For reasons I cannot yet divulge, I am walking a lot right now…but it’s getting a bit dull walking round and round the block, so, on Sunday I decided to try something different to rack up the step numbers – I went Geocaching. If you’re asking what is geocaching – it’s basically, treasure hunting for people with smartphones!
I first heard about this during the Disneyland Half Marathon, Lily, a member of the WISH team, the Disney based running team that I’m a member of, do it would hop off to cache between races….at this point I had to google to see what on earth that meant, and who knew….It seems that all around the world people have put little boxes of ‘stuff’ for other people to find – and, unless you are a member of the Geocaching community you don’t even know they are there. I’ve run past the place where the one I found was hundreds of times with no clue there was a small box of excitement just waiting for people to discover it.
To get started I had to download the geocaching app from itunes, sign up for an account and then, type in my postcode, a quick search later and two little boxes came up within a short distance of my house – one was in the church down the road (but a quick check of people’s comments seemed to say that it might have been moved as no-one can find it) but, there was another one, about 12 minutes away that had ‘suitable for beginner’s written on it’ I popped on my shoes and headed out the door.
If you’re cacheing in a new city the app synchs with google maps so you can get clear directions to the approximate location of your treasure, but I knew where I was going – however when I got there I admit I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to do, but then I realised there’s a compass on the app and it basically tells you which direction to look in and, tells you how close you are in metres, which is the technological equivalent of ‘hotter, colder’ or ‘left a bit, right a bit’ depending on your own parents preference when hiding your birthday presents.
Thankfully there are also clues if you get stuck or I might still be walking round a car park waving my phone – I knew I was within a metre of the geocache but all I could see was an electricity box. I didn’t think it could be that, but then I checked the clue which showed me that, yes, that was it. Closer inspection revealed a geocache sticker on the side….now, when you reach a geocache, I’d read that there should be a little box and a log book that you sign (I’d bought my pen out specially), sometimes there’s even little trinkets to trade…now I’m not sure if someone has pinched that box, whether it was hidden somewhere else in that area (I did have a hunt but couldn’t see it) or, if I was supposed to open the power box, but when something says ‘Danger: 230 volts on it’ my fingers are staying, far, far away – I found the sticker and so as far as I’m concerned, yay,,,,,I win.
NB: I have now gone online and checked the pictures and it seems you can open the box . It’s a dummy one…consdering the name of the quest is ‘Shocking Lie’ so, that would make sense. Still, better safe than sorry.
It seems there’s loads of other caches near me…..this could be fun. Or, I could explode in a big pile of enormous geekdom, which also works for me….if I do, do you think I’ll catch the ability to code. I do hope so.
If you want to find out more about geocaching visit geocaching.com to sign up and find the caches nearest to you – and if you ever meet a lady called Lily, tell her I said hi.
Rainbow image: freedigitalphotos.net