My Travels / Oceana / South Australia

Clare Valley: One Sweet Fine Wine

“Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”
– Pope John XXIII


cabernet wine vineyard

When I went back to Singapore, Laurie and I kept in touch and we talked almost everyday, so after a month long euro trip and as Dubai as my last stop, I had another trip coming which was with a group of friends going to Perth.

Click this to know how we met ;)

my name tag at Bob's birthday party

SHAYLA, INTERNATIONAL GUEST — my misspelled name tag at Bob’s birthday party :P

Very timely (fate!) coz Laurie asked me if I wanted to come with him to Adelaide as his stepmum (Tish) invited me to join them celebrate his dad’s (Bob) 60th birthday, I was overwhelmed so I said no at first, but my sister (Fritzie) told me, this could be a chance to know Laurie more as we are living miles away. So, I took the chance and book flights ahead of our trip to Perth and went to Adelaide with Laurie and his family.

We didn’t actually stay in Adelaide, we move towards northern part of South Australia, the wine region, Clare Valley. If you wanna experience an authentic country Australia, this is as real as it gets!

Countryside of South Australia

Countryside of South Australia

CLARE VALLEY is like going back in time when life is still much simpler, I was amazed to see store signages in an old school type signages, the farmlands, vineyards, and wine cellars every step, you can even meet people that names are the labels of the wine you are drinking! Clare Valley is known for the best Australian Riesling and also one of the best fine Shiraz. I am not a “wine person” but I never had so much wine in my life when I was here, I actually believe wine is their staple “food” here :P

You can enjoy the picturesque sceneries by driving around each town and see the gem heritage that it offers.
These are some towns that we went to visit:

– from Adelaide, this is the very first town to visit in Clare Valley, this is where you can find guesthouses too…I highly recommend Cygnets for their homemade scones, cream and blueberry jam (gosh I miss it!) and also to dine in at historic Rising Sun Hotel, just get there early as they close around 8ish! Shops and restos here closes early or sometimes they are just close most of the time :P You can try to walk through the Riesling and Rattler trails, we didn’t do it coz it was very cold, maybe it’s better to do it in summer or autumn :)

– when we drove around, Laurie stopped by an old brick house and took some photos, then a guy just arrived and offered us to come in and have a look what’s inside that house…then as he show us all the photos and ‘antiques’ we realized that we were talking with a historian of Mintaro who holds all the history of that town! He is Martin.

Martin with Laurie

Martin with Laurie

inside the brick house at Mintaro

Me inside the brick house at Mintaro

And that brick house that we were in, is an old flour mill that they are planning to reconstruct to make it as a museum for Mintaro! I only realized how fortunate we were to have that rare experience that when we went to Magpie & Stump Hotel Bar to have drinks and I saw the photo of that flour mill on the wall! wow!

The brick house frame at a town restaurant

The flour mill photo frame at Magpie & Stump Hotel Bar

We went to Martindale Hall too and did some photoshoot on our own :P

Martindale Hall

Martindale Hall

– a historic copper mining town spread along the valley surrounded by soft low hills…the town is just small but very fascinating to drive around as it felt like going back in the past! I am amazed on how this town preserved its unique country atmosphere.




Jigging Machine ruins


We stayed at the ranch of Bob’s friend where we even chase kangaroos just because I requested it ha-ha! I met a lot of wonderful prominent locals from Clare Valley, from the famous chefs in town, winery owners, hoteliers, even the town’s pioneer for “dial-a friend” was there to celebrate ha-ha! I was the youngest in the crowd but I never felt out of place, they were all nice and sweet!


at the ranch

one of the kangaroos we chased!

one of the kangaroos we chased!

Truly, this was the time Laurie and I really connected with each other. I know one week with him was never enough but I must say that I’ve come to know him more during this Clare Valley trip.
We shared stories about our past, good times and bad times…
We shared our future dreams, our hopes and our goals…
And we shared anything that fills us up at this time of our lives, and it was amazing :)

Laurie's shot of me ^.^

Laurie’s shot of me ^.^ (he loves B&W, i love colors!)


When we went back to Adelaide, I had to go to Perth to meet my friends and he had to go to Cairns to meet his friends too, so we parted ways with our hearts full of hopes and with a future to look forward to…unlike when we said goodbye at Dubai, this time, we know that it’s not just another chapter in our lives that has to end soon :)

I know there are still LOTS of things we need to learn from and with each other, I see ourselves just like a bottle of fine wine, it’s one of those things that get sweeter as time goes by ♥


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