Rotoiti is a mysterious map. There is no other way to describe it. Virtually flat, so using contours to navigate is impossible. Thick kanuka and manuka scrub so you can't really see where you are going. Clearings that all look the same as each other. It's no wonder that no one who had run there before had anything other than terrifying stories to tell...except Michael who is clearly a bit crazy! So clearly I was pretty nervous lining up at the start.
It was all very well to go out there with a plan of attack but oh my god...you know you're off to a flying start when you get hopelessly lost trying to find the first control!! I pretty much walked (otherwise known as bush-bashed) my whole way round...round in circles!!! After finally finding #1 I was going along as okay as you were going to get until #4 which was really quite mysterious. Turns out I wasn't the only one thinking this which is always encouraging.
Then somehow I got #5 no problem (a miracle!). This was only to be followed by going round in circles for quite some time for the next control. #7 and #8 were easy which then lulled me into a false sense of security. With only 1 more control to go I figured not much could go wrong (hahaha!). Oh man. The first half of the control went really well and I thought I had my attackpoint but it just didn't seem to work out. Once I realised I had no chance, it took me forever to get back to the telephone pole so I could start again. Somehow the second attempt worked out fine but it was so frustrating because once I got to the control I realised I must have been so close the whole time but just never managed to find it. It felt like trying to find a needle in a haystack!
I will have to come back to this map some day and see if I can get it to make a little more sense!