For people with lives normally immersed in the big cities of the world, travelling this route to Opossum Bay will be full of surprises.
Hobart is a capital city yet, after not many minutes of travelling, the bus passes through bush land from time to time, before coming out into clusters of developing real estate. Springing up around many corners, the landscape is meshed with strips of dark bitumen. These cul de sacs and neighbourhood streets are usually featured with white concrete lengths of soon-to-be driveways into soon-to-be built houses on blocks cleared of all vegetation. These new suburbs represent the interest in having and the will to live in your own home – even if it means a 20 minute or so travel time to the city. We know that by the standards of other capital cities around Australia and the world that such travel times are but a blink of time. The easy accessibility to the centre of the city is a great reason to live in suburban Hobart.
As usual the bus travelled through the suburb of Rokeby. I was eager for another view of Ralph’s Bay remembering its sparkling crisp deep blue expanse when I travelled this way for Stage 1 of the walk. This time the colours were different however, despite the sun shining. Perhaps it was the high level wispy cirrus clouds that filtered the light and affected the colour of Ralph’s Bay on this journey. This time, when travelling the streets at the top of Rokeby, the spread of water was coloured a warmer tone of greys and pale greens. The Bay looked benign and neutral, and was all together welcoming. Further on in the journey, I passed the mud flats at the Lauderdale site of the Bay. The tide was in further than previously and covered most of the mud. I couldn’t help but think how time makes small differences in our world – it is only two weeks since I was travelling here on route for the first walk and, at that time, acres of mud flats were on show.
What else did I see during this bus trip? Glossy dew on lawns. White blossom on fruit trees. Pink blossom. A well-painted graffiti wall, following a colourful display of clever mosaics in the suburb Clarendon Vale. Road signs with the symbol of a horse with rider warning of the additional ‘traffic’ which the road might share. Paddocks with grazing horses. Horseboxes. White fences. As the bus started on the road across the isthmus to the South Arm peninsula one sign with a stylised image of a Pied Oyster Catcher bird indicated travellers should be aware that these birds may want to walk across the road from time to time. Later, on the return to Hobart journey, I noted perhaps 50 Black Oyster Catcher birds resting as a large family, on the sandy edge of Ralph’s Bay near the sign. They were not in the least put out by the rattling of the passing bus.