twilight and shadow

Adventuring to favourite places

"So now," he thought, "somebody else will have to do something, and I hope they will do it soon, because if they don't I shall have to swim, which I can't, so I hope they do it soon." And then he gave a very long sigh and said, "I wish Pooh were here. It's so much more friendly with two."
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

In the past week I got to hang out in 3 of my favourite places ever as well as having some cool adventures. I had last week off work so on the Monday I cruised up to my mate's farm at Slater Road (one of my favourite places) to help out on the farm, rake some mountain bike tracks in their huge private park and get some biking and kayaking coaching. Paddling up through the mangroves was so awesome especially when we had to bash our way through in parts!

Of course, I can't go up there without going running with Jess so we had our own little adventure on the Tuesday afternoon. It was supposed to be a short run but time seems to melt away in the forest.

Here's Jess inside afterwards...the ultimate training companion and boy can she go fast when she wants to!

To prove I am capable of relaxing, the following morning The Chef and I headed off to my beach house at
Waikauri Bay which is quite possibly my favourite place in the whole world. I have many awesome memories of endless summers playing in the waves and exploring the hills. Pretty much all we did was eat, read, wander along the beach and round the rocks and laze about.

Anyway, on the drive up we stopped off at the Black Dog Cafe in Matakana for lunch. I got this warmed roast vegetable salad which was really nice but not exactly filling.

Dinner more than made up for a light lunch (although we did demolish a packet of pita crisps) with tofu sausages topped with fried onion and mushrooms alongside steamed broccoli and kumara chips. I think I ate my weight in kumara chips that night!

The following morning we ate the leftover kumara chips covered in maple syrup. I had no idea this would be such a good combination but I am definitely going to have it again soon!

I had leftover waffle mixture in my freezer from the dessert party so brought that up with us for breakfast the next day. While I was in charge of the waffles, The Chef cooked up some caramelised apple and feijoas in maple syrup.

Throughout the course of the day we managed to polish off over a kilogram of feijoas. Well, the bag had to be finished so it was up to us to eat them all! I love feijoa season!

Lunch of champions...falafel, fresh bread with hummus and a mega salad.

The Chef thought he'd eat his portion as a sandwich. Um, yeah...watching him try to wrap his mouth around this mammoth monster was hilarious!

But I can never relax for too long and Thursday night I was off to the airport and flying down South to Otago for the National Orienteering Champs. This is my first year running in the elite grade for all races so I was pretty excited...but pretty nervous.

The first race was the sprint event in Roxburgh. Ah, not my finest moment after a bad route choice ending up in thick scrub down a valley. But I did pull out some good splits for the last few controls which was good since you were visible to all the spectators on the hill for that final section!

The second day was the middle distance event in
Bannockburn which was just out of Cromwell. Heaps of cliffs, some killer climbs and more scrub for me to get caught in!

The long distance event was just out of Alexandra at
Earnscleugh Station and it was bitterly cold, very exposed, quite steep, very rocky, extremely fast terrain and (for us running the elite women's grade) a very long course. Oh, and a nasty barbed wire, outrigger fence. Below is the final stretch to the finish and boy was I glad to make it that far!

I'm not normally a fan of the relay event 'cause it always feels like so much pressure...if you stuff up or manage to mispunch or something then you let your whole team down but I was so looking forward to this one 'cause it was being held in
Naesby which is another very special place to me. Oh, and I was in an awesome relay team with a couple of great mates out to have fun. We decided not to take it too seriously and wore our race numbers sideways just to be a bit different.

Here's the start of the relay which is always chaos. Lucky I was second-leg runner.

So after all that adventuring I was actually quite glad to arrive home to Auckland and it gave me its usual greeting by pouring down with rain! It's good to be home.