Continuation reports

I hope the other events went well… we are eagerly looking forward to an update.

We’re back- better 4g at last now we’re nearly finished the holiday of course- most if not all the campsites we’ve stayed at have included Wi-Fi but it is invariably by necessity being shared by several hundred people and is therefore almost always criminally slow ( and limited bandwidth preventing photo uploads)
Excuses over, back to the orienteering- day#2 ( another medium event from the same event centre as day#1 in another part of the forest)
courses above.
As I said previously, Rosie couldn’t handle the pressure of defending her first position from the previous day and crashed out on her way to her #2, compounded by further errors deeper into her course- the cost to her overall position was great and she never recovered it through the rest of the week
Andy on the other hand ( typically having succumbed to a French bug causing cold like symptoms - ie man-flu overnight and not feeling at best) by dint of taking it a little easier, had a brilliant run ( jog speed actually) reading and interpreting the map perfectly well and hitting every control on the nose- you can never tell- top20 position - one of the better days

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Day#3- shortened long event (!)
The whole event moved 20km into the next valley and a different ski station base (= plenty of parking)
This was one of the hastily rescheduled and planned events following loss of access to the original venues and from my perspective it did show. I was looking forward to this the only ‘long’ course but certainly H60 was poor- the last 2/3 of the course from a track crossing ( albeit with a welcome drink station- it was well into the 30s) was effectively mostly track running and just added the required distance- R’s course along with many others finished at this crossing point leaving them with a 2km walk back to download- not good at all
I did enjoy the earlier part of my course in more of what was now typical terrain for the area- lots ( and lots) of boulders and rocky outcrops where you had to work out which ones were mapped and which not along with nice contour features and on this map lots of vegetation features for a change of scene-
One good long leg, #1 to #2, through some complex rocky areas in mixed vegetation- lots of concentrated map reading- still cocked it up and came in too low- fortunately found my #5 by luck and navigated to it from there- inevitably couldn’t find #5 later when coming to it from #4 and overshot down to the long dry ditch!
middling position on download due to compounded ‘minors’

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Rest day- optional urban sprint not part of O France overall competition
An opportunity to travel the 5km from our campsite in Err (really!) across the international border into Puigcerda in Spain for an urban sprint event organised by the local Spanish club
Puigcerda is a delightful compact old town built on a hillside ( = urban contours= lots of steps!!!)
as this was officially a rest day, about 1500 of the 2500 competitors took part in this. As the event website detailed very limited parking and access problems, for simplicity we opted to park the van in Bourg-Madam on the French side of the river ( which delineates the border) and cycled across the border ( carrying our passports as non EU citizens- to be cheerily waved through by the bored Spanish border control without problems) and cycled up to the top of Puigcerda town to the sports centre acting as the base for the event. The start was in the town park next to an attractive lake but to limit competitor numbers blocking access to the park for the public, a 10 minute call up was used elsewhere meaning only small groups arrived at the start at any time. As I said, due to its hillside location, Puigcerda offered a perfect venue for the event which stayed around the old town and commercial centre with a complex series of narrow twisty lanes and thoroughfares (some OOB and strictly monitored- any transgressors were automatically disqualified) inevitably interconnected with lots and lots of steps- it was great fun- hot and complex, but we both did well on our respective courses with no major errors by either- shame it didn’t count in the overall event.
An added bonus was noticing a filling station when cycling back out afterwards literally within sight of the border, and noticing how much cheaper diesel fuel was by comparison to any we had bought in France to date- we therefore on getting back to the van decided to quickly drive into Spain, fill up and drive straight back out,
Again, with passports at the ready, we crossed the border, our UK licence plate completely ignored by the same Spanish border ‘officials’, filled up( brim full) saved about 20euros on a full tank, and hot footed it back to France as quickly as we could- a great day