Four options are possible for walking along the eastern side of Lake King William (through which the Derwent River flows): walking on the rocky shore because the Lake’s water level is down 75%; following four-wheel-drive vehicular tracks; using the low level vegetation of the regrowth area beneath the power lines; or ‘bush bashing’ to make a new track (I never considered this option except in one trackless area). I found all options needed to be used at some stage along the way.
Tassie Trails indicates Lake King William is a remote area where the chances of meeting other people is unlikely. The site suggests walkers/cyclists/bike riders will get wet feet. I am pleased to say it was drier for me and my feet were never in mud or creeks despite my not taking any inland directed tracks. Tassie Rambler also describes a bike trip along these tracks, as well as how the writer coped with a trackless section. I will refer readers to this site in a later post to use its photos for comparison purposes against how I proceeded for part of my walk.
4WD-drive vehicular tracks criss-cross the area near Clark Dam but soon simplify into the one track mapped as the Switchyard Track. Despite the above two sites promoting the use of a mountain bike, I suspect cycling would be painfully jarring because mile after mile of the tracks are constructed from various sized sharp lumps of unevenly laid blue metal (dolerite/bluestone). The rocks are loose and mobile so constant vigilance is required for walking.
Some days I envy the British and Irish for the ease and simplicity of their towpaths and century-old established walking paths and rights of way next to their rivers and canals. But then I remember, as I walk in the Tasmanian wilderness, I am the only one around smelling and hearing and seeing an extraordinary diversity of wild nature and it my responsibility to determine the way to my destination. I am incredibly privileged.
Having farewelled the walking cyclist, I spotted a style built giving anglers access over a fence and at the same time I appreciated a grand curve in the Derwent River down below.
The views of the river, the paddocks and the sheep were magnificent.
As usual, continual direct access to the river was impossible. This time, the very steep and slippery river banks were the greatest impediment.
I continued along Glenora Road until I was able to follow a vehicular track to the water. On the river edge, a large irrigation pump took pride of place. The water was clear. The sun sparkled across the surface. But access to the water was denied me because a steep slippery mudbank, which I did not believe I could climb back up if I slipped down, separated me from that elusive fluid.
Back on Glenora Road, I loved the landscape in every direction. I am curious- have any city people slotted a green landscape view as background on their computers? When I open my computer and see green vistas it lifts my spirits particularly when I look out of my house window at bricks and mortar everywhere.
Before long I was passing the expanses of Kinvarra Estate wines. My photos are quite tame compared to those taken by Alphaluma and presented on their website. His are sweeping and dramatic.
A kilometre or so later I was surprised to see a lycra-clad man walking uphill around a corner and pushing his bicycle towards me.
He looked exhausted and so I called out a friendly ‘hello’ and asked him where he had come from so early in the day. ‘Bushy Park’, he replied. Then he explained that for the past 12 days he had been on the comparatively new Tasmania Trailwhich extends from the north-west coast to the south-east margins of Tasmania. In addition, he offered that 13 days ago he hadn’t ridden a bike for years, had bought the new bike that day, then started out immediately. Now he was eager to get home and was headed for Hobart where he would finish his trek and family would pick him up. This man, who looked like someone’s father, didn’t have the time or strength to continue to Dover much further south but I congratulated him on his achievement. Whatever means of transport you take through central Tasmania, the challenges are great and he had overcome much to be close to his goal. So I thought about my sore feet after only one day’s walking, and worked hard to dismiss any negative thoughts.