With COVID19 being in our daily life visit’s to local wineries and cafes have taken a bit of a hit this year.
Even so, we managed to visit a couple of places that are worth a mention.
Eldredge Vineyards (www.eldredge.com.au) on Spring Gully Rd Scenic Drive is worth a stop for a lazy Sunday afternoon or weekday visit. You can make up your own cheese platter whilst sampling a wine paddle which is what we opted for.
One Restaurant to look out for is Seed (seedclarevalley.com) in the Main Street of Clare. It is an impressive site (which is a contrast to the dismal CBA bank building it started as). A beautiful mural adorns the Burton St lane next to it. The Rooftop is open now and the Bistro & Deli will be open soon. I can’t say how good/bad it is as haven’t dined there as yet.
Speaking of murals another has popped up just off the Main North Road at the Post Office which brightens the street-scape even more.
On a recent town garage sale Saturday we stopped to grab lunch at The Booyoolee Brew, Port Street in Gladstone (76kms north of Clare) www.facebook.com/TheBooyooleeBrew/ Once a pub the new owners have turned the old building into a lovely cafe with seating out front and for winter a cosy dining room or covered area with open wood fires. Try the Baked Bean Muffins – Yummo!!
On a quick two day trip to The Big Smoke (around Adelaide) we stayed near Semaphore, west of Port Adelaide. In Semaphore main street we found two places worth a mention (but I’m sure there’s heaps more)
On leaving we shouted ourselves breakfast at Froot Cafe (www.facebook.com/frootcafesemaphore) The most delicious Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had and Pancakes and Bacon with Maple Syrup (we shared!) Quick friendly service and hot coffee! Note: always look where the locals are eating!!
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!
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!!
It’s been a year of 1sts! 1 year since we purchased our ‘base’ here in the beautiful Clare Valley, SA and 1 year since we’ve been classified as ‘Itinerants’. The time has gone so quickly (apparently that happens as you get older!! :P)
We have achieved much, have lots more to do, have enjoyed 3 months away in the winter doing our first love – travelling, and are about to celebrate 1 year of ‘block ownership’! It’s warming up too, which is typical for SA, yet a couple of days ago we were wearing our Ugg boots and sweaters!?
I have posted a few photos of our 1st flowers in our ‘live or die garden bed’, a pano of a rainbow over the shed one arvo and some food of course!!
Next year I will be introducing a new category, Cellar Doors & Nosh Houses of the Clare Region!!! We have ‘made’ ourselves venture out on Sunday arvos to sample what visitors to the Valley already know: how good the wineries and food joints are here!! We are by no means experts on wines, just know what we like (just like food!).
So to anyone out there following my blog/website, thank you and I hope you will follow us again next year. Maybe next year I will be able to catch up on Photographs to add to my Catalogs. Please follow me on Facebook@Ozontheroadphotos
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!
Bought these old bricks-stamped Clare & Gervois
Our succulents had magnificent flowers that brought the bees!
I have 3 of these Canna plants all flowering now!
Friday night Nosh-Up – Pikes Sav Blanc & Homemade Pizza
It’s good to have friends who make beaut Trifle & share a Taylors Shiraz
On a wet cold arvo a rainbow appeared over the shed
We headed south from the wheatbelt to Margaret River in the South West to meet up with other “Traveller” friends for a while. Because we had farm sat in this region for over 6mths previously we did a highlight tour with them over 3 days.
Cellar Doors, chocolate & coffee places, ice cream, cheese….all the naughty spots!!! And they have an abundance from Busselton down! Onwards south-east to Northcliffe where we camped at Sid’s Campground just outside Pemberton (find him on Facebook or Wikicamps). A bush camp with free range sites, quirky loos & showers and brilliant walking tracks around the property. At $10 per site per night (more for power) great value. This was our base to explore Northcliffe, Pemberton, Windy Harbour & D’Entrecasteaux National Park.
From here we moved on to Walpole (for smoko) then on to the Valley Of The Giants. Because we had friends with us to mind Jeda, B&I got to take a look at this walk amongst the tree tops. Luckily it wasn’t windy! B loved it, me – not so much. Hate heights! But I did like the walkway on the ground called the Ancient Empire walk.
Onwards to Denmark and thru to Cosy Corner Campground. It’s a small campsite near the beach. We had the most uneven site we’ve had in over 11 years! But B got us sort of level. It was only for one night, as we moved to another the next day…even more uneven! It had a camp host, but he was moving on soon as not happy with the Council who run it. We did the tourist route and visited a Toffee Coy, Ice Creamery, Ugg Boot maker and a Meadery.
Broke up the eating and drove out to Green Pool and Elephant Rock in William Bay National Park. Noice. It was eating time again, so off on the tourist route to Denmark Farmhouse Cheese & Ducketts Mill Wines! Cheese & wine tasting in one! So good we stopped and ordered a platter (and some sample bottles for later!). Unfortunately the weather turned bad so we filled the truck tank with water at Denmark Info Centre and headed back to Cosy Corner.
Next day we checked out the fishing on the beach at the day use area. Spent a lot of hours there to have nothing to show for it! Nothing legal to keep. Story of our life! Even went back for more the next day….same result!
So we decided a day trip was in order…off to Albany. As our friends were with us we had Jeda minders so B & I visited the National Anzac Centre. Brilliant! Highly recommended. You could spend hours there reading about the history, and then we walked around the grounds of Princess Royal Fortress and Mt Adelaide. From there we had a photo op at Dog Rock, checked out Emu Beach for fish and chips and general drive around.
Soon it was time to farewell our friends who headed to SA, so we checked into a park at Two Peoples Bay about 20km’s from Albany. A basic bush park on private property really. We were able to visit Albany many more times, including their op shops which I loved. It suited us as we decided what was our next move as it was coming up to Christmas…..where are we going to hide??!
So we now have something to fill in a month or so….or so we thought! We headed to Clare from the York Peninsula end of February. We had been asked if we’d do a house/pet sit on a property north of Clare. As we’d never really done one before we said ‘why not!?’
We arrived to a beautiful property about 10 minutes out of Clare CBD. It is a working farm running cattle, sheep and four different crops. The owners greeted us warmly and made us feel at home right away. The Homestead is gorgeous and exudes the history of this area. We parked our rig by their shed and took in our view – a beautiful 4.5 acre succulent, cactus and tree lined garden with hand made artwork throughout. What a lot of work had been put into this garden.
After being introduced officially to the most important members of the family – the dogs – we bid farewell to our hosts as they jetted off and left us to enjoy the rare opportunity to live in a house! Well we didn’t really as we are so used to our van we still ate & slept in it! I got to love Clare and it’s surrounds. As most would know wineries abound in this area and they are some of the best in Australia. To fill in our days ‘B’ and I decided to do some gardening – and it just snowballed from there. Lots of weeding, moving of rocks, planting of shrubs, cleaning of the pool, walking of dogs, playing with dogs, feeding dogs……just the usual housey stuff.
After many weeks the owners came home, lagged out and weary so ‘B’ and I and Jeda took off for a week to check out the surrounds. We visited Murray Town, Terowie (lovely little town with stores just like they were in the early days), Burra, Saddleworth then back to Clare. Burra is a must see – we got the Passport for all the attractions, historic sights etc and spent a few days visiting them all – well worth the money.
‘B’ was offered work on the farm seeding. What’s seeding? was our reply. So ‘B’ had 6-8 weeks on & off of driving a big John Deere tractor with the seeding machinery behind – don’t ask me to explain anymore! (See photos) And as it turned out the Farmerette in Training (lady owner) had to go to England on short notice so I stepped in as Farmerette with L Plates for seeding – feeding the men, washing, shopping, etc etc and looking after the fur-kids! Great experience for both of us and fun to boot!
But it all had to come to an end and it did mid June.
Recently we spent a family Easter weekend at Bjelke-Petersen Dam near Murgon (west of Gympie). We were lucky enough to have fine weather nearly the whole 4 days. I have uploaded a few photos of the dam & its wildlife in my catalogues. On the Sunday the park put on a market which we decided to join. There were around 30 stalls, not bad for their first market. If you ever get the chance go take a look or camp there – it’s a lovely spot (probably better when there’s not so many people there though). There are powered & non-powered sites & cabins. Lots of birdlife, if you own a boat you’ll enjoy the dam for waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing & redclaw. Can’t tell you how the fish are because we didn’t try. It’s a lovely place for a day out – and for those who like their wine, there’s a Wine Trail in nearby Moffatdale!