For the second week in succession, the weather changed in the nick of time for our Friday evening action. What could have been a miserably wet and windy ride instead turned out to be a memorable treasure hunt in beautiful autumn light and spectacular scenery.
With just five members taking up Francis’s challenge, a quick but formal de-affiliation ceremony was conducted and the event took place as a non-AIRC activity. That allowed Maura’s brother-in-law Martin, on holidays from Wicklow, to join in the chase. He provided excellent company while he commanded Zak, the map and the clue sheet with the unflappable ease of an experienced rider.
Nadine, Damien and Sally set out first with the second team of Maura, Libby and Martin following in hot pursuit. Maura did brilliantly on a lively Hannah and must have doubled the hours in her trotting log book by the end of the evening. Fenway and Zak got a bit hot under the collar when asked to travel at a lady-like pace along one of their favourite canter lanes but settled themselves when their riders needed to earnestly ponder a puzzling clue about a portal a short distance further on.
There was so much accumulated pondering of clues that light was dwindling before the teams were two thirds of the way around the route. The hunt master pragmatically amended the course to eliminate clues 13 to 17 and everybody got back safely before dusk quickly became darkness.
Sheets were handed in and the result—a resounding victory for Team 2—was celebrated in style over a table laden with tea and scones with homemade raspberry jam and fresh cream. It was a great evening. Many, many thanks to Francis and Maura. Roll on Treasure Hunt 2012.
Pictured below: Team 2 follows the scent along roads and tracks with Lough Swilly in the background.