Sherwood Diary: Brinkworth to Tarlee

Mr Mick Winery, Clare, SA

Our journey from Brinkworth to Tarlee (another donation camp spot on a sports ground) took us through the Clare Valley wine region. We stopped at Clare because we thought it would be rather a touristy town with quirky cafes. It had a couple, one so nice that I bought some coffee beans without actually tasting the coffee, but I had started out feeling hungry and reading cafe menus made my appetite go away, strangely. It was only about 11:50 am mind you.

I checked out the charity shop as I am looking for a suitable black top for when we perform in the G&S choir, but only very cheap and nasty stuff. Wouldn’t a wine growing region have rich folk discarding clothes? Stephen rang the tourist office (weirdly located 4kms from the town) to see if any of the wineries offered meals and camping, but it doesn’t seem to be happening here.

I did a Google search and found a winery/restaurant on the edge of town and we weren’t disappointed. Not only was the building interesting, but the food was very good. A tapas menus so we got to have many different tasty dishes. At first you think it won’t be filling, but by the end we were only just able to eat everything. We had the meal without wine as it was lunchtime and we had to drive to our next campsite. But the coffee afterwards was also really good.

Our bill
Inside the restaurant
The only window
Autumn colours

We then drove to Tarlee and after passing through a few attractive little towns it was surprising to us how quickly we left the wine growing part and we’re back to farmland. Attractive in its own way, but not as beautiful. In Clare and surrounds there were many European trees so we were treated to autumn colours.

The little town of Tarlee features as nice bakery/cafe that was closed when we arrived and a second hand shop with musical instruments featured. The owner makes a living by music tuition and has the shop as a hobby. The sign on the door said ‘closed’ but he invited us in anyway.

Some of the local sights

We’ve had a peaceful night with a few other campers arriving later than us. There is plenty of room.

There has been an item in the news about two policeman being stabbed and someone shot dead in Crystal Brook. It happened just after we left and we remembered seeing a police car and ambulance as we were leaving the town. It sounds like the dead man had mental health issues, but the policeman were wounded, one badly, and it seems shooting was the right call, especially as backup took so long to arrive.

So, there you are. We already avoid Snowtown, SA on our drives to and from Adelaide, that is, we drive straight through. Will Crystal Brook be our next town to avoid? Probably not, it isn’t at all equivalent to what happened in Snowtown. and we had murders in Victoria Park a couple of years ago.

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