Tag Archives: TasWater

Settling in, indoors+

Once inside the Gretna Green Hotel, immediately I felt comfortable.  I walked out to a back room, plonked my gear and then hung onto the bar looking eager.

“Would it be possible to have a shower?  I’m happy to pay.  I don’t care if the shower is in the private residential quarters upstairs.  I’ll even clean it afterwards if that will help.  I’d REALLY like a shower.” All said with pleading eyes.  ‘No. Can’t do,” said the barman.  I stared with desperate eyes, waiting for an explanation.  Apparently TasWater, which manages water quality and delivery around Tasmania, has declared the water at Gretna to be so unsafe that no-one should drink it, and the locals deem it so bad that there is a flow on risk with showering and washing your clothes in it.  “Well we all shower in it, but that’s the risk we take”, barman Brad informed me. “But we won’t let you take the risk.” I spoke up. “If you shower in it then I am happy to shower in it and will even sign a slip of paper saying I am accepting the risk against your advice.”  “No can do. Nah. Sorry.  The publicans won’t allow it,” was the barman’s response. He was trying to be helpful and so I saw no point in putting him offside.  After all, my bus back to Hobart wasn’t passing through Gretna for another 7 hours – I reckoned that creating an aggro situation wouldn’t be smart.

“OK. A bottle of water and a cup of black tea please.”  The cup with its tea bag was soon in front of me.  While the hot drink cooled, I sculled the bottle all the time sitting and chatting to friendly and informative Brad.  After the second bottle and second cup of tea, I began to feel refreshed.  I made up my mind to get clean including brushing my teeth (in the offending water) and to change my clothes, so off I went to the toilets and slowly completed the ablutions and the makeover.  When I left the cubicle, I felt like a new person. I was rehydrated within from having imbibed the fluids earlier, and now I knew I looked different. I felt so much more alive. I only had to survive the waiting time until the bus came through. Only 6 hours to go.

Onwards into and around Herdsmans Cove on the 8th stage of my walk along the Derwent Rive

At 9.48 am I was leaving Old Beach and continuing my walk northwards along the East Derwent Highway with its noise of heavy trucks and speeding cars passing me by. To my left were masses of overgrowing blackberry brambles reminding me of the thicket scrambled through on my last walk.  Not long after, the hint of a track on the left took me away from the edge and above the Highway and a little closer to the River.  I continued for a while when it seemed like the track would descend into Gage Cove, but it petered out – I recommend anyone following in my tracks stays on the Highway. Overhead soared a large hawk or kite drifting on the breeze while looking down for a feed.   Below I could see black swans feeling safe on the waters of the reedy Cove. Back towards the road I walked, clambered over a collapsing barbed wire fence, and eventually down onto the unprotected road verge and again sometimes into the ditch (with the thrown cigarette butts and the jetsam of McHappy Meals). At 9.58am I reached the sign for Gage Brook and soon after observed some water ran below towards Gage Cove, amidst a conglomeration of marshy and spiky vegetation.

I continued past a second sign directing traffic to the Baskerville Raceway, and at 10.10am I turned left at a major roundabout (suburb of Gagebrook to the right, Bridgewater straight ahead and Herdsmans Cove to the left). A minute later I turned left at a T-junction then left again at Calvert Court at 10.19am.

I loved hearing the wind in the massive gum trees.  Majestic to look at. Thrilling to listen to. The photo bellows shows a stand of gums in a mowed parkland beside the Bellerive walk. The trees I saw at Herdsmans Cove were much larger.

20141111_121906

At 10.23am I turned left at a short unnamed cul de sac with an empty block leading to a foreshore trail. Two locals, who were mowing lawns, confirmed this was the way to go. On the track, a sign gave directions along this ‘Swan Park Trail’.

20141111_102504  20141111_104216

I never discovered if there was an actual Herdsmans Cove as in a bay or body of water, but I suspect it may be the small inlet adjacent and north of the Lamprill Circuit. If I had turned left I could have walked the Lamprill Circuit. However, because I could look down and could see a small shelter structure had been built at a vantage point where the River and mountain views could be appreciated and I realised going down meant coming back up a hill, I did not pursue this direction.

20141111_102911

Instead I turned right and headed northwards. This was the first of the Brighton local government signs and it made me more confident of where I was walking as I came across more.

At 10.30am I was rounding another gate and soon, away in the distance, I could see the tops of the Bridgewater Bridge.

20141111_111825

The walk around the suburb of Herdsmans Cove was uneventful. Lots of bird song beside the path and scattering tiny birds in the long grasses. A brilliant Blue Wren flitting. Mounds of black swans like dark rocks sleeping on the rocky shore. Foreshore Trail signs off and on. Gates to walk around.

20141111_104537

Eventually I was curving back towards the Highway and nearing the bridge over the Jordan River. Initially I was looking across the Jordan River at the suburb of Green Point (part of Bridgewater) –

20141111_104541

Then I was approaching the Bridge.

20141111_105339

A TasWater worker had parked his vehicle and was absorbed in problem solving inside a building alongside the Jordan. Beside him, I took an informal track up and onto the Jordan River Bridge.

20141111_105331