It was time for another rogaine. Dave was otherwise engaged and Jacqui's usual rogaining partner had legged it for Cambridge, so the two of us teamed up for a 24-h event up north of Newcastle. Also in for the occasion were the other rogaining veterans from the lab, Ann and Janet. But for an extra challenge, they brought along two first-timers - little Chu and Wendy "who is going to inflate my inflatable mattress for me" Yung.

The event was held in the Nowendoc area on 19-20 October in a mixture of open grazing land and lush forest (just a bit *too* lush sometimes...). There were plenty of hills to keep everyone on their toes too.

Jacqui says:
"It took a liitle while to get into the swing of things and enjoy this event. First there were the extra 200 km getting there (Jacqui thought we were going just north of Newcastle, but it turns out Nowendoc is much closer to Tamworth). Then there was the 34 degree heat (we must have missed the first checkpoint because of the heat haze rather than an inability to navigate...), the impenetrable scrub complete with tear-your-skin-apart-lawyervine (we rapidly changed our course after we realised that at a progress rate of about 100 m per half hour wasn't going to do much for point score), vicious ant bites (Jacqui has an amazing affinity for stinging insects), losing a pair of sunglasses and our control card (and therefore all previously collected points) on a scramble on hands and knees up a steep bushy slope, Joel's leaking camelback (it was the next day before we realised that we should have refilled from the creeks rather than waiting for widely spaced water drops).

Fortunately the sun set, the temperature became reasonable, we ran into our champion womens team who supplied us with copious amounts of green cordial and shortly afterwards we found the "outdoor cafe" - hot real (and yummy) food, drinks and lots of encouragement set up on a volunteer's farm out on the course. We managed some good night navigation (unlike a previous event where we couldn't find anything, including each other for a few scary moments) and headed back to the hash house for more food (Joel went back for seconds - or was that thirds - of the hot dog casserole) and a few hours of much needed sleep (although Joel was itching to go out again - Jacqui was just itching because of the ant bites and a tick that had somehow penetrated the layers of RID).

The next day was pretty smooth sailing, except for the southern slopes (I WILL take more notice of course setters notes in future) - we even picked up that pesky missing first control on our way around AND somebody had found our missing control card (who would have thought two groups could take such a dubious course!). One of the lasting memories of the event was seeing just how much cake and other assorted desserts Little Chu managed to consume!"

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