It started badly, with rain and heavy cloud.
Later in the morning things lightened a little. How could I make lemonade from these lemons? I recalled that in weather similar to this on our last trip to Napier, I saw some intriguing misty scenes as the road climbed towards the summit. Sadly, there was little of the swirling clouds as I headed up the hill. Nothing but grey overcast and flat light. It is however an imposing landscape, and I walked from the summit carpark the few metres to the lookout and constructed this five-shot panorama. If you have memories of the Rimutaka road as a rugged winding torture track, well it has been significantly improved, though the landscape carries the scars. There are still twists and turns, but much wider and smoother than before, with frequent passing lanes. It used to be a major adventure to go over the hill, but now it can be done in about 20 minutes to Featherston.
As I was leaving, I noticed a car in difficulties in the park near the trig track. I might not have stopped but it was Jensen Interceptor … an object of desire in my youth. In this case the after-market fuel injection system had failed and the car was immobilised and the owner had a problem. He needed to deliver his sister to the airport for a flight to Brisbane. Check-in time was 1pm and it was now 12:20pm. Hmm. Since my summit trip had not been especially fruitful, I reasoned that the south Coast might offer better opportunities, so I headed South with more purpose than before. I got her there just after 1 pm but she phoned ahead to say she was coming and all was well. Sadly the South Coast was not cooperating so I set out again towards home. A brief pause at Point Jerningham caught this little cluster of yachts at play against the city backdrop.
Nearing Petone, I saw some interesting light on the Eastern hills and a strong rainbow. The park at the Western end of Petone Beach was the nearest useful stopping point, but already the rainbow had degraded both in intensity and integrity. A small fragment of it was at its best over Matiu/Somes Island. Another piece was over the Wainuiomata hill but a pale shadow of what I had seen while driving in traffic a few minutes earlier.
South to the city there was a spectacular cloud bank and some impressive weather over Kelburn and Brooklyn. On the whole I think I got lucky.
More weather today.