After meeting at Bolivar on Saturday morning, we all motored north towards Clare, a convoy of 13 vehicles with 25 members and friends aboard. Colin Cooter, the rally organiser, had organised lunch for us at O’Leary Walker Wines. The countryside was looking refreshed after the opening rains of the season – some vines still in Autumn colours, paddocks in various shades of weathered straw and freshly ploughed red-brown earths – some with newly sprouted crops in evidence. There were a few farmers visible in their tractors towing machinery. Hasn’t farm machinery changed markedly in size over the past 50-60 years! Most of us arrived safely at O’Leary Walker’s, but Malcolm and Chris Feder from Victor Harbor had some electrical problems and Les blew a large hole in his car’s muffler en route. The cellar door is an attractive stone and glass building with extensive views. Here we were treated to a wine tasting and an excellent lunch. The dining area has some acoustic problems and Ossie Petrucco decided it was ideal for an Italian operatic aria and everyone else was very quiet during those wonderful moments of song – what a treat for us all! Once Malcolm had been rescued, we all headed via Mintaro and Farrell Flat to Burra. Some stopped in Mintaro to visit the slate quarry or the other tourist sights and some visited the interesting district interpretive display and the well-tended arid land garden in Farrell Flat. In Burra, most settled in to their Paxton Cottage and either lit the fire and rested, or did a bit of town touring before dinner at La Pecora Nera(The Black Sheep), a restaurant run by the bubbly couple Claire and Paolo. We had very generous Italian hospitality with very large servings for all. (Incidentally the morning’s Advertiser had published an accolade of their restaurant that day – it was already on the wall for all to see.) Again we had an operatic offering from Ossie – much appreciated by all the evening’s diners. And so to bed – for some there were neighbourly visits to other firesides for port, muscat and nibbles, and some were still wandering “home” well after the witching hour. On Sunday morning, our President David Gilbert, told us some history of Burra and its copper mining origins and the redevelopment in the 1970’s of the many heritage buildings in the town, including the Paxton Square Cottages, which David supervised as an ongoing project over some years. We then walked to inspect some of the remaining dugouts in the creek bank, where many families lived in the early days. Our walk brought us back to the Market Square where we split up, some going for a coffee or lunch snack before heading home by various chosen routes. It was a really enjoyable weekend with great camaraderie, I now know many more of our club members and their special interests. Our thanks go to Colin for his arrangements with O’Leary Walker Wines, Paxton Square Cottages and La Pecora Nera – let’s do it again sometime! PS – our Eden Hills neighbours dined at La Pecora Nera on Sunday night and knew that we had dined there – Claire and Paolo said that they had had a wonderful, happy group dining there the previous night.