Since walking along the Derwent River in the northern suburbs on the western shore earlier this year, I have revisited MONA at Berriedale on a number of occasions but I have not been further north. So it was a great delight when my X1 Metro bus, which departed from Hobart city at 7.17am, used the old main road after the Glenorchy bus mall to travel through Berriedale, Claremont and Austins Ferry before reaching Granton. I was able to see the acres of majestic gold and red leafed vines of Moorilla Wines, to observe Cadbury’s chocolate factory puffing plumes of white steam into the crisp blue sky morning, to identify a range of native birds that were using Goulds Lagoon as a safe resting place, and to recognise various bays and other features that I had passed previously. Everything seemed edged with the early sunlight which glowed strongly through rain washed, impeccably clean air.
I was off the bus at stop 49 on the last of the Brooker Highway at 7.50am. Looking northwards, the sign made it clear the direction to take was straight ahead. An earlier post introduced the history of the old Granton watch house (search Historic Granton, Tasmania) – that’s the low yellow building on the left in the first photo below, and then the second photo shows the sun-struck front of the building.
I was aware New Norfolk, over last weekend, had been celebrating the glories of its autumn foliage as indicated by the sign below. The sign served to increase my anticipation of those colourful delights.
The unmemorable architecture of the Granton Memorial Hall solidly facing the morning sun, seemed very out of place in this beautiful area.
Equally solid and immediately serviceable was the public toilet block at the edge of the carpark used by many city bus commuters.
In front of the carpark a sign reminded me of the importance of grape growing in Tasmania – not the least because the wine from our vineyards is very drinkable (as agreed by wine judges from around the world).
My eyes swung across to the roundabout for vehicles travelling north on the Midlands Highway to Launceston via many rural towns. In the distance, the vertical towers of the Bridgewater Bridge marked the Derwent River crossing. The calmness of the day, and the quality of the light was sublime.
I hadn’t walked far along the Lyell Highway when I saw the sign below which indicated that 16 kilometres further along the highway I would reach New Norfolk. But could I trust the sign? Two or so kilometres further back, when I was still bussing on the Brooker Highway, I had seen a sign indicating the distance was 16 kilometres.
Not far away another roadside sign alerted motorists (and the occasional pedestrian): Welcome to The Rivers Run Touring Route.
Walking on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic and with the Derwent River on my right, I continued into the icy breeze heading towards New Norfolk. It wasn’t much after 8am when I left the (comparatively) built up area of Granton on the first leg of Stage 14.