"DNF" stands for "did not finish" in orienteering. Which was what I did on Sunday, both with orienteering and with NaBloPoMo. Yes, this post (and the one before it that I just posted) are my first since Saturday, so I didn't manage a post a day for November.
I should have had plenty of time on Sunday evening to entertain or bore you with my orienteering exploits, depending on your tastes. The event was held about an hour's drive away from Christchurch, across the Canterbury Plains to the foothills of the Southern Alps. We were in a valley with a marshy bottom with many side creeks feeding into the main stream, surrounded by slopes covered in pine forest.
I've had trouble on this map before, for some reason. Sunday was about my worst performance yet, though. The first three controls were well apart from each other, which gives more room for errors in navigation. And I made plenty of those. Usually I'm out for an hour and a half or under, but it was more than an hour when I was searching for the fourth control, and my legs were running out of steam trying to cope with the very rough ground. So I decided that I would head up the valley where the fourth control was located, to a path above it, from where I could easily get to the forest road which curves around above the valley, and walk back.
I never did find the fourth control. Nor did I find the path, which is apparently rather indistinct. Instead I climbed higher than I planned, and had an even longer walk back from further along the forest road. In the open. In the sun. It was 28 degrees on Sunday (in the eighties if you are American), which is unseasonally hot for November in New Zealand where it is officially still spring. It took me about another hour to walk back. And by the time I had driven an hour or so back home, across the plains with the hot northwesterly wind blowing, I had a headache coming on, which grew worse and stayed with me for the rest of the day. So, I napped, had a bath and washed my hair, emerged long enough to cook dinner, napped some more, managed to do the dishes, and went to bed early. No blog post.
Which is a bit of a relief, as I was running out of things to post about, and my posts were getting a bit lame. Now, I can post when I have something to say.
I really need to work on my navigation skills. I think my problems with this map occur for two reasons - firstly, I tend to rely too much on a network of paths for navigating from, and this map doesn't really have any - and secondly, all the little side streams tend to look very much like each other.
Well, there is always next year!