Tag Archives: environment

Great Walks Photo competition

I am a subscriber to the wonderful Great Walks Australian magazine.

Its latest offer is a photo competition which, as it turns out, I have nothing to offer.  The rules include a need to submit photos greater in size than 5MB. After looking through the thousands of photos which I have taken over the past year or so, none of those over this required size meet the other essential criteria.  Alas.

So, I want to turn it over to others who may not be aware. I love the sites of some of my blog followers; particularly those who are photographers taking brilliant shots within Tasmania’s wilderness environment. I believe all of these bloggers may find this competition something to which they can contribute. More can be read about the competition at Great Walks.

Please let me know if you enter … and then, if you are successful I would like to know. Best wishes!

Meditation and peacefulness

I find that listening and looking from within the natural environment revives my soul and lifts my spirits. Partly this comes from the rhythm of taking each step, the regular intake and exhaling of breath, and then the quality of the fresh air touching all parts of me.

Here are a couple of small videos I made when skirting around Reids Fruits property.  These offer the sounds that most relax me.

https://vimeo.com/140865664   and https://vimeo.com/140869887

The photographs below show a selection of river views taken as I continued walking around the edge of the Reids Fruits property.

20150917_125210 20150917_125217 20150917_125412 20150917_125820

I kept walking and  soon found the railway line was fenced off close by. As I looked back over the route I had taken, unfamiliar parts of Mount Wellington could be spotted on the horizon.

20150917_130004

While I understand the need for fences, if they were taken away then this place on the river bank near Plenty Tasmania would be truly idyllic.

A story of a walk in 19th century Tasmania

In the late 1980s, Hilary Webster compiled a book of short stories written by people who travelled around Tasmania by foot and by horse and carriage in the nineteenth century; The Tasmanian Traveller A Nineteenth Century Companion For Modern Travellers.   Thanks to blog follower Ma, I was alerted to this publication.

The Tasmanian Traveller

These stories helped me to understand the difficulty of travel in early colonial Tasmania when roads were not always developed. Some stories surprised me so that I feel inspired to visit Tasmania’s State Archives in order to discover more.

A standout was the story of a walk from ‘Trial Harbour to the Ouse” because the journey relates to some of the area over which I may walk later this year when I restart my walk along the Derwent River.

Trial Harbour is an isolated tiny community on the west coast north of Queenstown where, these days, the few shacks are built with the strangest chimneys to cope with the weight of the westerly winds which blow fiercely from across the Indian Ocean. The Ouse refers to a small town, then hamlet, somewhat south of the centre of Tasmania and situated most remotely from civilisation.  Back then, it took a day’s coach and train ride to reach Hobart. These areas and the land between is an exceptionally rugged environment today and I have difficulty imagining the situation in the 19th century when the walk in the story was taken.

The subtitle of the 1890s story was ’A Lady’s Walking Tour on the West Coast’. A woman (no name) walked with her husband and a dog through ‘untamed’ wilderness, along mining and forestry tracks and the occasional muddy rutted roads.  They climbed mountains, crossed button grass plains and walked through valleys.  She recorded “More than once we were asked our business, the notion of travelling on foot for pleasure in these regions appeared preposterous.” I would say such a walk is extraordinary in this day and age, and totally amazing 125 years ago.  Innovative means were taken to cross rivers. Overnight accommodation was found in out of the way tiny remote mining shops, shacks, huts and the occasional Inn. Telegraph wires were often their only guide for a way forward. Through the rugged wilderness, routinely they walked 17 or more miles (27+kilometres) each day and on one day they walked 33 miles (53 kilometres). I am staggered.  I know the challenging environment in which they walked.  The mountains are many and very steep with ravine and river gullies that are cut into the rock deeply.

Her pack of provisions weighed 7 pounds while her husband carried 21 pounds.  This makes me wonder if contemporary bushwalkers aren’t tough enough – or are we trying to be prepared for every eventuality. The good will of people they met and the willingness of others to share their meagre food supplies, and help with sleeping arrangements, was perhaps something that could be taken for granted in 19th century Tasmania. Generous hospitality as a given.  ‘We got some bread here, and at a house a mile further on the track, some milk, the first fresh milk we had tasted since Waratah.’  This comment indicates she was walking across Tasmania before Trial Harbour – the significant mining town of Waratah is quite a distance north east of Trial Harbour.  So I suspect there may be earlier stories of her walking across other parts of Tasmania – I look forward to conducting research to find records of these.

1400km walk around Tasmania concluded yesterday: congratulations Chris Linton

A few weeks ago I read that a Tasmanian father and son (Chris and Kelvyn Linton) were planning an unsupported long-distance charity walk around the perimeter of Tasmania. This huge ambition filled me with excitement, and I hoped they would be able to achieve their goal.

While his son walked 20 of the 46 days it took for the walk, Chris Linton battled around every metre of the coast line.  Chris is reported as saying ‘Out of Queenstown, that hill is unforgiveable. The weather through that mountain pass was quite extreme – lots of snow and constant rain for two weeks.’ Refer to http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/epic-blues-beater-puts-dad-on-the-map/story-fnj4f7k1-1227357590621 for the arrival story, at Salamanca on the edge of the Derwent River.

I believe his walk is a significant achievement in one of the most challenging environments in the world. I am in awe of what has been done, and even more so because much of the walk was undertaken during one of Tasmania’s most bitterly cold and stormy periods.

More information about this trek, to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute, can be read at http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/TasmanianresidentsChristopherandKelvynLinton.pdf

You can read more about an earlier stage of the walk at: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/chris-linton-nears-end-of-walk-around-tasmanias-perimeter/story-fnj4f7k1-1227351866303

As a war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, I hope the soothing effect of Tasmania’s wilderness environment and the flood of positive endorphins encouraged by the continuous activity, have been healing forces for Chris. An amazing personal achievement! Congratulations Chris Linton!