A new game


Its been about 3 years since my hairdresser Vlad told me he had spent the weekend geocaching - it has always sounded like an interesting thing to try, but we have never found the time. This weekend we finally decided to give it a go. Geocaching is like a treasure hunt you play with a combination of online clues and a GPS unit.  Participants hide caches in the landscape - in places where other people will not usually find them by accident - and post the GPS coordinates on a website.  Other players can look up these coordinates and drive out to find the caches at their leisure.  The caches, ususally a small plastic box, contain a notebook for logging that you have found the cache, and a couple of trade items. Some caches have been in their hiding places for years.  Others are found or destroyed:  the recent floods in Saldus seem to have destroyed a couple of caches on the nearby riverbanks. Now that we have tried finding a couple of caches around our local area, I see the intricacies and varied nature of this game. Apart from the obvious treasure-hunting nerve that  has been struck  (the boys were most excited by the trade items, usually little toys from kinder eggs, pencil sharpeners, magnets...), geocaching has made us explore and appreciate little hidden nooks and crannies in our own neighbourhood.  One of the searches took us into a small piece of scrubby forest, in which we discovered the headstone of the grave of the local Baron and Baroness from the 19th century (Heinrich and Hermine - such fabulous names); the second cache took us inside an old abandoned windmill; the third to the ruins of a water mill on the bend of a little creek, with apple trees and mossy big rocks all around.  Because we don't have our own GPS unit (after today - that's a purchase in the near future), we picked easy clues that we researched beforehand on the internet.  I imagine the game would be totally different if you were driving or walking along, guided by a GPS unit.  At any rate, we've caught the geocaching bug.  I spent the drive home trying to think of good places to hide a cache - got a few in mind - so see if we get time to go hunting/hiding next weekend...


 Cache #2 - in this old windmill ruin


Yep, the cache was up in that cubby hole, behind a rock....


Poring over the contents...


Re-hiding the cache at location #3 - you have to replace it where you found it.

3 Responses so far.

  1. Fifee says:

    There must be an iphone/ipad app that does gps for you!!
    I too have always wanted to geocache. How much nerdy fun is that!

  2. Liene says:

    Found geocaching a few years back. There are good units available designed especially for kids, as well as inexpensive models that do the job just fine. I also love how it takes you places you might never have otherwise discovered, as well as gets you out of the house!

  3. I love this idea!! And I agree it gets everyone out-and-about and also makes the children more observant of their surroundings, and possibly a bit more imaginative! I love it!!

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