Day 1- After an early start to the catch our plane, a short visit to Edinburgh and a 3hr train journey, Andrew and I finally arrived in Aviemore. Here we met our coaches and fellow orienteers along with a heavy rain shower before boarding the minibuses to Lagganlia. On arriving we were shown our rooms along with the unlimited supplies of biscuits and toast. After dinner we took part in some ice-breakers, courtesy of Brian and Brenda the bears, before spending some futher time getting to know each other and heading to bed.
Day 2- Day 2 consisted of an early start (which we’d soon get used to) followed by breakfast before travelling to Uath Lochans forest where we took part in orienteering exercises involving pacing, compass bearings and a relay. We then returned back to Lagganlia to take part in an entertaining course through a complicated area of rides and different forest types in which the coaches tried to distract us by running beside us, talking to us and annoying us in general-It was good fun though!! We then walked back to the centre for the evening’s activities.
Day 3- On Day 3 we headed to North Granish to focus on reading contours. After completing the fiddly task of putting up the tent we gathered in our coaching groups-I was in group 5 (the best group??…well we had fun anyway!) Matt, Rachel, Andrew and I then went on a map walk lead by Karen, Chris and Nick. We had to keep close contact with the map and I found it really useful. After this we did a few short orienteering courses before eating lunch and getting ready for the afternoon’s relay. We arrived back at base shortly after an enjoyable and challenging relay to get showered, eat dinner and discuss the day in our coaching groups before filling up with biscuits, toast and hot chocolate and chatting.
Day 4- Day 4 started off with a long bus journey to the sand dunes at Roseisle accompanied by our brilliant singing…! We took part in some great contour exercises which included map simplification and long legs at Roseisle along with an odds and evens relay. Roseisle was right beside the sea which meant a trip to the beach and paddle in the sea was compulsory. After the usual evening activities we all headed to bed to get some sleep before the sprint race the following day.
Day 5- Day 5 saw two sprint competitions being held: one in a forest and the other in an urban area-these where very enjoyable. After the sprint we took part in the ‘rings’ challenge which consisted of crossing a small river by using some monkey bars placed across it without falling in-not very many people were successful in doing this (including me) and ended up getting a wee bit wet!! Before heading home we journeyed to a nearby lake for a short swim in the rain!
Day 6- Day 6 started off with some time trials in the forest before we took part in some Talk-O orienteering which involved a little more talk than O for me and my injured partner Rachel. We then participated in a fun peg relay were we had to gather as many clothes pegs as possible from each control we visited. This was followed by a fast paced maze exercise back at Lagganlia and some prep for the classic distance orienteering race the following morning.
Day 7- The morning started off with a technically and physically difficult classic distance race, followed by a fun relay involving balloons in the afternoon! Talk was then all about the ‘couple’s dinner’ which was to take place in the evening! After an interesting dinner, talk then turned to Lagganlia’s Got Talent and the girls got a little worried when 10 mins beforehand the boys refused to let us join their act. However, we quickly thought on our feet and came up with a quick rendition of Shake It Off. Lagganlia’s Got Talent??-by the end of the show we weren’t so sure. That night per tradition we spend a few extra hours in the forest before heading to bed a bit later than usual…
Day 8- I really enjoyed the tour and was sad to board the minibuses to Inverness which meant seeing it all end and saying goodbye to the coaches and the great friends I made there. Fortunately, though I saw quite a few of them at the Scottish 6 Days competition the next week.