Tag Archives: Google earth

The euphoria continues

Yesterday a friend An drove me up along the Derwent River where we stopped off at a few dams, power stations and lakes. I was studying the terrain at ground level (our most recent Service Tasmania maps are aged and Google Earth photos are not current either), seeing where forestry and hydro tracks existed and determining where I will need to make my way through bush ‘with walls’. I can see a line of fiction here – turning an almost impassable density of bush into a character (an evil character – even though the bush is sublimely beautiful and bountiful) that has to be overcome.  My strategy will be as always, one slow step at a time and then the bush won’t even know I have come and gone (although my muscles will).

I walked some small sections yesterday, but I won’t write them up until I have walked in the areas westwards from Gretna to those sections.  I know now that it is difficult for some local readers to understand where I have been and therefore, if I change the blog posts from being a chronological record, it may be even more unclear.  Besides, by writing the stories in order and finishing with the last walk to the source it will be clear I have walked the Derwent.

Yesterday explorations and walks were as uplifting as the previous day’s flight; it was as equally wonderful, just different.  I feel gushy with delight when I am in the bush on a blue sky day, with no wind, and with a temp that rises sufficiently but not so that I boil.  Once I am sitting on rocks in the river bed with my lunch, listening to the birds, and sensing the spirit of the place, my life feels so right.  This is the place for me.

Then, despite the day’s experiences already being a treat, life added a new wonderful surprise.  Recently one of my blog followers, Justy, alerted me to the fact she and her partner were engaged in creating a new work of art for GASP beside the Derwent River at Glenorchy, a city in the Greater Hobart Area.  As part of their project, they had already walked along the Derwent River in Cumbria, England and now were planning to walk from the sea to the source of the Derwent early next year.  I hadn’t met them and only communicated a few times by email.  But yesterday, as An drove me towards Cluny Dam, I saw two women step from their car.  I waved and smiled as you do on a country road. As we drove on, I said to An “I bet they’re the two women who are engaged in the GASP project, out conducting a reconnaissance trip”. There was no reason to believe this except I felt I knew it to be the truth (the bush works its miracles). Nevertheless we continued on and had parked near the northern end of Cluny Lagoon when the two women drove past us. Again we waved. On a later road we found ourselves coming towards each other from opposite directions, so An waved them to a stop. The women looked at us queryingly. “Are either of you Justy or Margaret? we asked.” “Yes”, they responded. Instantly I called out, “I’m Helen”.  Their nod of acknowledgement followed. And then we all poured out of our cars, and hugged and had a lively chat standing on a dusty road in strong Spring sunlight. It was a brilliant unexpected meeting and capped off what had been a day of immense discovery and pleasure.

Best wishes for your project Justy and Margaret!

Preparing for the next stage of my walk along the Derwent River

The image featured directly above is of the watery inlet from the Derwent River on the left into Ralph’s Bay on the right. The low hill in the distance is north of and opposite from Gellibrand Point (which is at the northern end of South Arm peninsula). The low hill is Droughty Hill: Trywork Point will be to the lower left of the hill.

Previously, I walked from the mouth of the Derwent River and covered the length of the South Arm peninsula which amounts to approximately 11 km of the River. Stage 1 took me from Cape Direction to the Opossum Bay shop. Stage 2 took me from the Opossum Bay shop to Gellibrand Point. Only 238 Kms to go!

Continuing on from the last walk will require me to leap-frog over approximately 2kms of water for the next starting point Trywork Point which is south of the Rokeby Hills. The reason for my ‘jumping over’ is that I am guessing that the Derwent River was measured as a ‘straight’ length and did not count the many extra kilometres going in and out of every bay and crevice. The water between Gellibrand Point on the South Arm peninsula and Trywork Point is the entrance to the large Ralph’s Bay which feeds off the Derwent River.

So my initial destination for Stage 3 is Trywork Point – that will mark the start of the walk. To reach this starting point I will need to walk south from a bus stop and then later be prepared to retrace my steps or find a more suitable alternative route before continuing northwards through as many Hobart’s eastern shore suburbs as my feet will carry me.  The suburban area has frequent bus services (by comparison with the Opossum Bay bus service) so that timing the duration of Stage 3 is dependent on my health and inclination rather than on bus timetables.

Unfortunately, TasMAP Taroona 5224 is not a great deal of help for reaching Trywork Point. It clearly shows the acres of land between the bus stop and Trywork Point but offers no roads or tracks. I am clear that I will walk from the last Camelot Park bus stop (Metro Bus number 615) south to the Point – somehow. The Hobart and Surrounds Street Directory is only of marginally more use than the TasMAP. However this Directory will be especially useful with the names of streets as I return northwards and walk in and through the suburbs in the later part of this Stage 3 walk.

The most useful mapping and tracking information comes from the Google earth map of the area (which was also useful to see tracks on Gellibrand Point in Stage 2) – although the name Trywork Point is not recorded and does not appear on their map (Note that Trywork Point and some other landmarks are indicated on the TasMAP).  The best that Google can offer is Droughty Point Road. From there I moved the map westward until I found the T junction with Tranmere Rd and Oceana Drive – this intersection is the bus stop from where I will start walking.

Walking south, the bitumen road peters out and the tracks across the land are variously strong and faint on the Google earth map. With this limited information, finding my way will be an experimental process.

Years ago friend Je and I walked from the end of Tranmere Road across some of this land. However, I remember that we encountered stout almost impassable fences. This memory makes me wonder what I will find now, and how easy the access to Trywork Point will be. I look forward to my ongoing discovery of the land besides this wonderful Derwent River.