Sunday, July 27, 2008


We are now in Port Augusta preparing for the trip north through the middle of the country. Adelaide to Darwin is approx 3,000 km so we are stocking up with water, spare diesel, food supplies and extra dog biscuits in town today before we start.

We should hit Alice Springs and Uluru in August when the temperatures will be reasonable- any later and we will be contending with overwhelming heat.

Yesterday we passed through the mining district of Burra whose history is worth a mention:

In 1845 copper was discovered in the area, and the South Australia mining association, a group of Adelaide shopkeepers and merchants ( 'The Snobs') and the Princess Royal Mining Company, a group of capitalists and pastoralists ( 'The Nobs') vied for ownership of the copper-bearing land.

They drew lots and the Nobs took the southern half, which yielded very little, while the Snobs gained the northern half and went on to reap the rewards of one of the richest copper mines in the world.

Miners in large numbers were recruited from the UK, and it demonstrates the total lack of originality when it came to naming towns as Aberdeen, Hampton, Redruth, and Llywchwr were set up, each with their own pubs which still stand today.

After the mine closed the area became collectively known as Burra Burra- not an aboriginal name as one may be lead to think, but Hindustani for 'very great' and named by the Afghan cameleers who took up residence ( thanks presumably to earlier endeavours by Mr.Horrocks and Harry the camel with the deadly shot).

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