Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cycling and Xmas Running Do

I had quite a few things to do on Saturday and wanted to get out for a bike ride for an hour too so worked out I had to be up and out by 8.30 in order to get everything else done and then get to the dog groomer by 1 with Mabel and Teddy. BIP was out for golf by 8.15 so I was awake and ready to go but rushed out without checking the weather which meant a gloomy cycle in windy weather that I probably would have avoided otherwise - the wind does play havoc with my ears! Apart from that a nice bit of biking not too strenuous but enough of a challenge to be worth getting up for. Sunday was the marathon clinic xmas do which firstly entailed getting out of bed at 6.15am - on a Sunday!! Seriously this is why I don't normally do the Sunday morning mc runs, both BIP and I very unimpressed at losing our 1 lie in of the week! Weather was grey and drizzly which didn't bode well, but by the time JB2 arrived at ours at 7.15 and we'd driven into town it was looking a little better. All aboard the coach for our mystery trip. First stop was at the Arapuni dam where we got out to have a walk across the swing bridge (picture left), which was actually pretty cool as the gully is very pretty and the power station perched on the edge below the cliffs in a fairly impressive manner. Then back onto the coach to the next stop down the road which was near part of the Waikato river trails. Morning tea consisted of orange juice and mince pies and then we set off for the run/walk along the Arapuni Dam to Jones Landing part of the trail. In the end I opted to walk as the trail was very uneven with lots of tree roots etc and I didn't fancy tripping and breaking an ankle or ending up in the river!! Still BIP and I kept up a healthy pace and there were some challenging climbs along the way, not least the 5 mins up to the lookout point and so it was a good workout anyway. The trail took about 50 mins before rejoining the road and finding where the coach was parked next to the river at Jones landing (picture on right). Some of the braver (madder?) members of the group took the opportunity for a swim in the river, but a brief paddle was enough to reassure me that it was far to cold to swim in! Billy had brought a bottle of wine with him (good thinking!) so 6 of us indulged in that while the more sedate members of the group had tea and coffee and played a bit of boule. Then secret santa dispensed a variety of 'interesting' gifts before we settled down to lunch. On the way back to Hamilton we had a brief stop at the Maungatautari reserve, not enough time to go in but had a brief look at the pest-proof fence and were lucky enough to see one of the pairs of Takahe wandering around (see top picture). I will definitely be coming back out this way again for a proper visit as it's worth a day trip in its own right. Back home by 3pm and lots of snoozing on the sofa to recover from the early start.

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