Pair on global hunt

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By LAURA MCLEAY

An ad­ven­tur­ous streak in two former Mata­mata res­i­dents pushed them to sign up for the 2012 Global Scav­enger Hunt which they have been se­lected to com­pete in, much to their de­light.

In a com­pe­ti­tion sim­i­lar to the Amaz­ing Race, 20 two- per­son teams from around the world will bat­tle it out to be named the ‘‘ world’s great­est trav­ellers’’ be­tween April 15 and May 5, 2012.

Saskia van Waai­jen­burg and her part­ner An­drew Par­son­age – who have been a cou­ple since high school in Mata­mata – de­cided to ap­ply for the ad­ven­ture so they could spend more time trav­el­ling to­gether.

‘‘An­drew works as an in­vest­ment banker in Auck­land and I’m a his­tory teacher, so we rarely get to spend qual­ity time to­gether away from it all. We liked the idea of not know­ing where we would be trav­el­ling to and the idea of turn­ing up at an air­port of a place and hav­ing to rely on each other to get the tasks done ap­peals to us,’’ Ms van Waai­jen­burg said.

The Global Scav­enger Hunt lo­ca­tions are kept se­cret un­til four hours be­fore the race but in past hunts, teams have trav­elled around 40,000km, start­ing in a United States west coast city and head­ing west over oceans and con­ti­nents to fin­ish on the US east coast. The 2011 event started in Los An­ge­les and ended in New York City but con­tes­tants had gone via South Korea, the Philip­pines, In­done­sia, Sin­ga­pore, In­dia, Turkey, Spain, Morocco and Por­tu­gal.

It is de­signed par­tic­i­pants’ over­all

to test travel IQ, in­clud­ing such things as over­com­ing lan­guage bar­ri­ers, in­ter- cul­tural com­pe­tence and lo­gis­tic chal­lenges.

The cou­ple said they had never done any­thing like this be­fore, how­ever they are known among their peers for do­ing ‘‘crazy’’, spon­ta­neous things. ‘‘ Like go­ing to Lon­don for the week­end to watch a foot­ball match or fly­ing to Italy just to use a book I had pur­chased which used a GPS lo­ca­tion and you had to solve clues from the book. We worked re­ally well on that to­gether,’’ Ms van Waai­jen­burg said.

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