Walking through Tranmere to the start of Howrah Point on Stage 4 of my walk along the Derwent River

As I walked back towards the city, the Clarence Foreshore Trail started as a concreted pathway for cyclists and pedestrians, then stopped and started as a formal walkway; sometimes I walked on the road and sometimes on the grassy verge.  Car traffic was almost non-existent. At bus stop 30 there were seats to enjoy the view, and a shelter offered protection from the weather. The air was perfumed with the smell of cypress trees expressing their oils as the early morning sun heated their branches. Magpie birds warbled musically from the trees. I spotted the occasional Pied Oyster Catcher, Cormorants holding their breath and diving deep for fish, and a single speed boat whizzing up the River in the distance. Very few people around.

When the track dipped down as a gravel pathway edging the Derwent River, the mowed lawns of the back yards of houses edged this walkway. Green. Peaceful. And without fences, I could appreciate the large picture windows installed in many houses, for the view of the Derwent Harbour and further beyond. Groves of Casuarina trees barely whispered in the slightest of breezes. Stands of almighty gum trees occasionally blocked the sun. Plump yellow beaked Dominican Gulls rested on sunny rocks above the moving water. Pairs of plovers hoping to protect their babies screamed overhead. A tourist sight-seeing aeroplane droned along the river. Walkers with their smiling happy Labradors, German Shepherds, Shitsus and all manner of other canines greeted me.

This was easy strolling but I was always edgy and watchful for any cyclists that might wish to share the pathway.

I saw evidence of Landcare – new trees have been planted, staked and surrounded with protective plastic. Occasionally I noticed public tracks from this Trail that went back up the hill to Tranmere Road, giving walkers the option of where they walked as they continued along the River. Occasionally I came across public seats where you could, if you wished, rest and enjoy the magnificent views. Swings and slides could be used by kids at the small Anulka Park.

Around 50 minutes after leaving the bus, I arrived at a sign which provided a list of plant species in Clarence, and which offered information about weeds and escaping exotics and the dangers these pose to our native vegetation. At this point, the Trail curved uphill and this is the way any future walker should go.  The alternative is comparatively difficult and dangerous.  However, I did not know this at the time and I decided to stay low and hug the Derwent River edge. I was about to walk around Howrah Point.

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