Arriving in Ashhurst the weather wasn't looking too bad so I decided to press on and try for Whariti. I had an extremely boring ride through the gorge sitting behind a 4WD towing a caravan who did not know how to pull over to let other traffic past but at least he didn't decide to turn off and follow me up to Whariti.
Just before Woodlands road becomes Whariti road I pulled over to sort the camera out and then I was off with a vengeance to tackle some gravel. Things started off great with some nice gravel with reasonably fast open corners but as you'll see from the video things tighten up pretty quickly and the road does get a fair bit rougher.
I was still enjoying myself and enjoying practicing my gravel riding but as I got up a bit higher the wind made it's presence felt. In the more open sections it was blowing hard enough to blow me off line and into parts of the road where the gravel was thicker and where I didn't really want to be. Adding to the excitement was some sections where there was no gravel, just really slippery clay which my tyres didn't exactly like.
All this excitement was a bit too much so I slowed down quite a bit and took it very easy as the road began to tighten even more and the corners became even more cut up and rutted. Knowing that the road still had a long way to go and a lot of elevation to gain I decided to stop about half way up and call it a day - I didn't really want to face more of that nasty wind further up the hill.
Google Maps refuses to believe I was actually on a road but the little bike on the map shows approximately how far up I got.
View Whariti 17-04-11 in a larger map
After a few snaps I turned the DL around and started making my way back down. It was quite cool just idling down the hill and checking out the skid marks coming out of corners where the DL had been breaking loose on the way up the hill (practically every rough corner) until I got back out in the open and on that wet clay again...
Back on the tar-seal again I decided to have a quick squirt over the Saddle to get some more video and had a great ride even if the road was very wet and I'm still not sure about those adventure tyres in the wet...
All in all, a good little ride and I'm reasonably happy with the new camera - although I will need to find a better place to mount it. More pictures here.