Hanmer Springs is a very pleasant alpine village in North Canterbury. Unfortunately, for the four days we were in the town, it rained and was very cold which left plenty of time for reading books, magazines and doing a little research for our next adventure.
One of the magazine articles that I read was about an eighty-year-old female who planned 80 DDO’s in the eighty weeks before her 80th birthday. I was happy to leave acronyms at the door when I left my corporate job but was intrigued as to what a DDO was, given the context of an eighty-year-old. Well, it was a ‘Decent Day Out’ and a decent day out was defined as one of the following; a climb of 600 meters, a 40-45km bike ride or an 18 km walk on the flat. Wow, pretty good for an eighty-year-old, I cannot see me doing the same at eighty but then it probably does not hurt to have something to strive for.
Maybe I was little hasty dropping the acronyms. I a might get a more positive response from Ruth if I tell her that today is our DDO for the week. If I start using enough acronyms she will never be quite sure what she is about to undertake (I probably won’t either) but once underway, I do run the risk of encountering a NDE (near death experience) when she realises that DDO did not mean ‘driving day out’. Rather than try and explain the nature of a DDO I thought I could devise a range of descriptive acronyms for both before and after each one. That way Ruth will understand what she is in for and I can easily see whether or not we should undertake them again in the future.
So what could some of those acronyms be?
POC – “Piece of Cake” – A simple ‘difficulty rating’ that works for convincing Ruth that we should do it.
DUD – “Difficulty unknown dear” – When I am not sure whether we should do it or not – may be too hard for me even. I sometimes get a bit carried away and call a DUD a POC only to face WOR later.
NHI – “No hills involved” – Cycle routes that we rarely find so in order to go for a ride I classify all bike rides as NHI’s when they should really be DUD’s.
BAR – “Boots are required” – Code for, “this is not a POC”. Can also be used to describe something we need to find immediately after a DDO.
VAT – “Views at Top” – A way of avoiding the word “hills”. A bit nasty like the tax.
PWC – “Pack warm clothes” – Another code word for “not a POC’.
Review acronyms could be:
DDO+ Is when a DDO turns out to be much more than I anticipated but I don’t want to call it an ABM
ABM = A Big Mistake – I overestimated our abilities. This DDO should have been a DUD.
WGL = “We got lost”. This means it probably became a DDO+ and WOR ensued.
WOR = “Wrath of Ruth” Something I face when Ruth realises that it is not just a DDO but; a DDO+, DUD, VAT, PWC or WGL. Essentially anything but a genuine POC.
With two traveling days plus the ‘down days’ in Hanmer we were feeling a little rusty by the time we arrived in Nelson Lakes National Park. There were a few walks that I had identified for the area, three of the four likely ones were all DDO’s so I thought I would try my new acronym rating system.
Walk 1 was 5km long but had a climb of 800m. A could see it clearly from our cabin and it was immediately classified as a VAT, PWC, BAR. I could not give it a DUD rating because I could clearly see that it was going to be very challenging. This was a DON’T even suggest it. I did, however, point it out to Ruth and on seeing her wince I quickly added that our current state of fitness meant we were not up to it.
Walk 2 was about the same distance, up to the top of the mountains on the other side of the lake, I could also see that clearly from our cabin – This was even more of a DON’T.
Walk 3 was a 21km return trip to a hut at the head of Lake Rotoiti. A flat, lakeside walk. As an NHI it looked like a POC but with a BAR caveat. I sold it to Ruth that way and we did that as our first walk.
Rating on return; DDO+ and I probably should have classified it as a DUD. Because I gave it a POC rating we left our walking poles behind but about 2km into the trip I realised that was ABM, especially when trying to negotiate rivers without getting our feet too wet. Our lack of ‘match fitness’ did make it harder than normal and I was expecting WOR. As we walked up the track from the lake, Ruth headed for the first property she could see, she just wanted to lie down and any old bed would do. She was suffering GLS (Goldilocks Syndrome), this meant that WOR was unlikely as she would immediately go to sleep and by the time she woke up she would be feeling much better about the whole experience. Now there is another acronym, THE (Time heals everything). We always find that these DDO+ walks never seem quite so bad in retrospect, time works wonders.
Maybe I will forget the whole acronym thing as I now I remember why I hated them so much.