Hi, Ho Silver, Away!!
08.02.2008 26 °C
What an amazing day we've just had!
An early start for me meant more beautiful dawn light over the Coromandel coast.
We managed to get hold of the Rangihan Ranch and booked for a 2 hour horse trek in the hills and forest near to Whitianga and the Coromandel Forest Park. When we arrived the setting was just perfect, rolling foothills and the high peeks of the forest lined the horizon. A friendly lady (Tessa) greeted us with her cute pup (Otis) and took us into the stables. My horse was a large chestnut male, with white socks on his back legs and a white stripe on his nose, called Redwood. Sarah's was a slightly smaller dappled grey female called Mishca.
The ride was incredible. Several large climbs through rough tracks, wooded glades and open fields (good for a canter!) led us to the most breathtaking viewpoints looking all over the peninsula and I said to Sarah jokingly that I'd have to get up here for an evening photo shoot! We carried on, slowly descending through more lush forest and steep tracks (it's amazing how graceful such a heavy animal can be on difficult ground) before winding it down with a trot through the Kiwi fruit fields below........you try stopping a hungry horse going for juicy fruit!
As we dismounted and washed the horses down with a cool shower (I would have loved one myself) I was chatting to the lady about the ranch and she said “Oh you should get up there in the evening for the best light”, needless to say I didn't hesitate for a second to ask! She was fine with the idea and I was so grateful as so many of the good looking viewpoints over here are private land and I have missed a fair few chances of good photos due to that reason.
Come the evening we made our way back to the ranch and Tessa really kindly drove us to the summit, a 4x4 drive thrown into the deal as well, great!! The view from the top, as expected was perfect. The sun was beginning to go down and the light was beautiful. Even Sarah was totally overjoyed at being up there which I was glad about as I know my photos can drag us to some cold and unforgiving places! We knew that this was a great privaledge and definitely an evening to remember.
We slowly wandered back down, stopping when I found suitable compositions and got back to the ranch (through Tessa and Nick's back garden......took a wrong turn somewhere!) as the sun was setting and stopped for a brief chat before setting off back to Hahei for a well deserved bite to eat after what had been a long but really great day.