Xav Judd got all deep when he visited http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2437918599.html[Coober Pedy]’s underground world. He also went fossicking, star gazing and talked about his testicles a bit

It was dim, dank and I was a hell of a lot deeper than six feet under.

But fortunately I wasn’t trapped alive inside a body bag or some equivalent claustrophobe’s nightmare.

Indeed, my subterranean locale, the Old Timers Mine in http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2437918599.html[Coober Pedy], had once been the stuff of dreams.

Since 1915, when teenager Willie Hutchinson first discovered opal in the region, thousands flocked to a town just about bigger than a gnat’s orifice, in search of fortune.

Located roughly halfway between http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2440450887.html[Adelaide] and http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2438435137.html[Alice Springs], along the Stuart Highway, to call this middle-of-nowhereville inhospitable would be an understatement.

Clambering off the Greyhound, 35°C (temperatures can soar above 50 in summer) meant I was sweating more than a sumo wrestler on a high wire and my nads had shrivelled up like peanuts. (Not that I had them out,
mind you.)

So, you must be wondering what in pity’s sake had made me want to come to this area?

Well for one, breathtaking scenery such as the earthy swirls of red,
brown and orange that make up the Breakaway Ranges.

Just a 30-minute 4WD out of Pedy, stumbling upon this ancient mass of enigmatic mess of hills and escarpments made me think I was in the backdrop of a sci-fi movie. Thus, it was no surprise to discover that Red Planet, Pitch Black and Mad Max III were all shot here.

Despite my love of this last flick, I resisted a long standing and rather peculiar fantasy of doing a camped-up drag Tina Turner. It was just as well, as being in all that outrageous clobber would have made my foolhardy attempt to hurdle another near-by attraction, the Dog Fence, almost impossible.

Did I make it? Of course not.

Standing at 5ft 9in and over 5,300km long, it was erected in 1885 to keep dingoes out of the comparatively fertile south-east chunk (where they’d mostly been wiped out) of the continent.

So there was no way that a random feral critter like me ever had any chance of getting over.

In order to console myself, following my feeble attempt at sporting prowess, I copped a sight of a couple of heavenly bodies. I’m not talking about tongue-wrestling with two voluptuous sheilas. I’m referring to the stars.

In this part of the Antipodes, gazing up at the assortment of celestial spheres and twinkling shapes that inhabit the evening horizon is pretty awesome.

I began to think that this was the “trip” John Lennon took when he wrote about “tangerine trees and marmalade skies”.