We are on the road again bright and early heading south toward Coober Pedy.
Kerrie has had a good, sound nights sleep and is feeling normal again. The red road is snaking through the seemingly endless miles of red landscape ever onward south. The roadhouse at Marla is our first stop of the day for fuel and a snack before on toward Coober Pedy.
We make Coober Pedy about early afternoon and empty the toilet at the dump spot and get a little water. The water is 20c for 15 litres and in our view is good value in a town where it’s so scarce.
We drive back north 20km to the magnificent breakaways where we would fulfil a promise to ourselves to come back here one day with the van. We just didn’t think it would be so soon.
We parked at the top of the Breakaways overlooking the timeless land beneath. The sun was due to set soon and shadows were starting to stretch across the many hills. The immense plains stretching hundreds of kilometres east to Oodnadatta took our breath away as they had done last time we were here.
The hills stood as silent sentinels over the soundless plain oblivious to time, season or weather. These majestic hills are mostly flat topped and all the same height. If you could spread a giant spirit level over them you’d find very little variation.
What caused this phenomenon?
I’m sure you could get 100 geologists to put forward a theory and there would be 100 different conclusions. Probably none would be correct.
The consensus of opinion is that they once lay at the bottom of a giant inland sea that covered 2/3 of Australia. If this is so what caused that sea to subside?
Did the land rise as is the opinion of some?
If so what caused it and did it rise as one uniform plate millions of square kilometres in area?
Or, did the water evaporate as per other opinions? Who knows? The only known fact is that fossils of marine creatures are prolific in the area.
What of the vast oil, gas and coal fields that lie beneath the surface, evidence of an earth with many hundreds of times more vegetation and living things on it than now?
Again, the only common conclusion is that whatever happened to bury such vast amounts of living matter so quickly and make the inconceivable volumes of water disappear completely must have been cataclysmic in the extreme.
These are the thoughts that provoke us as we sit in awe staring at the impossibly beautiful sunset in the almost perfect silence high atop the ancient Breakaways 20km north of Coober Pedy.