Walking across farmland – posting 1 of 2

From past as yet undescribed walks, I have a large backlog of information and photographs to write into posts and publish. It is my priority to grab snatches of time to write.

Tasmania has been marked by many plus 30 degree days over the past couple of months, and it was on one of those days that I walked next to the flow of the Derwent River across a couple of private farms in the area between Cluny Dam and Gretna. In earlier posts I have declared that my ideal walking temperature is between 15 and 20 degrees and while I dreaded walking in the searing dry heat, I feel compelled to walk when drivers offer their services to get me to the starting point and collect me at the end. Thanks Alex for being available and helping me achieve my goal.

As usual I will not identify the location of my walks between Gretna and Cluny Dam, so that I meet the commitment I make to the landowners to maintain their privacy.  As usual I have a couple of hundred glorious photos and unfortunately I cannot publish most because they will identify the properties on which I walked.  Nevertheless there are some stories to tell and they are not without colour and texture.  Despite the constraints, I will do my best.

On this particular day, the air was bright and clear and the forests beckoned.  When I start a walk, I always wear a smile on my face.

Starting the walk.jpg

The first gate was easily passable.

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Later I found other gates less accommodating. One makes me smile as I remember, although the gate put me in a spot of difficulty at the time.  I recall the surrounding fences were not climbable and the gate was padlocked. Unfortunately the gate was high (and I have comparatively short legs) and the wire mesh offered no easy toe-hold.  Nevertheless I had no choice but to get over that gate. Somehow I managed to get astride the top, and with the gate moving on its hinges, I sat pressed on the upper iron bar in a most unstable and uncomfortable position.  Because of the movement of the gate I couldn’t get my balance to swing my leg over easily.  No-one around.  No-one expected.  Just me.  On the top of the gate.  Hot sun searing my brains.  I think a cartoonist could have made an amusing image of this circumstance.  Eventually I tried a sort of falling-off-the gate-manoeuvre, caught a strap of my gaiters in the wire mesh and nearly yanked a leg off, and then stepped onto the ground. Relieved. Glad to be on the other side. Obstacles can always be overcome! Of course, the best gates are those that I find open.

Open gate.jpg

Once through the forest, I walked across low level dry vegetation which cracked and crackled as my boots crossed the ground.

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Throughout this particular walk the Derwent River always flowed nearby. Once more I fell in love with its colours and movement.  Yet again, I fell in love with the trees and grasses that grow beside the River.

River excerpt.jpg

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