Sunday, 24 July 2011

Geocaching Fail

I was supposed to be going to the wildlife festival at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth this weekend but I realised that I didn't have enough money to put petrol in my car for the 4 hour round trip. I decided instead to do something that was free and thought that geocaching would be perfect as the weather was nice and it was on my 20 things to do before I turn 21 list.
I had previously heard of geocaching a while ago whilst watching one of the videos of my YouTube subscribers but I had never really given it much thought until an article about it appeared in Clwyd Connection magazine which sparked my interest. I went online and registered an account on the geocaching website (it's free to join) then typed in my postcode and to my surprise there were 4 caches within a mile from my house.
Basically, geocaching is like a treasure hunt. You find out the coordinates of the cache online then when you find the amo box you can take an item from it then leave something else of the same or greater value in its place. There is also a log book inside where you write your name and date in which you found the cache.
I have been meaning to go and look for them for a few weeks now but either I haven't had time or the weather hasn't been too good. I almost made it last week but whilst looking for one of the caches in my local woods I got scared (I was on my own) and went back home.
This time however I had company and the sun was shining so I drove to the spot where the first cache was supposed to be (I know that may sound lazy as it was only half a mile from my house but one of the other caches was a 'drive by' one on the side of the main road) and had another look at the clues and a picture of the place it was supposed to be (there is also an official geocaching app which has GPS capabilities but at £6.99 I thought that it was a little too expensive and kinda defeated the object of doing something that's free) but after 10 minutes of looking I found nothing. After much frustration I gave it up as a lost cause and went to find the next cache which was supposed to be in a rotten tree stump near the Roman bath ruins. Again after another 10 minutes of searching and scrambling through nettles, mud and slipping down a hill I found nothing. There were 2 more caches to find but by this point I was getting quite disheartened. The next was just outside the church grounds and going by the picture it was really obvious where it was going to be. Not so. On the surface it was nowhere to be seen so we started sifting through the slightly long grass, lifting up stones and feeling the earth for signs that it may be buried underground. I started to get a bit paranoid that people would be wondering what the hell we were doing to I decided to move on. The 4th cache was the 'drive by' one but we couldn't even find the place it was supposed to be at so I just drove home empty handed and feeling slightly cheesed off.
I did manage to get quite a nice picture of the Roman bath though.

I don't want to cross 'go geocaching' off my list because I didn't find anything so I don't think it really counts. I hope to have a more successful time of it soon, preferably before the Winter comes.

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