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!!! 🙂
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!
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!!
We decided to attend the Tara Festival of Culture & Camel Races held 2-4th August at Tara, in the western downs 300klms west of Brisbane.
The lineup to get in was a bit ‘average’ – 1 1/2 hrs but we kind of expected it as it was the first day of entry for camping. 5 days of camping @ $6 per day – good deal. Once in and campsite picked & setup, we spent a couple of days with friends & checking out Tara. The town kids held a street parade (book week characters) and a couple of markets were held around town. We have camped at the lagoon a few times before on our way west.
When the festival began on the Sat & Sun there was heaps to see and do. From the cultural entertainment, the wood carving with chain saws, camp oven cooking demos, country singers, whip cracking demos, chopper rides and of course the camel & yabby races the days were easily filled in.
Fireworks & Motorcycle stunt riding at night; The McClymonts headlined Sat night and the food stalls were all really good quality. (Got me outta cooking! :P) And each afternoon we had the obligatory Happy Hour around the campfire with the group we were with. Tough life huh?!
Best part about camping at the festival site is you can return to your camp for breaks whenever you want. We were also able to bring our dog Jeda to the camp ground, not into the festival area though. Over the 5 days we enjoyed it and thought the town organised it very well, catering to thousands of people. Even the porta loos & showers seemed to cope quite well.
I highly recommend giving this festival a try and support the small towns. If I can give out one tip: on leaving a festival, if you aren’t in a hurry wait till after smoko! We had a clear run with not a car in site!!
Well, I love food. And on the rare occasion we ‘go out for food’ I like to indulge myself and order something that I don’t cook regularly (that could be an endless list!)
I will start by telling you about our experience at a Clare cafe, a Sevenhill Hotel, a Pub in Mintaro and a cafe in Saddleworth.
In Clare we do like to frequent Zest Cafe – 260 Main North Rd (at the rear of an open arcade). It has lovely food, good atmosphere, happy staff and importantly for us, dog friendly (as Jeda comes everywhere with us). We have taken friends there after showing them Clare’s main street and sat and enjoyed beautiful food whilst catching up. On the occasion in the photo it was Valentines Day….(ooohh that’s coming up again!) and we enjoyed a beautiful (and very rare) breakfast out! It was yum!
The next excursion was my birthday (2017) when my beloved took me to lunch at Sevenhill Hotel – Main North Road at Sevenhill. Instead of eating in the main dining area we were treated to a dining experience….in the cellar! It was quieter, cooler and more cosy (being December). AND we were surrounded by the Clare Valley’s best wines!!! I spent a lot of my time reading all the wine labels. The meal was lovely and staff very friendly (even at the busy Christmas time rush).
Further afar from Clare is the historic town of Mintaro. Love this town and it’s buildings. In the middle of town is The Magpie & Stump Hotel – Burra Street. It has been newly renovated (originally built 1851) and open 7 days a week. It’s a must do when ‘cellar dooring’ around the Valley. We have taken friends there and enjoyed sitting inside as well as outside in the beer garden. Lunch burgers are recommended along with an array of wines and beers. We have been there on weekends and sometimes the wait for your meal is a bit long but then they are a lot busier too. Take a walk around Mintaro and enjoy the stone buildings, the Maze, Martindale Hall built 1879-1880, a living museum.
On a Sunday after visiting the Saddleworth Country Market, we stopped at Saddleworth Cafe – 12 Belvidere Road. It’s also a grocery store. As we had Jeda with us we were able to sit outside and have our morning tea watching the passers by. The pancakes we had were beautiful (note Jeda eyeing them off!) I enjoyed wandering through the Saddleworth Community Hub Shop (it is jam-packed with retro clothes and bric-a-brac, plants, gifts etc). Also the op shop is in the main street. There’s enough to do here to keep you busy most of a Sunday – also a museum and a pub!
Next post will be some cellar doors that offer meals … and good ones at that!!
#zestcafe #saddleworthcountrymarket #saddleworthcafe #saddleworthcommunityhubshop #sevenhillhotel #magpieandstumphotel #martindalehall
When you hear the words “experiencing the coldest start to winter since 1889” you tend to feel torn. ‘Wow, aren’t we lucky!?’ And, ‘no wonder I’ve got no feeling in my fingers & toes!’. Yep it’s been frosty for a week or so now. -3 degrees has been the worst so far….it was after 10am before the frost & fog lifted that day.
Our poor old Ford sits out in the frost each day wondering what hit it. Our tinnie is iced up (at least it might kill the mice). Living in a caravan in cold weather isn’t the greatest. Condensation is the main enemy. We have a diesel heater running mostly as well as the roof air heater. Our cattle dog Jeda loves it, she gets to sleep inside at the doorway, way better than outside.
We are staying on a friend’s farm near Clare. B is working nearby as well as helping out when needed here. I am the Domestic Goddess of Dog Whispering (at the moment), chook feeder & weeder/leaf sweeper! Those autumn leaves don’t pick themselves up!!
So a few more photos to show how our area of Southern Australia is enjoying? this winter….
Better late than never!! We did move on to another farm for seeding, but 3G wasn’t very good so I had to go ‘cold turkey’ from too much Internet stuff for a couple of months!
We joined a lovely family in the Bulyee – Kweda area of the wheatbelt to help with seeding of oats, barley & lupins. Well B did, I helped out with the animals and whatever else needed doing, and on a farm there is lots!
The prior Nomads had moved on due to not liking the cold….now I know why! It was freezing most days and nights. It was mainly the southern winds coming direct off the ice I reckon! Before we arrived we laughed we hadn’t seen our legs for months – they are lilly white! Being in jeans, boots and jumpers everyday does that!
We enjoyed our stay with them. B helped with maintenance for a week or so after, but then we had some more troubles with oil leaking from the truck, so we booked in to a repairer in Perth to have it looked at before we left. It took two goes and it’s still leaking slightly! Not happy as it’s a 2 hour drive there and back!!
We left a couple of weeks ago heading north-ish looking for sun! May head back to help with harvest in a couple of months, after we’ve thawed out a bit!