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On Thursday, it was James's turn to enter the CUOC terrible travel awards 2018. After Monday's outstanding entry from Fiona and Paul's valiant effort two days later, the bar had been set high.
Starting in fine style, James made good time back to the hostel, stopping only briefly to acquire some chocolate. With CUOC's official endorsements in mind, James purchased some BOF-certified performance-enhancing milk-form chocolate, and continued to disavow sandwich-form chocolate. Once aboard the train, James enjoyed the views of the skøg, which were good, and noticed his lack of passport, which was not.
Not wanting to waste good train tickets, James continued from Skanderborg towards Copenhagen, wondering if he could get on the plane anyway, perhaps by asking really really nicely. At Vejle, James decided to go back, and collected his passport from Lily in Skanderborg. Lily and James then got the train back to Vejle, where Lily got off, carelessly making her connection and flight in good time, and thus becoming the first CUOCer to be eliminated from the terrible travel awards.
When the train arrived in Copenhagen, the plane departed Copenhagen, which was bad because James isn't fastlikePaul, so he couldn't get through the airport in time. Frequent contact was maintained with Fiona, who was kept up to date on the comparative comfiness of the airport's benches. Eventually a suitable bench was found, and James enjoyed a pengerific night's sleep, interrupted only by the frequent alarm tests, and a crippling fear of being mugged.
In the morning, now a world expert on Copenhagen Kastrup's emergency evacuation procedure, James decided to go into the city. Copenhagen was nice, with it's beautiful churches, buzzing harbour and drug-ridden semi-autonomous anarchist freetown.
Eventually it was time to go to the airport, where a new easyJet flight awaited. Happily, James made it on time for his flight, sadly, the plane did not. A mere 3 hours later, easyJet decided to give some gate information, which was that the gate was closed, and at the furthest end of the airport. A lot of Scottish people starting running and shouting, and agreed that they didn't like your bastard English planes.
Finally aboard a flight, the captain tried to appease the enraged Scots, inexplicably blaming the refuelers at Copenhagen for the flight's three hour arrival delay. He also tried to rally some sympathy for the crew, who were 'just as angry as we were' and were 'also really really tired'. Comforted by the news that the pilot was definitely in a safe mental state to fly, everyone fell asleep. James finally touched down in Edinburgh at 2:09am, a time carefully recorded to that he can claim his delayed arrival compensation and break even financially on the whole return journey!
Unfortunately, an incredible rival effort has been mounted by Phil, who's terrible travel entry is sponsored by Ryanair and Greater Anglia, and culminated in a funny gif send to the group chat. What a fiasco indeed, Phil, what a fiasco.
On Saturday, Jeremy, Paul, Lily, Aidan and a LUOC imposter got up so early that clocks don't actually show the time, in order to get the first train to Stansted. We slept for a while in the airport, then boarded the Ryanair London - Billund sleeper service. Over the course of the flight, Aidan decided that as his water bottle leaks, he would position it so that Paul got soaked - a very sneaky move indeed. When we arrived, Paul tried to dry off, and our bus was late, giving Aidan more time to get excited about his proximity to the home of lego. Eventually, it arrived, and via bus and two trains we arrived in Silkeborg two hours later.
We walked to the hostel and it was closed, so we watched a paddle steamer pass by, belching out more smoke than the average coal power plant, then sat in a greenhouse playing cards until the receptionist arrived so we could get into the rooms, before heading out to train at Nordskoven. Jeremy had planned a course called contours, which was between 5km/335m and 8km/25m depending on which routes you took. For the most part, it was pengaluscious, although there were some small areas of dirtyness where the map was out of date. in contrast to the Scandinavia, the terrain was very like the South of England, without all the horrible bits, so CUOC predicts some good British JWOC performances next year.
When we got back, Aidan took a nap, while Lily and Miranda prepared a delicious and nutritious dinner and Jeremy made some instant chocolate elk, which were quickly devoured, along with some generosity curry, generously donated by a German family. We watched 22 men chasing a ball for a while, and eventually the Germans were happy when they won. Jeremy went to bed, then James arrived and the rest of us went to bed
In the morning we got up at the leisurely time of nine, ate breakfast, made lunch, and headed out to train. Today, James had planned some courses in the crunchy, minty forest of Vesterskoven. There were some route choice courses, including some very steep reentrants to go down and up or around, and some very orange flavoured green bits. We had some extra special tags to put on our controls to make it look like we were an elite JWOC training squad, which made them more annoying than normal to hang, but the courses were all good so that made up for it. Afterwards we had lunch, wanged a tree and had a successful game of sticket, while everyone except Paul listened intently as England were being less terrible at football than usual. After that, we headed out on some trains courses planned by Lily which were quite fast and quite good, then walked home.
On the way back we visited a shop and bought ice cream, biscuits, chocolate milk, chocolate and a toothbrush, because the main shop yesterday had only stocked extra healthy sugar free wholemeal digestives, which were rubbish. We discovered that Denmark sell an exact replica of Groovy Bars, which are called Party Biscuits.When we got back we swam in the river, successfully not getting run over by a paddle steamer and then Paul made a curry and sticky rice. After dinner, we ate a four course pudding, although the additional option of fruit and yoghurt remained unused. We got our first communications from Fiona, who was experiencing some technical difficulties. She should arrive sometime in the next 24 hours.After everyone had laughed at Fiona enough, we played ping pong, which descended into 'Who can knock the ball off the net?' It turns out that everyone can except for Aidan, and Jeremy is quite good at pinging pongs.
On Monday morning, we took the bus to VIrklund and had a long walk to the start of the training at Sønderskoven, while Aidan played music through his substandard speaker. The start was far away, so part of the route there was an easy corridor where the rest of the map was still visible. When we arrived, there were two courses in some scrumptialicious skog, and one in some surprisingly passable green stuff. The longest course was called Åsen, and Paul was happy when he saw a sign pointing the right way saying 'Åsen'. When everyone was done training, we walked back a different way, accompanied by tunes from Phil's A*-quality speaker, which everyone agreed was much better than earlier.
When we got back, some people sat in the greenhouse / conservatory which was effectively a sauna, and we discovered that Paul is much sweatier than Aidan. Everyone then went for a swim, except for Jeremy who is a boring captain, so we sat on the other side of the river and exluded him from our conversation.
When it had cooled down a bit we headed out for another training, a corridor planned by Phil which spelt out 'CUOC', on the same area as we used on the first day. It was very nice, and managed to avoid all the nasty bits, so was top quality orienteering all the way. We got back and Fiona and Jeremy made lots of food, which was very good, then James burnt some pancakes and some other people cooked some pancakes well.
On Tuesday morning Jeremy got up very early to go and hang some controls at Østerskoven, while everyone else stayed in bed until a normal time. We caught the same bus as yesterday and had a nice walk to the area, past a place called Fort Østerlund, which was a kind of Wild West park, with strange fences made of huge rusty steel pipes, lots of horses and an oil derrick. Unphased by this oddity, we reached the forest and waited for Jeremy to return. When he got back, we ran a middle distance course planned by Aidan, which included some dark light green, some dodgy control sites, and one fewer flag than the number of controls. Most of the terrain was really nice again, and the course was well planned so everyone was happy.
When that finished, a woman arrived with a very smol doggo, which we played with for quite a long time. Fiona found a very good bit of tree for it to play with, and it frolicked around merrily for about half an hour until its owner had to leave. Soon enough, we had to leave too, so we got the bus back to the hostel and had lunch in the shade, because the sun was too hot to sit in.
After lunch, much to MIranda's excitement, we hired kayaks. The owner of the hire place wanted to watch Denmark play football, so he said we could have them for two hours instead of one for the same price, but Paul and Fiona still didn't think it was worth it for 200kr, so he let them have their boat for free! We went upriver (or maybe downriver) to a big lake, and were overtaken very quickly by the Danish national team.We paddled through a tiny gap where motorboats weren't allowed to a beautiful secluded lake surrounded by forest, where we saw lots of dragonflies and a lizard on a lily pad. When we got back, the owner was either still watching the football or celebrating that they had drawn with France so get to go through to the next round.
We headed back and cleaned lots of ming off the barbecue so that we could cook without getting tetanus, then tried to light a fire using some maps of some Scottish area, which needed supplementing with some very dry wood before the coals would catch. We discovered that halloumi cooks very quickly, and that the shoppers bought a lot of food. All too soon however, the worst/best moment of the trip happened - Paul had to leave to catch his flight back, because he wanted to spend time with other friends as well. CUOC does not support this attitude, and disciplinary action may be taken.
The following morning we were not awoken to the dulcet tones of Paul, but instead enjoyed a relaxing lie in with a non-agressive curtain draw before getting up and having breakfast. We then walked back to the same area we trained on at the start of the week, but the closer bit of it which was nicer/closer/less midge-ey. Fiona had planned lots of fun exercises and, not content with her initial efforts, decided to re-plan one of her courses on the way round to make it even better. The forest was described by all those who ran as "the best we've been in all week" which was funny because Paul chose to go home so missed out.
We goaded him by sending luscious pictures of shallow re-enterants. There were lots of nice views in the forest such as the super runnable terrain which was "skogalicious" and lots of not nice views like a naked man on a bike which was "weird" and "terrifying" given that it was rutted mountain bike track he was cycling on. Aidan chose the words "wholesome" and "free" to describe his sighting, and the well bronzed form led to speculation that this was an activity which he regularly carried out. The afternoon was rounded off with a peg relay planned by Miranda which involved lots of pegs but no elements of a relay.
Aidan won by getting the most pegs even though James got the same amount, this was because Aidan finished before James. This was probably because James slowed down after aggressively tackling Fiona into a control to get the last peg and was therein riddled with crippling guilt which hindered his performance. Fiona wore a GoPro the whole way round so the video referee will be used to review this. Jeremy came in next and won no pegs, but did win the most impressive run-in sprint prize.
Lily decided she should see what her ankle would look like if it was sideways in a hole in the ground so didn't run the second half of the course, but won the community service award for collecting some of the remaining controls. Sadistically she left the furthest 2 controls hung, Jeremy was awarded man of the match for volunteering to go and collect them. Immediately after the relay, James and Lily set off on their Journeys home to catch earlier flights. After Jeremy got back from the far end of the forest we walked to the nearest lake to go swimming - we found a beach with lots of people which was good. The nude sighting list containing "naked man on bike" was extended to include "naked man/woman swimming", "naked baby paddling" and "naked man/woman sunbathing". This represents a 400% increase in nude sightings this tour, maybe taking all your clothes off is a popular pastime on hot days in Denmark? (can a Danish person confirm or deny this?). The swimming was cut short when we received a message from James telling us he was halfway to Copenhagen and realised his passport wanted to be better friends with the floor of the hostel than the inside of his rucksack. We made it back in time to send his passport on a little adventure on the train with Lily who was just leaving. It didn't make it to the station he was waiting at in time though as the train he ended up on arrived at the airport at exactly the same time as the plane was due to take off. We then watched 4 minutes of interesting football and laughed at the German's loosing 2-nil to the South Koreans before cooked enough Mac n' Cheese to sink the Mårgen.
Most of this was eaten in the garden before Jeremy and Phil climbed a tree to create a CUOC caption competition photo. Send your best suggestions to email@example.com and the winner will be featured on the website.
A danish couple appeared during dinner in search of a toilet, which we generously donated. The man emerged several minutes later after a terrifying battle with a "tarantula", which he had managed to see off, before worrying that he had killed our pet and tentatively checking whether Jeremy's cowboy hat was indeed the sign of a typical tarantula pet-keeper, or just a Brit on tour with a questionable fashion sense. Luckily it was the latter.
The evening was rounded off by eating the most incredibly delicious cake in the world ever.
Aidan learnt to make the owl noise and suggested CUOC should start a whistling choir which is silly and will never happen. A minutes silence was held at 22:00 as James' Ryanair flights made history by taking off on time (without him on board). He found some "OK looking benches" in the airport but was "going to keep looking for something better" to sleep on before his 21:00 flight tomorrow. #pray4James
Day 6 dawned and CUOC checked out of the Danhostel that had been our home for the last week. But they weren't getting rid of us that easily, oh no they weren't. Whilst the LUOCer knew his place and set off to hang the controls at Harup Sande for the Tour champs, the rest of us lounged around outside the hostel having a very chill time...there's nothing more relaxing than chatting to the lovely helpful people at the end of the aptly and helpfully named HSBC "helpline"...
(note to future treasurers, always carry your whole life possessions plus all the CUOC accounts folders everywhere you go, you never know when they might come in handy). Bidding goodbye to the friendly Irish cleaner for approximately the 9th time, we set off in search for the mintiest crunchiest forest in the land, and we weren't disappointed. Aidan forgot about getting value for money and stormed around in 24minutes, and we don't know where Jeremy went but he had a "skogasmic" time out there. The GoPro viewed the skog from Aidan's head, and then from multiple more artistic angles. We walked back past the Nazi swimming lake which we decided was inferior to our normal swimming spot and made a beeline for the hostel to the bangin rhythm of "The Barry Horns". Oh they still hadn't got rid of us pesky Brits, we were back again. To our delight, the kitchen was unlocked, although the Mac'n'cheese wraps were still "enjoyed" cold due to the incredibly long and arduous hike from the back garden patch of shade to the kitchen and back. Later we reclaimed our previously abandoned potatoes and Phil and Miranda served up a true culinary delight, only to be topped by the rather satisfactory Dancake(s) sourced by Phil - now to be renamed the official CUOC cake after our significant investment into the brand.
Eventually we departed from Silkeborg, although Jeremy's trusty hat decided that Denmark was actually rather nice and decided to part ways with us to fulfil its own personal travel desires along the scenic Vejle-Skandeborg route much frequented by CUOC orienteers. Smoothly navigating into the calm space of Billund airport - minus 10 fashion passion, but plus 5 passport power, and perfectly on schedule, we settled down to watch the much hyped England-Belgium match. The highlight of the match was the end, which meant we could turn our attention to the more exciting developments in the Ryanair flight story, courtesy not of the airport billboard but of Mr Leaf's all-encompassing intelligence of the mystifying movements of the planes from Stansted. It turns out manual route recalculation takes longer than the satnav, even by orienteers, and doesn't normally work when there aren't any buses or trains to use upon landing in the UK. We finally boarded the plane and got some valuable beauty sleep in preparation for the most important race of the week...passport control queues. Unfortunately, we all need more training in this discipline as the last trains/buses to various parts of the country were indeed missed and back-up plan #67, part iii was put into action: Phil, Aidan, Fiona and Miranda took an impromptu visit to the Leaf residency in Hertford, assisted once again by the wonderful Mr Leaf, and requiring the sacrifice of just one Dancake, and Jeremy set off on his epic and lonely journey by bus to the Midlands and beyond, hatless and hungry, accompanied by the single surviving Mac'n'cheese wrap to fuel his journey. We all made it in the end and dreamt of the dreamy forests of Silkeborg. Successful training tour completed. Over og ud fra danmark.
27 students and 1 guest descended on the West Cambridge site for Cuppers 2018. A few newcomers were reassured by their ability to navigate on the 300m long practice course, before being thrown into slightly more realistic orienteering on the real thing. Most people on the Men's course ran right to the first control and most people on the Women's course ran left, despite it being the same control. A last minute map correction resulted in the only control on a contour feature being relocated, as the original depression is being turned into a row of bike racks, but fortunately this didn't seem to confuse anyone too much.
Congratulations to Aidan Rigby (Selwyn) and Fiona Bunn (Queens) on their individual victories, and to the team from Queens for their over all victory.
(nc) 65:05 Combined Women's Colleges
2. 68:27 St Johns
3. 68:33 Pembroke
4. 82:26 Darwin
Individual Results are here.
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