This January one of my dreams has finally come true - I have gone to the first in this season foot-orienteering training camp to Spain, while previous years I was only watching photos of it through social media and sitting at that moment somewhere in Ural mountains in -30..
The story of how spontaneously it was decided deserves to be told as well. On 23rd of November I went to the outlet village in Moscow, as it was Black Friday. Going through thousands of shops I thought that sales should be spread on flight tickets too, and was right. So instead of buying clothes, I bought tickets to Alicante and back and was more than happy with my purchase :)
So the 25th of January came, and even my exam in statistics didn't stop me from going to Domodedovo airport. I knew only half of the company, when starting our journey, and was a bit unsure about how our evenings would be spent.. Fortunately, unknown guys turned out to be the best teammates, and I was surrounded by the best people I could only dream of. Thank you, you know who, and I am already waiting for January 2020 ;)
Our camp was divided in 2 parts: 1st week we were living in a beautiful place near the sea 20 km to the south from Alicante - Guardamar del Segura - and 2nd week we spent in the mountains around Murcia in the old town Cehegin. 1st week brought us technique but fast maps along the sea shore with the same endless relief and some thorny parts as on JWOC in Hungary. On the one hand you could run there crazily fast, but on the other, if only you lost your concentration for some seconds, it would be likely that you couldn't find yourself, as everything is just the same. Also a tough factor was that sand under feet, because of which leg muscles got hummered very fast. So to sum up, it was a good terrain for improving your orienteering speed, for o-intervals sessions, relays and, of course, night orienteering turns quite complicated there!
After that awesome time by the sea with a nice excursion around Alicante, with a winter swimming and so many fresh fruits and vegetables we took our 2 Fiat twins, and they took us to Murcia region, to a nice old town of Cehegin with the most narrow streets I've ever seen, so that our heart was beating crazily fast every time we were driving up to our parking on the top of the mountain. We experienced those hard sprints, when you run 3,2 km for more than half an hour and it is actually fast! We also got to know a new type of orienteering - rock climbing, when with every step you were afraid of falling off the cliff. It was more about amazing views and dangerous mountains, than about orienteering itself. For example, our day trip to Bolnuevo was such an adventure! We were running a long distance in high mountains just above the sea, then enjoying the most beautiful view in our lives from white villas with palms and finally running middle distance in the ruins of old city of Mazarron, climbing up vinous hills and getting lost in its labyrinths. Anyway, that second half of our camp was more interesting, as almost each day turned into a day-trip to some city 40-70 km away with 2 trainings and walking around its centre between them.
Listening to apple music while going 160 km per hour by the highway, buying maple croissants and such a tasty wine for 2 euros, taking thousands of photos and getting enormously tired, but so happy - that is how I remember our 2 amazing weeks in Spain. At the same time I really conceived a big profit (both physical and orienteering) from our camp, after which running tempo trainings in Moscow was so easier than always. So we managed to combine pleasant and useful and this is the best result I could bring back home!