We went to a Geocaching event this morning at Marley Park (that I wrote about yesterday) in Dublin. A park that I’ve since been told is the second largest city park in Western Europe after Phoenix park, also in Dublin.
If you’ve not heard of geocaching before, allow me to offer a brief overview. There’s two versions;
1./ Geocaching is a sport often referred to as ‘high tech treasure hunting’ where participants track down the ‘cache’ using a GPS tracking device which has the caches coordinates inputted. These coordinates are often encrypted or sit behind a coded puzzle of sorts. Successful participants will both write (‘log’) in the cache’s log book and on the unique webpage for the cache. Often a cache will contain ‘treasure’ items in which geocachers are permitted to swap an item for another item of equal or higher value. There are over two million active geocaches around the world of which I have discovered 278 of them since 2007. It’s a hobby I love, as it gives a true sense of adventure and an un parrelleled richness of information about a location. It takes me places that I would never have otherwise considered and gives a real purpose and focus to an outing. An activity that teaches not only myself and family more about the world around me, but through the ‘gamification’ nature of it, teaches us about geography, mathematics, navigation, history and more, through the intrinsic curiosity of it all.
2./ It’s a bunch of geeks looking for tupperware with sat navs.
The event today was a ‘one off’. An event organised by one of (I’d guess) Dublin’s most prolific geocachers with over 3000 found caches under his belt. Around 20 – 30 other cachers, geokids and geodogs took to the hunt on what was a beautiful but cold genuine spring day. We were set a course of 6 targets, each of which had a code to which a decipher key was hidden at a 7th location. The end result was a geocache ram packed with easter booty – in the form of chocolate eggs.
As well as myself from the exotic climbs of Yorkshire, there were also people from The Netherlands and I also detected a Kiwi / Aussie accent (sorry for being crap and not knowing if you’re reading this – you did have a Chicago Cubs cap on though which didn’t give me much of a clue as to the provenance of your accent).
Top morning, topped off with a brocoli and stilton soup for lunch made by yours trully, followed with a majestic siesta. Upon awakening, we went to The Yellow House pub, where Annie got to try her first tiny taste of Guinness. Nice.