South American Championships from a German point of view

Posted on | December 12, 2016 | Category: News, Newsletter

We join the traveling German couple Felix and Susen a month after their arrival in Santiago de Chile. They are combining travelling and helping smaller orienteering nations.

During the past few weeks, we have staying at the national park Palmas de Pitrucao, 200km south of Santiago, and drawing the map for the Chilean Championships, which will be held in the beginning of December.

It turned out to be quite a difficult task, because the terrain has many vegetation details and is very steep. And German mappers are not very familiar with green and yellow areas and sticky plants everywhere. But we were rewarded as we found many nice places with one or two palms by a little stream. We hope the runners will also like the terrain and the map. Furthermore, we saw many special animals, like colourful lizards and big hairy spiders. The people in the small village at Pitrucao are not very used to foreigners (gringos), but were nevertheless friendly and helpful.

At the end of October, the South American Championships were held in Valaparaíso, Chile. The competitions were very well organised and the terrain was very cool, especially at the Sprint, because the city of Valparaíso is very steep and has lots of small streets and stairs. Additionally, we got contacts with many people who would really like us to visit their countries and help them to develop orienteering there. But as is customary in South America, everything takes a while.

So, now we are in Temuco in southern Chile to help the local club OTTrail to practice the technique of compass running. The club has three orienteering maps near the city where it is possible to train. Every evening for a week, ten to fifteen people have met and run a training course prepared by us. Everybody has had fun and really learned something. So perhaps the next Chilean champion comes from Temuco?

During the time we have been here, we have improved our Spanish (the app says 16% now) and can explain the next training tasks. Especially with the orienteering family who are our current hosts, we practice al lot of Spanish. Of course, the family is very nice and we went on a great trekking tour together this weekend.

With our host family.

Follow Felix and Susen on their blog.

Read the first article about Felix and Susen.

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