Showing posts from September, 2008

European MTBO Lithuania

The Spit is quite famous in Lihuania because it has great barren sand dunes, open pine forests and beautiful coastline. It is an extremely narrow strip and halfway along it turns into Russia (Kaliningrad) and you can go no further. From Klaipeda on the mainland you have to catch a car ferry across. Julian and Jana came with us for a look. We arrived in the quaint little seaside of Nida (right near the Russian border) just in time to participate in the opening ceremony – much to Julian and Jana’s amusement.

The following morning we hopped up and headed out on the Middle Distance course starting on the jetty in the centre of Nida township.
Chris heads off...
The course was super tricky through the houses, followed by a fun easier bit out in some forested dunes, then back in to the funky red and white stripped lighthouse before whizzing back down to the wharf. The day before on the Model Map Chris had a flat tyre and his chain broke, so he was relieved when his bike survived the course.We h…

Journey Through the Baltic

After the Rogaine we spent another fun night at the local farm stay with the other Kiwis, then headed away in the morning with Julian, Jana and Sylvia in a large silver hire van. Most of us were pretty hobbly (with the annoying exception of Chris and Julian) so we drove back to the nice wee town of Otepa and spent the day hanging out in a pizzeria and visiting the 'Canyon' the largest in Estonia apparently...

This photo is actually from before the Rogaine in Tallinn when Viv had the brilliant idea of hiring the terrifying 'Octibike', it proofed a highly entertaining and attention seeking way of zooming round Tallinn.

We camped in a deserted campground and it was truly freezing, so the following morning all feeling chilled to the bone we decided to find a nice cabin for that night. We drove to the town of Tartu and wandered through its pretty cobbled streets. We took a visit to the KGB museum and saw grim pictures of Ghettos in Siberia – after which we definitely needed s…

World Rogaine Champs in Estonia

Bogy bog bog swamp marsh swampy bog. That was what the terrain was like during the World Rogaine Champs held in Estonia in Karula National Park. Unfortunately this meant most of the time the fastest way was to take winding long tracks around the bogs, meaning the rogaine also featured alot of track running - not super fun.

However we all felt we got to experience some authentic Estonian terrain (based on our guide book the Estonians seem quite proud of their bogs!). Chris and Dennis just missed out on holding their title and placed a very close second to some speedy Russians. Julian and I executed a reasonable course with a bit of time lost in the forest during the night, but were well and truely thrashed by many zippy Estonian mixed teams.

Jana and Sylvia achieved their impressive goal of completing the full 24 hours and did really well for the first 18 before a long and very character building 6 hour walk back to the finish. 'The Oldies' or should I say "The Amazing Oldi…

A Swedish Wedding!

The Tyreso Youth Hostel was a beautiful old building situated on an orienteering map in the pretty forest near Tyreso town and the castle. We spent Friday evening having a good catch up with everyone over a pile of pizzas. In the morning a whole pile of people went out running in the forest, before the wedding which took place in the afternoon in one of the most popular churches to get married in Sweden.

After that there was a wonderful reception in a cute wee cafe about 20 minutes walk through the forest from the church. There were heaps of funny speeches and some delicious food followed by some great dancing. Here is a selection of photos for your perusal.

Up the aisle

In the beautiful church

Look at Jamie's suit!

Chris looking good (-:

Me and Penny

Georgia, Chris and Penny

Some delicious cakes to finish...

Sea Kayaking in Sweden

PART ONE: Quest for the 'The Islands'

Our explorations saw us head North via the train from Copenhagen to Stockholm. It was a day of solid lugging with all our gear on numerous train changes. We finally arrived in the dark in Stockholm and after assembling our bikes on the platform we had a pleasant conversation with the police who thought we had had them on the trains! We then had to squeeze out through the metro gates with the man at the ticket office shouting "This is not GOOD!" opps, I didn't know Swedes were so anti bikes on trains!

We wandered through Stockholm the following day and visited a real orienteering shop filled with all sorts of goodies. We biked to and from the town center from our campground via the swooping weaving smooth cycle parks which I distinctly remember from when I visited Sweden as a 12 year old.

The next day we planned to head out for a 3 day sea kayaking trip on the archipelago. We hired kayaks from the university kayak club and set of…