orienteering race (Rangitukia) 45:00  4.2 km (10:43 / km) +160m 9:00 / km
shoes: Inov8 ORoc 280
So, I'd seen that there was an orienteering event on today in the Waikato region, and on closer inspection it turned out to be not far from Pirongia, which is a good central base for the things I wanted to see & do around here - hence the farmstay only 5km from the O map :)
I didn't expect much from a map/course in open farmland, except to have to do that classic NZ thing of running across a paddock then suddenly going into a diveroll under an unmapped, almost-invisible electric fence (I only ran straight into one of them!) but also I figured it could be good hill training. Was wondering why the climbs out of each creek seemed so much steeper than mapped until I realised the scale was 1: 7500...only had a couple of controls in the thick bush, and got lucky on one of them because it was placed lower than on the map and I approached it from below. Good fun, and I got to wade a stream at the end, but glad I wasn't rogaining through farmland for 24hr this time. (Incidentally, I have noticed that the sawtoothed line of hills just north of here is the Kapamahunga range; don't suppose that's where the fearsomely steep orienteering map from the '80s was?)
Had hoped there would be enough time this afternoon to drive out to Raglan on the coast for lunch (turns out it's a surfie town and the restaurants move fairly slowly) and from there south to Bridal Veil falls (spectacularly dropping 55m into a valley) and Kawhia harbour, Marokopa falls then back via Waitomo, but the back roads were so slow and winding, especially on dirt - 25km took nearly an hour at one point - and the actual distances further than shown in my atlas, so we got to the roaring Marokopa falls after the sun had set, although there was still enough light to take decent photos, and then walked into the Mangahopue Natural Bridge valley by torchlight, by which time the glow worms were coming out along the walls of the river gorge and on the roof of the natural archway above us, making it a truly magical experience.