Once again Handel’s oratorio The Messiah came to mind when I reached the top of one steep hill climb.
The initial words to the particularly delightful section are: “All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned everyone to his own way. …” When sung, the voices start with ‘all we like sheep’ and do not continue immediately to the subsequent words. Therefore, there is a tendency that if the words are not sung clearly, listeners think that we all like sheep, when the meaning is that we are similar to sheep and may go astray. As for me, I like sheep and I have never been trusted not to go astray (after all, walking the Derwent isn’t what normal people do). Nevertheless I am always happy to break out singing this marvellous song. Have a listen to a choir (Choir of King’s College, Cambridge) which performs it well; at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixmNZQH0NjU The photos of sheep in all sorts of situations are shown while the voices sing the song. Incredibly entertaining.
Watch this video –
Back to my walk. Next to Tinderbox Road, I came across a couple of paddocks of resting sheep and ‘everyone had turned to his own way’.
On my return journey they were up and about grazing independently, but ‘everyone had turned to his own way’. How could not we all like sheep?
Yesterday, I completed the first part of my walk along the Derwent River: an exciting achievement.
Last August I started walking from the mouth of the River at Cape Direction on the tip of the South Arm peninsula and now, at the end of February, I have completed the distance from that mouth to the Bridgewater Bridge and back on the western shore to Pearson’s Point near the settlement of Tinderbox.
On the 8th stage mid-November, I had the first major milestone when I finished the walk from Cape Direction to the Bridgewater Bridge. This 13th stage was the culmination of walks from the Bridge back to the mouth on the western side of the River.
During yesterday’s walk, I covered about 5km of the length of the Derwent River. By my reckoning, the total distance of the Derwent River on the western shore from the Bridgewater Bridge to the mouth is 38 3/4 km.
For Stage 13 yesterday, I needed to walk to Pearson’s Point from the bus stop where I finished on Stage 12 and then, on reaching my goal, I needed to retrace my steps back to Blackmans Bay to connect with a bus that could return me to Hobart. This distance was approximately 17 kms. I have now walked at least 171km not counting getting to and from buses. But when the walks are staggered over time, this number does not mean much.
The highlights of the walk to Pearson’s Point were mostly small and natural: rosehips, green rosellas, hum of bees, resting sheep, and the taste of delicious ripe blackberries along the way.
I was surprised how close the northern part of Bruny Island was to the mainland of Tasmania (almost felt like I could swim across the D’entrecasteaux Channel) and I felt overwhelmed by the staggeringly expansive and grand views across and up and down the Derwent River.
The fun part was singing (including mixing up the words in my excitement) Handel’s Hallelujah chorus (from The Messiah) at the top of my voice when I passed a large sign with the words SING. You can listen to a superb version performed in 2012 by the Royal Choral Society at the Royal Albert Hall in London England at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUZEtVbJT5c
Over the next few days I will write up the journey and the discoveries of Stage 13’s walk. Then I will be looking towards a long main road walk from the Bridgewater Bridge at Granton to New Norfolk which I expect to undertake in the next couple of weeks. Once I have reached New Norfolk I will be on the way to Lake St Clair, the source of the Derwent River.