Thursday 28 September 2017

Geocaching diaries : Free at last, free at last, .. !

To complete the quotation from the great Martin Luther King, "thank God almighty we are free at last" ! One of the things I love about geocaching is picking up travelbugs and helping them on their journeys. You can see where they've been and how many kilometres they've travelled and it's usually quite amazing to see just how far they've gone and how many countries, or even continents, they've covered. I picked these two up at the start of the summer and I think they're cursed ! They've been travelling around with us on our travels to Brittany, the UK and Turkey and I haven't managed to find a single cache big enough to drop them off in ! 

Today was my day off so I was on a mission to set them free. As there aren't many big caches around our local area, I decided to make one of my own and drop them off in that. I had scouted out the perfect location (you may not know but you have to find a location that isn't within 160 odd metres of another cache) and, after dropping Pierre off at school, I headed off on foot to hide it. Some friendly rabbits (or maybe foxes or badgers, as they were quite large) had been digging lots of holes that I could use, but I made sure I didn't use one that looked active.

Now you see it ...

Now you don't !

I used a couple of fallen branches for an "X marks the spot", used my GPS to take a note of the coordinates and headed for home. 

It was a bit of a mad rush getting back in time for Pierre's pick-up at 11.30 because I kept getting sidetracked by interesting things like weird mushrooms and this skull (a rabbit, presumably), but I made it in the nick of time and was rather chuffed when my Fitbit buzzed to tell me I'd hit 10,000 steps before lunchtime.

This is where things started to go pear-shaped ! I came home and made lunch, then sat down to add the cache to the geocaching website. Everything was going fine until I published it and the little map showed a spot just outside our house ! For some reason, the GPS had let me down and transformed the coordinates to those of the armchair in my living room that I was sitting in ! I quickly disabled the cache then headed off to drop Pierre off at a playdate, then take Juliette on the bus to meet her friend at the new swimming pool. Sophie had come along with me so we headed back to the cache and took down the coordinates again.

Back home, I updated the coordinates, the little map changed to the right location and we were all set. I headed straight back out to pick up Pierre and, when I got back home, I could see a couple of people outside our house on their smartphones with a puzzled look on their faces. Then one of them said "are you Madhouse Family?". I did a doubletake and thought how did he know that ?! He laughed and said that he recognised me from the profile pic on geocaching ! So the coordinates had updated for me but not everyone else ! Oops ! I showed him the right coordinates and disenabled the cache (again) while I sorted out the coordinates (again). After my GPS playing silly buggers in the morning, it was time for the geocaching website to let me down - you can't modify coordinates by any more than 161m from the original spot. I emailed the moderator who sorted it out, but I had several messages during the afternoon from geocachers desperate to get the FTF (first to find) log ! After dashing off to pick Juliette again, then heading back home (again !), my Fitbit told me I had done 24,000 steps and covered 17km on foot ! I can laugh about it now but it was a totally manic day and I'll be glad to go back to work for a rest  ! At least the travelbugs are already back on their journeys - they've headed across the border to Belgium, so they didn't have long to admire the view of the lake for long ! :)


  1. Very informative post...must try this !

  2. We've never done it. Sounds good tho

  3. What a pain with co-ordinates not being updated properly, but also funny with people asking you if you are a Madhouse Family. :) Fame!

    1. LOL Especially as he asked in English (as they were from Belgium) !

  4. never heard of this,looks good x


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