Tag Archives: railway line

The disused railway line

The last remnants of the old railway line crossed the road as I walked away from the bridge over the Derwent River on the edge of the area known as Macquarie Plains. I hope the blue sky and the bright green hilly paddocks in the first photo below makes your heart ‘sing’ as they did to mine. And note the line of fence forming a lace-like barrier between land and sky at the top of the hill.

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The line continued on westward.

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As I walked higher up the road, I could see the track crossing the Derwent River yet again.  Then it curved away permanently from the River.

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The water issue

Unfortunately, the Derwent River’s water level was low and its unscramblable muddy banks prevented me filling up my water containers for most of my walk.  By this stage of the walk – mid morning on day 2 – my water supply was a big worry.

Contrary to my expectations of being able to collect water along the route, throughout Day 1 I found it impossible to get to the river water safely and be able to clamber back up slippery thorny banks.  Originally, I had left home with two plastic bladders each containing one litre.  When I reached the property Cluan on Day one, having quickly decided I could refill a bladder at the river’s edge I drank the remains of one bladder.  Regrettably, on closer inspection at the river edge I could not get down to the water.  This meant I needed to refill somewhere else along the way. But, as you know from earlier postings, I was never next to the river again on Day one, spent lots of time walking on the disused railway line, and eventually pitched camp next to the line.  That night I needed a reasonable amount of water to rehydrate and cook my evening meal.   From then until morning I cautiously sipped the remaining water.

First thing next morning on Day 2, instead of boiling water for a much looked for cup of tea or to make porridge, I ate a fruit bar for breakfast, and took a sip of water. Then, after packing up, I started walking.  Normally I drink a lot of water each day, and I know how important it is to keep hydrated  particularly when you are moving.  Water was everywhere but not a drop to drink – except for the remaining mouthfuls from my water bladder. I knew the water rationing had to continue. I was glad the air temperature was cool so that I wasn’t losing too much in perspiration.  However, I wasn’t to know that I would need to walk considerably further before I had a modicum of success in terms of water gathering.

Plentiful

The views are magnificent around the area centred on the township of Plenty in the Derwent Valley, but at this time of the year the deciduous trees are lacking foliage and there is a grey-greening colour across the landscape. The visuals are comparatively dull.

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Reid’s cherry orchards are the backbone of Plenty. Finally I walked around their most western cleared paddocks.

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I took a last look at the river before heading towards ‘civilisation’, the railway line and the main road.

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Sighted near a private home, I thought the densely flowering Magnolia tree, pictured below, was a rich sensual delight.

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When I reached the railway line over the tiny Plenty River, I looked down and listened to the burbling water flowing into the Derwent River.

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The railway line sleepers over the Plenty River were rotten and impossible to walk over safely, so I exited to the main road, crossed the road bridge and then, through the row of trees on the right in the following photo, I entered a new paddock covered in fruit trees.

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I circled an orchard until I could clamber over a broken barbed wire fence that was squeezed between two poplars. Alas – my new jacket suffered a tear in the process.  Beyond was the trainline.

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Around the corner of the railway line as I walked westwards into the distance, I left Plenty.  The day was overcast and gloomy, and I was walking with a heavy heart because access to the river was impossible.

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