Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thing 308 Geocaching

If this isn't the world's greatest hobby... Seriously, who knew how much fun a sat-nav could be? Obviously a sat-nav with a really hilarious voice is a different kettle of fish, there's no end to the fun there, but a regular sat-nav has nothing on Geocaching. It's a basic idea. Someone hides a "cache" and lists it's geographic coordinates online. Someone else, in this case, me and Lady Awesome Mermaid Elegance along with Token Northy and Top Cat, track those coordinates on a sat-nav or fancy phone and we go hunting treasure.

That's bascially what this is, a fancy technologically advanced treasure-hunt. In this case, the first cache was on Clare Street in Limerick. The geo coordinates will get you to within twenty feet or so, and after that you've to rely on the hint given to get you over the line. I was never so excited. Just feet away from a present for me, that's been hidden in plain sight of the public, for me to find. Then I get to leave a present that someone else is going to find. I think I, very embarrassingly, may have jumped up and down on the spot a few times. Sometimes I think I should bring my parents with me when I go outside. You know, just to keep an eye on me.
Jeez. I just realise how sad I sound. But it really is lots of fun. I mean, how many times a day do you go treasure hunting? How many times in your adult life? If it's not extreme enough for you, never fear, there's geocaches on hill-walks, in the burren, on mountainsides. There are caches that you need to bring a shovel and dig up. And it's not just here, you could geocache anywhere in the world. It's literally everywhere. Why am I only finding out about this now? Why did you keep this from me? Eh? WHY?

There's a Snoopy dog that's travelled 35,000 miles since 2005. I'm not kidding. It's called a "trackable" cache. Someone leaves the cache at a point and tells the people looking for it to move it elsewhere, and take some photos and junk. Then log the new position of the cache online. Snoopy is at Shannon Airport at the time of me blogging, having left Sidney in Australia in 2005 and having seen about seven countries in between since... Next time you're heading for foreign parts, or even just to Scotland, you could be bringing a cache another step on the way, only for some other helpful and like minded person to take him on another leg.

Tell me that's not cool?
The best part is that there are caches everywhere. Don't believe me? Why would you, I'm a famous liar don't you know. Here, have a look: CLICK! That click is just for Irish hunters. If you're not Irish, you're out of luck, because I'm a bit racist and don't care what you think... Kidding. I'm kidding. Jeez. It's just because most of my readers are Irish. For all the Minesotans (have I said that right? I'm not sure...) CLICK. If you're not Irish or from Minnesota, I suggest Google. I don't have all day...
Look how excited Token Northy is... That's us with our Geocache. Give yourself an afternoon to wander about where ever it is that you live. Somewhere near by there's a little cache waiting for you. The only condition is that you leave something for someone else to find, and obviously sign the logbook. The person who left it there is probably getting a massive kick from knowing that you're having as much banter finding his stuff as he did finding someone else's.

Wow. I am a child aren't I? Treasure hunting at twenty six years old. I wouldn't deny it for a second though. Some laugh. I promise.

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