Bush orienteering 1:25:00  8.0 km (10:38 / km)
Flinders Ranges Day 2.
Ian had convinced me to take a scenic flight over the ranges the previous day - and the very unsafe looking single engine Cessna had flown clockwise around the Wilpena area. Ian got a great view of the ranges and I got a great view of the plains (as I was sitting on the outside), plus a great view of the orienteering area which was a mass of small knolls covered in native pines and which all looked the same.
In the event I felt good at the start and got a bit carried away. I soon learnt that speed was not the main thing as by control 3 I had run off the map and had to backtrack. Things just got worse from there as I had terrible trouble on the next few controls - mainly from parallel errors cause by following the wrong spur lines. Then disaster - I should have followed the fence around from 6 to 7 - but opted for the cheeky cross country risk. Soon I had no idea where I was and could not relocate. I found other controls but couldn't work out where these were on the map. I couldn't even work out where home was - so went up a hill and spotted the cars - which were on a hill. Louise would have been proud of my noodles, but I didn't wear a garmin and can't download them. So an MP. Overall, I was was acting my age and I guess general confusion is a normal part of that!
(Note - I have very runny eyes during the event, which I normally get when it is windy and cold. Funnily, some very nice ladies at the end thought I had been crying 'cos I was lost - and came to comfort me.)
Other people seemed to either have a disaster or do well. The Sprite (acting her age) won W55. And even Ian got around - hinting that he took bearings off the mountain ranges and then aimed for these (which I tried, with greater success on Monday).
After the event we walked to see some aboriginal cave paintings and then drove north on the 3-hour round trip through some fantastic gorges, where there was a sequence of interpretive signs explaining the incredible geological history of the area.
This was followed by a very nice sociable event dinner by a blazing fire in a woolshed and with great company. Thanks Jenny for organising this.