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NGHS World SS O (Spain) Trip

Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 10 April 2009, 2:09 AM  
Hi there - another busy day... A nice leisurely brekky after a little sleep in. The girls seem to be sleeping quite well, some wakefulness but then going back to sleep quite quickly.

We headed to London city this morning - most of the group took a river boat on the Thames to Greenwich, while Sarah, Abi and Sarah took Tim on another bus trip. They found the old Templar chapel in london - by the Temple underground. It was built in 1100 and 1240 - we saw some other old stuff there - Will Shakespeares sonnet practice spot, Eliz I own church, fire of london starting place, Tower of London from the outside.

We all headed back to the hotel for lunch and then we took the long ride out to Hampstead Heath - where we met the boys from NBHS. We had a good run on a permanant o map - some good times there but plenty of northern hemisphere compass practice.

From there we went to the London Eye for a magic ride - as the light was going from the city. We are now back at the hotel to settle in for the night.

Tomoorow is the day trip to Stonehenge and Bath for most of the group - fantatsic.

We are planning hard for our early departure on Monday for'll be fun !

See you on the email tomorrow


Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 11 April 2009, 3:09 AM  
Here's what the boys have been up to - it's from their blogspot

Hello all.
the last two days have been awesome. we have been into central london, seen the big ben, london eye, the palace and regent street. we went to the british museum for an hour which the guys loved, with displays from egypt and asia and a few even talked to two maori painters who were there setting up a display. one of which used to teach at flaxmere high. the nike shop was also another stop that we will all remeber with some of the greatest two story sport shopping we will ever see. we all enjoyed the day and were nice and tired after.
day three saw us starting off once again with a massive english breakfast followed by a few hours of chilling out, letting the food settle. but then we were off on the trains and the tube again to get to the imperial war museum. this place was packed with some of the biggest and oldest weapons out. the lancaster bomber was one of the highlights for me. from there we traveled by train again to hampstead heath, the orienteeering course. This turned into a very good training with some of the guys having some pretty decent runs for there first time in a foriegn country. afterwards we travelled back and settled in for the night.
so far everything is going well. the free gym, huge breakfasts and daily room cleaning in the hotel is very handy. i think we have mr ff to thank for this. please leave comments on the page, the boys will love to here from everyone.

Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 11 April 2009, 3:09 AM  
Hi Everyone,

what a day !

we had two groups in action today. Sarah H and Abi stayed in London with Jenny Hawkins, while the rest went on a day trip to Hampton Court, Stonehenge and Bath.

Abi and Sarah were just telling us about their day - Natural history museum, camden lock and markets. While they had a busy day (with just a little retail therapy) is was nicely low key for them. Apparently the crowds were enormous and the natural history museum - 30 min que for the loo !

This Easter weekend is a double holiday - school is out for their break between terms, just like NZ - as well as a bank (public) holiday. They were expecting 2 million to leave london over the weekend.

Most of them seemed to be on the road to stonehenge !!!

The larger group went via tube to Victoria train station and then waited to be picked up by the tour group in the Grosvenor Hotel - VERY POSH indeed !. Try looking at this link
We were right at home in our NZ travelling clothes !

On our way in we stopped at the local Sainsburys and the kids choose their lunch so they could eat it whereever the happened to be.

The tour company picked us up from there, took us to a large coach terminal and we waited for our tour to depart.

Our tour was an Irish lady who gave us lots of info in a lovely voice that induced sleep ! First stop was 1.5 hrs at Hampton Court - the main location for the TV Series 'The Tudors' - well, the real venue at least. This year is the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's reign or birth or something adn so Hampton Court was looking great. Great gardens, great buildings - it's like a mini town in the palace itself. There were lots of people dressed up, re-enacting a wedding, cooking in the kitchen etc... as it would have been.

Next stop was Stonehenge - very busy traffic to get to it - we ended up using back roads - for those familiar with english roads - we used smaller A roads and B roads to get to it. It was drizzly and cool there but the 50 minutes went quickly. Amazing to think that it was up just before the pryamids - 5000 yrs old. The kids sort of got their heads around how it worked but most commented on how amazing it was.

Bath was our next stop - straight to the Roman Baths below ground. We had time to wander and listen to the portable audio guides as well as a bit of exploration above ground. They have done so much excavation and presented it all so well, much like Hampton Court.

We were dropped off 200m from our hotel, walked into Earls Court and had dinner in an all day breakfast place - most plates were polished clean by the girls.

They hit the showers and bed easily - most are asleep now !

Tomorrow will bring us another training run coupled with the tower of london - so watch out for the next email !

Our cyber cafe is close to where we stay and we'll try to get the kids to come up tomorrow or sunday to send and receive emails before hitting spain.

Take care over there...

Don't worry, we'll get the girls Easter Eggs - we'll surprise where is that rabbit suit ?????

Happy Easter to you all


Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 12 April 2009, 4:37 PM  
Happy Easter to you all.

The Easter Bunny did arrive, and we have the opportunity to take any of the girls who want to to St pauls this evening - we see if there are any takers.

The girls on the day out have all just been picked up. I stayed back at the hotel to meet up with the relations while the rest of the group headed for Campden Markets.

Sarah H, Holly, Zivana and Abi all have headed out with family for the day. Easter day here is about 12 degrees outside and overcast - some chance of drizzle.

There isn't an update on the Boy's blogspot, so it's just girls news today.
I did try to send one thru' last night very late - but it didn't appear in my inbox so I'll redo it now.

Yesterday was Tower of London day. We got up and were on site by 9am, having got around the tube lines that were closed for the Easter break - maintenance apparently. There were very few people there when we arrived and the girls had the option of going on a tour with a Beefeater(Tower Guard) or a audio tour - personalised- or both. We meet up with them every hour at a set meeting place. It was great hearing about their discoveries. Most of them were blown away by the history of the place. Following our Hampton court (Henry VIII) tour, there was all his weaponary and costumes on display in the tower. One of the girls said that it was great to see him at both places - it made so much sense to them. The standard of displays etc.. was outstanding at the tower, and the main tower is 1000yrs old, built into 2000 yr old ruins.

The girls high sports jackets are BRILLIANT. They all were them as we are about the city. It means we can see them instantly. We travel with an adult up front, one behind, and everyone esle inbetween. The girls thought this was a bit over the top until yesterday !!!!

By the time we left the tower of london, there were so many visitors that the queues to get tickets were 45 metres long. The Crown jewels that the girls visited in the morning by strolling up and walking in had a queue of 150m by 12:30.

After the tower we went to Harrods. The tube was getting a little busy but easy to deal with. Harrods did want us to visit, we were a group. They turned us away at two doors, so off came the girls high jackets and we entered in family groups. Even then we weren't all wanted ! Once inside, the girls had about half an hour to realise that the Warehouse isn't all that bad !

We then had training at Hyde Park. We set a simple orienteering course - about 3.5km in hyde park, right by some ambulances parked in the middle of the park. The girls did their course and reported increasing numbers of people up at speakers corner and a large stage on the top of the hill. We then found out from one of the ambo guys that there was a 20,000 strong peaceful protest due beside the park in about 40 mins. Oh...great !
We gathered the kids - they were finishing their legs anyway and walked to wards Hyde Park corner tube station.

We were in time to see the protest moving past - 20 000 at least ! Very peacefeul and moving away from us. However the tube was quite full of people moving underground to escape the march. Now the NGHS jackets were brilliant, as was our 3 kids to 1 adult policy. We tried to get on 1 tube - there was simply no room. There next one we got on by going to different doors and pushing in. One stop and we got off to walk up Oxford st. It was interesting to see how busy london can be.

In oxford st we shopped in local shops and then hit Primart - a cross between Warehouse, Target, Dressmart and Glassons. They got some good bargins ! From my side - business shirts for £2.61 was tempting...but not tempting enough !

Home for dinner - pasta and salad and an early night for most. Louise and I collected quite a bit of washing and then contributed to the local economy by spending a few hours feeding washing machines and dryers with some coins, but at least it all got washed and dried !

Last day in London today, I'll go join the girls over at the markets shortly. As well as seeing the girls going visiting off, I have been checking on flights changes for tomorrow morning as well as arranging our trans[port at 5am to heathrow.

I'll aim for an update tonight or it'll be once we are in spain.
Wow ! how exciting ! Georgia and Abi came to help get the laundry to the shop last night and were commenting how amazing it was that only one week ago we were still in HB.

Last bit of news, as the girls left for the tube this morning, they ran into Mark irwin, the treasurer of HB Orienteering - just on the corner - like 30 m from our hotel ! Very small world !

You'll hear from us soon

Tim and the girls

Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 12 April 2009, 4:44 PM  
We did note down what some of siteseeing has cost the girls so far, just in case you were worried how the money is lasting.

Westminster Abbey £10
St pauls £2
London show - averaged £32
London Eye £8
Bath day trip £59
Tower of london was paid for in NZ

so you can see that they are doing well under the £50 per day estimate

Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 12 April 2009, 4:49 PM  
just read the results for the British Nationals in England - great to see Ross Morison doing so well

Duncan got a 26th
Ross got a 7th
Derek got a 77th

there are a number of kiwis flying up there - great to see

Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 14 April 2009, 12:51 PM  
hi, louise here.

I have just had a read of where Tim got up to last email so I can fill you in. sunday in London went very smoothly. All the kids who went visiting seemed to have a great time with relatives and were picked up around 9.30 to 10.30 a.m. Tim stayed with them so that the other kids could get started on their day. The visiting kids all were back to EArls Court around 5.30 p.m and went for a pub tea with Wendy ( Abby´s aunty) about 100 metres up the road. The rest of the bunch ´hit´Camden markets and had a great look around. thousands of people and we did it in little bites. meet back here in 30 mins, walk further up the road and meet back here at 11 a.m and so on. The kids moved around in twos and it worked well with everyone seeing and doing what they wanted.

In the afternoon we split again depending on interest and had a small group heading for Madame Tusards and the others The London Dungeon. The MT group when they arrrived and saw the queue to get in and asked an attendant found it was going to be 3 hours to get to the top of the queue just to get the tickets to get in. They decided it wasn´t worth the wait. So pottered around in Oxford STreet. The LD group had smaller queues but did go into the London Bridge exhibition which they enjoyed. Tea at a tradional English pub and then ST Pauls for the evening service. Which was amazing and the group of girls we had with us really enjoyed the experience.

Moving along lots of packing and resorting. VERY HARD getting the bags down to 20 kg many overweight particualrly with their extrra shopping, Tim had brought a set of scales to help with this. We got another bag to leave at the airport with too heavy gear to allow us to stay under the 20 kg each . cost 8 pound per day for the bag ( I will skip forward to what happened.... apparently it has changed and you are allowed 23 kg each... not what the travel agent said BUT who cares we have got all our gear with us)

Up at 4.30 a.m to be organised to meet the taxi ( trains don´´t run that early). Met the boys at the airport. Everyone fit and well. Great plane trip 2 hours long awesome views across snow on the hills but lovely blue sky). We were met at the airport and taken by bus to our accomodation. We are not staying at a hotel but at a environmetal education centre. The kids are in a large bunk room that sleep 10. showers and toilets at the end of their room. Nice and spacious and little lockers and little wardrobe for their gear. Seems very new which is nice. A wide variety of food which seems to cater for all their tastes. We are having the Scotish group, Spainish and NZ are here, the other teams are in town which is 5 km away. In the afternoon we had a run around the area. There is a large TV room with bean bags, ping pong table and a small soccer turf for playing.... alll of which had had plenty of use. The soccer game has caused a few injuries like bruising, sore toe and blisters so Jenny is keeping busy.

Lovely warm day when we arrived... the guys had shirts off and the girls into shoe string tops, today ( Tuesday it is cold... fleeces and a cool wind). Everyone seemed to have a good nights sleep and they are going to take us into town for the morning to have a look around. We are getting used to the different times of eating. Lunch at 2 p.m and tea at 8.30 p.m. Maybe I shouldn´t have typed this I hope I haven´t gone on too much.

JUST one point. Paulines phone is really only for emergencies and it is very expensive to recieve calls therefore we cannot take personal phone calls as there is no place to top up our prepaid account. You can text tim or pauline and we can try and get a message to your child for you. We will try and get the kids to send you an email individually but there are only 3 computers and this is for the whole group of Scotland, Spain, NZ and organisers to use so access may become more restricted.
We will do our best.


Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 14 April 2009, 9:26 PM  
What a day !

It´s Tuesday over here - about 6:40 in the evening.

Yesterday the kids went for a run around our accomodation we are in an Environmental Education Centre that hosts primary school groups. We are staying with the teams from Scotland and Spain. This is also the Event Centre, so it makes us very handy to everything.

The kids woke up, had a great brekky (´´toast and cereal I think´´ says Laura!)and then went into town by bus to look at a shopping centre. This afternoon they had an intensive coaching session and a good run again. As well, they prepared for the cultural evening and the official opening. They are sounding great !!!!

While they were out this morning, Tim spent the time registering the NZ Delegation. It was a very formal and particular process that required checking international bank accounts, passport details, school identification - even down to spelling of middle names for each pupil. I kid you not !!! It took 2.5 hours and a lot of smiling. The english translators are doing a great job ! Tim went in being told we owed 1700 euro and ended up with a 270euro refund !

Well, dinner will be in a couple of hours. The kids are chilling out, ready for our first event in Spain - a ´model´or training event on very hilly county beside our maps for the main events. It will be exciting !

We´ll try to post progress as soon as possible, so watch the email - or from work don´t forget - go to forums and look for NGHS in spain title.

Our location is a bit hard to find via google maps but you can try this.

1)In Google Maps (

2)Search for Alcala de Henares (Spain of course)

3)on the map view (not satellite view) move up so you can see Los Santos de la Humosa off to the right.

4) Draw a line from Los Santos back to the yellow road on the left thru´a place called Meco.

5) Meco - that´s us !

6) Now turn on satellite view (top right of goggle maps)

7) use the plus sign on the left - it´s under a little man. Zoom in and look carefully - we are waving right now ! (that´s a Tui Advert...yeah right !)

As you zoom in , by the cluster of buidings by meco, look for a road called Camino de la Magdalena. Where it turns alongside the meco buildings..that´s us

Try this link to get there...

Well, by for now...

The Spainards !!!

Show Profile  Sue K Posted: 16 April 2009, 2:30 AM  
Good Luck Everyone!! GO NZ!!

Show Profile  Hamish Posted: 16 April 2009, 12:55 PM  
Good luck to all NGHS and NBHS from all at HBOC.

Show Profile  Chris Posted: 17 April 2009, 12:21 AM  
Congrats to all on some great runs.
Go you good things!

Show Profile  Rolf Posted: 17 April 2009, 12:55 AM  
Well done everyone. By my count there are 11 top 25 places which is pretty darn impressive at a World Championships.

Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 17 April 2009, 2:42 AM  
Louise here. It is nice to get the emails and we are passing them along as they arrive. HAd a good nights sleep but it is now very cold here. We told the organisers and they have turned on the heating. Today outside we have had 7 to 9 degrees.

Yesterday we were taken to a shopping mall by bus in Madrid I think to fill in some of our day. We had about an hour there and many of the kids got to banks to change over money into Euros. Where we are staying is surrounded by sort of farm land so there is little opportiunity to spend money on food, fizzy or clothes so the money is stretching quite nicely now that we are in Spain. The food, they seem to serve a variety of dishes at each meal so as far as I can see with our slightly more fussy eaters there is something for everyone. Plenty of fresh fruit and yoghurt at every meal, bread sticks freshly baked, bowls of salad, pasta and say chicken and chips in another dish. We have got a kettle in my room and Jenny and pauline have been to the shops so we are able to offer hot chocolates, biscuits and fruit if they are hungry between meals. Lunch today was at 2 p.m which is the norm and tea is at 9 p.m which makes it a long day.

This morning we had our model event where we were taken by bus to a ´map´to have a practice run to check out the terrain and see how they map the landscape. It wasn´t too dissimilar from Te Mata peak with lots of tracks but quite steep in places. It rained while we were out with even some hail so the kids got quite cold when they weren´t running. Derek is doing some debriefing with them this afternoon and at about 6 p.m we head off for the official opening ceremony. The boys are wearing formal clothes (number 1´s) and the girls the winter uniform. They are having to do some cleaning of their shoes as the paths are limestone and they are looking a bit of a mess.

Well thats about if for now.

If someone has Val Morrison´s email address and can email that back to me or give her a ring (derek´s wife) I can add her to the list of info as I realized these group emails are going to Dereks work and she isn´t getting them to read what is happening.

Tomorrow is the first of the races... I know you will be thinking of the kids and sending positive thoughts their way. Will let you know progress and I know that tim has sent website addresses I think of where you can find out what is happening


Show Profile  tim in spain Posted: 17 April 2009, 2:53 AM  
Well, I am so impressed !!
Tim here.

It's late on Thursday night, or maybe very early Friday morning and we have some GREAT NEWS for you.

The kids raced so well today in very trying circumstances. A half hour walk to the start, freezing conditions - 7 degrees out of the wind, heavy rain, drizzle, almost hail at times, hot sunshine...we must be in Madrid !

Your kids did so well - here are the team results from today. The full results are on the web at

but here's the summary...

Senior Boys (mens 1 school) 6th Place
Senior Girls (women 1 school) 5th Place
Junior Boys (mens 2 school) 4th place
Junior Girls (womens 2 school) 9th place

These are amazing results for the long distance race - you can be very proud of each and every one of the team - that is as parents and also HBO club members.

We had some great support at the course today, Zane's parents were there, as was Sam Eames - who we have seen regularly over the last couple of days.
I am sure they made all the difference !

The individual times are as follows...hopefully the formatting will work out. Their time and place in field are in the last two columns.

Name Start Time Time Place in Field
colwyn 10.37 1.29.05 43
laura 10.40 1.27.11 43
brad 10.41 1.06.34 48
zivana 10.56 1.11.15 35
bex 10.58 1.08.46 28
sam 11.11 58.46 19
emma 11.18 1.07.03 32
pearson 11.23 58.27 19
sarah h 11.28 1.06.24 24
james 11.37 1.01.35 42
hamish 11.47 59.02 36
zane 11.57 50.26 14
holly 12.00 56.46 20
sarah a 12.10 59.52 14
naomi 12.14 58.55 22
liam 12.23 50.38 15
cam 12.41 53.13 23
abi 12.44 1.12 33
duncan 12.51 44.01 7
georgia 13.06 1.03.32 21

Many of you will have already read these results on the competition website, but I thought I would email them direct as well as update on the maptalk forum. Thanks so much for the comments on that site.

I would like to mention how impressed we have been with the behaviour of the kids. There have been a number of situations where they have absolutley shone - at the official opening there were a large number of speeches, mostly not in English. While school groups around us talked loudly (including some coaches) we asked our kids to stand and listen and they did.

Today some local teenagers showed us their historic city of Alcala de Henares - where we are based. It was a little dry as we walked with them but our kids didn't show that at all.

Tomorrow we head into Madrid city itself, another city - another underground ! We are looking at Real Madrid's stadium which is quite famous as well as some siteseeing in the afternoon. Then prep for Saturday's middle distance race. Hopefully the weather will be better.

I do apologise for this late update - I couldn't find an internet cafe open so I have had to pay for a connection to my room - but I did want you to get the news.

The children have been making the most of meeting children from all over the world and this is very exciting. Today at the event it was lovely to see a group from NZ, Italy, Portugal and Israel all walking along together (before the race - not during it !).

Well, time to set up for tomorrow - well today really.

Bye for now

I tell you - these Kiwis can fly !


Show Profile  Sue K Posted: 17 April 2009, 10:58 AM  
AWESOME RESULTS EVERYONE!! Good luck for the middle distance!!
(Sorry Lu, just had to post something!!)

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