Tag Archives: Featured

WINTER in the south…brrrrr

Well, winter has hit with a vengeance! Normally we’d be sunning ourselves in a warm climate now, but not this year 😦 

Making the most of time here though. Enjoyed watching the changing of the seasons around the district. The colours of the trees were beautiful and the crisp clean air in the mornings make up for the cold wet soggy days.

Due to restrictions not a lot of wandering the area or eating out, but I’ve put a couple of pics up of my one day out recently. Clare has a new mural in a side street near the Council Chambers, and it’s a beauty.

We’ve had a couple of frosts, which has killed off some of my plantings, but most usually recover. Hubby not so happy about winter; wakes up in the dark and gets home from work in the dark!

With restrictions easing up a bit now, I should be able to post more interesting blogs soon. Can’t wait to visit a few more wineries in the beautiful Clare Valley!

Self Isolating on Da Block!

Well the ‘C’ virus has changed our lives dramatically; made us think twice about where we go outside our home, what we touch, who’s touched it before us, how will I stay safe? A lot of businesses are thinking outside the box finding ways to keep afloat. Will our lives be better for this?

I think so. Once we ALL understand the importance of #slowthespread and find alternate ways of communicating or earning a living, life will go on. Easter will be easy for us. We always tried to get off the road and ‘hibernate’ somewhere!

I have to give a local business a blatant plug! I placed my first order with The Corner Patch in Clare for fruit & veg. I was pleasantly happy with the selection and quality. The local pubs and most cafes/restaurants are ensuring they offer takeaways and the wineries are using a central Cellar Door in Clare as a distribution point for wine sales. All in all life is bubbling along….

As for Da Block, MacArthur the Ram has moved on to other pastures…literally!! Hopefully he has done his ‘job’ here with the ewes and baby lambies will be running around in the future!!

Crazy times for all of us :(

Well, this time a couple of weeks ago we probably all thought this ‘C’ virus would blow over. Sadly not. Now life will change and we need to change with it.

Yet life on Da Block is the same. Luckily we live on acreage so ‘personal space’ is not a problem.  Jeda and I keep things rolling along with small projects, gardening & too many ideas in my head!

Before the Cafes & Restaurants were forced to close we took friends to The Olive Bus just out of Clare.  It is casual, open, scenic and wonderful. As per the photos, the kitchen & front counter are inside the bus with more open sitting areas outside under cover. On weekends they serve pizzas and they are scrummy! They can be accompanied with a Clare Valley wine which makes it superb! Double thumbs up!!

I have a couple of furniture projects to get into. Bought an old TV cabinet (and aren’t there heaps of them now TV’s are so thin!?) from the Clare Lions Second Hand Furniture Shop to make into our own Café/Wine Bar!! I’ll keep ya posted on that…and hubby found a round wine barrel with bottle shelves at a garage sale, after a good clean up it should look great.

So to those reading this blog keep safe; stay isolated; be happy; life does go on. 🙂

Beginnings of Autumn on Da Block!

Just a few pics of what’s been happening on Da Block here in the Clare Valley! Temperatures aren’t too bad, cooler nights and warm days….the BEST time to visit the Valley!!!

Don’t ask me what I’ve been doing, but VERY VERY BUSY!!! 🙂

Alpaca Shearing 101

Last weekend I witnessed the fine art of shearing alpacas! I thought it was just as interesting as sheep shearing, although danger money should be included….they spit, they kick and they are way bigger than sheep!!

The two boys agisted here and two others were penned and pampered! The mobile alpaca shearer brings their table and equipment  and sets up, and the boys are secured on the table whilst being shorn. When one sides done they get flipped!

Most of the alpacas were well behaved, only one carried on every time the razor started, which was quite funny really. Only one spit and one kick over the four which was good odds! The Shearer did show me what the previous alpacas left all over the side of his ute! 😛

So now we have a couple of skinny alpacas that resemble deers wandering the paddock! I reckon the alpaca shearers earn their money – they also check their teeth, trim hoofs and vaccinate.

Owen, Watervale, Wirrabara, Red Hill, Gladstone

Since being back in SA I have managed to check out a few Town Garage sales in the district.

Not only is it a good way to find bits n pieces for our block, but a chance to see what these small towns have to offer.

The Watervale General Store is a cool place to eat as well as check out their retro collection & décor. We haven’t had a meal there yet, so can’t comment on their quality! 🙂 In Wirrabara we went to the Producers Market which was lovely.  They have some nice cafe’s and the Coffee Table Gallery has some brilliant woodwork (open on market days). The Painted Silo is a drawcard as well.

Red Hill – went to a market there and found a massive collection in a front yard. Bits of everything. When in Gladstone for a garage sale I stopped at a Hotel, the Booyoolee Hotel. It looked deserted except for people selling stuff next door. I wandered in and to my surprise there was a Café Bar inside. Still a work in progress but it will be great when finished. Can recommend the Baked Bean Muffin and Coffee!! 

I popped a couple of Block pics in too – my first batch of savoury muffins made in my revamped kitchen (yes they were edible!) And Hey Ewe – she was rejected by her mother so has been hand raised & fed. She is growing by the day but still thinks humans are her ‘kind’! When out for a walk or on the quad bike she is running alongside with Jeda! 

SA Places of Interest: Manna Hill & Terowie

Just realised it’s been ages since my last blog after arriving back on Da Block.

Been very busy (will explain next blog). I’ve started to compile a few pics of places we’ve been in our new adopted state of SA.

On our way home our last overnight stop was Manna Hill Rest Area. Donation with toilets available next to the pub. Enjoyed a beverage with the owner watching the passing parade of travellers & trains. The pub has a brilliant collection of old wares and a museum.

Then on to Terowie – it hasn’t changed much in many years. Almost a ghost town sad to say. We have stopped there a few times, and stayed overnight at rail siding. The façade of the buildings have hardly changed. A craft store & history of blacksmithing worth a look.

Will continue showcasing some of the area’s we’ve managed to check out in future blogs. What I am loving is the Town Garage Sales in the district! As I’m a bit of a ‘vintage tragic’ they have been the best for collecting old things people don’t want anymore.

Home among the Gumtrees & long grass!

From ‘On the Road’ to ‘On da Block’! Back to SA & head down, butt up doing a cleanup of Da Block.

Water tanks full, grass long, weeds even longer!! 😦 But after some full on days we have it under control. The green is starting to tinge brown now coming into Summer. We’ve had hot days already, total fire ban days, then back to the temperatures I prefer….and on goes the fireplace!!

So for now just a few pics of Da Block. Did take ourselves out to a local cafe in Clare called Zest Cafe! Had breaky there and it was beautiful, highly recommended. And dog friendly which is important to us as Jeda goes where we go!!

Finding a road not travelled….it’s tough!

After a long stay in Queensland visiting friends, relatives and generally ‘warming up’ it’s time to head homewards (SA). Looking on our map there aren’t too many untravelled roads which makes it tough to find a new road to explore.

So after a few days on familiar roads heading out of Brisbane passing through small towns Cecil Plains, Millmerran, Inglewood, Goondiwindi (and finding the bumpiest roads we’d been on in a while) we ended up in Thallon, south west Qld. Good timing too as the 2-3 day heat wave was about to hit along with dust storms.

Thallon, Qld offers all a Traveller needs:

  • Power $5.50 pn or free unpowered  area
  • Water (good bore, drinkable)
  • Amenities with hot showers & toilets
  • Silo Art “The Watering Hole” by Drapl & The Zookeeper – a drawcard for tourists following the trail
  • A pub with cold beverages, good prices and tasty meals – the Francis Hotel (pay your camp fees here)
  • and lots of wildlife that visit the town continuously.

We watched a procession of Travellers drop in to view the painted silos after they had a BIG long weekend at Nindigully Pub’s Film & Music Festival.

 

A quick trip up the coast of Queensland…

I don’t normally recommend caravan parks but we did stop in one on our quick trip up near Mackay, in from Ilbilbie about an hour south (Google it! 🙂 ) that we thought was impressive.  Cape Palmerston Holiday Park.

We spent over a week there with the intention of seeing if our Tinnie still floated and our fishing rods could catch anything! 🙂 I won’t elaborate, but we didn’t do real well. 😦 But we did enjoy the ‘serenity’. The amenities are HUGE and lovely and clean. Big camp kitchen & camp fire. Weekly rates good ($31pn) all year round.

We did a couple of drives around the district too, including Sarina, Carmilla Beach, Koumala Hotel & Yarrawonga Park Reserve (Notch Point) south of the caravan park.

Only had 2 weeks to get there & back as had work to be done to caravan in Brisbane, but would recommend a Spring holiday in this area.

Negatives: Mozzies/Midgies at sunset, big tides, no crabs when we were there.  Positives: good weather, quiet, lots of wildlife, dog friendly van park, big camp sites & tent areas, reasonable price.