The goal of walking along the western shore of the Derwent River was to reach the mouth and during Stage 13 I reached this destination marked by Pearsons Point.
Before then at 10.44am I walked past a turn off: Mt Louis Road. There was a lump up in the sky on my right. Maybe another time it might be pleasant to see what is up there and to look at the view – which is probably a spectacular 360 degree outlook along the Derwent River, the D’entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island.
As I panted up the final hill, I heard the thwack of balls and realised the fencing I could see in the distance amounted to a tennis court. A tennis court! Ye gods! Out here in the bush and miles from anywhere? Yes it was. Two women were slamming the balls up and down the court. Their two cars were the only vehicles in sight.
10.52am: I reached the Pearsons Point Reserve and was feeling rather chuffed.
I wandered around the site which included a disused gun emplacement and a couple of large historic cannons. Guess Pearsons Point would have been the first line of defence against any Russian threat (which seemed to be the main thought through the 19th century).
Note: the bump behind the gun emplacement and tennis court is Mt Louis. A large white edifice on the end of the Point (on the other side of the cannon) appeared to be a marine navigation beacon.
In front of me to the right hand side of the Point, the D’entrecasteaux Channel separated the mainland of Tasmania from Bruny Island (famous for its fresh produce such as cheeses, smoked fish and meats, berries, premium wines, and local oysters).
I was very surprised how close Bruny Island (Dennes Point) was to this part of Tasmania’s mainland. So close. So accessible. And its green hills and the white sandy Jetty Beach were most attractive.
On the other side of Pearsons Point to my left, the Derwent River flowed out to Storm Bay and then onto the ocean. I could see the Iron Pot and Cape Direction at the southern tip of the South Arm peninsula on the eastern shore of the River.
I found a pleasant picnic table and at 11am ate half my lunch under a small cluster of gum trees hoping no branches would be shed on my head. Feeling on top of the world. The sun was out and the tiniest of breezes moved through the area. Past the trees I could see motoring boats leaving white streams behind them as they sliced through the River. I looked back northwards to the Alum Cliffs between Taroona and Kingston.
With a little sadness I left Pearsons Point at 11.25am.
By 12.40pm I was passing the Hidden Cove turnoff, at 1.05pm I reached the Fossil Cove Drive junction, at 1.25pm I walked across the intersection with Treatment Plant Road, and at 1.30 I stopped for a moment at Suncoast Drive. I looked at the one bus stop (there wasn’t a pair one either side of the road) and it did not have a timetable attached to the post, so I continued walking to Wells Parade. I had been told this was a long road, and now I know it is.
I stopped and waited for a bus which didn’t come (the first in my entire travels) and left and walked up and down and up and downhill until eventually I was back parallel to the Blackmans Bay Beach. I sat for a while at the beach soaking in the atmosphere, smelling the salt, and relishing the fact my feet were having a rest. When the time came (according to my bus timetable), I walked to the bus stop where I had alighted hours earlier in the morning, and before long Metro bus number 85 arrived. After passing via the Suncoast Drive bus stop that I had looked at earlier in the afternoon on arrival back in Blackmans Bay, Maranoa Heights, other suburbs, and Kingston, I was back in Hobart city by 4pm feeling elated. Stage 13 was over.