Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Bathurst Oct 1st-starting the trip home.

We were heading out of Bathurst with a full tank of fuel just before 1100, having completed the house clean up to our satisfaction.

Between Mandurah and Cowra we suddenly came across about 30 cars all stopped on the side of the road with people everywhere.  An accident? No... lots of tourists taking photos of a lovely canola crop !!! We should have taken a photo of the people taking photos.

We decided to pull in at the Cowra Japanese garden and parked right behind a very familiar A-van.  Sure enough Al and Zita had had the same idea.  On an idyllic sunny day just at the start of spring it was just about the ideal time to visit, and despite a lot of tourists (mostly Asian) there was plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the tranquility of the garden.

Lots of beautiful blossom,  water and sculpted plantings. It was well worth 2 hours of our time.

Japanese Maple

Accidental twins for the day

We gave up on the idea of lunch at the gardens due to slow service and snacked our way along the road after a cuppa with Al and Zita.

We took a short break at Rankine Springs for a cuppa and a cache under the turntable just to break up the trip a bit

before continuing on our way.  Just about 20km short of Hay we turned in to the Murrumbidgee river road, and then south towards the river and the Meriola reserve. Winding our way down towards the river we found a small flat campsite beside a sandy beach with a fire place just waiting or us and good spots for our swags.

The Garmin thought it was a cute idea to suggest that, instead of following our track in (the blue line) when we headed out the next day, we could just ford the river and pick up a track on the other side (pink line is suggested route) .  We thought not.

 We sat beside our lovely fire, cooked ourselves some tea, enjoyed some lovely wine and watched the coals die down, thinking that this wonderful peaceful evening would be the last like this for a while.

Bathurst 30th September -Long distance and grand final day

Today was the long distance champs. The map was Tambaroora, which is just out of Hill end.

Trevor did a consistently good effort, though slow.
I did made an abysmal mash of my course. I took 58  minutes between control 5 and 6, only then figuring out where I was because I accidentally found number 9 and navigated back from that.

My mess

Trev's course

My course

This photos,though not of an SA orienteer gives a good idea of what the tricky terrain area was like. (Thanks OA facebook site) 

Once we were allowed to collect our maps we hopped in the car and headed back to town,  arriving just in time to catch the start of the AFL grand final.

Sadly the Crows lost despite strong support at our place.  They saved us the stress of a close game and we were able to relax over too much wine with Al and Zita before heading off to our beds for a final night. Tomorrow the big trip home starts.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Bathurst Sept 29 rest day -our house

Today a much needed rest day.

We thought it might be good to use the time to share about the place where we are staying.

This house is an airbnb place that we booked months ago. With 3 bedrooms and a decent amount of living space , along with laundry facilities we thought it  might fit our needs well.

They had said that it was close to Mt Panorama but we hadn't realised how close it was.  Our house is at the blue dot on the map below.

You can see the "supercheap" signage up the road from our front footpath
We have a lovely small backyard with space to sit, a bird feeder,  a BBQ and a lovely weeping pink blossomed tree at the side. The bright pink blossoms are stunning.

It's always hard to take inside pictures  I gave up on the bedrooms and bathroom.

It is the little things like a welcome note and bottle of wine, good quality kitchen gear like the kitchen aid mixer and good crockery that make a difference.

It's good to have a place to be warm and comfortable, a chance at a good sleep (never a strength of ours) and somewhere to wash up.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Bathurst Sept 28th relays and public race

We travelled the 25 min out from Bathurst to the West again today.

Parking at the flat campground at the top of the hill, we carried our gear down the hill for a bit over a km to an extremely scenic assembly area.  The distant views were delightful, but the numerous high hills and deep gullies worried us all. There was going to be plenty of climb on these courses. It was a much chillier day today and we were keen to get out there and keep warm, but there was business to be completed first.

The kids were out first,  and we were just in time for the mass start, with the first runners for the 30 or so teams all starting at the same time. (All Aussie states, plus NZ) The kids were all dressed up in their warpaint.  SA were resplendant with crows socks, red, yellow and blue hair, and the junior boys even had coloured streamers on their backs! Then we waited , and slowly we started to spot the runners appearing on the distant slope, and then making their way up the cruelly steep track to the spectator control.

As we all screamed at our favourites to urge them on, they had to just keep on running past the crowd and out into yet more hills and gullies on the last loop before they reappeared to the cheers of their supporters, and the team mates who were waiting to be tagged and to take their turn in the forest.

After our disappointing series of mis punches yesterday, the SA kids were under strict instructions to dib as well as float above the SI units-and we didn't have any mispunches.

The selection of relay teams can be a tricky thing, and Meredith Norman was an unlucky one today, left out due to recent poorer results, and included in a composite team running against her SA team mates.  With plenty to prove she ripped around her course in 36.35, leaving all of our senior girls runners in the official SA team behind her. Her team came 5th.

The official senior girls team came 7th (6th Aussie team) .

Waiting to run in behind Alyce

Junior boys had 2 teams.  The first and official SA team were beaten by the 2nd team, with Toby also running a great time, and Ethan showing, once again that he can hold his own, with yet another great time.

Junior girls ended up 4th Aussies and 6th overall,  with Joanna, once again,  the fastest of them.

Our senior boys were the only ones to make the podium, with 2nd Aussie team (3rd overall) , despite Angus having a dodgy hamstring.

Once the excitement of the relays was over, we had our own runs on the hilly terrain. Trev was 11th out of 40 and I was 7th of 42 runners.

Then we walked back up the hill again to the parking and enjoyed a well earned up of tea.

Cheeky photographer in the crowd

Kids doing what kids do. 
Here are our maps

Trev's map

Erica's map

Bathurst Sept 27th-school and public sprints

Today we visited one of the colleges (All Saints) in Bathurst and ran sprint courses before watching the schools kids do the same.

Sadly, some of our most promising kids (Angus, Dante and Jack) mispunched, bringing the SA team score down. Meredith was 3rd Australian in the senior girls and Joanna 2nd Australian in Junior girls.

It was great to see some of our juniors coming through well and confidently.

Trevor and I both enjoyed fairly good runs, with Trevor ending up 7th out of 49 and Erica 3rd of 44 runners.

Here are some pictures to give you a bit of an idea of what it was like.

We stayed around to watch the presentations for the day-held in the hot , bright sunlight.  We were very proud of our team who sat waiting patiently on the stands while the organizers got themselves ready and other teams got themselves sorted.