Blog 10, The Fox-or runaround

I went for a walk around the lake yesterday afternoon as it was so nice that the sun had come out, as it seems to about 4pm.

lake.

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Last night was the 2nd lot of presentations, including the team results for both ARDF competitions, and the Sprint presentations. Now if you’ve ever been to a World Championship of some sort you’ll know what to expect here. We stood for the Russian, Ukranian and Czech Republic national anthems rather too many times. It’s a relief to occasionally get a look in from Germany, Hungary, Slovakia or Sweden. And yes, there was a pretty big team from Ukraine after all. Often they shared the podium with a Russian.

The only Region 3 team to make the podium was a Korean Bronze team result in one of the older men’s categories.

This morning it was up at the normal time for the trip to the Fox-or. This didn’t go quite as planned. We drove and drove through the national park. I even spotted some potential tape in the forest at one point, but no, driving and driving on. We ended up in open plains. This just doesn’t look right, I thought, as the line of buses eventually pulls to a halt. My guess turned out to be right as the first bus then completed a U-turn and the rest followed suit. Driving, driving, back the way we’d come, turn off, driving, finally another stop. Our bus driver gets out for a smoke !? People drift off the bus to have a pee break; after all we’ve been traveling for an hour or so. The Czech team leader wonders if perhaps the real organiser of these Kazakh championships is Sacha Baron Cohen…. We jerk into action again for yet another U-turn, and retrace our steps to yet another new junction. Bit like a 6m foxhunt really.

Eventually we stop at a group of tents, only to find that’s the finish location, and off we go again to the start. Luckily, all this scenic detouring only delayed the FoxOr start by 15 minutes.

Start compound FoxOr
Start compound FoxOr

Overall we had a pretty good competition day today. FoxOring is a more simplified version of Radio Orienteering. The circle, just like an orienteering control circle, denotes a spot where you can (hopefully) hear a nearby very weak transmitter, which you then run towards and punch the SI control (no flag).

 

Start compound FoxOr
Start compound FoxOr
FoxOr map for M50
FoxOr map for M50
Greg starting (across the road)
Greg starting (across the road)

Greg wisely dropped off a couple of his more remote controls, and managed to stay in contact with the map. Greg declares he’ll need a bit (a lot?) of training if he is going to go to Japan Region 3 championships next year. Ewen found all of his allocated controls in time (very estatic Ewen), as did I. It didn’t start well for me, with a long run to the very remote L3 (see map), not yielding any discernable FoxOr signal. After some time faffing around I decided I must be in the wrong spot somehow and had to just get on with it. I then ran to all my other FoxOrs in turn. Some of them I heard, others I had to see what other competitors nearby were doing to get a hint. My 80m sniffer simply isn’t adequate for this event it seems, despite some improvements made since the last time. When I got to my final F4 control (which was faulty and only emitting a continuous carrier tone), I saw I had about 50mins before my time limit was up. I estimated the distance back to the other end of the map and L3 about 5km, and decided to give it another bash. After a long run down the main road (again), I carefully navigated into the control circle. Yep, I recognised some features from last time. Still no signal, and noone in sight, as before. Using Dennis Mews ever increasing circles technique I eventually spotted the transmitter bag on the ground. Then I heard it ….. Now the long haul back to the finish beacon, the tone of which was wandering all over the place. I estimate my long detour took 22 minutes all up, but at least I had the satisfaction of finding them all. The team (and that horn) welcomed me back.

Jack had a bit of a wander around the course today, finding a few transmitters here and there. Jack admits navigation is not his strength, but Jenelle was determined to do better than in Serbia, and did very creditably in her very competitive class. She says her first control choice was L5 (see map; I didn’t have to get that one hence the cross through it) involved an obscene quantity of contours to attain. Frustrated she didn’t get F4 due to it’s defective state, but happy otherwise.

The power went off in our hotel shortly after our return, a trip that took considerably less time than the morning’s journey. No power also meant no water for showers. Eeek ! Luckily some of us managed to get one in before the crunch.

Yay, Hungarian bronze
Yay, Hungarian bronze
Jiri (Czech) wins M60
Jiri (Czech) wins M60
And a bronze for wifey too (oh yeah, Russia 1st)
And a bronze for wifey too (oh yeah, Russia 1st)
Banquet
Banquet

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The presentations for the FoxOr (in the building conveniently next door) were running late again, so competitors started to avail themselves of the nearby banquet, and of course the free grog. This continued through the presentations. Women’s classses subjected us to way too many Russian national anthems, but a Norwegian win in W60 broke the monotony. The men’s were a little bit more diverse, but you find yourself cheering a bit more when someone new gains a place.

Many were asking us about 2018. Will Australia be running the World ARDF champs then ? The situation is this. It has been decided that a country in Region 3 can run the 2018 championship (the next in 2016 is in Bulgaria). Japan is running Region 3 championships next year, but may have also put in a bid for the world champs. Korea has put in a tentative bid, but they ran a world champs fairly recently. China has also expressed interest, but they need to gain permission from their organisation & government as yet. China ran a world champs in 2000, the first ever held in Region 3. Both China and Korea have shown they are able to run a good championships. So that leaves Australia, who have now also expressed interest, albeit only even hearing about all this when we had already left the country. Australia has run 3 Region 3 championships, but never a world champs !

Much more to be heard & discussed on this topic.

The Aussie team
The Aussie team

All in all a solid performance from the small Australian team at these championships. No disasters, no overtimes and a very credible performance from our two championships newbies, Greg & Jenelle (though Jenelle did have a prior try at the Serbian FoxOr). To do better we’d need much more training in classic ARDF, significantly more in ARDF sprints, and simply more competitors to make up teams. For FoxOr events ? Probably just better 80m sniffers would go a long way.

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Bruce

Blog 9 – 2 Metre Whooppee and Sprint

Note re Tuesday 9 from Jenelle: We opted to skip the tour to Astana and chose to do reconnaissance around our village and the lake. The morning trip to the village netted a new water heater to replace the one I cooked. There was much effort in repairing it, but decided it was a lost cause.  Afternoon trip along the lake, the boys did what they usually do – climb rocks. 

Tour Day Aussie Style 12
Tour Day Aussie Style 12
Some high tech work on the defunct water heater
Some high tech work on the defunct water heater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Day Aussie Style 4
Tour Day Aussie Style 4
Tour day Aussie Style 5
Tour day Aussie Style 5
Tour Day Aussie Style 6
Tour Day Aussie Style 6
Tour Day Aussie Style 7
Tour Day Aussie Style 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Day Aussie Style 8
Tour Day Aussie Style 8
Tour Day Aussie Style 9
Tour Day Aussie Style 9
Tour Day Aussie Style 10
Tour Day Aussie Style 10
Tour Day Aussie Style 11
Tour Day Aussie Style 11
Tour Day Aussie Style 3
Tour Day Aussie Style 3
Tour Day Aussie style 1
Tour Day Aussie style 1
Tour Day Aussie style 2
Tour Day Aussie style 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 10 September

Jenelle:   Apart from the inclement weather it was not a good start. We discovered a mouse in our room, actually in Ewen’s bag eating his licorice allsorts. For those of you who know Ewen well, this did not go down too well. We are all not looking forward to 2 metre event, there were problems on Sunday on training with some of our blue boxes not auto ranging. Knew the steps to do it manually, but it was just another unknown in the equation.

Note: The team leader’s lot is not a happy one. We sense Jack is getting a little fed up with team leader meetings. He needs all the accolades he can get. He is doing a stirling job.

Jack: Now let’s forget about meetings and get into the second classic event, for all of us it was 2m. Weather was cold, overcast and wet not great weather for ARDF. We arrived ( rugged up) at the start location and after settling in discovered that the start list had changed. For some reason I did not get an up to date start list handed out the night before. I will endeavour to make sure this does not happen again.

Note from Jenelle: All that double checking at work has paid off. Having trouble remembering 2 digit numbers  today, so I thought I better check my start group again. Oops my start time had changed, and so had everyone elses. Frantically checked for Greg’s and discovered that he was starting nearly an hour earlier. Breathe!!!  

 

On bus to 2M event
On bus to 2M event
On the bus to 2M event - not sure we could actually extract this from the cable ties
On the bus to 2M event – not sure we could actually extract this from the cable ties
2M event - it is chilly
2M event – it is chilly
2M event start area
2M event start area
2M event
2M event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack: I was first off again followed by Bruce. Next was Greg then Jenelle followed by Ewen. As there was some time before the last 3 members start they were allowed to wait on the bus. The course was wet, steep lots of trees and very rocky. Ewen, Greg and I only had to find TX 1,3,4. Jenelle was looking for 1,2 & 4 and for some reason Bruce’s category had to find all 5 where as the rest of us only needed to find 3. As expected the 2m transmitters played havoc with our receivers. All except Bruce were forced to use manual attenuation to get good df’s. I spent too much time looking for the first transmitter but then settled down and had a reasonable course for the next 2. Bruce did well to find all of his transmitters in a reasonable time but got one out of order and it was only luck he was able to collect it on the way to one of the other foxes. Bruce finished before me and we both went to the finish chute to cheer on the others. Greg and Jenelle (all 3 txs and under 2 hours) had a good course and were happy with the times. Ewen was not happy with his result and was looking forward to the next event to improve (needs to approach finish shute from the right direction). Looking at the M60 results to be in the top 10 you need to be extremely fast for example UA3BL Cherman from Russia took out first place with a time of 32:23 with our times in the 80 minutes region we don’t stand a chance. I expect our best on this course would be in the high 50’s still way off the mark.

Note from Jenelle: It was always reassuring to know the team was waiting at the finish for you, well in advance. At one point the finish beacon went off and Bruce improvised with the trumpet sending MO (morse for the beacon)

Finish 2M event
Finish 2M event
Greg - no running here
Greg – getting closer but no running here
Greg and Joe from USA
Greg and Joe from USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After tea was the awarding ceremony and although I like to see people receive awards it was hard to listen to all of the national anthems in some cases many times. This ceremony went on until about 23:00. By the time I got to my room sorted out some things for the event in the morning and then checked the results and start list for the next event I finally got into bed about 23:45.

Note from Jenelle: Getting elevation seemed to be the key to today’s event. This worked extremely well and the quads and gluts are not complaining. Happy vegemite today. Met up with Vita from Lithuania, gold medal winner in W35. Stayed for that part of the ceremony. It took a long time to start. Presentation to a visiting dignitary of a special Kazak robe. We also have a very charming translator, Anton who was very keen to have a photo with an Australian team member and flag. How could I refuse? We were planning an early night tonight, but hotel staff arrived after we had gone to bed with a mouse trap complete with cheese. Hopefully this will net a positive result.

Waiting, Waiting
Waiting, Waiting
The medal cereeony that wasn't
More waiting
Special Robe presentation
Special Robe presentation
Vita from Lithuainia, W35 80m ARDF Gold Medalist
Vita from Lithuainia, W35 80m ARDF Gold Medalist
W35 80 M medal presentaions
W35 80 M medal presentaions

 

Our personal translator Anton
Our English translator Anton
Anton - English translator
Anton – English translator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 11 September

Jenelle:  Another bleak and chilly start today, and to make matters worse the mouse has taken the cheese and not set off the trap.  This was not the only hiccup for the day. The local council has decided to cut a large trench right across the road which necessitated a 1.2 km walk to the other hotel to catch the bus to the start.

It was much the same routine to start the event. Link to website with today’s sprint map – http://ardf.darc.de/contest/14090812/14090812.htm#map140910.

Today it was the sprint, in other words hunting by numbers (frequencies). For me it was transimitters 2,3,5 on 3.51 MHz (slow), spectator beacon (S) on 3.54MHz, then transmitters 2,3,4 on 3.57MHz(fast) and then the final beacon on 3.6MHz. Managed to locate only No 3 of my slow ones, found 1 & 4 but they were no use to me. Taken on the advice of the more experienced hunters,” if you can’t find it where you are, go somewhere else”. Unfortunately that took me straight across the marsh and with only 20 minutes left of my 60 minute time I headed for the spectator beacon. Lots of cheering and photos here from the officials (no public spectators) , which made you feel like you were an elite performer – NOT!! Time was moving on as they say, so sensing transmitters 2 & 4 (fast) were reasonably closer made a desperate attempt to find one of them. I felt like I was being shadowed by 4 other competitors. I knew I was close, and then the gods smiled on me. A piece of red and white hazard tape flapped in the breeze. A ha No 4. Nine minutes left to get home. With trusty sniffer set to 3.6 MHz, I headed for the final beacon and the finish shute. I could hear Bruce’s trumpet in the distance and sensed the urgency. Not much run left in the legs today, but managed to finish with three minutes to spare. Not a great result, but as a first attempt I was happy to get back in time. Ruth from USA and I seem to be winning the quinella at the wrong end. The other Aussie team members had varying results. Both Greg and I are happy to have completed our first sprint events within the allocated time.

Bus trip back to the hotel was quite illuminating. Met a visitor with the Hungarian team, apparently the next World Championships are in Bulgaria in 2016. Will have to put my leave application in when I get back to work.

Blog 8 – 2014 ARDF Champs Competition – Day 1

Greg’s turn today

First day of competition – Monday 8th September

Sunday evening we found that we would all be hunting transmitters on 80m. The younger classes would be hunting on 2m. So we all prepared ourselves for today’s event. Breakfast was at 7:00 and bus departure at 8:00. At breakfast  we were give a “sandwich” – two half slices of bread, a couple of slices of sausage and a hard boiled egg for lunch. First start time for the event was 10:00. Bruce was off first at 10:25 then Jack at 10:30. It was a good thing that we had prepared the night before as we were ordered onto the bus at 7:45. Weather was overcast and cool but the bus was warm and excitement filled the air. You can imagine the sight with competitors nursing their Direction Finding equipment, bags et al.

We only travelled about 10 km to the start which was in a forest, as is most of the area. The buses parked on the side of the road and we walked in about 300m. Teams were required to put their receivers in the quarantine area and we were first to do this, luckily we all went as we would be able to find them at start time. We also got our first look at the map, which was on display, the start and finish had been left off but we could locate where we were. We also found which transmitters we were to find. Bruce 2,3,4 & 5 Ewen, Jack & Greg 1,2 & 4 and Jenelle 1,2 & 3 max time was 150mins.

Start Tents
Start Tents
ARDF Map day 1
ARDF Map day 1

It was very cold waiting around and Bruce was particularly affected. Jenelle had a spare jacket which helped him a bit. First competitors were timed to leave at 10:00 and so at twenty to, the call for first competitors went out. We had plastic bags to put our excess gear in and these were collected as you lined up and  transported to the finish. Competitors are sent off in groups every 5 minutes as transmitter number one comes on. There were two start corridors.

Waiting at the start
Waiting at the start

 

The long pants left home to save weight!
The long pants left home to save weight!

In no time it was Bruce’s turn to line up and then Jack’s, once they were off the rest of us had a wait. Ewen at 12:10 Greg 12:30 and Jenelle at 12:55. Luckily we were allowed to wait on the bus and the heater was on!!

Waiting Waiting
Waiting Waiting
Keeping Warm
Keeping Warm

Ewen was next to go followed by Greg and finally Jenelle. The start process involved lining up, after 5 mins move to the first tent where details were checked and SI stick cleared. 5 mins later collect your receiver then to the map tent to get your map, mark the start and finish and exclusion circles and put it in or on your map board. Then line up at the start line. This is where the advantage of all of us placing our receivers worked well as I saw one competitor searching for their receiver. The clock counts on, the signal sounds and you are off!!
Turn on the receiver and see if you can hear the signal, fantastic I can hear something, the gear’s all working.

Once there has been one round of transmissions you have a plan of attack and mine was to go to 1, then 2 and finally 4. The direct route seemed easy going and I soon lost close contact with the map. Luckily the forest was easy going throughout and the route I chose was the shortest. I did make a detour to miss a swamp marked between transmitter 4 and the finish, but Jack ran the direct line and only encountered a small creek. As I approached transmitter 4 I could hear Bruce blowing his plastic horn at the finish it was great to know he was finished and encouraging us home!!

As I came to the homing beacon control Bruce’s blowing efforts and Jack’s on the cow bell redoubled but they could not get me into running mode!!

Bruce's second place (for a while)
Bruce’s second place (for a while)

Ewen had finished before me so we just had Jenelle out on the course after a while we saw her bush bashing her way toward the finish beacon, she put on a brilliant sprint down the finish chute.

Then it was back to the bus for the trip home, after a shower we regrouped for a beer. Over  diner there were lots of stories swapped with the Americans. One of their team, Vadim KB1RLI had run second place in M40.

Times & placings (Category, time m:s, place/num in Category) were as follows Bruce M50 – 61:43 p13/30, Jack M60 – 60:40 p22/31, Greg M60 – 83:22 p28/31, Ewen M60 – 88:38 p29/31 and Jenelle M60 – 133:12 p8/8. So Jenelle had a top 10 finish!! Bruce was second when he finished and slowly slipped down hovering in the top ten for a long time then finally being pushed to 13th. He is finding it a bit hard to see how he can shave 20mins off his time to catch the leaders!! Jack, Ewen and Greg need to get down to 34 mins to do the same!! Still we all had a ball and are looking forward to tomorrow’s event on 2 metres some with trepidation due to the sniffer problems!.

 

 

Aussie M60 Team
Aussie M60 Team

Results from day 1 of the World Championships (these have been posted as printouts in the hotel lobbies – I guess the Germans took the effort to type them up online):

http://ardf.darc.de/contest/14090812/140908/140908-erg.htm

M19, M21, M40, W19, and W21 were all on 144 MHz. The other classes were on 3.5 MHz (Thanks to Ken WM5R for the link)

There was supposed to be a presentation ceremony in the evening but it was postponed till Wednesday.

Tour day – Tuesday 9th September

The tour today was a bus trip to Astana. As we had looked around there when we arrived we decided to stay at the hotel and look around. We had a leisurely breakfast with more chatting to the Americans.  The weather has changed and the outside temperature is in the single digits today. The others went for a walk before lunch and have now gone to the national park nearby. They were well rugged up as they left!!

 

The tale of three gorges (Blog 6)

This blog this time is mostly a video blog <- click here !

Some background:
The bus was a extremely basic, but capable, 90’s Russian vehicle. It picked us up from Karakol to take us up the Alyn Arashan gorge.

The ‘onsen’ was heated by a natural hot thermal spring, great after the hike.

The very stony and bumpy road up the gorge
The very stony and bumpy road up the gorge
View to the snow capped peak above the gorge
View to the snow capped peak above the gorge
Relaxing in the thermal spring onsen atop the gorge
Relaxing in the thermal spring onsen atop the gorge
Strikng hills on the way to the gorge
Strikng hills on the way to the gorge
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The Jet Oguz gorge, south of Issy-Kul, was an easier hike, popular for family picnics.

It rained a little last night, for the first time since we’ve been here. It has been a very hot and extraordinary dry summer in Kyrgyzstan, but despite that, the rivers still pour down with snowmelt. Suspect the water may become an increasingly important resource.

The guest house accommodation in Tamga, on the southern side of Issy-Kul ,was a delightful guesthouse with an extensive garden of fruit trees and roses.

Garden at guesthouse
Garden at guesthouse
Tampa Guesthouse
Tamga Guesthouse

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Today we walked around the Skazka canyon, under threatening grey skies with lightening over the lake. Fantastic bands of colours in the sandy hills; would be great at sunset.

group
The group
Dry riverbed
Dry riverbed
Weird sandy rock
Weird sandy rock
Greg & Ewen
Greg & Ewen
Ewen
Ewen
Playdough !
Playdough !
Multi-coloured sandy rocks
Multi-coloured sandy rocks
Ewen on peak
Ewen on peak
Jenelle with Issy-Kul behind
Jenelle with Issy-Kul behind
Ravine
Ravine
Humans can see faces in anything
Humans can see faces in anything
Slot in cliff
Slot in cliff
Multi-coloured strata again
Multi-coloured strata again
Ripples
Ripples
Sky hole
Sky hole

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A bit of a long drive back to Bishkek, and the end of our Kyrgyzstani adventure. Tomorrow Kazakhstan !

Cheers,
Bruce

Continue reading “The tale of three gorges (Blog 6)”

Kyrgyzstan Greeting (Blog 2)

We’ve decided to take turns writing the blog this time. This time it’s Bruce’s turn !

I came from Melbourne, with a short afternoon trip in Istanbul before arriving in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; so I got quite tired of airports and airplanes. We arrived in Bishkek at around 5am local time (I got back 3 hours timezone I lost on the way to Istanbul!), and grabbed a few hours relieved sleep.

Our local guide Reville met us in a Delica (PeterMaloney) vehicle which we’ll bounce around in for the next few days. It’s right hand drive, being Japanese, but they also drive on the right. Apparently 40% of vehicles are right hand drive; it doesn’t seem to matter a lot. Most of the roads don’t have lines anyway, or if they do, they are very faint, or obscure to their purpose. For instance, on one 3 lane road, the middle lane seemed to operate as a sort of anarchy lane. A bit like Queens Parade, but without any overhead arrows.

The other roadside feature I noticed was that many of the power poles were like half-hearted Stobey poles (SA). The wooden post is lashed to a short concrete post that is in the ground.

Kyrgyzstan has a pretty mixed population with arab, asian, mogul and russian influences. Their original nationalities are still included on their Kyrgyzstani passports, which is a bit confusing. The city, Bishkek, has a population around 1 million, with only around 4 million population in the country. Most of the country is very, relatively poor,  rural, a bit like northern Serbia. Around 90% identify with Muslim faith, but there also seems to be plenty of grog around too ! (vodka).

After a bit of mucking about later this morning getting US$ out of recalcitrant bank ATM, we had lunch, Lagman is a yummy local noodle dish, and headed 30km or so South to a national park to go for a bit of a walk. The 3.5km along to a waterfall sounded a nice walk to stretch out the plane legs. The thing is, the track started to head up and up, sometimes quite steep. Panting and heart beating hard I checked the altitude on my phone maps. 2300m !  No wonder it seemed tough. Oh well, good altitude training. Most of us did make it all the way to the waterfall at 2600m, but being the end of summer it wasn’t that speccy really. The surrounding ragged mountain tops made up for it. The river is sourced from snow melt which you can see in some of the photos, probably starting at about 3000m. These are pretty big mountains !

Bruce

Jenelle: It was particularly hard going keeping upright on the gravelly steep path in parts. Thanks you Margie and Raf – those arduous sessions at the pool and pilates have paid off.

Maloney-mobile
Maloney-mobile
stobey pole
‘Stobey’ pole
starting up
Start of the walk
valley below
The Valley below
waterfall
Nearly at the waterfall
IMG_0575 (Copy)
Restaurant at the bottom
snow!
Snow !
waterfall
Is that all ?!
Cusworth rock
Cusworth hill (not Alice Springs)
IMG_0574 (Copy)
Jenelle & Ewen

Berwick Springs CakeO/RadiO results

Only a few dedicated orienteers made it to Berwick and only two opted for the RadiO course with 6 Fox Or controls in addition to the usual 20 streetO controls.  The winner was Adam with 5 radio controls and 31 points from other controls.  Second was Dennis M with 4 radio plus 26 streetO control points.

Fox Hunt Report 19 July 2013

The night was dark and stormy and the street lights were ……………………….

Well not quite but it was wet as 3 of 4 teams assembled at VK3OW’s for the start of  the nights fox hunts.

For the first hunt the 2 metre transmitter was hidden in a mature cypress tree in a small plantation about 800 metres from the start. I used an XG3 signal generator as the fox set at -33 Dbm output level. As nobody could hear this I generously increased the level to 0 Dbm. First in was Darian from the FAST team who found the fox after about 3 circumnavigations of the tree. Next was Bruce from the CI team. After first finding the decoy transmitter and than crawling around the base of the tree several times he decided to try higher up and found the fox, 6 minutes after Darian. I probably should have reduced Bruce’s score by a point for finding the decoy but I’m not good a complex maths when I’m wet. Next in was the MZ team, just outside time.

While the teams collected runners and moved to the meeting spot the BLN team arrived. We knew they were coming but unfortunately they didn’t make the start in time for the first hunt.

The next hunt was a distance based hunt, ie the hound who travelled the shortest distance to the fox was the winner. There was no particular time element to this hunt although if two teams had come in with the same distance we would probably have used time to separate them. As it turned out we didn’t need to. We also ran the hunt on 6 metres to add a degree of complexity.  Actual points scores were determined as follows. The team with the shortest distance were awarded 0 points and the team with the longest distance the max 10. FAST, who were a close second got 2 points and BLN who were a long 3rd got 7.  If we do this again perhaps we’ll try a point for each additional Km.

The MZ team won this one with the FAST team only 0.5Km longer. They were followed by the BLN and CI teams with rather longer distances. Perhaps the Subaru is a bit too fast David?!

The third hunt was in what is probably a power line easement and not shown in street directories. Stephen and I entered this via a gate in the back fence of Ernie VK3FMs and enjoyed a coffee with him while we waited for the hounds. Thanks Ernie. The throb of the BLN Subaru was soon heard out the front of Ernie’s and it paused briefly when the team discovered my car. Reasoning that the fox was close (it was) they were then heard investigating all the Courts in the general area and also the small park west of the easement. The actual “public’ access was 2-3 km away. In the meantime Darian arrived and found the fox. Next in was the MZ team closely followed by BLN.  We stopped the clock at 15 minutes. Incidently the modulation on the TX was deliberate. The intention had been to AM modulate the carrier with a half hertz sinewave. The time available to achieve this however was very limited with the resulting waveform remotely resembling a lopsided peaky triangle.

The next hunt was run by Henk and Dianne. First in was the FAST team followed by CI, BLN and closely MZ.

The final hunt was a straight forward 2 metre hunt in Candlebark park. MZ were first in for this one, followed by CI, BLN and FAST, not being so fast for this one.

The hounds then retired for a well earned supper. My thanks to Jenelle for the soup and sandwidges, Dianne for the upside down cakes, icecream and caramel sauce and Henk for the party pies, cocktail franks etc.

The scores are as follows.

Team

Hunt 1

Hunt 2

Hunt 3

Hunt 4

Hunt 5

Hunt 6

Total

Place

VK3CI

6

21.5 km

10

15

10.49

3

11.24

3

37

3

VK3BLN

10

19.4 km

7

13

10.54

8

11.25

4

42

4

VK3MZ

10

11.3 km

0

12

10.55

9

11.21

0

31

2

VK3FAST

0

11.8 km

2

0

10.46

0

11.26

5

7

1

 

Hunts 1 and 3 were timed with a stop watch with hunts 4 and 5 using actual time.

Thanks to you all for coming on a not so pleasant night weather wise.

regards Ewen

Strugara Struggles

Bruce

Been a busy couple of days, so this is the first chance to update.

Note, the next Region 3 champs are in Hongcheon, Korea, a scenic resort town in the NE (of Sth Korea, of course). Hard to imagine it was as far back as 2008 when we last went to World Champs there. 1st->6th September 2013.

Sept 20th, 2m ARDF

All of us were on 2m yesterday. If you thought the first day was steep and hilly, this was extreme !  Very steep hills all over the place not only makes it physically demanding, but the 2m signals bounce all over the place, giving many odd bearings. You are sure to climb more of those steep hills mistakenly, or perhaps just to get a decent bearing for once, which you wouldn’t orienteering.

All made it back on time. Ewen and Kristian down a couple of TXs, but still had value for money both close to the 150min time limit.

The podium was dominated by Czech Republic, followed by Russia and Ukraine. Others with an occasional mention were Hungary (Karoly who gave me a lift to Budapest placed in W60), Germany, Slovakia, Croatia, USA (Ruth and Karla in W70), Great Britain (a long strived for Gold for Bob Titterington in M70) and Swedon.

This time we bussed to the map rather than walking as it was a few km down the hill. Once you saw the map it was clear there was little point in taking bearings before you’d scaled the large hill ahead of you. In retrospect my bearings weren’t bad, but since they all seemed to point much the same way it was very demoralising and not confidenence inspiring. Turned out they’d cleverly aligned 3 of the TX’s such that from the top of the hill they do appear in a line. They all seemed much the same signal strength too (as the most distant was on a hilltop, and the middle one was obscured. This leaves you with not much of a plan of attack. There are 3 that all seem the same, and another that is down south of the finish, so despite it being strong-ish, ignore that one. In M40 you skip the other one so ignore that too.

I chose to head for the one that gave the most consistant directions and seemed slightly stronger, and take it from there. An unfortunate decision, as I managed to bypass the other 2 in that line-up (when they were off), and get clear over to the complete opposite corner of the map before I finally got my first control. Just under 50mins and all I had was one, and traversed uncountable number of contours !! Even worse, after all that high altitude clambering, I’d lost contact with the map.

Things got gradually better. I got another control, and then regained proper map contact after getting to a good intersection. Things are looking up, only 2 to go, and I now have a better idea where they are (or at least, know where they aren’t). Knowing where you are results in saner route choices and much more confidence, so I knocked off the rest of the course in 40mins, at least moving all the time, if not able to keep a fast pace on the mountains. Only another 12mins to scramble back to the finish beacon along a tree strewn creek. And a mostly downhill finish chute (long though!).

I thought my disastrous first leg would consign me to the nether regions of the results. Yet another ARDF event where things could have gone better.  I was therefore quite surprised at my 16th place. Not a great result, but in the circumstances a bit unbelievable. Seems others had difficulties out there too. Many had more problems closing in on transmitters, whereas my problems were more strategic, and finding the transmitters went reasonably smoothly, once I actually started.

Kristian made some even worse decisions early on which meant he never had much idea of where things were. He finally got atop a hill and worked a few out, but he was not able to get his M21 5 TXs. He did, however, amke it back on time.

Ewen appeared to fare well initially, even finding one by accident, but spent a lot of time struggling with the more distant controls. He found 2 of the 4, but again just made it back on time. He has become an expert at stringing out those waiting for his return, and on the point that it seems all is lost, Ewen will appear in the distance.

Bruce’s 2m map board

There was meant to be FoxOr training this evening, but since the organisers were delayed searching for some missing competitors, it was delayed so much that most had no idea it happened. Apparently it started sometime during the closing presentations.

A busy day as immediately after the presentations and closing there was the Banquet. This was called a “HamFest”. Long time blog readers will know that we discovered, way back in Germany in 2001, that a HamFest is not the same thing as HamFest back in Oz. This has nothing to do with 2nd hand swapping of goods that will no doubt appear at the next hamfest, but much more to do with food, and beer. Banquet was held in the ginormous indoor sports hall as part of the hotel complex here, and I’d rate it above the MTBO one.

Jenelle: The banquet was a wonderful opportunity to say goodbye to the new people we have met, the girls from the Czech team, the young Chinese girls that James and I met at R3, and the old friends from our last trip in Croatia.

Sept 21th, 80m FoxOr Championships

Bruce

It was a bit alarming this morning as ordinary commuters hopped aboard our bus (one of many) going to the FoxOr. And then again at the next bus stop. What’s going on ? None of the other buses stopped ! Are we in fact the normal town bus that just happened to be parked amongst the others, and we’re instead on our way off somewhere else ?  However, it did stop at the right place, so we all got off quickly just in case.

Now this event is one we should do well at, surely ?  We’ve had lots of orienteering and FoxOr practice; should be a cinch, right ?

Well, have to say the outstanding result from today Jennelle T, who thought she was hopelessly overtime, but in fact had miscalculated the time, and ended up 5th in W60. She managed 3 controls, and probably could have done more, but the time limit panic meant she was back in good time. This feat is with a borrowed 80m sniffer from the Brits, as our ARDF club one couldn’t be coaxed to cover the frequencies needed. Jenelle hasn’t used an 80m sniffer before.

Jenelle: I have been severalmeltdowns this week as to whether I could use an 80m sniffer, so with about 10minute tuition from Ewen after last night’s banquet, I was still melting down this morning. This probably explains how I short changed my finish time by 20 minutes. I took a rather leisurely walk down the finish chute with a short run to the control and didn’t even bother to check the results board.  The only casualty was my only pair of shoes that are now drying out. Not sure how many creeks I crossed. Special thanks for the loan of the equipmment from David (It worked like a dream) and the SI stick and compass from Bruce.

Ewen and Kristian both miscalculated how far they were from the finish, and both overtime by a few minutes. Kristian was most complimentary about Greg W’s sniffer, so he may have difficulty getting it back, especially after the various mods we’ve made to it over the last few days.

I was back in time, in fact in better time than I thought (18th) because the start was in fact 2mins after our advertised start time. However I had to skip two FoxOrs, one heartbreakingly only a couple of minutes detour, as I headed to the finish, due to lack of time. The reason I was lacking time was I had in fact no working DF gear at all !  Yes, I managed to do all but 2 controls at an International FoxOr with no sniffer at all. I did wave it about a bit near controls, just to let the transmitter sitters think I was doing something, but in fact I was watching them, looking at where they were looking, watching other competitors, or pretending to search while I waited for some M70 competitor to finally puff up the hill and lead me in.

Basically at some point after the 2nd control, my headphone socket ended up irretriveably inside my 80m sniffer. It’s perhaps ironic that I had decided to not use the FM headphone link today, as it had given me some issues on the sprint event, and had elected to go the simple headphone route…..   Mind you, my sniffer could barely hear the FoxOr transmitters more than 10m away anyway, so it was of limited utility, even when it was working.

The “watching”, or in foxhunting parlance “following from in front”, backfired badly twice though, as I followed a likely looking competitor away from the FoxOr instead of towards it. I had no way to know they had already punched. Even worse, in the 1st case I had to relocate after I finally figured out I was following the wrong horse. This all was the main reason I was running low on time.

Back at the hotel Kristian and I had a beer or to two, in one of the many pubs/cafes, with the British who were drowning their sorrows (they hadn’t had a great day at the FoxOr either). Some really interesting discussions about getting people interested in ARDF, how the Czech’s did it, and how trying to get typical Amateurs to try is largely a waste of time. With all those I’ve talked to in various countries, diffculties in growing the sport appear to be universal. One of the Brits works teaching english in the same town in Czech Republic Jiri Marecek lives, and there seem to be many parallels with the Bendigo O.C. success in promotion in orienteering. Not too large a town, easy access to terrain, only a few (or one in Jiri’s case) school to target. Lots of events.

Time to pack up the bike and get ready for early morning departure tomorrow. I never did get to do the downhill ride.the  A deep fog moved in temporarily, obscuring the fact the lift was turning, but I eventually managed a conversation, with lots of hand waving and about 2 words of English, with the lift towie. Found it closes at 3pm (it was 3:05pm) and takes only 200 Dinar (A$2) for a single ride up.

It’s been fun, hope you’ve enjoyed following our adventures.

Oh and Strugara of the blog title ?  For those who made it all the way down this far, it’s the name of today’s FoxOr map.

Keep on Sprinting

Thursday 13th September 2012

Ewen

Today’s event was the 80M sprint.

Sprint-map-ARDF-13-September

This event has 5 transmitters on 3.52Mhz, running on a 12 second cycle which you can find in any order, followed by a spectator control on 3.54Mhz and then a second group of 5 transmitters on 3.56 Mhz on the 12 second cycle, followed by a homing beacon near the finish. The number of transmitters to be found  in the second group depended on your age group, with Kristian needing to find all 5 and Bruce and I needing only  1, 2, 4 and 5 although, getting carried away with things a bit, we both also found 3. Bruce started the event a few minutes after me and as I expected Bruce caught up near the end. I was hunting the homing beacon at this stage and decided to give him a run for his money. Bruce however was hunting transmitter 2 and thought I was doing the same so, as he was having equipment troubles, decided to see where I went. This did not end up well for Bruce. Bruce is once again having stern words to Bruce.

A great short sharp event!!  Not sure yet what the winning time is but Kristian did it in 30 mins, myself 36 and Bruce 39.

Bruce: Around 15mins for both M21 and M40 winning times. NB: I really did think #2 was that way, 180Deg out….

Some time was spent in the afternoon washing and drying Bruce’s right running shoe. Why, well I only brought spikes to Serbia and the sprint required running shoes. Bruce kindly lent me his old running shoes with the request that I try not to get them wet. Well I only got the right one wet………. Hence the washing and drying at great expense to the environment.  Another unconventional use of the hair dryer. This job was somewhat important as Bruce had managed to get his right shoe wet also, leaving him with no dry shoes.

Later in the afternoon the organisers arranged a picnic. Now Serbian picnics are not like the traditional English picnic with tea and cake. The food is largely, actually entirely, replaced by beer. And a very good brass band.  The beer came in 2 litre bottles “250ml gratis”. The Czech team provided some impromptu dancing, clearly they had been there for a while before we got there. We joined in for a short time as the sprint and some red had left me a bit weary.

 

Jenelle

The start today was not far from the front of the resort and again we filed out through the narrow door and only a short walk. We secured the only picnic table in sight, thanks to Kristian and no sooner had we settled in, they started calling for the equipment as of course AUS is always first. After all the AUS team left I headed to the finish line to resume my cheering duties. It is such a terrific atmosphere as spectators cheer in their respective runners. I made an attempt to run with Ewen beside the finish chute and lost the flag in the process. I left it to Ewen to run to the finish with Bruce, and together they escorted Kristian to the finish line.

Ewen failed to mention that some pressure had to be applied for him to join in the Serbian dancing and I am not ashamed to admit that it was all I could do to manage one bracket of the music. Seeing how well they run as well, maybe it is part of their training regime. I felt about as active as the friendly Serbian bear that resides here.

 

Bruce

The sprint was fun, despite our mediocre performance. We had never done one of this style before though. We should try something like this at home. If nothing else we need practice; it’s more instense than even a 5-in-5. My 80m receiver needs work, or more accurately, it needs replacing altogether !

Note to self: If wearing shorts and a knee brace, ensure the other knee is protected from the nasty scratchy velcro, or you’ll be forced to run the rest of the sprint in an odd bow legged fashion or risk removing skin.

Time for another short ride this afternoon, this time to a neigbouring ski area and back. Got the other shoe wet this time, so yet more hair dryer action.

The wine was sucessfully opened finally at the picnic, thanks to the swiss army knife form Ole, the Region 1 ARDF chairman.

I ended up in a rapid card game at the picnic with a bunch of German’s, some Chinese juniors and a Polish youth. Took a round to get used to it, as the rules were somewhat opaque to me at the start, but I got the hang of it and it was quite additive. Also, since it used special cards with symbols it was essentially lingual neutral (but being able to count your cards in deutsche helped save time). Kristian got a game right at the end. Anyone played Jungle Speed ?

Note we are updating this blog from2 different hotels, so plese excuse any weird inconsistancies that may crop up.

Seems like the fires over the hill, for which we’ve seen the water bombing helicopter,and aircraft flying over, were apparently started by a cluster bomb explosion during mine clearing on Mt Kaponik. One worker was killed in the explosion.
Hope there are a) no unexploded bombs on the competition map and b) that the fire is brought under control !!

Kristian has headed off to endure another team leaders meeting, which may happen, or not, and may happen on time. Or not.

It’s all uphill from here

 

Tuesday 11th September 2012

Ewen

Model event day. Very simple event. Two 2m transmitters, one of which changed into a homing beacon at some stage, and two 80m transmitter, plus homing beacons. The 2 and 80 metre transmitters were colocated. After hunting on 2 metres there didn’t seem to be much point in hunting on 80 so checked that the 80M sniffer gave sensible directions and called it quits. After giving Jenelle some 80 DF coaching we went back to the hotel for a shower before lunch. After lunch Ewen investigated the ARDF “spare” 80m receiver to see if it could be made to cover the frequencies proposed for the sprint event later in the week. After some discussion with Bruce it was decided that it might not be possible with the available resources.

The opening ceremony was advertised for 4pm but as usual with these events it was nearer to 4.30 before things got underway.  There were the usual speeches by various dignitaries, including the president and vice presidents of the IARU and the competition was declared open.

Jenelle

There was enough time after the formalities to check out the pool, rather a challenge aerobically, after about 20 laps (each lap 20 metres) I called it quits. Didn’t feel very comfortable to join those reclining on the lounges on the pool deck.

 

Wednesday 12th September 2012

Jenelle

Early start today. At 8 am we set off for a walk to the start about 20 minutes away from the main entrance to the resort.

Bruce

The problem with start quarantines is that if you luck a late start it can be a long-long wait till you head out, and since my start time was midday this proved to be the case.

Read on if you really want to know about the course J. Hills, and valleys, lots of them, and unavoidable. Starting at 1800m (higher than the very very top of Mt Buller) this proved quite a challenge physically. My knee wasn’t too much of an issue except for climbing over the many fallen large and small pine trees spread all over the place, including across tracks.

Have a look at the map to make some more sense of this bit. Conveniently our start corridor (for 80m) turned northwards, which was where I’d planned to head anyway, away from the finish to the south (the finish was actually near the hotels). Got TX#3 that direction at 13mins, and then a long trek to TX#1 way up in the NW corner.  I lost a bit of map contact, but my route wasn’t bad in retrospect, but possibly slower as I’m more confident if I know where I am exactly.  Some others, including Ewen, did TX#4 (near the dam wall NW of start) 2nd, but my plan was to do that next (3rd) since I had TX#5 placed way down south near the finish. My order wasn’t bad as it turned out. My route TX#1 to TX#4 was very steep and probably not optimal as I ended up in a creek valley that was hard to get out of. Luckily I saw the large dam wall near TX#4 and relocated. Headed south to TX#5, up a very steep hill track I staggered up. I punched and headed to the finish. Caught up with Kristian who was just finishing M21 80m and punched the finish just behind him. He started quite a while before me, so though I was a bit slow at times, 72mins for all the ones I needed (don’t get TX#2 for M40) seemed not bad for me. But. Took me a while to notice, but when comparing splits with Kristian it seemed I hadn’t punched at TX#5 at all, but instead at a 2m transmitter (they run the courses concurrently with different age-groups doing 80m or 2m) number 3. I have yet to see where TX#5(80m) and TX#3(2m) were actually located, but I don’t think far. This was a bit upsetting. Bruce had some strong words with Bruce which are best not repeated here.

Bruce: My 80m map

Kristian did fabulously well to get all his 5 TXs for M21, back in time, still fighting the final leftovers of bronchitis. Ewen found 3 or his 4 TXs, having to skip the last one near the finish due to time constraints. Frustrating as he thought he wasn’t far from it, but with only 3 mins to spare from the 150min time limit, this wasn’t advisable. The single person cheer squad did well to welcome us home.

This afternoon, after a late lunch, we fiddled about with 80m receivers to make them cover the range required for the Sprint event tomorrow and the FoxOr later (sorry Greg, we made changes). Yet to work on the ARDF club one which is physically more difficult due to heatshrunk hidden circuitry. The model event for the sprint followed the usual model of zero information about where and how, and only about 1.5 hours late. Suspect their organising team is very small indeed.

We have a problem. A significant problem. No corkscrew. As you can imagine, this is a disaster, as we cannot possibly take all the wine we bought home with us due to luggage limits. Even the waiter in the restaurant wouldn’t let us use one. Some initial confusion when he first brought me a pepper grinder, but then he understood. No ! I’m sure there was a reason, but it was in Serbian.

Incidentally, Stephan from Germany is back.

A town called Bruce (ok, Brus)

 

Monday 10th September 2012

 

Another brilliant day for our final day of our Best of Serbia tour. Last night we enjoyed the lights of city of Nis from our vantage point at Hotel Alexander and this morning the view was equally as good.

 

We enjoyed a later start this morning (9.30), and headed for Mediana, yet another Roman site in varying stages of restoration. On display were some replica weapons, a catapult and battering ram. Unfortunately the museum wasn’t open (yes it is Monday), so we just wandered around the site, checking out the remains of different buildings. There was a large area covered with sand to protect the underlying mosaics, this was surrounded by a box hedge and even some rose gardens.

 

From here we attempted again to see the Skull tower, built by the Turks from dead Serbian fighters during an uprising in the 18th century. We could just see it from outside the fence, probably a good thing it was closed on Monday as well. There was also another fortress in the centre of Nis and this necessitated the mandatory climb to the top of the wall to take in the view.

 

Fortified with a light snack we set off to find Đavolja Varoš ( Devil’s Town), geological formations (sandstone pillars with rocks on the top) not far from the Kosovo border. It turned out to be quite some distance from Nis and along with road works it took till almost 2pm to get there. Like most tourist maps the map of the area was open to interpretation but the path was easy enough to follow. The creek that flowed through the area was most unusual. The water was clear, but the dirt under it was bright orange. The brochure suggested it had a ph of 3.5 which I think makes it very acidic. At one point there was a Red Spring bubbling through the ground. The view from the top of the observation deck was stunning, the recently commenced night light show would have been even better. The sign not to lean on the safety rail was a bit disconcerting. The light was quite eerie walking back through the forest now that the sky has begun to cloud over.

 

As we were pressed for time we opted for a quick lunch, although it quite a while to work through the monster roll with ham, kaymak (soft white cheese) and hot peppers. Bruce was keen to ride down the valley road, so he set off on his bike about 4pm. It took Danny, Ewen and I about 14 km to catch him in the van. More windy road and detours for road works slowed progress, but we were reassured when we discovered we were on the road to a town called Brus (pronounced Bruce). Another 50 km of windy, uphill road and we eventually arrived at the ARDF site just before 7pm.

Bruce: Brus was otherwise not particularly notable 🙂

 

A note to Zlatan: Dany has been consistently good humoured, despite some long days driving, translating numerous menus and signs and answering our many questions. Today was another sterling effort by Dany, considering once he left us he had to head back down the mountain for the return trip home.

 

After sorting out some SI stick numbers at registration we checked into our hotels and had dinner which was excellent. Yes we are in 2 separate hotels which is pain. We will be able relieve this a little as Bruce and Ewen have handhelds. A minor problem being Bruce didn’t bring his battery charger, to save weight. This has now been fixed with the unconventional use of a hair dryer and a laptop power supply. The hotels are about 4 star standard so very comfortable.

 

It was very enjoyable meeting up with people we had met in Croatia, Bob and David from the English team and John from Norway. Also spoke to one of the Chinese girls that came with James and I on the street orieteering in Maldon for the R3 last September. She was quite excited that we recognised her and gave me a big hug. Someone else to cheer for.

 

We are quite settled in now with the flag flying out our window and post card on the door. I can even have my early morning cuppa of green tea, but Ewen is having withdrawal symptoms due to the lack of English Breakfast tea (there is herbal sweet stuff, as normal here, and sometimes Earl Grey (ugggh))

Bruce: As the model event was so short this morning,I had plenty of time to go for a ride before lunch. After some adventures finding someone appropriate, I got a map that included cross country ski trails, so that seemed a good enough thing to try. Not bad riding, except the map was wrong (we have come to expect this from Serbian maps; certain Rogainers would thrive), and the pine tree or 4 across the trail I had to stop to lift over. I’ve discovered, I think (may have got lost in the translation), that the chairlift takes bikes on Saturday, so there might be a chance for some MTBing after the FoxOr.

Bruce: Incidentally, the food has been pretty good here so far, way way above MTBO uni caf standards.

Bruce: PS: I finally looked on Google maps at what I’d attempted to ride the other day at Silver Lake; looks like I’d have got through, but I’d lost all confidence. I also didn’t even know the lake was that shape, so I’d have worried about riding “away”from it on the northern side. The southern route I took doesn’t appear on Google at all.

View Larger Map


Devil’s Town), geological formations (sandstone pillars with rocks on the top) not far from the Kosovo border. It turned out to be quite some distance from Nis and along with road works it took till almost 2pm to get there. Like most tourist maps the map of the area was open to interpretation but the path was easy enough to follow. The creek that flowed through the area was most unusual. The water was clear, but the dirt under it was bright orange. The brochure suggested it had a ph of 3.5 which I think makes it very acidic. At one point there was a Red Spring bubbling through the ground. The view from the top of the observation deck was stunning, the recently commenced night light show would have been even better. The sign not to lean on the safety rail was a bit disconcerting. The light was quite eerie walking back through the forest now that the sky has begun to cloud over.

On the right Pecs

The Hungarian RadiO people don’t do things by halves !

Three full scale practice ARDF hunts in 2 days (and that’s following 2 days of ARDF championships over last weekend whilst I was in Veszprem). Some much needed practice for me, albeit slower than normal as I’m just being cautious not to stress my knee. Good news is I was able to run OK when it was clear underfoot.

The two maps used were 2007 World Orienteering Champs maps from 2007. Anyone go to WOC in 2007 recognise this ?

Here is one of the ex-WOC maps used for the RadiO training

 

 

 

 

Due to too much luggage and people to fit in Gyrui’s car, and the fact Vadim wasn’t all that taken with the idea of tying him to the roof, I caught a lift with a Budapest couple to Budapest, and train-ed it down to Pecs. Vadim is also here, staying at Gyuri’s place.

Rode around this park near Buda-Deli station whilst waiting for my train
Karoly and Piroska, and my lift to Budapest
Vadim busy hacking into US security, and Gyrui fending off a work call

 

I went for ride up into the hills a bit this morning, but the Pecs road map was somewhat optimistic as far as which roads actually existed and/or went through, so a fair bit of time was spent relocating 🙂  Ended up on some single track, well sort of.

Old mine head, on my bike ride around Pecs
Single Track !

 

Found out today there is a special deal on train tickets from Budapest to Belgrade (15 Euro only), so it’s much the same price as yesterday only to Pecs. I’ll catch the train at Kelebia though, on the Hungarian-Serbian border.  The train does carry bikes, but bike carriage tickets can only be purchased in Budapest (don’t ask, I have no idea, grrrrr), so I’ll pack it up in the bike bag instead and pretend it’s luggage.

Later this afternoon we drove out to one of those infamous Pecs maps (Geoff send some out in his WMOC blogs last year), I ran out and hid a single 2m transmitter so Gyuri could demonstrate to Anna, his partner, how the signal behaves as you approach a hill the TX is on the other side from you. Maybe we should do a simple training exercise in this too ! ?

Good luck to all those heading to the World Rogaine Champs this weekend in nearby Czech Replublic. I think the weather may be a bit cooler than it was !

Last blog: https://ardf.org.au/WordPress/2012/radio-in-the-forest/

Cheers, Bruce

 

RadiO in the forest

Last night we stayed here with some of the Hungarian Radio Orienteering team, plus Vadim from USA and 3 Romainians.

 

 

 

 

 

It was basic, but falling into disrepair a little. A former youth camp. Today a whole load of kids (a school ?) moved in sowe were relocated before breakfast into this house across the road. At least the latter has hot showers !

Today’s accomodation house (across the road)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murray was just going to run along beside me this morning, but other convinced him he may as well take a sniffer along too. Good thing he did really as I had trouble hearing some on mine at times, so that little bit of extra help was valuable. Murray found it challenging, but certainly different. We took 79 minutes to find the M40 4 TX out of a time limit of 90 minutes. It was pretty steep terrain, I was being extra specially careful with my knee, and also attempting to plan our route together.

It rained for the first time after lunch, but only for 10mins or so.Waether today was warm but pleasant, possibly helped by our altitude in the hills. The forest is sometimes clear, sometimes a bit overgrown, so the running varies. All extremely green looking.

Previous blog here: https://ardf.org.au/WordPress/2012/touring-hungary/

Cheers, Bruce

Region 3 ARDF – 80m event tomorrow

The Region 3 ARDF competition finishes up tomorrow with the 80m event. Stay tuned for more information, and check out the results of earlier events by going to http://r3.ardf.org.au and selecting the Results and Start Lists menu option.

Region 3 ARDF – Tour Day

Participants were afforded a sleep in this morning with breakfast served at the more sensible 8am. The agenda today would see competitors and officials enjoying a Steam Train ride from Maldon to Castlemaine, followed by an underground tour at the Central Deborah Gold Mine. Lunch was a BBQ  complete with Aussie favorites Kangaroo steaks, Lamingtons and Anzac Biscuits.

A walk to the train station got the day started where some of the competitors were treated to the opportunity to push the loco around on the turntable.  After some shuffling of locos and carriages, we were soon on our way.

The trip was quite relaxing with a team even enjoying a animated game of poker (Chinese style). Every imaginable camera was working overtime as the train rattled down the tracks towards Castlemaine.

The trip to Bendigo was made on 2 buses and we were soon arriving at the Central Deborah Gold Mine for our BBQ lunch and underground mine tour. This Mine was origionaly dug to a depth of more than 400m, however today we were only taken to a depth of 65m. The tour lasted 45minutes and our great host Laurie kept us entertained with rock drilling, fools gold, real gold, pretend blasting and drop bears.

Lunch was served by about 8 orienteering volunteers who had cooked up a feast. Six or so salads, cold drinks and deserts were also well received. An impromptu lesson was given “Having a BBQ Aussie style” Class 1 was how to eat a sausage in bread, this was mostly due to us running out of plates. The Kangaroo sample steaks went down a treat and proved very popular. After lunch we enjoyed activities such as quoits, horse shoe tossing, gold panning, and various machinery and static displays. At departure time we discovered that that we had lost 2 Chinese team members. A quick run around the small area revealed that they had disappeared to the local bank (5 blocks away) to exchange currency. We were soon all back on the bus returning to the camp.