19th ARDF world Championships – Final update

The final event for the championships was the second classic.

Ewen, Jack, Jenelle and Peter all competed on 80m, whilst Kristian was the only Australian competitor on 2m.

Thankfully the terrain and map were very appropriate for an ARDF event.
All Australian competitors did very well, getting all of the required transmitters with plenty of time to spare.

  • Jenelle just missed the podium, placing 5th in a time of 112’41.
  • Kristian was unable to beat the “sweet, handsom” M21 boys, finishing just outside of the top ten, placing 11th in a time of 65’05.
  • Ewen placed 18th in a time of 114’10.
  • Jack and Peter were inseperable, placing 25th and 26th in 99’33 and 100′ respectively.

Tonight the team will celebrate our achievements before  boarding flights back home tomorrow.

Thanks for reading the updates. ūüôā

Full results here:
https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/180907m80+2-erg.htm
https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/180907m80+2-lzl.htm

Map image available here:https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/18090407.htm#map180907m80+2

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19th ARDF World Championships – Update 2

On Tuesday the first cassic event took place.
In a nutshell, it was tough. 6 out of 6 Aussies agreed that the course was very difficult. (but perhaps in more colourful language)
The map was large (B4) and was very colourful with lots of dense forest, many uncrossable features and decent contours to contend with. Many competitors were over the 140 min time limit and many competitors did not find the required transmitters.
Kristian and Nelly competed on 80m.
Ewen, Jack, Jenelle and Peter competed on 2m.

  • Kristian completed the course in 124 mins.
  • Ewen found 1 Tx and finished on time.
  • Nelly finished in perfect time (with 44 seconds to spare) but unfortunatley didn’t find any Tx’s.
  • Peter, Jack and Jenelle found 1 Tx each but finished over time.

Results can be viewed here:
https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/180905m2+80-erg.htm
https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/180905m2+80-lzl.htm

_

Todays sprint event was more enjoyable for all competitors. The open forest in this area allowed for quick running. All of the Aussie competitors found all of their Tx’s except for Peter and Jack.
The uncrossable fence 2/3’s of the way down the map caused some difficulty for many competitors trying to find transmatter 2F (Which also had its antena knocked down on the ground for approximately 20 mins during the event.)

  • Ewen placed 5th.
  • Jenelle placed 7th.
  • Nelly finished 18th.
  • Kristian finished 21st.
  • Jack and Peter both missed one Tx.

Results can be viewed here:
https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/180906SP-erg.htm

https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/180906SP-lzl.htm

 

After the sprint Jack, Nelly and Peter went on a tour to the unification observatory and DMZ museum.

Ewen, Jenelle and Kristian explored a local film set that contained many historic replica buildings from different periods and thought that they might find some instruments to assist in the local terrain.
Jenelle found a ladder (intended for storming castles) to assist with the impossible hills, whilst Ewen and Kristian found a battering ram to assit with getting through the inpenetrable forest.

_

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Maps for events can be viewed in more detail here:

https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/18090407.htm#map180905m2+80

 

19th ARDF World Championships – Update 1

6 athletes (5 from VIC and 1 from Qld.) Are currently in Sokcho, Korea for the 19th ARDF World Championships.
In the usual fashion competitors made their way to Korea  all at different times.

Jenelle and Ewen were the first to arrive, enjoying a week long tour of Korea before the event.

Peter and Kristian met up with Jenelle and Ewen just a couple of days before the event. As a team we headed on a tour to the DMZ and individual members enjoyed some of the historic and cultural sights around Korea.

On the arrival day Jack and Nelly met up with the rest of the team in Sokcho.
The following day we had training with 3 seperate model events which were held in the area surrounding the accomodation.
During the model events all equipment was tested and working except for one of the 2m beams had a broken BNC connector, but luckily there was a spare. (however the spare PVC beam exhibited a design flaw so no doubt a fault report will be lodged with the manufacturer on our return.)

The first event was the fox-or which was held today.
For each age category a different map was produced with only the required Tx’s shown. There were a total of 10 Tx’s (10mW) plus the beacon (3W) but the longest course only covered 8 of the TX’s (map shown below for M21). Each Tx had its own morse identifier and were numbered 1-5 and 1F-5F.

_
The frequencies for the foxes were 3520 kHz (1,2,1F,2F), 3550 kHz (3,3F,4,4F) and 3580 kHZ (5, 5F) with the beacon being on 3600 kHz.

All Australian competitors completed the course within the allocated time.

  • Jenelle and Ewen both finished 7th in thier categories.
  • Kristian finished 24th in M21.
  • Nelly finished 27th in W21.
  • Peter missed 1 Tx.
  • Jack missed 2 Tx’s.Full results can be viewed for todays fox-or event here:
    https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/180904FO-lzl.htm https://ardf.darc.de/contest/18090407/180904FO-erg.htm

Sprint Training

With the forecast wind and hail, 9 brave souls attempted the ARDF Sprint training held in and around Deakin Uni. A couple also did some of the Enduro controls, which was an orienteering event starting from the same spot.

The format of the event was a Five-in-Five 2m event, which in theory is possible to complete in about 6.5 minutes, followed immediately by an 80m Sprint ARDF event. Five-in-Five uses classic 5 minute cycle (1 minute each) ARDF transmitters spaced close enough that it should be possible, walking, to get to each transmitter as it comes on first time (for you). Only Jack WWW managed to get the transmitters in under 10 minutes (2 cycles). Good effort, Jack !¬† He admits he had a bit of luck, with earlier competitors just leaving transmitters as he approached, helping to lead him in. The time limit for this part of the event was set to 30 minutes. The transmitters were all in parkland, just off a track. In you look at the splits, below, you’ll also see Jack was the only one to do the transmitters in order, with everyone else going from #1 to #5, and then to others. Perhaps some just happened across #5 by accident ?

Mark, Suzanne & Rodney elected to only do the Five-in-Five course, with Mark the winner amongst those. Suzanne suffered some late penalties (problems with #1), but still beat out Rodney for second place. Looking at the splits at control 6 (236), Jack was clearly the fastest at this part of the event, followed with an impressive 11 minutes by Jenelle.

An ARDF sprint event has a 1 minute complete cycle, with each transmitter only on for 12s each. This was set in an area with both complex buildings, the university, and parkland around Gardiners Creek. TX #5 and #4 were in amongst the buildings and this proved too much for Jack and Peter, but not so Kris and Jennelle, who both managed those with ease. Monica liked #5 so much she punched it twice (see splits below) !¬† Clearly after being so flustered by those two tricky TX’s, Jack and Peter both also forgot to punch the Finish Beacon (which you are required to do at international events).

And TX #1 in the uni accommodation area ? Well, it had to be there didn’t it ūüôā¬† Can’t make it too easy !¬† Generally competitors had to plan and DF carefully in this event, as it could be easy to end up the wrong side of the creek. Competitors doing both events had an un-timed (up to a 10min limit) transition leg between 2m and 80m, to get their 80m gear in order. I’m happy to say the software handled this perfectly, and I didn’t have to adjust the times it published at all.

Yep, we got that hail, and the heavy rain, but luckily both were only for short bursts, being perfect running conditions otherwise. Monica says the hail even helped her spot TX#5, as she sought shelter under cover. Besides, it’s good practice and testing for your gear, as sometimes weather can be quite unpredictable at international events. Torrential downpours are not uncommon. Thanks to Ewen for the new 80m Sprint TXs. Proto TX#1 for the 2m set has now been completed (and works), so soon we’ll have a 6-TX set on both bands.

Thank you to everyone who helped pick up the transmitters afterwards, just before the rain came (again). Apologies to Monica for not giving her a key on her first attempt.

Here’s the map, with TX locations shown. I’ve used A->E for the 80m TX, and 1->5 for 2m TX. BB was the location of both 2m and 80m beacons.


Here’s the full results:

Name Callsign Course #TX Score Late Penalty Time Place   1 Time 2 Time 3 Time 4 Time 5 Time 6 Time
Mark VK3BES FiveInFive 6 51 0 22:24:00 1 231 11:17:00 232 12:15:00 235 14:17:00 234 19:42:00 233 21:45:00 236 22:49:00
Suzanne VK3FSZI FiveInFive 6 24 27 38:39:00 2 231 17:40:00 232 18:57:00 233 23:24:00 234 32:43:00 235 36:17:00 236 39:06:00
Rodney VK3FRLS FiveInFive 13 20 0 20:53:00 3 231 01:28:00 235 02:44:00
1 Time 2 Time 3 Time 4 Time 5 Time 6 Time 7 Time 8 Time 9 Time
10
Time 11 Time 12 Time 13 Time 14 Time
Kristian VK3FDAC FullSprint 13 102 0 39:11:00 1 231 01:16:00 235 03:39:00 234 05:07:00 232 12:18:00 233 13:25:00 236 14:06:00 37 15:45:00 33 19:24:00 31 24:25:00 32 28:49:00 34 33:23:00 35 40:13:00 36 41:18:00
Jenelle VK3FJTE FullSprint 13 102 0 47:25:00 2 231 01:21:00 235 03:13:00 233 06:17:00 232 07:12:00 234 09:18:00 236 10:53:00 37 14:40:00 34 27:46:00 35 31:46:00 32 37:11:00 33 45:30:00 31 48:15:00 36 51:38:00
Ewen VK3OW FullSprint 13 102 0 69:51:00 3 231 01:17:00 235 05:46:00 233 11:08:00 232 11:49:00 234 14:23:00 236 15:59:00 37 17:48:00 33 20:37:00 31 25:19:00 32 30:53:00 34 40:53:00 35 69:21:00 36 71:57:00
Monica VK3FFAB FullSprint 13 102 0 74:25:00 4 231 01:20:00 235 10:35:00 232 12:12:00 233 14:03:00 234 14:36:00 236 15:50:00 37 22:50:00 35 27:48:00 32 35:04:00 34 43:50:00 33 68:04:00 31 76:13:00 36 79:52:00 35 27:51:00
Jack VK3WWW FullSprint 13 81 0 43:09:00 5 231 01:26:00 232 02:46:00 233 03:52:00 234 04:42:00 235 05:32:00 236 07:44:00 37 09:53:00 31 16:05:00 32 21:10:00 33 43:52:00
Peter Val FullSprint 13 81 0 74:24:00 6 231 12:01:00 235 13:39:00 232 17:16:00 233 18:44:00 234 19:49:00 236 21:23:00 37 23:57:00 33 47:57:00 31 52:24:00 32 60:16:00

 

 

The long and winding road from Moldova to Walachia (north to south)

Heading east from Maramures -lush green fields
Heading east from Maramures -lush green fields
Borga Pass Road
Borga Pass Road
Entrance gate to Moldovita
Entrance gate to Moldovita

The long and winding road from Moldova through Transylvania to Walachia (north to south)

Easter decorated egg competition between many of the villages
Easter decorated egg competition between many of the villages

From our rural retreat in Maramures we headed east to Moldova crossing the Carpathians by the Borgo pass road enroute to Bucovina. Egg painting is a competition among the villages at Easter time.

 Roadside Mici BBq
Roadside Mici BBq

Lunch today was Mici, a rectangular meat pattie cooked on a BBQ and served with mustard sauce.

Entrance gate at Monastery at Moldovita - beautiful rose gardens
Entrance gate at Monastery at Moldovita – beautiful rose gardens
Monastery at Moldovita
Monastery at Moldovita
Frescoes on southern wall Moldovita monastery
Frescoes on southern wall Moldovita monastery

Visited two painted monasteries (orthodox). The first was for the local community (Moldovita) and used as a refuge in times of siege. Note the wall and the strong wooden gate.

Monastery at Sucevita for the priests
Monastery at Sucevita for the priests
Frescoes showing the challenges priests faced in trying to get to heaven
Frescoes showing the challenges priests faced in trying to get to heaven

The second was for the clergy (Sucevita). The outside walls of the church was decorated, one illustrating the difficult path in getting into heaven. Inside, the frescoes showed various methods of torture and head lopping. Again a walled garden and plenty of room for the local community to shelter in times of siege.

One sad and lonely bear at the game park for big animals found in Romania
One sad and lonely bear at the game park for big animals found in Romania
One sad and lonely bear at the game park for big animals found in Romania
One sad and lonely bear at the game park for big animals found in Romania
Bison
Bison
One of several varieties of deer
One of several varieties of deer

Next highlight of the road was the animal reservation with animals native to the area. One sad and lonely bear, a small herd of buffalo and several different species of deer.

Bicaz Gorge
Bicaz Gorge
Bicaz Gorge 2
Bicaz Gorge 2
Green walnut jam
Green walnut jam

We drove through the Bicaz gorge (river running down the side). Sampled some green nut jam. Walnuts cooked in a syrup halfway between golden syrup and malt extract. An acquired taste.

Lake Rosu
Lake Rosu
Lake Rosu
Lake Rosu
More pretty villages along the way
More pretty villages along the way
Horse and cart - effective mode of transport in rural areas
Horse and cart – effective mode of transport in rural areas

Our route took us past Lake Rosu, really a dam and then onto Brasov.

Black Lutheran church on Brasov
Black Lutheran church on Brasov
Johannes Honter introduced Lutherism to Brasov - pointing at this school
Johannes Honter introduced Lutherism to Brasov – pointing at this school
Johannes Honter school in Brasov
Johannes Honter school in Brasov
Brasov city square
Brasov city square

Brasov is also fortified. City square with Lutheran church – aka Black Church due to a fire. Johannes Honterus was

responsible for setting up the Lutheran church and the building of the first school (directly across from the church). The original school was wooden but suffered the same fate as the church and was rebuilt in stone.

Late night shopping and family time in Brasov
Late night shopping and family time in Brasov

It has been particularly pleasant having an evening stroll through the many pedestrian malls in our travels.

Fortification on the hill outside Brasov
Fortification on the hill outside Brasov
Archery target practice at fortification on the hill outside Brasov
Archery target practice at fortification on the hill outside Brasov
Spectacular view from fortification on the hill outside Brasov
Spectacular view from fortification on the hill outside Brasov

Fort on the hill outside Brasov. Spectacular view of the surrounding country.

Bran castle - summer resience of Queen Mary of Bulgaria
Bran castle – summer resience of Queen Mary of Bulgaria
The scales of justice - not very just
Bran castle -The scales of justice – not very just and a good extortion racket
Scales of justice - basically you needed to way less than whatever you were weighed against to prove you were not a bad person
Bran castle РScales of justice Рbasically you needed to weigh more than whatever was considered to be a fair thing to prove you were not a bad person

Bran castle – summer residence of Queen Mary of Romania. No vampires in site. Apparently Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) was have seen it on his way through. The most interesting artifact was the scales of justice. Based on a person’s size and height, if they weighed less than expected they were considered apprentices of Satan and torture would commence. Hopefully you can read the information in the photo.

Peles castle at Sinaia
Peles castle at Sinaia
Peles castle at Sinaia with extensive gardens
Peles castle at Sinaia with extensive gardens
Frescoes inside courtyard at Peles castle
Frescoes inside courtyard at Peles castle
Wax seal on castle door - security business card?
Wax seal on castle door – security business card?
More of the Peles gardens
More of the Peles gardens
Pelisor Castle built for a king's relative
Pelisor Castle built for a king’s relative
Pelisor castle- very Tudor like in style
Pelisor castle- very Tudor like in style
Pelisor Castle 2
Pelisor Castle 2

The most elaborate building in Transylvania is Peles Castle. Unfortunately only outside views, but obviously prime real estate.

Maramures

View from guest house
View from guest house

Our guest house at Maramures is located in a peaceful rural setting apart from the chainsaws, angle grinders and whipper snippers. Hospitality here is exceptionally good.

Open air eating area
Open air eating area
Dinner cooking over the coals
Dinner cooking over the coals

Dinner was in an open air setting

Entree meat balls, soft cheeses, pork fat and tomato with onion bread

Bean soup

Pork goulash

The lightest, fluffiest and tastiest donuts ever with blackcurrant jam

All washed down with Palinka and black currant “cordial”

Folklore group
Folklore group
More dancing
More dancing
Dancing
Dancing
Barsana wooden monastery entrance gate
Barsana wooden monastery entrance gate
New construction Barsana wooden monastery
New construction Barsana wooden monastery
Beautiful grounds Barsana wooden monastery
Beautiful grounds Barsana wooden monastery
Barsana wooden monastery
Barsana wooden monastery
Beautiful grounds Barsana wooden monastery 2
Beautiful grounds Barsana wooden monastery 2
Barsana wooden monastery (washed river stone foundations)
Barsana wooden monastery (washed river stone foundations)
Biblical stories in pictorial form
Biblical stories in pictorial form
Panorama Barsana wooden monastery
Panorama Barsana wooden monastery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needed a sleep in after last night!

Late start, headed for the local market, plenty of “stuff” to buy from clothing, shoes, manchester and tools. Too late for the animal market. Probably a good thing.

Checked out a modern monastery at Barsana, beautiful wooden buildings and gardens, church with pictorial stories.

Memorial to the opponents of the communist regime, very bleak place.

In a complete contrast we visited the Merry cemetery at Sapanta with colourful wooden headstones with pictures of deceased in their occupations and poems about them (all in Romanian of course)

Memorial to the Communist Resistance prisoners
Memorial to the Communist Resistance prisoners
Letters written by the prisoners
Letters written by the prisoners
Inside the prison
Inside the prison
Individual prison cell
Individual prison cell
Memorial wall and watch tower
Memorial wall and watch tower
Sapanta Merry Cemetery
Sapanta Merry Cemetery
Sapanta Merry Cemetery 2
Sapanta Merry Cemetery 2

Spent a leisurely afternoon in the outdoor area. We have eaten so well the last few days Ewen has survived since breakfast on only one jam pancake.

Railway station at Viseu de Sus
Railway station at Viseu de Sus
One of the steam engines on the Mocanita narrow gauge train
One of the steam engines on the Mocanita narrow gauge train
One of the steam engines on the Mocanita narrow gauge train 2
One of the steam engines on the Mocanita narrow gauge train 2
The line followed the river
The line followed the river
View along the valley from the train
View along the valley from the train
Another view along the valley from the train
Another view along the valley from the train
Our guide enjoying some down time
Our guide enjoying some down time
Big enough oil can ?
Big enough oil can ?
Running repairs
Running repairs
Picnic ground at the end of the line
Picnic ground at the end of the line
Hurry up and get this show on the road!
Hurry up and get this show on the road!
Still transporting timber the old fashioned way
Still transporting timber the old fashioned way

We could not escape Maramures without a ride on the Mocanita narrow gauge railway at Viseu de Sus very close to the Ukrainian border. For the more ardent train fans it was a 1930s vintage steam locomotive that was used to transport timber down the valley. Originally timber was floated down the river, but after a dam burst the train line was built. The 21km ride to the turn around point was supposed to take just over 2 hours. It became pretty evident early on that at the current speed something was amiss and it would be a lot longer (3 hours eventually). Repairs were needed along the way and after much banging and crashing a bearing was suitably adjusted and we continued on our way. Included in the tool set was a most impressive oil can.

The track followed the river most of the way. Still plenty of logging happening here with some unorthodox methods of transportation. A large tractor pulling 10 -15 m logs down the river and smaller pieces being drawn by horse driven carts.

At one point the river narrowed with steep cliffs and caves hidden behind bushes. It was here that the German army had a first aid centre and stored supplies. It was also the point when they planned to ambush the Red army. There was a small museum at the turn around point and a picnic ground.

The return trip took only 90 minutes which was a relief. Sufficiently rocked, rattled and shaken for the complete trip.

There are a few obstacles along the roads in Romania, this cart was one of the smaller ones.

PS  Jenelle is having a love hate relationship with the formatting!!

One of the smaller obstacles along the road
One of the smaller obstacles along the road

Not so lost in Transylvania

Blacksmith shop with industrial strength nails
Blacksmith shop with industrial strength nails
City square Sibiu
City square Sibiu

Arrived safely in Transylvania in the town of Sibiu, only slightly misty and light fog. It is light till fairly late and enjoyed strolling around the city squares and along the old wall. The squares were within the fortified walls and protected the guilds of many crafts. The blacksmith’s shop had a good array of industrial strength fasteners.

Lutheran church Sibiu with 4 towers
Lutheran church Sibiu with 4 towers
Blacksmithing display
Blacksmithing display
stone masonery
stone masonery

Note the 4 towers on the church, this meant the town had a legal system and justice would be metred out for criminal behaviour. (we escaped Sibiu without penalty)

Climbed the clock tower of the Lutheran church, the clock was very old, but the driving mechanism was very up to date (electronic). Pipe organ inside.

Outside there was a display of blacksmithing and stone masonery

Stained glass window Orthodox church Sibiu
Stained glass window Orthodox church Sibiu
Inside Orthodox church Sibiu
Inside Orthodox church Sibiu
Carved entrance door Orthodox church Sibiu
Carved entrance door Orthodox church Sibiu

Orthodox church with exquisite stained glass windows, gold leaf frescoes and intricate wood carving.

Road side stop enroute to Biertan
Road side stop enroute to Biertan
? Magic mushrooms at road side stop enroute to Biertan
? Magic mushrooms at road side stop enroute to Biertan
More magic mushrooms
More magic mushrooms

Road side stop along the way, a little sample of what we are expecting in the ARDF area. Interesting fungi. Not the edible kind.

3 walled church in Biertan
3 walled church in Biertan
Door with many locks (19 altogether)
Door with many locks (19 altogether)
Square and round (improved design) towers Biertan
Square and round (improved design) towers Biertan
Shortbread moulds in museum
Shortbread moulds in museum
Genuine Singer machine for sewing leather
Genuine Singer machine for sewing leather
Grave digger's house biertan
Grave digger’s house Biertan

At Biertan, fortified church with 3 walls of protection and if that failed there was the room with the door with many locks. The town was settled by German people and hence the buildings have a similar style about them. Many German people left Romania after Ceausescu was deposed, but send their bodies back to be buried in the cemetery here.

Food and hospitality is excellent in Romania. 250 mls of house white of exceptional quality for under $3 and then complimentary palinka and black currant “cordial”. We enjoyed a late evening stroll around the city wall at Sibiu.

City fortifications Sibiu 1
City fortifications Sibiu 1
City fortifications Sibiu 2
City fortifications Sibiu 2

We thought of you all as we headed off to the salt mine in Turda (this word causes me some grief) today. Salt mining was one of the main industries in Transylvania.

Many flights of stairs to climb
Many flights of stairs to climb
View of lower level from top
View of lower level from top

DSC_0178 (Medium)

Upper level walkway
Upper level walkway
Lower level playground
Lower level playground
Lower level playground
Lower level playground
Salt mine walls and ceiling
Salt mine walls and ceiling
Birds eye view of lower level of salt mine
Birds eye view of lower level of salt mine
Salt crystal formations
Salt crystal formations
More salt crystal formations
More salt crystal formations

Many flights of stairs to the bottom, the queues were quite long for the lifts, so we got lots of exercise. To make it entertaining for the families they have installed a children’s playground on the bottom layer. Of course we had to ride on the ferris wheel, but there was also table tennis tables, pool tables, mini golf, even a pond with paddle boats but no coffee!!

Ewen is still puzzling how the walls stay up. If you take a vertical cross section it looks like a conical flask about 90 metres deep, with elevated platform at the neck. Not good if you don’t do heights very well.

Another interesting old wooden church tucked off the road on the way to Maramures. Inside was particularly interesting.

Typical roadside views
Typical roadside views
Oldest wooden church
Oldest wooden church
Oldest wooden church 2
Oldest wooden church 2
Inside oldest wooden church
Inside oldest wooden church
Inside oldest wooden church 2
Inside oldest wooden church 2
Using a ladder to get into heaven
Using a ladder to get into heaven

Bucharest and heading to Transylvania

Parliament House
Parliament House

Our trip began with a short 20 hour flight to Bucharest. The most impressive building in the city is the Parliament House, second largest building only to the Pentagon. Ceausescu thought he would leave his mark by commencing this build, fortunately for the people of Romania he didn’t live to see its completion. It is a magnificent building inside, very tastefully decorated with high ceilings, marble floors and beautiful rugs and chandeliers. (no photos unfortunately as did not have a camera pass)

View from balcony of Parliament house
View from balcony of Parliament house
Arc de Triumph - Bucharest
Arc de Triumph – Bucharest

 

 

 

 

 

Music Hall - Bucharest
Music Hall – Bucharest
Light globe changing in Music Hall
Light globe changing in Music Hall
Ceiling of music Hall
Ceiling of music Hall

Another beautiful building was the auditorium for musical concerts. We chanced upon workers changing a light globe, quite an art in itself.

We visited the old town and enjoyed a drop of the local ale.

 

 

 

 

View from hotel window
View from hotel window

Many old buildings in state of disrepair, including this ruin outside our hotel window. (more interesting than a carpark) Taken from our room as there was a sign outside indicating no photos to be taken (left over from communist regime)

From Bucharest we headed west to the church (in white limestone) where the Romanian kings were buried. Lavishly decorated inside. Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) lived in the building behind this church.

Kings church
Kings church
Ornate interior of Kings church
Ornate interior of Kings church
Crumbling fortifications protecting Transylvania
Crumbling fortifications protecting Transylvania
Romanian donut
Romanian donut

 

 

 

 

This is one of the fortifications that the Austrian Hungarian Emperor sent German people to build in 12-13th century. It has suffered due to earthquakes over time. Opted not to climb the 1460 steps. Chose to indulge in a Romanian donut instead!

Dam wall
Dam wall
The road through the valley leading up to the pass to Transylvania
The road through the valley leading up to the pass to Transylvania
Enjoying the view
Enjoying the view
Transfagarasan Road 1
Transfagarasan Road 1
Transfagarasan Road 2
Transfagarasan Road 2
Cable car
Cable car

There was a very large dam (about the size of Hoover Dam) that needed closer inspection. Traversed the Transfagarasan Road (of Jeremy Clarkson fame), (perfect for road testing a corvette or similar vehicle) and then took a cable car for a less exhilarating ride.

Please excuse the erratic formatting. Only get to practice this once a year.  Jenelle

Walking the Nakasendo Way

ARDF Blog

Thank you for Kristian and Bruce for writing the blog during the ARDF competition while Ewen was doing his team leader duties and waiting for Jenelle to be rescued from parts unknown.  All six of us are all bringing home extra baggage in the form of medals.

Facilities at Sanyo Hotel exceeded our expectations

Dining room
Dining room
Where do I start, Kristian was not the only one with this dilemna
Where do I start, Kristian was not the only one with this dilemna

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our rooms chaos reigned

The workshop - organised chaos
The workshop – organised chaos
Work bench
Work bench
Trying to be tidy
Trying to be tidy
Cable spaghetti
Cable spaghetti

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from the closing celebrations

3 Amigos
3 Amigos
Kai (W60)
Kai (W60)
New friends
New friends

 

 

 

 

 

Banquet _ one of the many platters
Banquet _ one of the many platters
With one of the more elegant W60s
With one of the more elegant W60s
With one of the more elegant W60s
With one of the more elegant W60s

 

 

 

 

 

Fine and sunny departure from Shibukawa
Fine and sunny departure from Shibukawa

We left the competition area in fine weather and sunshine (compared to the cloudy wet conditions) to be dropped off at various locations. Jack left before the rest of us were up, Greg was settled in for the long ride back to Tokyo, Kristian joined us for the train trip to Takasaki and was last seen running upstairs with his bag to catch his connecting train in under 4 minutes. (a fair indication of his fitness level). Bruce, Ewen and I continued our adventure and finally arrived in Matsumoto.

 

 

We spent some time in the Time Piece museum

Time Piece Museum
Time Piece Museum
This brings back memories
This brings back memories
 Rolling Ball Clock
Rolling Ball Clock

 

 

 

 

 

and then devised our own street-o to various sites including shrines, temples, gardens and the icecream shop.

Control 1
Control 1
 Control 2
Control 2
Control 3
Control 3
Control 4
Control 4
This looks like a good place to send my boys
This looks like a good place to send my boys
Gallery forecourt
Gallery forecourt
Gallery forecourt 2
Gallery forecourt 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing dinner is always an interesting experience, our choices so far have been most acceptable.

Japanese BBQ
Japanese BBQ – very good

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterdays trek was along the Nakasendo Way (built during Edo period) commencing after a 20 minute bus ride from Nakatsugawa, and continued through Magome to Tsumago. At this point (after 3 hr 30 min of walking and lots of up and downhill) Ewen and I opted for the bus to Nagiso station. Bruce continued on foot and arrived at the same time as the bus.

Road leading to start of Walk _ note artifical waterfall
Road leading to start of Walk _ note artifical waterfall
Ewen at start of walk
Ewen at start of walk
Nakasendo Way 1
Nakasendo Way 1
Mini headstones 2
Mini headstones 2
 One more step along the road I go
One more step along the road I go
Mamoth stone tablet
Mamoth stone tablet
 Garden at stone tablet
Garden at stone tablet
 Entrance to town
Entrance to Magome
Little village
Little village
One of many water wheels - accosted by two schoolgirls to complete survey
One of many water wheels – accosted by two schoolgirls to complete survey
Nearly at top of hill but still a long way to go
Nearly at top of hill but still a long way to go
 Rice paddies and cypress
Rice paddies and cypress
Rice harvesting
Rice harvesting

DSC_0610 (Medium) Big Tonka Truck

 Mini stone headstones
Mini stone headstones
More mini tablets
More mini tablets
Another pretty spot
Another pretty spot
Old Edo town - Tsumago
Old Edo town – Tsumago
Rocky creek bed
Rocky creek bed
Water wheels needed a lot of investigation
Water wheels needed a lot of investigation
 Rocky creek bed
Rocky creek bed
 Entrance to Tsumago
Entrance to Tsumago
Cleansing facilities
Cleansing facilities in the little towns
A D51351, whatever that is, for the train buffs
A D51351, whatever that is, for the train buffs
Nagiso-end-of-Bruces-walk
Nagiso-end-of-Bruces-walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have sorted out our transport across the Kurobe – Tateyama Alpine Route and will head off today for the start.

 

 

The rest of the ARDF chamnpionships

Hi,

¬† to all those still following ūüôā

Today’s blog comes from Bruce, and covers the last 2 days of competition here in Gumna.

However, before that, here’s some pictures from the awards ceremony covering the first 2 days.

The Aussie team
The Aussie team
GOLD for Australia. Kristian M21 champion
GOLD for Australia. Kristian M21 champion
Me ! Bronze for Day 1 ARDF on 2m
Me ! Bronze for Day 1 ARDF on 2m
Team Bronze for Jack Ewen Day 1
Team Bronze for Jack Ewen Day 1
Jenelle 3rd on Sprint Event
Jenelle 3rd on Sprint Event
Ewen the silver sprinter
Ewen the silver sprinter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday was the 2nd classic ARDF event; 2m for Jenelle, Ewen & Jack, 80m for Kristian and myself.

Yep more wettish conditions, but far less rain, more just humidity and wet forest. After issues with water somehow making it into the 80m sniffers the day before, in the torrential rain on the Sprint day, we were all equipped with multiple layers of plastic bags today.

On the bus, Day 3 classic ARDF
On the bus, Day 3 classic ARDF
Flooded river
Flooded river
The start, Day 3 (same start on Day 1,3 & 4 !
The start, Day 3 (same start on Day 1,3 & 4 !

The Start location was the same, but we went the opposite direction.

For some reason they had North at an angle and downwards on the map; no orienteering conventions followed here !  At least there are blue North lines.

The terrain was hillier, with some pretty impressive cliffs.

Kristian wasn’t quite able to maintain his commanding form today, but still managed a commendable silver, as luckily others in Open found it tough too. We estimate the running ‘orienteering’ time would have been under 30mins, so the course length was short, but tricky dircetion finding.

Ooops. Typhoon damage.
Ooops. Typhoon damage.

Not the same story in my age group, with some times around 44 mins (well under the Open times, with the TX we didn’t have to find only a few mins extra.
I had an awful day making mistakes/confused on both my first and last TX, so with 2 major errors consigned down to 7th.

All Jenelle’s W60 girls DNF’d either with overtime or no TXs found, with Jenelle heartbreakingly the closest on only 2 mins overtime. The overtime rules in ARDF are sudden death ! Time limit was 2.5 hours. More some navigational confusion this time, apparently. No medals in W60 for this one.

Ewen and Jack have pulled off a team gold. Jack did a great course to get bronze, but Ewen had a pretty awful time on 2m at one of the TX’s, and made it back with only minutes to spare. Those who beat Jack, though, each only had 1 team-mate, and they both failled to find all TX’s, so that puts the team result up the top, despite the pretty average total time.

Greg, as a roving field referee, may have travelled more distance than any of us competitors, as he visited all controls, both 2m and 80m, and he had a fun time walking aroind with his Japanese counterpart. One 80m TX was misplaced, resulting in it being only about 350m from another 80m TX. Both Kristian and my GPS traces confirm this. The organisers are collecting all contributed competitors GPS tracks in order to do some sort of live replay.

So, another pretty good day for the Aussies.

In the FoxOr today, the courses were yet again from the same start area, this time with a map overlapping with the first classic a fair bit, but landscape rather than portrait.

Again Kristian beats all for gold on a physically tough M21 course (only drop 1 particular FoxOr). By a good 25min margin too.

Today he was joined by Jennelle who picked her way carefully through the W60 course to soundly beat the other 2 ladies. Another gold.

Ewen had nothing left in the tank afterwards but did a consistent course to get a well earned silver.  The
orienteering expertise showing through.

That’s it for the medals today.¬† Looked for a while like I might get one despite a poor order selection on my part (really I should know better!), but two Lee’s from Korea downloaded very late,¬† both with shorter times,¬† pushing me into the 4th place twilight zone, with Nikolai from USA in first.

Nikolai from USA (originally Moldova) who thrashed me in the M50 sprint.
Nikolai from USA (originally Moldova) who thrashed me in the M50 sprint.

Great event by Japan, in challenging conditions, especially the sprint day. This terrain was much more forest runnable than back in 2005.

The only comments I might make were:
– The training day transmitters were not properly representative of those used in the field.
– Downloading at the hotel afterwards is a bit frustrating, not knowing till much later in the day how you fared.
– Transmitter placement a bit off yesterday resulting in TXs too close (but it didn’t really impact on the competition).
РStart list generation needs lots of work.  Many in same category starting together.

Pictures from tonight’s awarding ceremony may appear in a later blog.

Cheers Bruce

Outdoor adventures Japan (or Part b of Blog 2)

Sunrise at Izukyu Shimoda DSC_0276 (Medium)
Sunrise at Izukyu Shimoda (an omen for the weather to come)

 

Sea kayaking.

Getting ready to kayak
Getting ready to kayak

Initial on land instructions, safety briefing, kitted out and out into the sea to practice paddling, and use of the rudder. Only one unscheduled swim from yours truly, unreal sensation. Paddled for about 2 hours to nearby cove (couldn’t call it a beach). Snorkelled, lucky enough to see some pretty little fish, a couple of larger ones that I tried to pursue but they could swim faster than me. Lunch on the rocks and headed back to starting point, Bruce, Kris and Ewen seemed to be quite proficient. As far as I was concerned steering the kayak was not second nature and invariably became unstuck at a critical moment. Arrived back at our starting point just as the afternoon storm broke. Almost didn’t need a shower to wash off the salt.

Transported back to Shimoda station, with just enough time to book tickets for the train to Tokyo. We journeyed together for part of the way. The last we saw of Bruce and Kris, was them scurrying along the platform to catch their connection in 4 minutes.

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Prepared with our skirts
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Setting out
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Kayak1
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Kayak 2
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Kayak 3
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Preparing lunch
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Guide
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Beached!!
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Quick escape
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Prelunch swim !
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Prelunch swim 2
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Preparing lunch
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Preparing lunch 2
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Worth the wait
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After lunch stroll 1
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After lunch stroll 2
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Something in the rocks 1
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Something in the rocks 2
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Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Friday in Tokyo, Ewen and Jenelle took a bike tour. Very exhilarating riding on the streets of Tokyo, not for the faint hearted.

 

 

Island built on refuse
Island built on refuse.
Green building with Rice paddy inside DSC_0281 (Medium)
Green building with Rice paddy inside
Tokyo Railway Station DSC_0282 (Medium)
Tokyo Railway Station
Outside Imperial Palace DSC_0288 (Medium)
View of the entrance to the Imperial Palace
Oeno Park DSC_0294 (Medium)
Oeno Park
Water Lily at Oeno Park
Lotus flower at Oeno Park
I found a bear DSC_0301 (Medium)
I found a bear!!
Bear and riding companions DSC06679 (Medium)
Bear and riding companions
Our shelter from the afternoon storm DSC06690 (Medium) (2)
Our shelter from the afternoon storm
Good karma DSC_0312 (Medium)
Good karma
Shinto Shrine DSC_0331 (Medium)
Shinto Shrine
The safe way to cross the street DSC_0305 (Medium)
The safe way to cross the street
Riding through Akihabara DSC06669 (Medium)
Riding through Akihabara – not for the faint hearted
One beautiful temple along the way DSC_0309 (Medium)
One beautiful temple along the way

 

 

Tokyo tower DSC06695 (Medium) (2)
Tokyo tower – the communication engineers temple
Kiyosumi Gardens - this was the highlight for me
Kiyosumi Gardens – this was the highlight for me
Kiyosumi Gardens 2 DSC_0339 (Medium)
Kiyosumi Gardens 2
Kiyosumi Gardens 3DSC_0342 (Medium)
Kiyosumi Gardens 3

 

 

 

 

 

Kiyosumi Gardens 4 DSC_0345 (Medium)
Kiyosumi Gardens 4

 

Saturday trip to Mt Fuji

It took about 40 minutes longer than expected to get to Mt Fuji, bus travel is not the way to go in Japan. Passed an amazing fun park on the way.

Fun park Fuji QDSC_0352 (Medium)
Fun park Fuji Q

Ewen, Mark and Jenelle joined Jack for a tour. We eventually got to Fuji 5th station (where the climb starts) about midday. The traffic was very heavy and crowds of people. Fuji was being coy, and only managed a fleeting glimpse as the fog rolled in.

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First glimpse of Fuji
DSC_0355 (Medium)
Mark at entrance to the climb at 5th station
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Weekend crowds at 5th station
DSC_0378 (Medium)
Selfie

Visited the lava forest, Shiraito Falls and Lakes and garden.

DSC_0408 (Medium)
Lava forest
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Lava forest 2
DSC_0386 (Medium)
Enchanted forest from the Magic Faraway tree.
DSC_0411 (Medium)
Maybe some goblin is hiding underneath
DSC_0410 (Medium)
Some interesting vegetation
DSC06724 (Medium)
Down to the cave
DSC06725 (Medium)
Some of us were more cautious
DSC_0405 (Medium)
A really cool place in more ways than one.
DSC_0423 (Medium)
Shiraito no Taki Falls 1
DSC_0417 (Medium)
Shiraito no Taki Falls 2
DSC_0443 (Medium)
Final glimpses of Fuji 1
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Final glimpses of Fuji 2
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Manicured Gardens
DSC_0459 (Medium)
Walled Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0375 (Medium)
Look who was waiting for us a the railway station. It is a pity we had booked the bus. We could have done with a really useful engine.

PS

These activities seem quite tame after more recent events!!

Photos of Himeji castle  from previous blog

Himeji castle
Himeji castle

 

 

 

 

 

ARDF classic competition 1 and ARDF sprint

We have all settled in at event HQ in Ikaho Japan.

The training day was wet, but the signals all seemed to be quite strong. (perhaps too strong?)

The sprint transmitters seemed to be stronger than the classic ARDF transmitters!

Dinner (Chairs not included)
Dinner (Chairs not included)
SI controls for classic ARDF
SI controls for classic ARDF

ARDF classic competition #1

On a very wet day the ARDF competitors gathered up a muddy creek ready for the start.

Jenelle, Bruce and Kristian were all on 2m whilst Jack and Ewen were on 80m.

The very first start group had Kristian and Ewen in it, with the other Australians starting up to 30 mins later.

The course provided interesting terrain with some very runnable forest, and some areas that you wouldn’t dream of entering into, and if you ask Jenelle possibly even¬†a nice house with a warm heater in it?

After some mucking around on his first Tx Bruce gathered his thoughts, and finished strong with a fantastic sprint from on side of the map to the other. Bruce managed to grab Bronze in the M50 2m category.

Ewen had some initial technical issues, but then recovered and had a pretty good run, finishing just outside of the medals.

Jack had a couple of overshoots but also managed to get to the end without too much drama. Jack came in in 4th position in the M60 category.

Jack and Ewen secured bronze in the M60 classic 80m team competition.

Jenelle spent a fair amount of time searching for Tx4, but then with time almost up and having switched to her spare receiver she attempted to locate the finish beacon, but this seemed to be in the wrong direction. Eventually after flagging down a passing motorist, Jenelle was shown some true Japanese hospitality, before her hosts were eventually able to get in contact with the organisers, who when they were collecting her also appeared to be some what lost.

Kristian had a great start getting the first 4 Tx’s pretty quickly, but took¬†the scenic route around a pig farm to get the last one, before being the first competitor back at the finish. This run was enough secure gold in the M21 category.

Along the way various people saw Greg wandering around looking very official. Greg found most of the 2m and 80m transmitters.

Bruce route
Bruce route
TX locations
TX locations
Greg looking official
Greg looking official
Bus to the classic comp
Bus to the classic comp

80m ARDF Sprint

It was very, very, very wet thanks to Tropical storm Etau.

Bruce got everything he needed, but unfortunately one of his punches didn’t register correctly.

Ewen managed to find everything he needed, and ended up in the silver medal position in M60.

Jack did the first half, but then went to the finish thinking it was the spectator beacon.

Jenelle found all of hers except for 1 and headed into the finish a little bit early. Which gave her the bronze medal in W60.

Kristian found everything eventually, but finished outside of the placings.

There were a number of (probably water related) technical issues, which are currently trying to be resolved before we go back into the wet tomorrow.

Greg only managed to spot Jenelle out on course in the rain.

 

(sorry, no pics today, as it was too wet.)

 

Tonight is the awarding ceremony for the first classic event and the sprint, and apparently it can viewed live at http://www.jarl.com/reg3ardf2015/

The presentations are scheduled to start at 7pm local time (8pm AEST).

City of Peace – Hiroshima

But first an addenda to our first blog.

Additional photos

 

From Kumamoto – Takachiho Gorge at Picnic spot

Picnic spot at Takachiho Gorge
Picnic spot at Takachiho Gorge

DSC_0030 (Medium)

 

 

 

 

 

From Kagoshima РCoordinating public transport is not without its dramas. Missed the only bus to the Samurai Village and had to take a taxi.  Immaculately trimmed and maintained gardens, not likely to be replicated in Melbourne.

DSC_0047 (Medium) DSC_0044 (Medium) DSC_0041 (Medium)

 

 

 

 

 

An attempt to visit the Kamekazi museum at Chiran was thwarted by heavy rain (big Queensland sized rain drops) and lack of time. We found a warm place (coffee & tea rooms to shelter) as we waited for a bus back to the train.

 

The second attempt to visit the Kamekazi museum was successful, but needed some fine timing to coordinate train-bus connection. Chiran was the site of the training airbase for young pilots. Old film footage of the servicemen working on aircraft brought mixed feelings (my dad having done the same in New Guinea).The photos of the families waving goodbye and the translations of the messages the pilots wrote to their families were quite moving. Proud young men doing what they thought was the right thing to do for their country and families at home.

 

The hot sand bath and hot springs were definitely worth a visit. Didn’t know the soles of the feet and heels were so sensitive to heat. It was rather embarrassing having a male voice calling CQ just outside the entrance of the women’s onsen.

They looked so elegant !
They looked so elegant !

 

 

 

 

 

We timed our return to Kagoshima perfectly and caught the Shinkansen to Hiroshima, speeds over 300 kph.

Warm welcome for the train
Warm welcome for the train
Specialty of Kyushu- green tea iced shortbread
Specialty of Kyushu- green tea iced shortbread

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1 in Hiroshima, began with a visit to the Peace Memorial Museum and Park.

Cenotaph in Peace Park
Cenotaph in Peace Park
Peace Memorial Park Hiroshima
Peace Memorial Park Hiroshima
A-bomb dome
A-bomb dome
A-bomb dome 2
A-bomb dome 2

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Impact of bomb on metal structures
Impact of bomb on metal structures
Heat-fused glass bottles
Heat-fused glass bottles
Very sad story of one young girl's fight for life
Very sad story of one young girl’s fight for life
More of her paper cranes
More of her paper cranes
Sense of achievement
Sense of achievement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibits included diorama of the aftermath, remnants of clothing, building materials and household items.

The story of the paper cranes made by young girl in the hope that they would save her life.

Our attempts to  fold paper cranes were pretty abysmal, and needed much help from the women to get the final result.

Entrance to Hiroshima castle (reconstructed)

Tori at Hiroshima castle
Tori at Hiroshima castle

 

 

 

 

 

Mid afternoon – visit to the Naka Incineration Plant, not your usual tour attraction, necessitated another run to catch the bus. It is well set up for viewing with a wide corridor down the centre, all behind glass of course, and scaled model explaining the layout. Apparently it is quite spectacular at night when it is all lit up.

 

Day 2 Hiroshima Today’s excursion to Miyajima Island went ahead despite some pretty ordinary weather. Arrived at high tide and the entrance to the Shrine¬† was under water and not possible to walk to the Tori (gate). Opted to take the ropeway and climb to the top of Mt Misen. Unfortunately we only had a good view of the fog. Ewen and I checked out the waterfall route on the way down. Lots of granite steps and very slippery in parts. By the time we got back down the weather had fined¬† up.

Tori at Miyajima Island at high tide
Tori at Miyajima Island at high tide
Start of walk to Ropeway on Miyajima Island
Start of walk to Ropeway on Miyajima Island
Ewen & Bruce hidden in the fog at top of Mount Misen
Ewen & Bruce hidden in the fog at top of Mount Misen
Little shrine at the waterfall
Little shrine at the waterfall
Ewen is still waiting for me.
Ewen is still waiting for me.
Glimpses of Hiroshima from walkway
Glimpses of Hiroshima from walkway
Retarding basin below the waterfall
Retarding basin below the waterfall

 

Pretty spot at the end of walkway
Pretty spot at the end of walkway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A visit to the aquarium. Penguin feeding (Humboldt penguins, saw none of these in Antartica), a sea lion show, colourful fish and various amphibious animals.

Aquarium on Miyajima Island
Aquarium on Miyajima Island
More interesting fish
More interesting fish
Japan tea frog, cousin of Bufus Marinus
Japan tea frog, cousin of Bufus Marinus

Rhinocerous beetle DSC_0193 (Medium)

Humboldt penguins
Humboldt penguins
Happy to meet you too
Happy to meet you too

Spider shrimp DSC_0217 (Medium) Spotted eel DSC_0213 (Medium) Unexpected creature at Aquarium DSC_0189 (Medium) Sea lion show 2 DSC_0210 (Medium) Sea lion show 1 DSC_0208 (Medium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glad to put our feet up at the end of the day. Dinner at a local bar. Very animated waiters. Lots of shouting and cheering. As my mother would have said, less of that and more concentrating on the job at hand. They forgot Bruce’s order.

Fleeting visit to Himeji to see the castle. Wedding cake castle. Seat of power here from 1400s. Castle has undergone several restorations over the years. Huge timber supports. Not a lift up window seat, but a defence mechanism for dropping of stones, pouring boiling oil & water on the enemy. Good view from top. (Photos in my next blog)

 

Getting expert at changing trains mid journey, successful at one connection, next trip has 3 connections.Let’s see how we go.¬† Very successfully. Arrived at station, shuttle bus appeared, hotel on the coast, brilliant view, superb dinner, onsen, what more could you ask for.

Bruce, Jack and Kristian climb Mt Fuji

I’ve been a long time reader… I figured it was about time I posted something.

My story starts after leaving Jenelle and Ewen after a fantastic day of kayaking at Shimada. (Jenelle will fill you in soon!)

5 trains after departing Shimada Bruce and Myself arrived at Kawaguchiko at the base of Mt Fuji where we meet up with Jack at our accommodation.

After some much needed rest it was an early rise to catch the first bus to Mt Fuji Subaru line 5th station (the stations are huts along the track – 5th station is much more than a hut though, but it’s where you start walking from. 10 is the top)

The weather gods must have been happy with us, as we had a wonderful view of Mt Fuji in the morning and great weather all day.

Mt Fuji fro Kawaguchiko
Mt Fuji from Kawaguchiko
Trail of lights going up Mt Fuji.
Trail of lights going up Mt Fuji.

Once we arrived at the 5th station we set straight off. Bruce and me climbed 1570m up to the summit (elevation 3776m) in just over 3 hours, then we had a rapid 1.5 hour decent after a journey around the top. Jack made it up to the 8th station (elevation 3100m) and made a couple of radio contacts before heading back down.

6th station
6th station
Climbing Mt Fuji
Climbing Mt Fuji
Bruce at the top of Mt Fuji.
Bruce at the top of Mt Fuji.
Jack starting the Mt Fuji climb
Jack starting the Mt Fuji climb

Bruce and Kristian at the summit of Mt Fuji
Bruce and Kristian at the summit of Mt Fuji

Today we said farewell to Jack who was off on a bus trip with Jenelle, Ewen and Mark and we grabbed a couple of bikes to do a quick tour of the lakes before we returned to Tokyo before we head off to Gunma province where we finally join / rejoin the rest of the team.

Bruce and Kristian at Lake Shoji
Bruce and Kristian at Lake Shoji

And now just a couple more days until the serious stuff starts. ūüôā

Kristian

What, there’s more ??

  1. Well, you’ve followed the excitement of JWOC, then the WOC, and the adventures¬†of those in Scotland at the WMOC, then the magnificent gold in the WMTBO at the sprint by Angus R, and possibly even the Icelandic bike trek by Greg A and Gavin’s mountainous ramblings on the way to the WRC, so surely that’s it ? All over for the year ?

Well NO!! because there’s just one more, and we’ve of course saved the best till last !
The Region 3 Radio Orienteering championships being held in Japan.

I’m getting waaaay ahead of myself though, because we aren’t actually at the champs yet, just on the way. Some of us have actually made it to Japan though, so this blog entry will just recap the last few days.

[Those following/on Facebook may have already seen some of the photos, but I make no apologies, because they are some of the best, and we can`t have the blog missing out on those !]

We’re on the Southern Island of Japan at present. Not as far south as Yakoshima Island (refer Glaspoles), but nearly.

I’m writing this blog entry on the train b ask from Ibusuki, ¬†but let’s go back to the beginning :

Kumomoto

First day, a bit out of it after all the flying etc, was a visit to Kumomoto castle.

Kumamoto Castle, main building
Kumamoto Castle, main building

 

 

 

 

 

The huge beams under the Kumomoto castle.
The huge beams under the Kumomoto castle.

 

 

 

 

 

Ewen & Jennelle walking to K.Castle.
Ewen & Jennelle walking to K.Castle.

 

 

 

 

 

Jennelle tucks into 'dinner'. Yummy skewers.
Jennelle tucks into ‘dinner’. Yummy skewers.

The next day we hired a car. The excitement for the day was one of our number misplaced a handbag. ¬†I don’t have one and pretty sure Ewen doesn’t either! ¬†Luckily, being Japan, it was handed in to the police. However, since we only discovered the lack of said accoutrement on returning the hire car, two of our party stayed behind in Kumamoto to travel back to Aso police for the bag, whilst I headed on down to Kagoshima. I managed to convince the hotel in Kagoshima to not charge them a cancellation for the night though.

Had a slightly abbreviated walk at Takachiho Gorge, due to cyclone damage, and an even more abbreviated visit to Mt Aso volcano, where the cable car (ropeway) had been closed down temporarily, due to a level 2 volcano activity risk just declared by Japan BOM, up from level 1.

The stunning Takachiho Gorge
The stunning Takachiho Gorge
Ewen checks out the gorge.
Ewen checks out the gorge.
The angry Mt Aso
The angry Mt Aso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kagoshima

A bit rainy the next morning, but it slowed a bit later in the morning so I sent fit a walk around.

Kagoshima bay
Kagoshima bay
Bruce's walk above Kumomoto.
Bruce’s walk above Kumomoto.
View of Kagoshima and the nearby island volcano. Apparently at increased risk of eruption at the moment!
View of Kagoshima and the nearby island volcano. Apparently at increased risk of eruption at the moment!
Lot's of tourist harvesting
Lot’s of tourist harvesting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E & T arrive, so it’s off to the Samurai gardens <pictures may follow later>, and the next day the Peace museum south of Kagoshima.

Checking out the Kamakasi plane outside the peace museum.
Checking out the Kamakasi plane outside the peace museum.

 

 

 

 

 

Had to visit the Ibusuki hot baths, despite the humidity, on multiple recommendations.

Ibusuki sand baths
Ibusuki sand baths
At the hot sand baths, Ibusuki
At the hot sand baths, Ibusuki
Diesel-electric spur line train to the deep south, but a high class express on the return journey.
Diesel-electric spur line train to the deep south, but a high class express on the return journey. Then onwards on the shinkenzen to Hiroshima.
Chef prepares our fried noodle 'pancake' in Hiroshima.
Chef prepares our fried noodle ‘pancake’ in Hiroshima.