The Wainuiomata ride is probably one of the most beautiful venues on the WATRC calendar, with spectacular views to the south and west of hidden valleys, the city and harbour entrance as a backdrop, and the Kaikouras (on a fine day) a distant couterpoint. To the north and east, the Orongorongo's overlook the picturesque Wainuiomata River valley with the southern end of the Rimutakas behind, and the plateau above Baring Head falls in steep cliffs to the stoney beach.
This year the trail included an inspired detour around the eastern edge of Lake Kohangatera and the Gollans Stream wetlands. This area has been longingly admired from the top of Valley View Hill on previous rides, and it was a pleasure and priviledge to descend into the valley. For horses and riders this new section of trail added some welcome softer going on the flat and the opportunity to blow out some cobwebs - most riders took advantage of it.
By getting out a little ahead of the first riders, I was able to catch the first few in a warming morning light ahead of the full sun of the day. My trail followed the planned Novice route, but with the loop past the lodge and along the lakeside in reverse so that I could meet the riders rather than be overtaken. A trot downhill allowed me to meet a pair exiting the lake reserve who I had snapped as they entered the downhill part of the loop. The only downside of this plan was the very steep climb I had back to the main trail, but it paid dividends as I met every novice rider at some point on that loop.
Congratulations and thanks to Sharon and the numerous helpers on the day. A highly successful event and a magnificent venue with new gems revealed.
With results and the latest newsletter published, the photo set completed (at last) we now have a second chance at Maymorn to look forward to.
See you there.