My most adventurous souvenir from NZ
Hamilton Travel Blog› entry 13 of 28 › view all entries
Some days ago a kiwi friend of mine told us about the so-called â€˜geocachingâ€™. Geo-what? - Geocaching! â€¦ Mmmh, never heard before.
After a short and easy description to all of us we got excited like a lion on a zebra hunt. Everybody who doesnâ€™t know about geocaching is called a muggle (great, this game even refers to my favourite literature â€˜Harry Potterâ€™ - could there be a more promising start?).
This kind of modern treasure hunt is a great opportunity of combining a mastermind (like ours ;-)), the interest in exploring our surroundings, a physical challenge and good fun.
The game is based on worldwide hidden caches, which every non-muggle is able to find. Hints and the exact location in longitudes and latitudes for all hiding places are written down on the official homepage.
That means you just need a pretty good sense of combination (I guess Sherlock Homes reader have a little advantage), a compass or even better a GPS-system (it wouldnâ€™t be too bad if you had a bit of experience in discovering foreign islands or similar locations) and a piece of the cake called â€˜patienceâ€™ because the search could last longer than just a 60 minutes lasting netball game.
After looking for some of the closest caches to our home address and feeding our friendâ€™s iphone with the GPS information we went off to our first geocaching experience ever, yeah.
Thanks to the pointing arrow on the iphone we found the right direction quite quickly and got more and more excited. The tension was almost touchable; even though we didnâ€™t exactly know what we were looking for, never mind, the main thing is ambition.
What would we have to expect? A secret cupcake recipe, a long-time missing paua shell necklace from Helen Clark (former prime minister) or Abel Tasmanâ€™s diary?
After a while of walking through bushes and finding wild strawberries (not the right cache yet) a friend of mine spied a small container under a pile of grass and leaves.
Wow, our first treasure! We opened the box slowly and found a lot of interesting stuff in there. All the lucky finders had left totally different things in the cache (eg. a pencil sharpener, nail scissors and a notepad). After we had written our names into the logbook we took the pencil sharpener in exchange for a nutty chocolate bar and headed home with a very satisfied feeling.
Since then nobody can stop us and weâ€™re planning our treasure hunts very well and quite detailed. I absolutely enjoy these expeditions into Hamiltonâ€™s unknown grounds. What could be better than wandering around for hours (happened when we didnâ€™t have our friend and his iphone with us), climbing up and down steep walls, sliding down green hills, going a bit nutty and nevertheless being successful in the end?
Itâ€™s amazing fun, no doubt! Besides itâ€™s a good and challenging possibility of getting to know new places and developing a nice team spirit.
Iâ€™m absolutely looking forward to finding more caches especially of higher difficulty. Wouldnâ€™t it be great to find a level four cache (out of five) after diving into the ocean or climbing into a narrow cave?