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maandag, mei 28, 2007

Orienteering in New Zealand

This weekend I was in Auckland. One of the cities that acts like a capital but isn't. (Wellington is the capital). New Zealand is a nice country but far away of any other country. I had the chance to do some mountainbiking in the Whakarewarewa-forest in Rotorua.

About the best place on earth to do mountainbiking in my opinion.

The forest is very close to "Te puia pa" (fortified village) which is mainly a geothermal area nowadays. This area was one of the last strongholds of Wahiao who was an ancestor ta a subtribe of "Te awara". This was one of the 7 original Waka (=Canoe) that brought the first Maori people from Hawaiiki to New Zealand.

The Maori name of the place is now "Te Whakarewarewatangaoteopetauaawahiao" which is Maori for "The gathering place for the war parties of Wahiao".

On sunday I did some orienteering in the forests of Waiuku. Forests in New Zealand are mainly very good runnable. There are a lot of rain-forests too but these aren't mapped for foot-orienteering. Surprisingly this race wasn't with spirt-ident like most races in NZ. It was very primitif actually. We even had to write down our own start and finishtime and calculate our time.

It was my first orienteering event on the southern hemisphere ever. I was told my compass wouldn't work, but in my opinion it was working just perfect.

During the race we had a control with a very nice view on the Tasman Sea.