Friday, June 26, 2015

Day 8

Half a tub of butter

We were woken by the sound of knocking on our front porch, and thinking that someone was knocking on the door, we hastily jumped out of bed, only to discover that the noise was actually hammer generated (repairs were being done on the porch). 

We slowly got ourselves ready to face another day and eventually got out to do some orienteering. Roark and Tim did a shortish ‘brown only’ (contour only) course which, while quite slow going, was good to get them reading the contour detail more carefully. Dylan meanwhile did the short uphill course.

The middle of the afternoon registers as a blank in our memory bank, so clearly nothing all too exciting went down. We did however manage to eat every scrap of food left in the kitchen walking away from the day with only half a tub of butter.

As the afternoon rolled by Roark decided to hit the short downhill and uphill courses that he had missed the day before due to a struggling achilles. While all went relatively smoothly for the first half, Roark managed to zone out on his way to the first finish and spent a good while moseying around looking for the start to the uphill course. The uphill course was a lot less fluid (unless you count the marshes), partially because much of the control tape was hard to spot but we have to put a bit down to less focused navigation. Dylan decided to tackle the ‘brown only’ course which he enjoyed a fair bit. He generally quite enjoys using contour detail to navigate and so the map and the training exercise suited him well. Given all the detail on these maps it can be educative to see them simplified, it gives one a better sense of the nuances of mapping in this part of the world.

After a short stint of relaxation, Roark and Tim took to the lawn to throw a Frisbee. While the Frisbee flew back and forth across the field, and Dylan headed up to the tower to take some pictures, two Norwegian girls came running up to the club house. While their dog was interested in the Frisbee, the South Africans were more interested in….you get the point.

Just after, Tim got a brainwave and was soon seen climbing to the top of the tower, with Frisbee in hand! While the trajectory of the Frisbee was noticeably altered by the strong winds, both the South Africans had fun not only throwing the Frisbee from the top of the tower but also trying to get it back up. When Roark’s throw got stuck in a tree he activated monkey mode and scrambled up after it, and although he wasn’t quite as graceful as the description would suggest, he managed to retrieve the Frisbee none the less.

We then set about cleaning up the cabin. While Dylan whipped out the vacuum cleaner and got busy, Roark pretended to sweep the floor. Tim set about the task of doing the dishes (Tim does a lot of dishes, making up for his absence when preparing meals). Soon everything was spotless and Dylan used the last few minutes before we were picked up to listen to some tunes, while Tim and Roark picked up where they left off and returned to a bit of Frisbee. They then took to spying on the Halden club house (checking out all the trophies), before taking a quick last look at the view from the tower. As they got up though, their lift arrived so the long trip up was for naught.

Tim was ecstatic to be lifted back to Einarbu by a once WOC medallist and nearly died when he got to shake his hand (we may have over exaggerated this ever so slightly). The rest of us on the other hand managed to maintain our composure and we were able to learn valuable lessons about what we may encounter in Rauland. On the way back we stopped off at Kwiki (a supermarket) for some food. We decided to impress Tim Noakes by stocking up on some meat but fell short when we saw the hot chips in the freezer.

Back at Eina bru we quickly fixed a dinner of fish fingers and fries (ok, Tim Noakes would not be impressed). Tim Chambers on the other hand was very impressed when he found tomato sauce in the cold room. After devouring our meals we hung around for a while, generally faffing around. 

Dylan soon resumed his love affair with the spot under the moose and continued reading his book.

Sigmund then came to show us the cottage we will be staying in while a group of thirty women invade the club house for a party tomorrow night (here’s hoping it’s a 21st…).

Tim then went for a run in the soaking forest to get his daily running quota up to ten km’s. He also did a couple of strides to check if his legs still work before tomorrow’s sprint race. Dylan and Roark in the meantime sat down to start the blog, taking a quick break to make toasted sandwiches with a waffle machine. With the blog nearly done, Tim returned.

And for a change we are actually up to date!

Quote of the day: Snickers in your nickers – Roark

Fact of the day: 3 yards equals ten metres – according to a confuzzled Dylan

Awkward interaction of the day: walking past two elderly ladies who just sat on the bench outside our cabin for four hours straight, watching everything we did (including us hanging up underwear on the washing line two metres away). They made us feel like we had to say hi every time we walked by.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 7

Sick, Lame and Lazy

Once again our day started later than planned (though with the amount of daylight we get, it doesnt really matter what time we wake up..)

After breakfast, Dylan went out on the course the others had done last night while Tim and Roark headed out to do a long distance training on the eastern side of Hoias (name of the club house/s). Roark managed to tweak his achilles a few days ago and after the first couple of controls, decided that he wasnt too keen on trundling through the wet marshes for too long, so only did about half the course. Tim had a good start to the course, but messed up later on and decided to skip the last few controls (Tim doesn't skip controls!! What happened!) (he still managed to do 11km though)

Roark and Tim spent the afternoon (and even part of the evening) sleeping ( a 1 hour nap turned into 4...). Dylan was a bit more energetic and went and did a short course on the northern slopes of Hoias.

Tim then went out on a short downhill and then uphill course through some nice open forest north of Hoias, managing to get into the map a bit better than during his morning session. Roark sat this one out in an attempt at recovery (we'll see how tomorrow goes!)

It was then time to get our cook on again (well Roark and Dylan anyway- Tim was too busy Facebook messaging Melanie, but has kindly offered to do the washing up later). We took our carb rich meal of pasta with tomato and spaghetti sauce (we haven't quite worked out Norwegian labels yet) up to the viewing tower where we got up to our normal shenanigans of photo taking while Tim thought it would be entertaining to drop forks from the top of the tower in an attempt to peg them in the ground far below.

Then we spent the next forever catching up on some blogging so that our ever eager audience (probably only Brad) could be kept up to date.

Quote of the day: Roark: " Tim Noakes would brain us, brain us dead."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 6

A change of scenery (some slightly different trees)

After going to bed rather late last night, all of us needed to catch some zzzzz's, so our planned 8am wake up was delayed by a couple of hours.

We got up, changed into our SA kit and plunged straight into our second successive interview (this time a newspaper interview- so Roark would fortunately be able to think before he spoke...)

The interview seemed to go reasonably well and South African tourism was left intact (no calls from the South African embassy today)

After the interview we got a ride with Anders to go do some middle distance training in a forest just to the south of Eina-bru. Dylan tried to focus on using contours as much as possible, while Roark had a wonderful time exploring the root systems of the local trees (see yesterday's video). Tim enjoyed the orienteering part of it, but not so much the swarm of bugs that followed him around the second half of the course.

On arriving back at the club house, Tim and Roark caught a few more zzz's while Dylan continued his literary adventures under the Moose head.

Sigmund then arrived to pick us up and after a mad scramble of bag packing (Roark only woke up as Sigmund arrived, but still managed to get ready before Dylan), we were on our way to Halden. On our way we experienced another example of the temperamental Norwegian weather (sunny, rainy, sunny, rainy )

We arrived at Halden SK (a club with a reputation almost as big as Roark's imaginary snakes), and were warmly greeted by one of the club members (A WOC medallist in '97) who showed us around and gave us our training maps for our stay here.

The discovery of wifi was then made and after half an hour of the incessant clickety-clack of keyboards, Tim and Roark headed out for a short course around the hilltop that the club is situated on ( Dylan remained behind to further utilise the wifi with a skype call home). The terrain was really nice, with the majority of the forest being a lot more open than what we have previously encountered. Roark managed to get into the map very quickly and enjoyed the mapping style and accuracy.

The showers were then found and to our suprise had only one button (the temperature was fixed and the length of the shower fixed at a rather short 30secs) (Halden has a water shortage problem, though we cant quite understand how with the amount of water we, our clothes and our shoes have seen on this trip so far.

We then climbed up the viewing tower to take some pics of the amazing views (trees trees and more trees in every direction you look) (Wall-E says hello)

By this stage (11pm) we were all rather ravenous, so we got our cook on and rustled up some spaghetti and mince.

After dinner we made an attempt at video editing and put together our 1st (of hopefully many) videos of our trip.

Quote of the day: "Can I borrow your toilet" (though if we tried to speak Norwegian, it would turn out a lot worse)

Monday, June 22, 2015


Day 5

The buzz of an alarm shattered the peaceful slumber of the exhausted orienteers at the crazy hour of 7am!! While Tim and Dylan dragged themselves out of bed, Roark pulled his duvet over his head and clung onto the last few moments of sleep.

By 7:30 we were all ready to face the daunting task of our first radio interview. We’d face this alongside Sigmund and Martin. Tim and Dylan managed to pull off their answers admirably, but Roark fell flat due to his lack of knowledge about anything involving biology, and probably scared off any Norwegian listeners from ever visiting South Afica with his vivid stories of giant boomslang dropping out of trees – he was trying to talk about mambas. (Tim and Dylan say Roark wasn’t that bad).

After the interview we headed out into the pouring rain for a long distance training session in the Eina Bru forest. After a nice warm-up run to the other side of the forest and some lekker banter we arrived at the start and were soon on our way through the spongy marshes. We are definitely starting to get a better understanding of the terrain and today’s training was much more successful. Tim struggled with numbers though confusing number 6 and 9 and ignoring the line from 5-6. Dylan had quite a nice run, but is not a huge fan of all that rain #notacapetonian. Roark had fun doing a running commentary for the GoPro footage of his course.

At the present moment Dylan is reading under the moose (clearly his favourite part of the club house.

Rest of the day to follow when wifi is found again.

Wifi was found...

The second training session was unanimously voted against (everyone was feeling a bit tired), and we instead took a jog down to the nearby cliffs and lake to shoot some 'cool' GoPro footage. We managed to get ourselves and our new kit thoroughly soaked and muddy and discovered that floating islands are not the most stable of surfaces. A brisk run back, a long shower and we were ready to head off to the Vister's home where we enjoyed a delicious Norwegian meal and made use of the wifi to connect back to the world.

On our way back to Einarbu we took a slight detour in the hope of sighting the elusive moose, but to no avail (the moose are clearly winning our game of hide and go seek).

Quote of the day: Dylan: "I'd happily hallucinate a moose"
Fact of the day: South Africa has 5m long snakes that fall out of trees (according to Roark)

Heres a short video of some of the falls and fails captured so far.

Higher res video can be found at:


Day 4

A late start. We woke up at nine for breakfast before lazily getting ready for the long distance training session. We made our way to …. which is apparently the most JWOC relevant terrain we’ve run on so far. A couple of differences between this terrain and our previous trainings include the prominence of the streams which can be used as good linear features much like paths. As well as the open areas which for the first time occasionally were no marshy.

While the terrain was slightly easier and faster to navigate the lack of control flags (hence the title) of and sort meant that one had to be more certain of where they were which increased our concentration when approaching a control feature.

After the training session we headed bake to Eina Bru, on the way picking up Anders (Sigmunds other son) at the airport. We picked up some food on the way home which turned out to be superfluous as a gigantic party had been held at the club house the night before and there was much food, cake, strawberries and reindeer meat (Dylan likes reindeer meat…and nets) left over for us so no cooking was required.

After hours and hours of deliberation we got through most of the first day of our blog before deciding to have a go at coaxing the washing machine to life. This proved to be successful but only after much button pressing and dial turning.

We then returned to blogging and made progress, nearly getting up to date. Before realising it was after midnight (it was still light…what even is darkness…). 

Quote of the day: Flolloped, “it’s a word, have you read hitchikers guide to the galaxy. It’s the sound                              a mattress makes in a marsh." Procedes to find reference. - Dylan


Day 3- The day of the wrong map (courtesy of Roark Robinson)

The day began with a drive North to Hadeland where we were all competing in a local middle distance event. All of us were rather unsure of our orienteering abilities in the Norwegian terrain (Roark more so after the first few controls of his course), but luckily this terrain was a lot simpler, as well as more runnable, than the terrain we ran in yesterday. 

Roark however did not take advantage of this fact as he was confused about his gender and took the wrong map, resulting not only in a dsq, but also some rather confusing moments when he hit controls perfectly only to find the wrong numbers (he’d taken the correct control description).

Dylan had some trouble on his 2nd control, but managed fine after that. Tim had a good run with only 1 significant mistake and managed to take his 1st win in a non-south African event (though there were very few competitors). 

Sigmund also had a good run and missed out on 1st by 30secs.

After the event we drove through to Sigmund’s cottage up in the mountains (in a town called Sjusjoen). 

We had lunch and then headed off for a training session higher up in the mountains. We were ecstatic at the sight of small patches of snow all over the area and preceded to run through as many of these patches as possible.

The actual training was very beneficial as it is probably quite similar to the terrain we will see at JWOC. The marshes here were much more obvious as well as more runnable than those we had seen previously, thus making them useful navigational aids.

After the session we convinced Sigmund that we had to go visit the larger snow patches up near the top of the mountain. Here we preceded to run, jump and slide around and in general make fools of ourselves in front of some bemused Norwegian onlookers.

We then headed back to the cottage and after having a warm shower and putting on some non-snow-soaked clothes, we drove down to a nearby city- Lillehammer- where we had dinner and then walked around the town finding moose statues and looking for free wifi. Once free wifi had been found and the appropriate amount of time spent desperately messaging family and friends we started our journey back, on the way visiting the Olympic ski jump, biathlon and cross-country skiing stadiums.

Facts of the day: Snow is cooooooollllllldddddd!!!
                             Moose are BIG!!!

                             D 17-20 means women (luckily at JWOC they give you the map)

Quote/conversation of the day:
Dylan: “Are you allowed to run around the forest catching moose (mooses? Meese?Moosen?) with a net?”
Sigmund: “No ways! that’s illegal, you’ll get arrested” (and deported) (but you can shoot them???)
Dylan: “That’s fine, I’m Irish- I can’t be deported.
Tim: Well then you’ll have to carry your passport while you’re out moose fishing ;)