Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cycling, Jamies latest thing

I've been getting into cycling a bit, as in the road racing variety, have done 4-5 races in the last month or so and am really enjoying it and doing quite well. I feel that I get better reward for my aerobic fitness in cycling than I do in running where my size and biomechanical inefficiences slow me down a bit...and its something new and fun. Don't have any cycling pics but this mtb pic is from the recent Motu challenge race which I did in a team with some friends, we finished about 4th or something, good times.


Well have a bit to catch up on, first is a walk we did last weekend up one of the highest local mountains Arowhana. This rugged peak is on the Eastern edge of the Raukumara Forest Park and provides awesome views of the vast hinterland of Gisborne. It is somewhat of an epic drive to get there, accessed from inland Poverty Bay via the Mangatu Forest, one giant hill climbs from 200 metres above sea level to 900m a pretty big hill by New Zealand standards. Once the carpark was attained things probably got easier. The hill was steep but the "track" was open and reasonably straight forward, great to see the typical sub-alpine vegetation associations which we miss in our regular travels in this region. After about an hour we had reached the summit and lazed around looking at the view for a bit. Penny was feeling adventurous and made us go down a different more exploratory way via some thick leatherwood and steep forest, good times though in a very seldom travelled part of the country. On the way back we visited the famous Tarndale Slip, one of NZ's most eroded places, was pretty amazing/devastated landscape. And helps you understand why the rivers around here are so silted up. One of the biggest hazards in the Gisborne area is the threat of locallly sourced Tsunamis from undersea landslides just offshore from all the silt that has been pumped out by the rivers.....a tragic legacy of short sighted farming practices combined with cyclone bola.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Aussie O Trip

Well better get posting before things back up too much. We went over to Aussie for a week at the start of the month to compete at the Oceania Orienteering Champs in Canberra. A nice week, although Canberra is not really where I would choose to have my holidays. Most of the terrain was pretty interesting and the team was fun. Didn't take heaps of photos, but have uploaded a few. On one of the rest days we took a trip to the coast, Batemans bay, and checked out a couple of national parks, including Deua National Park where we saw a Deua (a big lizard) and lots of Wombat holes. Our best results in the orienteering were 4th in the classic (Penny) and 5th in the sprint (me).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Sample of the Orienteering Maps

The Start of my long distance course, my route in purple.

Auckland Champs

Last weekend, PK and I cruised up to Akld for the Auckland Orienteering Champs held in Woodhill forest. Stayed with Brent on the way in Rotorua. There was a middle distance first up in which Penny and I both finished 2nd which was a good result. After this we cruised up to Rob Gardens place on South Head and played tennis, went kayaking etc. Good times. Sunday was a long distance event on some real awesome terrain, firstly native bush previously used for NZ's only World Cup in 1994 and then some real nice tricky Woodhill sanddunes...reminded me what I like about orienteering!! Unfortunately we had a bad day, Penny mispunched and I tired towards the end..then the long journey home

Monday, September 10, 2007

Taupo Squad Weekend

Hey, this weekend just being I was down in Taupo running an orienteering squad weekend. Good to get people together. We did some good runs around the local tracks. Taupo is one of those visionary areas that has really developed its local track network to cater for runners/mtbers and other users. Its fantastic, and you always end up running past Huka falls at some stage. Photo is of me and Bryn Davies and Piret Klade at the Craters of the Moon volcanic site. Penny spent the weekend in Gizzy partying with the Doctors, hopefully she might have some stories to tell.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jamies week in Vegas

Not as exciting as it sounds...Penny went away tramping for the week down south so I popped over to Rotovegas to do some event organising. Supported Rachel Smith at the Coromandel Classic multisport race first up and caught up with a few people I hadn't seen for a while which was good, then headed down to Rotorua, checked out some areas, spoke to lots of landowners and generally made a nuisance of myself. Highlight was probably a bit of wood falling off a rimu tree and hitting me in the head as a I walked along...ended up getting a few stitches in Taupo medical centre. Also went for a nice drive with Simon Addison to the West Coast of the North Island, Kawhia, Taharoa (where they sand mine) and back via Waitomo. Taharoa was our main destination as we had spotted a likely looking orienteering area. Unfirtunately it was indeed fantastic but was in the process of being felled (this is a horrible experience for an orienteer). I will convince Penny to post a report of her expedition which will be much more interesting!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A bit of catch up - Coromandel

Yeah haven't done heaps of posting recently, so thought I would recount a little mission we did earlier in the year. Penny and I and her workmate Max (who coincidentally went to school with Gemma) cruised up to the Coromandel and met up with Megan and Fred. Highlights on the trip up were playing guitar and impovised singing (at the time I only knew A, C, D and G) and exploring Ohiwa estuary at dusk, with a stingray flapping in the sunset. We arrived late to Tairua but found Megan and Fred, and had a nice weekend sifting around Cathedral Cove etc and a lovely run up in the hills somewhere...awesome part of the country. One memorable moment was Fred standing on top of a watertank with the guitar giving us an impromtu performance...brilliant.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tough Gal

Penny is the new Tough Gal!

At the weekend we competed in the Tough Guy and Gal running race near Rotorua. It is an extreme cross-country race with swamps up to your waist, steep up hills and downhills and army style obstacles. Penny was 1st Woman and I was second man. It was a real fun day and some of our orienteering friends came down as well which was cool. On Saturday we went for another really nice run in the forest out the back of Rotorua, awesome training.I'm half keen to live there, but Penny isn't so convinced. Photos are of the aftermath of the Tough Guy and Penny receiving her prize.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Jamies projects

Have been meaning to give an update on what I've been up to for the last few months...I have officially given up on getting a real job in this cursed place!:-) So am trying to develop an events management business mainly for the challenge of it and the joy of seeing people get out there, rather than making mega bucks...although the hope is it may become a good revenue stream in the future

We have recently established a website for the business with the main project at the moment being the Kiwi Summer Adventure Racing Series. I am also trying to set up a youth adventure racing team which is there as well and working on a running event around Lake Waikaremoana.

I have also been spending far too much time doing orienteering stuff, including providing ideas for the development of New Zealand's orienteering site where we have recently created a great photo database where you can find and download photos of Penny, me and all the other top NZ orienteers.

And I guess my other project is the Kiwi Adventure Project, a website that I am trying to co-ordinate the creation of which will act as an online guidebook for all NZ outdoor activities. Hard to explain, will post more when we develop a version that speaks for itself...

And I'm slowly learning to play the guitar...

Round Waikaremoana

Well this weekend was supposed to be mountain time down in the Kawekas but we were feeling a bit tired on Friday night so decided on the lake alternative. We got up there about lunchtime on Sat, dropping Pennys bike off at one end and parking at the was pouring with rain, but for once we didn't wuss out. 6 hours later stumbling along in the dark we made Waipaoa Hut.

While it was daylight it was a really pretty track, kind of scandinavian with bare rock sliding into the water, lots on inlets and islets and regular huts to keep the motivation levels high.

The hut we stayed in was real nice, a few hunters and trampers to spin yarns too and a nice warm fire, our basic rations of smoked chicked and bread rolls with camembert was sweet as for dinner, meant we didn't have to carry stove/plates etc

Sunday was a clearer day, which meant for good views from Panekiri Bluff high above the lake, nice goblin forest on the ridge top, moss swathed trees, with the howling wind smashing into the other side of the ridge metres away from our sheltered position. Luckily I managed to hitchhike to the far end of the track, passing a happy Penny who still had an hour to bike, she was going well though. Great weekend

Saturday, July 28, 2007

more photos from the Tawa Hut trip

Bush and Ducks

Closer to home this weekend. Have had our eye on the closest access to Urewera National Park for a while, the Moanui Valley in the backroads behind Matawai, just an hour or so from home. Bit of a slow start to a beautiful Saturday, but we found our way out the door and up the road, real frontier country close to the park, like Hikurangi a lot of decaying stumps still around from the great fires of a century ago. From the Moanui carpark we tramped into a nice bit of bush bumping into some trampers, including Vance who we had met up Mt Hikurangi. After crossing a singbridge the track climbed for a while up though farmland before crossing a saddle and descending into the Urewera wilds. We jogged down to Tawa Hut, through huge groves of (you guessed it) Tawa pierced by the occasional mighty rimu. Beautiful bush. From Tawa hut we could have continued down river and eventually completed a big loop back at the car, we thought about it, started it then backed out as the coldness and tightness of the river, combined with the lack of daylight left made retreat the wisest solution...we will return here for an adventure run (or tube) in summer! Saw a couple of blue ducks down in the river though which was awesome! I love these birds, their interesting colours, the way the play in the rapids, amazing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mt Pureora

So it was a mission weekend, down to Taupo to scout my adventure racing course, plenty of talking to farmers etc, but managed to fit in a couple of runs as well. Firstly yp Mt Pureora on Saturday, actually much cooler than the photos suggest then also in Whaka forest out the back of Rotorua on the way home. Good to see Brent in Rotorua all settled into his new home.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Waikareiti photos

Lake Waikareiti

Last weekend we finally got to Lake Waikareiti! This little gem of a lake is just up above Lake Waikaremoana on a little plateau, its like a 45min walk and then if you get the keys for the dinghys from DOC an hour or so row to the hut on the other side. First thing we found out was that I suck at rowing...big took me a while to admit this but I've come to terms with it now. Lets just say there was a fair bit circling going on! The girls managed to get us across however. It was fun staying at the hut, there were seven of us so we had plenty of people for a good game of pictionary and then charades which was hillarious. Next day Penny and I went for a run into the bush from the hut, then we cruised back across the lake and home as the weather started to crap out

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sunny Gizzy Sunday

A sunny day in the middle of winter when Steve and Kendyl came up for the weekend. Just relaxed in the sun on Cathryn's deck and then went up to Anaura Bay for the afternoon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

More Whanarua photos

Not much to report, I was down in Rotorua/Taupo for most of last week scouting out Adventure Races...but no photos unfortunately as it was raining all the time. Hanging out with Brent, he is well, a bit obsessed with Adventure Racing and has just bought a house in Rotorua, which should be way warmer than his flat. Rotorua is a cold place in winter! Penny is good, lots of hardwork as she was working the weekend, but we got out yesterday for an afternoon run followed by a game of squash and a jazz evening..nice

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Whanarua Bay

I'm still recovering from our weekend mission to Whanarua Bay and more particularly the Maraehako Backpackers Retreat. This place is located on the Bay of Plenty side of the east cape and its about the same distance to drive via Ruatoria or Opotiki, we chose the former as we are thoroughly sick of the Gizzy-Opotiki Rd. But it is a long windy rd round the cape. And not that much to see, I think we regretted not stopping to photograph the mandarin eating pig, so we made the most of the stormy church. The backpackers is a real oasis, right down by the sea mingling with pohutukawas. It has been built over time from the bones of a seaside bach and fits the environment perfectly, lots of great decks and places to lounge around as well as a fireplace and spa pool. We had a real nice relaxing time...then there was the drive back...

Montys Revenge

Hey, a couple of weeks ago we went across to Whakatane for me to meet up with friends and for me to do the Montys Revenge. Montys is a short multisport, bike, kayak, of about 4.5 hours. We had a great weekend, seeing people we hadn't seen in a while and hanging around in the bay of plenty sun while it rained in gizzy. My race ended a bit disappointingly when I ran out of puff in the kayak and slipped from 6th to 11th with the end in sight...but I had agood run and bike, so nothing a little training can't fix. On the way back we took the Motu road which I had only travelled previously a few years ago by bike, awesome windy bush road. We stopped off for a long run at the Pakihi track, a long benched track through bush descending towards the Opotiki side, nice & wet!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hike Hikurangi

And this ones from a wee bit back we thought we'd go and check out Hikurangi the highest mountain on the east fact the highest from miles. Really pleasantly surprised at the mountainous feel to the country, complete with typical subalpine plants such as dracophyllum and spaniards near the top, made us feel at home. The whole face of the mountian was felled under govt land clearance schemes in I think the 1920's there are still logs and standing deadwood where forest used to be. The Ngati Porou statues erected for the millenium, imitate this tragedy, and in there presence is a seriously cool place to be for sunrise

Our Regular Te Kuri Run

Pretty much the only legal off road loop in the hill behind Gizzy, gets a bit repititive sometimes but was nice the map my run link to view the aerial photos derived from google earth. I still find that technology amazing

Monday, June 11, 2007

Penny and Brent temporarally spacially displaced

MTB at Whirinaki

Penny decided it was a time for a bike adventure so we cruised over to Whirinaki, meeting Brent on the way in Murupara. This has to be the remotest specially made mtb track in NZ...and one of the best. It was awesome. Primo singletrack riding in big native forest. We then headed over to Rotorua via the unique Minginui, which needs a few coats of paint and some dog kennels. We stayed with Brent and it was great to catch up with what went down at the Adventure Racing Worlds this year, his team finished 3rd which is awesome. Sunday we went for a kayak from the stream beside Brents place down into Lake Rotorua. Really cool perspective of the old buildings and tourist attractions that line the lakes edge, lots of thermal features, which gave Penny the heebie jeebies a bit in the kayak and masses of birds...really nice After a bit of sifting round town we took off home via the eastern okataina walkway, which is really nice, rolling singletrack through native forest.