn all the lights out as we went.....eerie!
I was by now feeling quite ok about this underground caper so we decided to go on a little tour at a place called "Faye's Underground Historic Home" It began as a garage for the first Mail truck to Coober Pedy in the area that is now the kitchen. A lady called Faye Nayler took it over and dug the dining room where I am standing out with a pick and shovel by hand in the 1960's. 2 of her friends helped dig the dugout as well.
I was going great guns even going down into the lounge area where Gary slipped behind the bar. There is a fireplace which has never been lit as the temperature remains about 20 - 25 degrees c. The lovely thing about the fireplace was the beautiful surround of jasper stone from the Breakaways region. This stone is tumbled and polished and used in jewelry.
It appears if you wanted a cupboard or wine cellar you just dug one. If the furniture didn't fit you just dug around it until it did fit. The main bedroom was down a bit further in the earth which I declined to go down into especially when the air shaft was pointed out to us and I saw how far down we were.This is the original stove in the kitchen area. In the kitchen they have matchsticks poked into the ceiling as a regular check that the earth is still stable. If the match sticks fall out something is amiss. They have remained in place so far for the last 18years.....phew!
Would you believe with all the lack of mobile coverage both our phones with different providers worked....underground. I ask you?????? This was a wonderful way to spend some time and so very interesting. The new owners who share their home are just lovely. Apparently Faye is retired now in Brisbane and is 79 years of age. She was a remarkable woman and quite a pioneer in  Coober Pedy in those days.
The thing that did not impress me and I know it is part of life but it is the commercialism of the place. Everyone is out to make a dollar from you and a lot of the time there is not much value for money which I think detracts you from finding the real essence of the place which is a shame (my opinion only of course). I will have to wait until I win lotto before I buy my preferred piece of opal which retailed at just under $28,000. Gary couldn't be convinced to sell the Commodore to buy me an early Birthday present and being the cheap skate he is made me go and try to fossick (called noodling) for my own. Must be the old potter coming out in me as I quite enjoyed digging around in the dirt.
I did find a small piece not a patch on it's mate in the shop though and it certainly won't make me a fortune but it was exciting to find it and is a nice little keepsake. Gary got in on the action too. He found a couple of pieces but not as nice as the piece I found. We came home absolutely filthy and so dusty.
Gary went off and did "the Old Timers Mine & Museum" tour (very apt) and there are no pictures because he left the camera behind....he thought it was brilliant. I meanwhile curled up on the bunk with my Yoga magazine  very nice and peaceful.
That's it for Coober Pedy and we are continuing south towards Port Augusta tomorrow and I am hankering for some nicer scenery.....some blades of grass at least.
Take care one & all and thanks for all your lovely comments regarding my new little projects in Homespun.
Blessings Michelle xxx


  1. You will always have lots of great memories of your visit to Coober Pedy. Thanks for sharing your photos and story. Sorry you did not find a big opal.

  2. Just catching up on your last two posts. You are certainly covering some territory. Sorry you did not find an opal. Keep those photos coming, I am so enjoying them. Hugs....

  3. Good to see you enjoying Coober Pedy. It really is a fascinating town.

  4. how fasinating is this place,especially the church,thankyou so much Michelle for this tour,i enjoyed it very much,take care.xx

  5. brave you conquering your fears.... enjoy the next section...

  6. Too bad you didnt find a huge piece of opal Michelle. But something is better than nothing!

    Coober Pedy is an amazing place. Hard living , hot , dusty but fascinating.

  7. That was mean of Gary not to buy you a special opal! LOL Thanks for showing us Faye's house. We didn't get there (doing too many other things). Enjoy your next bit of greenery. Don't you just miss seeing grass and trees!

  8. Hello Michelle,

    Wow, that was certainly interesting. The stonemasons certainly knew there job.

    Happy days.

  9. Fascinating seeing the underground church and house. G;ad that you found just a bit of opal as a souvenir.
    Well done on fighting the fear.

  10. How amazing to visit the places underground, looks fascinating. I always think that local tourists should get a cheaper rate!! Your two Homespun projects look gorgeous.

  11. Boy have enjoyed catching up on your posts, seemed I missed so many. Loving all the pics.
    You were brave going underground. I am a bit claustrophobic so don't think I would have made it there.

  12. I love "Fay's house", incredible..


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