After two years finally we have decided to get back into this fabulous hobby. I've been researching some local new caches, but as we were off on our holidays I thought it would be a nice start to do a couple there. There were actually two very near to the campsite we were staying in Prestatyn, North Wales.
I took the details with me, but we no longer have a Sat Nav so we were going to rely on the GPS app on a mobile. I wasn't sure it was going to work, but it did, and actually better than our old Sat Nav.
We got up one morning and planned a picnic on the beach, first stopping by the camp shop for some supplies. I knew the geocaches were close to the end of the camp site and that there was a path leading to the beach nearby, so this was our chance. We found the first really easily, signed the book and replaced it carefully as there were muggles going past quite regularly.
The second required a little walk up a path. We came to some old cottages that were derelict and started talking about how wonderful it would be if they were refurbished. Then, we came to some that had already been done and they were gorgeous. Then there were two ponies eating hay right by the fence. The girls went over and started stroking them. This time I found the geocache under a rock. I'm normally a bit nervous about the actual finding and leave it to my partner just in case there is something creepy hiding too. The last cache I found was being guarded by a frog! However, I was brave as I quickly turned over a rock and found the cache  with only a couple of beetles running over it. So there we go, our first two finds in two years, and to celebrate here's a couple of pics.

Due to the recent turn in my health I now have to take things easy. We are still going on holiday but I can't drive, and as I'm the only driver it means we have to go on the train. So we'll have no transport when we get there. I'm still hoping to get a couple of caches in though, the ones that don't require travelling when we get there, and too much walking. It's really quite dissapointing.

The sudden turn in the weather, yes, it's warming up at last, has made me really itchy to get out there now. Sadly I can't walk far but I will be researching some easier caches to go for. There's always some that don't require too much effort.

I'm all excited now because I have started to make plans. One of the things I like best about geocaching, and after this confession you'll probably think I'm weird, is the planning. I love checking where the caches are on the googlemaps and picking out ones we'd like to go for, making notes, adding the co-ordinates to our GPS, it's my favourite part. I have to gleem as much detail as possible because our GPS isn't exactly the best for geocaching, it doesn't have software to download the caches and I even have to convert the given co-ordinates to a different format. This makes it tricky to do puzzle caches as I can only convert the co-ords on the computer so we can only do them in sections, get the answers, convert the co-ords back home, then go back for the hunt. I suppose we should get a new GPS but there are two drawbacks, one, we don't have the spare cash right now and two, the GPS was a gift off my daughter and I would feel guilty abandoning it just yet for a better model.

Back to my plans. We have a holiday coming up in April and I've checked the website and found tons of caches in the area where we are going (nr Exmouth, Devon). I've picked out some of the less complicated ones (we will be on holiday after all) and a few on the journey down. The ones I've picked will take us to some lovely locations with great views. (ok, that doesn't apply to the motorway ones)

Over the next few weeks I'll be preparing a log book with all the information we'll need because I don't anticipate using a computer while we are away.

I might even treat us to a new TB to take with us.

Well, apart from a couple of Did Not Finds, we haven't really done much geocaching. We've had a lot of snow which put us off, and with the geokids driving us a little mental everytime we ventured out it kind of put us off. I'm sure once the weather picks up we'll get back into it. Maybe we should start with a few easy ones that don't involve any mud.
Now my poor blog has been neglected so I thought I'd do an update on how our Geocoins/travel bugs are doing.

Released on 29th August 2009 our first Geocoin, Trackabulldog is now in Northern Scotland. I'm jealous, I've not been to Scotland. The place looks lovely, it's near an old curling pond. Bennachie's Secret

Released on  September 1st 2009 our Travel Pirate Geocoin, is now in the hands of a geocacher after being retrieved from An Evening Stroll - At Last. A Proper Container! which is in Bedford.

Released on September 4th 2009 our Travel Bug, Pirate Bob is now in the hands of geocacher after being retrieved from Up Bow Creek not far from Totnes. They've had it a long time, I hope they move it on soon.

So here is the mileage:
Trackabulldog..... 372 miles
Travel Pirate.........264 miles
Pirate Bob.............72 miles

I'm itching to get starting again now so watch this space :-)

I guess it has to be expected this time of year, if you venture anywhere off road it's going to be a mud bath. So where did we decide to go? Yes, the middle of a huge field!
It was such a lovely day yesterday, bright, sunny (freezing) and I just couldn't resist getting out in the fresh air. Not only that I had a scarecrow TB that really needs a new home. This cache wasn't far from home, nice easy parking nearby, just a muddy trek across the field. But we still failed :-( I'm not sure if it was the mud or the cold that got to us, but we gave up soon after the GPS gave up. One minute it was working fine and telling us we were pretty close, then it just went awry and we lost our little flag on the screen which tells us where to go. We knew that if we rummaged for a while in the hedgerow we'd find the cache, but as the kids slowly began to resemble mud monsters, and my fingers felt like they were going to drop off we decided to call it off and headed off to the hot dog stand for some nice warm sustenance.
Back home we checked the google map and could see the marker box right next to where we were looking....if only we'd looked a little longer!
Not sure what to do now. The cold weather doesn't put me off, but mud and kids...well, I was going to say don't mix, but in fact they mix a little too well! So maybe we'll stick to the occasional easy find, perhaps drive bys or cache and dashes.
As for the poor scarecrow, I think I might pop him into one of our own caches, at least then someone else may pick him up and move him on.

We decided we'd waited long enough and despite the rainy weather we set out to find another cache. I'd picked one close to the roadside, rain I can deal with but not so much wallowing in mud. This one looked out over the motorway which kept the geokids interested for all of 5 minutes.
With the kids moaning (older one was complaining her legs were aching even though we'd not quite covered 100m, younger one kept running off in the wrong direction) the GPS changing it's mind every 10 seconds and the rain getting heavier I decided to take the kids and sit in the car.
I told Graham where I believed the cache to be and he went off alone to search. I don't think it took him 5 minutes to find it!
We put in our lucky sheep travel bug and took out a scarecrow tb.
That gives us a total of 17 finds now.

Oh dear! Three weeks since our last entry and we haven't found a cache since then. We've been a bit tied up with other stuff and illness so we just haven't had the chance.
Today we visited one of our own caches which had accumulated a selection of travel bugs and coins and took one to move on. This gave me the idea to update this blog with a list of our travel bugs activities which is slightly more exciting than our geocaches adventures at the moment.

I'll start with our own, and the first was a traka bulldog geocoin. This was placed in our first cache Ansculf's Other Castle So far it's been moved four times and is currently 19 miles away from it's starting point and has travelled a total of 39 miles.

The second was a travel pirate geocoin which we placed in a nearby cache. This has also been moved four times but is currently 53 miles away from it's starting point and has travelled a total of 127 miles.

Our third is Pirate Bob a travel bug. This one has only been moved once but started off on a day trip to the seaside. It has travelled 72 miles from it's starting point.

We picked up Sue's Ferrari travel bug when we dropped off our Pirate coin and swapped it for a Russian geocoin later. The Russian coin was dropped off on our last outing.

Today we picked up Satu the Lucy Sheep from one of our own caches. I hope this gives us the inspiration to get back out there soon to drop it off somewhere else.

I'm now going to log our own coins and the distance they have travelled and update them as they move on.

  1. Travel Pirate Geocoin 127 miles
  2. Pirate Bob TB 72 miles
  3. Trakabulldog 39 miles