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.
It’s nightmare material when you don’t know where your next sip is coming from.
Just really important to recognise the situation, don’t panic and make things worse, have a plan, and be vigilant.