Thursday, 4 October 2012

Doncaster Heights

There have been no orienteering events to go to for a few weeks, and we've been busy moving house, and my legs are dodgy anyway, but we decide to do a street event just round the corner. When it's a warm evening and you only live a few minutes away, you should walk, but we don't. The car park is overflowing as we arrive with 10 minutes to spare. The nearer you live, the later you get. It's not even dark, as Pat and I register for the Score event around Doncaster Heights. I don't like the sound of that name.

Darkness falls at 7pm prompt and we're off. Soon the clocks will go forward and the torches will be put away. Across the footie field, lit up like daylight, I turn off my head torch. I pick out the 5 high scoring controls and link them together to give us an hours walk. I don't know why, but I always seem to prefer a clockwise route. Which way would I go in the northern hemisphere, I wonder?

Looking up, we pick out the stars of the Southern Cross in a cloudless sky. A garden pole flies a patriotic flag with the same pattern. It is 20 degrees plus and I feel overdressed in T-shirt and shorts. 17 - 8 - 12 - 20 is my first plan and then 6 - 18 - 11 - 13.

There are more barking dogs than usual tonight. Perhaps their owners have shut them out to enjoy the evening. Determined to collect 19, we stop by 3 on the way. I must get some solar lights for the garden; they are everywhere. Time is running out now and we head for home via 7 and 16.

Despite the warmth, not a bead of perspiration has dampened my shirt. Nevertheless, my legs are wobbly and cramp sets into my aging joints. I still haven't got the hang of the climate in Melbourne. I resolve to carry water next time, and even to drink it.

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