29 November 2010

No orienteering

In Norway I had a colleague who would go orienteering. The idea is that people give you a map with certain points indicated, and you have to get to these in a certain order, and who does all their points the fastest wins. It's thus a sort of cross-over between map reading and cross-country running. As a former girl scout and a current geographer I should be able to pull off the former, and having taken up running in this country the latter should be fine too. Futhermore, Ferret does orienteering, so that offers a nice introduction. The day was approaching when there was an excellent opportunity to give it a try. And then the Met office issued a weather warning. No orienteering! But that does not mean one has to stay indoors. We just went for a walk.

It was a beautiful day! Nice and crisp, and no sign of any reason for a weather warning. We went where the orienteering would have taken place, which happened to also be the park where Ferret had been a tree surgeon. That meant he had something to say about every tree we passed, with as a bleak centrepiece the one he once almost used to accidentally hand over his soul to the afterlife authorities. There's at least two of these almost-lethal trees in this town!

In Kingsand (see picture above) we had a noon pint, after which we headed for Penlee Point. As Ferret had promised, this was beautiful! Ragged rocks, a dubious chapel-or-folly, rock pools with strange life in it. The works! Now it was my turn to get distracted every meter (sigmoidal extensional fractures! Several deformation phases!), and as if that wasn't bad enough the cliffs were good for a bit of a scurry and clamber around.

I did manage to control myself in the end, though, and we went back, through the Deer Park, making sure we were in good time for the last ferry back. In good enough time for yet another pint. Very English, perhaps, though not in line with the healthy spirit of the rest of the day. It might have been my corrupting influence.

The deer park lived up to its name

Drake Island in the late sun, and in the distance the slightly snowy hills of Dartmoor

It was a much more quiet and responsible day than I had expected. And I regretted not ending up running like mad through mud and snow, but I got to keep the company, and that way it was a splendid Sunday! And the running like mad through mud, though most likely not snow, hopefully will happen another day.

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