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At one time I found myself walking arm in arm with my mother in law, both giggling, with Husband walking in front of us swearing and mumbling. Apparently we perceived the situation a little differently as we walked through a small forest in complete darkness, following a small arrow and a blinking dot on my iPhone…

Another time, this time out at dusk, we parked the car in the outskirts of a forest, walked a few hundred metres and found ourselves at the edge of a small stone circle (think stonehenge en miniature)… 

I giggled as I climbed a set of stairs leading up to a church and the connected graveyard. Husband and my youngest brother-in-law accompanied me on our quest to find a memorial bust containing some inscribed dates which would give us a hint about where to go next… 

 

A treasure hunt by the sea coincides with a beautiful sunset

As if I don’t have enough thoughts spinning in that poor little head of mine, I have also taken on a new hobby. Actually, it’s not ‘my’ hobby, I’ve forced it upon both Husband and Son too (and my in-laws and soon my parents, but that’s a different story). Son knows it simply as treasure hunting. Husband has dug out the competitor in him and is hooked. And I love every aspect of it. This activity gets us out of the house more, shows us new places, often amazing places, and every now and again it requires a wee bit of brainwork. You’ve probably heard of it already, it’s called geocaching.

Anyhow, I’ll try to explain it simply: there’s an online community of cachers (who refer to non-cachers as muggles). Cachers hunt caches and place caches. A cache is a small container varying in size from a little less than a sugar cube, to a small bath-tup, but are mostly the size of a smallish lunch-box. A cache is hidden somewhere, often in a location of some importance to the cacher who hid it, and made available for other cachers to find. The location of the cache is given as gps coordinates so the cache can be found by using a gps (or a phone with gps). All caches contain a log book which is signed by finders. After finding a cache you also log your visit online. The website then keeps track of all the caches you’ve found.

A rather compelling cache hid well from the passing muggles

We found our first caches in the neighbourhood. A wee stroll after picking up Son from kindergarten, a few minutes of searching under bushes and in the cracks of the mountain resulted in a few smilies (found caches are registered as smiling faces on a map). Son is ecstatic when he finds a treasure (a pirate scimitar is now an obligatory item for all treasure hunts) and often there are small items to trade with so he gets to bring home a prize. Boy do I have a lot of places to show you! More to come🙂