Walking the Tasmanian Trail – Day 18

Day 18 – Lake Repulse Dam to Rockmount Road 19.2km (11.1Mi)

Because we had some extra time yesterday afternoon we went for a drive before we set up camp to see where the next days walking would take me. My first impression of Rooney Tiers was that it had an eerie feeling about it and I was not looking forward to walking through it today. This was mainly due to the isolation within a forestry area that had been devastated by fire and bulldozer in recent times and their effects made it seem stark and strange from what I had been walking through so far. This eerie feeling affected me to the point where the next morning I had to say out loud “Anni get out of the car its ok, get on with it”.

The first half of the walk took me through the fire devastated area and this morning my experience of it was quite different. With brooding dark clouds in the sky and the sun shining through the new growth leaves lit up against the blackened trunks of gum trees, it was quite beautiful. This strange beauty calmed me. However the second half of my walk took me through the bulldozer ravished pine forest and it was quite shocking to see all the felled pine trees lying in mounds on the ground. I know that we need wood for production but for some reason it surprised me how it made me feel to see it the reality of forestry in action. It felt like a plundering had taken place here and the isolation of where I was made it seem forlorn and forgotten. I find it interesting how different experiences of places can make you feel and how we respond to it, I walked a cracking 6.5km an hour through this plundered area. I am sure in the future the experience of walking through this area would be completely different once it has been replanted.

This afternoon I was to walk across some private land, however there was a catch. We needed to ring ahead to check if there were shooters on the property on the day I intended to walk across it. Paul made a call to the property owners, however he only got a response of “I will let my husband know.” I did not feel confident enough that this was a guarantee that there would be no shooters so I made the decision to walk down Ellendale Road instead. This meant walking along a tar road which I did not particularly like, however the afternoons walk passed by without too much traffic or incident. Paul met me in Ellendale where we had a coffee and carrot cake at the local café/store and we got to chat with a few of the locals who were on the table next to us.

With the promise of a shower we drove down to Glenora to camp at a designated TT campsite at the back of the local school. When we arrived it was suggested that it would be nicer to camp on the Derwent river at Bushy Park and we were give the security code to use to showers in the schools gymnasium. We set up camp on the river for two nights and Paul shuttled me back to my starting point back near Ellendale the next morning.

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