The people that I see and meet during my walks along the Derwent River always give me unexpected value. My experience last Friday walking from Rosny Point to Geilston Bay was no exception. People of all ages, sizes and racial backgrounds enjoyed being out and about.
There were joggers, runners, walkers, dogs leading their owners, a mother and father wrestling their son on the grass all laughing loudly and not a mobile phone or other communication device in sight, a man with a hand reel trying to catch fish from the rocks, cyclists who surprised me when they came up behind me and passed speedily and silently, the excited father and son who had seen a wallaby in the trees, a line of twelve senior men cycling without wearing lycra, five young mums in lycra with five new-baby laden prams in a row, kids skateboarding along the Trail, and families meandering to fill in the end of the school holidays. There was a man rowing a dinghy somewhere, a paddler in his kayak, and a boat motoring with trailing fish lines held by a family of three all wearing their life jackets. Some I chatted with, for some it was a nod of ‘hello’, and for others we exchanged a wave and a friendly smile. I find that until around midday most people expect to and enjoy acknowledging others, then in the afternoon for some unexplained reason the experience changes and people are more reserved; perhaps the weight of the day has started to drag on them.
Two specialities of my walk last Friday were:
- Along our public reserves and walkways, dog walkers can collect a black plastic bag so that when their Big Dog or Little Missie does a poop, the owner can collect the droppings from the path into the bag and add it to the garbage bins further along. The common sight is to see owners swinging a bag of excrement as they continue their walk. But on Friday I watched an innovative practice – and not one that is likely to catch on (hopefully not). A man was walking along and he was emptying his plastic bag. Inside his bag was a mix of dirt and straw. After the dog had pooped on the path, he poured a little of this mix over the droppings to cover.
- A woman doing interval training by walking and running along the path stopped to talk to me about the dolphins she had seen. Her eyes sparkled. Apparently 6 dolphins were playing around the boats in Kangaroo Bay (located between Bellerive Bluff and Rosny Point). Where I had left the bus to start the walk, trees obliterated my view of the Bay at the point where the dolphins would have been. I was pleased the dolphins felt safe to be there and sorry to have missed seeing them. This event reminded me that years ago, after I met an internet dating partner for the first time at Bellerive’s Waterfront Hotel, we walked along the edge of Kangaroo Bay and watched a small pod of dolphins swimming and enjoying themselves. It says something about me that I enjoyed that experience more than the date.
The photo below shows one of the many dogs that enjoyed their morning walk last Friday.