Walking the Tasmanian Trail - Day 16

Lower Dee Lagoon to Ouse 23.7km (14.12Mi)

Woke today with a very stiff body that causes me grief and keeps me awake during the nights so I am not getting the sleep I need. This makes for a tired and grumpy camper of which Paul bears the brunt of from time to time. Once I am up and moving about for a while my body seems to settle in and I don’t experience the pain I do when lying on an air mat during the night. My walking day started out much the same as any other on the trail with trees that continued to alight my sense of awe, weather that made me feel alive, smells that saturated my nostrils and colours that pleased my eyes. Today’s highlight of colour was seeing a grouping of fire stick flowers, this is what I called them and not their real name. If you know their real name I would love it if you let me know in the comments below πŸ™‚ I could not find out via a google image search.

What I call fire stick flowers
What I call fire stick flowers

My walking eventually took me out of the bushland into some beautiful open farmland. It continually amazes me how dry some parts of Tasmania get during the summer months. On the West Coast of Tasmania Strahan can experience up to 57 inches and in the Highlands the Cradle Valley can experience up to 106 inches of rain each year. In contrast, the Midlands average rainfall is only 18 inches and Hobart is the second driest city in Australia after Adelaide. Despite this Hobart seem to experience a lot of cloudy days which result in some beautiful rainbows. Today I got to experience some of the patchy rain weather that is common in many parts of Tasmania. I had my big green poncho on as the day started out drizzly and damp, then the clouds cleared and the sun came out so I stopped to take it off. As soon as I had packed it away and started walking again the dark clouds promptly came back over and it started raining again. This change in the weather happened numerous times during the morning walk that I ended up just leaving the poncho on.

As I walked along one stretch of straight road I pulled out my iPhone to check the reception. Because the reception was so intermittent it was hard to catch up on posting images on Facebook and Instagram. When I saw I had reception I had my head down looking at my phone and out of the blue a Toyota minibus crept up on me unexpected. Usually, I hear vehicles approaching me however because I had my poncho hood on and the wind blowing around me I did not hear it until it was only about 5 metres in front of me and it gave me a start. Luckily it had seen me, how could they not in my bright green poncho, and had slowed down as they approached me. When the bus passed I saw that it was full of older people on a bit of trip in the area. I continued to walk and turned my head to look behind me to see that the bus had come to a halt and started reversing back to me, so I stopped and started walking towards the bus.

Getting closer to Ouse on Victoria Valley Road

Once the driver had opened the door I was questioned by those closest to the door. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? How long will it take you? How much do you walk each day? I answered the questions as they fired them at me and could see that they took delight in hearing about my journey. As they were sending me off with good wishes one woman threw me a bag of Werther’s toffees eclairs saying take these to keep you going on a wonderful adventure. This made me feel a little chuffed about what I was doing and it was funny, not long before I was thinking how I would like some lollies*. I had deliberately not bought any lollies* for the trip because I knew I would be too tempted to eat them over all the good nuts I had on hand. It was a nice treat to have these chocolate eclairs in my snack pack for the next few days.

* lollies = sweets in the UK and candy in America

Not far from Ouse still on Victoria Valley Road


June 16, 2014

Anni May Jensen