Unfortunately, the Derwent River’s water level was low and its unscramblable muddy banks prevented me filling up my water containers for most of my walk. By this stage of the walk – mid morning on day 2 – my water supply was a big worry.
Contrary to my expectations of being able to collect water along the route, throughout Day 1 I found it impossible to get to the river water safely and be able to clamber back up slippery thorny banks. Originally, I had left home with two plastic bladders each containing one litre. When I reached the property Cluan on Day one, having quickly decided I could refill a bladder at the river’s edge I drank the remains of one bladder. Regrettably, on closer inspection at the river edge I could not get down to the water. This meant I needed to refill somewhere else along the way. But, as you know from earlier postings, I was never next to the river again on Day one, spent lots of time walking on the disused railway line, and eventually pitched camp next to the line. That night I needed a reasonable amount of water to rehydrate and cook my evening meal. From then until morning I cautiously sipped the remaining water.
First thing next morning on Day 2, instead of boiling water for a much looked for cup of tea or to make porridge, I ate a fruit bar for breakfast, and took a sip of water. Then, after packing up, I started walking. Normally I drink a lot of water each day, and I know how important it is to keep hydrated particularly when you are moving. Water was everywhere but not a drop to drink – except for the remaining mouthfuls from my water bladder. I knew the water rationing had to continue. I was glad the air temperature was cool so that I wasn’t losing too much in perspiration. However, I wasn’t to know that I would need to walk considerably further before I had a modicum of success in terms of water gathering.