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Posts Tagged ‘Geocaching’

Find previous Last Pic Taken Sunday Entries .

LaPicTakSunScroll through your camera phone or digital camera, find the last pic you took – doesn’t matter what it was or how blurry or how random – Post it on your blog, and leave a link to it in this post’s comment section. I’ll stop by and check out your Last Pic Taken!

Play along, grab a button. Copy the code below and paste netso (as is) 🙂

<a href="https://henktracy.wordpress.com"><img title="LaPicTakSun" src="http://i46.tinypic.com/no62hh.jpg" alt="LaPicTakSun" width="83" height="148" /></a>

Here’s mine for this week:

We went on a mini weekendbreakaway to Caledon. On our way back we tried to pick up some caches. Snapped this pic while looking for GCGG35. I seriously suck at finding them; think it’s cause I use my phone’s gps. So, please Santa, bring me a real gps for Xmas this year…or even my birthday.

Anyhow, when the Dutch landed in the Cape in 1652, they saw some strange new plants; some with very fine leaves. Hence the plants specific in this part of our coastline are collectively known as fynbos.

And no, we didn’t find the cache.
:/

image

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Wind farm cache GCBB26

3 in a row

But who found it?

Easy Peasy find on our way to Cape Town last weekend. But I realised once again why I should stick to navigating instead of driving. Henk read the clue as gate post in stead of fence post. And I almost drove by 2 turnoffs cause the navigator was running on Africa time. But we still found it. Well, Henk hang back and I got to find it!

It was a bit breezy while we were there, and sadly as we’ve noticed on all our trips past this wind farm, the turbines were yet again stationary. Have they ever turned though? I know this is technically a prototype for SA, but what a waste if it’s no put to use.

Wiki has some great examples of innovative placing of these massive turbines.

There were rumours of another wind farm by Lutzville/Koekenaap – it’s ALWAYS windy there, there’s enough open space. Perfect. But that’s where it has stayed… rumours. Let’s hope Eskom smells the smog and get creative with alternative energy sources.

The title of this post? We had every good intention of finding at least 3 (maybe 4) caches on this trip, but we had 2 tires blow out on the way back, while making a U-turn on the way to THIS cache;  THIS and THIS one we got rained out.

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Nearly missed posting about these chaches!

On Valentines Day we were on our way to Lambertsbaai to just chill on the beach, when Henk decided he wants to head inland and we should go check out the caches around Clanwilliam.
First up was Six Feet Under, better known as C. Louis Leipoldt’s grave. A bit macabre for a Sunday afternoon, but we went anyway.

Through the gate and we went up to the actual site. There are some faint rock art there as well. Amelia played around on tyhe stairs and I realised that OF COURSE this wasn’t where the cache would be hidden. Followed the blimp on my htc to the actual site. Again I pointed out the possible hiding place and Henk found it – so technically I found it ok!

boesmantekeninge

Road to nowhere

It was real hot that day as well, deep 30’sC. The road was a super good condition, harly any potholes! We took what felt lioke a huge detour to get to the next cache. Passed a proper steer and some ostriches on the way.

The next cache was placed at the venue Bushman’s Cave. On the way in we passed the actual owner, Erik. We asked if we could go a-huntin there and he joined us. A few years ago we attended a show there and saw people walking up along the rocks and heard that there was rock art as well – but there were so many people we skipped exploring and rather enjoyed the music.

This time round we saw the art and had a good lookaround. I confused my left-right East-and-West. The watchman should have given us a clue. henk and I stumbled aournd all over the place. Eventually {Because it was getting hotter and Amelia was tired and I was her only shade} Erik sort of pointed in the general direction – And we found it! I think I need a I suck at geocahing coin. We didn’t have any swag to swap; but Erik hopped down those stairs and got us a plastic knife and fork to put it, lol. Found a coin as well – well, at least a replica of a coin.


Bonus was the view up there is breathtaking.

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Our main problem here on the platteland is that there are so few caches in our area. Seriously, only 4 within 50km radius of which 1 is now disabled. The only way to get more caches is to spread the word and hide some of our own.

So I’ve been planning and buying and scouting and finally we decided to hide one close to Meulsteenberg, since it’s within in driving distance if it needs maintenance. It’s on the N7 that is the main route to (eventually) Namibia and thus a lot of tourists will pass it – meaning some geocachers will too.

We visited the farm last Sunday to drop Amelia off at her grandparents. Quick detour to crazy store en route for me to get some pens; ended up getting pencils cause the pens were just too expensive. And not just regular pencils; those ones with the many tips that you put the blunt one at the back and a sharp one pushes forward. A pink one at that; I think. Could be an orange one – definitely maybe orange. Plan was to hide the new cache on the way home. I laminated the little caching blurb with contact, got the loot ready and tested the lid of my container – plastic lunch box. That’s when I realized that I didn’t get a log book. Boer maak ‘n plan and I costructed a makeshift one from an old notebook.

I had planned to hide it by the only trees you will get for 100km, but the site was filthy. Truckers were using the ruins on an old shack as a toilet (and who knows what else) The little picnic area is in dire need of paint and a good scrub. And there will be a high chance of muggle looting. So Henk suggested we drive on a bit. Maybe we will find a better place – and we did. Closer to Bitterfontein than Garies. On a slight hill where you can get a good view of the area, and you can see Meulsteenberg from up there. Henk scrambled to the hidey place (I was wearing sandals for some non practical reason) while I found the easier route and took down waypoints. Henk also took the most craptastic picture in the history of cell phone pics. I only saw this when we got home though. * sigh*

You can see Meulsteenberg!

Back home I submitted the new cache, edited it what feels like 20 times. And then the wait began. Monday morning quick sticks it was approved and I got some links from the moderator with tips to caching in Africa. After reading the guidelines I feel that our attempt could have been better. I could have done a bit extra moeite with the cache. Let’s call it a learning curve. (There is no English word for moeite… and trouble just doesn’t cut it). I added some info about a special little succulent (plant) that grows ONLY on that berg; and it is thus named C.bilobum ssp.gracilistylum SB.784 Meulsteenberg.

So here it is, our first cache You can see Meulsteenberg!

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Had to go to Vredenburg to train on another chemistry instrument and to also swop intstruments with their lab. Coming home today I decided to take the secondary back roads through a few will-never-visit-otherwise dorpies and hunt down a few caches.

'The Fish house'

First stop was Berg River View (Western Cape). The clue ‘Don’t get in a knot over this one!‘helped a lot. Although I did start off with looking in some not-so-obvious places. Eventually found it. Borrowed a pencil from some friendly muggle ladies (cause I left my handbag in the car) , I told them all about this treasure hunt cause they were right next to the cache!

Enjoying the view from the stoep

Quite chuffed that I found it cause it was a dreaded micro cache.

The water of the Berg Rivier was a bright shade of blue – almost turquoise.

I didn’t stop for bokkoms, not too fond of them 😉 Hit the road soon-soon navigating to the next one.

Berg Rivier

Misleading bit of tarred road to Aurora

I was a bit weary taking the route to Aurora cause it’s a dirt road; but it wasn’t THAT bad. Still had some stretches of sinkplaat though – at least no big rocks. Google maps guided me to the quaint little dorpie. Typically the main road through town is tarred. The town is almost just a church, pub, and post office – I’m assuming there’s a post office since I didn’t see it.

An unexpected find leads you to a pub run by Helmut. Clue mentioned all the copper pots. GPS acted up a bit inside (at one point it told me to 36m south, lol.

After snooping around a bit I found it… in an unexpected place of course. Traditional cache so I swapped some swag.

Biggest building in town

By then it was getting late and I was missing home, but still stopped for a quick look-a-round at PEARSHAPED OR ROUND?, but didn’t find it. Although I admit that my mobile’s battery was f-l-a-t and there wasn’t any signal to read any info on the cache online. And I wasn’t wearing the right shoes either.  Turns out that the previous log didn’t find it, so I’m glad I didn’t search too long. Plus I needed to save some battery for using google maps to get back to a more familiar route.

The drive was stunning. The road winded around scenic rock formations and still green veld. Saw quite a lot of road kill; then as expected more than a few falcons. I don’t know my birds of prey at all, so anything not resembling a crow or pigeon and looks sort of like a little eagle, I call a falcon – could have been a kestrel too.

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No man, seriously, we need more caches in our area. I’m going to stock up on some containers this week and try and place at least 2 or 3 this weekend – I will really try.

It was a typically hot and sticky day here at home, but I wanted to load off my Travel bugs I picked up in Gauteng. So after an afternoon swim, we set off for  Van Rhynspass (Northern Cape). We wanted to go check up on our property as well to see if our tree is still ok.

Elf King's TNLN Scion

GCJQK3 took us past Maskamberg where I snapped a quickie of the travel bug, Elf King’s TNLN Scion, I wanted to leave at the cache.

On route I only noticed the fuel gauge. It started blinking on the way up the pass. 930km is pretty good on one tank of diesel I think.

Silly me didn’t read the instructions AT ALL, so when I told Henk to stop it was on a dangerously blind-bend-hill. And GCDroid it was another 30m inland, but it looked like a pretty ugly climb. So we reckon maybe there’s a route from the ther side.

First we went to fill up the car in Nieuwoudtville. There are 2 more caches nearabouts as well, but I was on call for the hospital, so we couldn’t vernture too far… or out of cell phone coverage.

The View

I read up on the cahce on trusty htc, and ja, there is a safer parking spot – at a look out. The view from up there is breathtaking!

After a scramble and trying to guess which lichen covered rock the cacher meant, yet again, Henk found it.

I placed Travel bug TB1RN07 and a blue racing car in the cache.

Somewhere here, there is a cache

It's a long way down

It was so windy up there, at least Amelia could cling to my hair, lol.

Found this cross

We saw this cross almost hidden and demurely sitting by the side of the look out. I wander what the story is and who ‘Oukie’ Gert C Nel was?

 

 

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I seriously think I got my parents hooked on this now as well 😀 😀 😀

Feels like I’m being spoiled for choice up here. I can pick and choose which caches to search for, there are so many! And I got to experience some firsts: First No-find 😦 GC1PZPT , First Travel Bug 🙂 TB11KTN , First TB Hotel 🙂 GC1QECR , and first nah-that-looks-too-complicated-maybe-later at a puzzle cache GC1PG50 :p

First off,  Mom, Amelia and I went searching for the Ghost House. Tested out GCDroid on my HTC Magic; works with google maps.  We found the site and the clue made sense, but we just couldn’t find it. I still think it was maybe taken. Will watch to logs. Was so disappointed that I didn’t even take a picture – and yes, it would be seriously eerie doing this cache at night. We were there in bright day light thank you very much.

Found it!

 When Dad came home we psyched him up to join us on the next hunt. Off to the Ghost Road! Also didn’t attempt this one at night. The area is known for its ghost stories. We didn’t see any, but the radio did pick up some funny static as we approached the site. Dad and I jumped out; he found the clue and the canister.

Rest in the garden before next journey

AND… my very first ever Travel Bug. I did the happy dance in the road! It’s a beautiful silver butterfly (a real ‘bug’). I read its history while trekking to the next site. Originally from Canada on a trip around the world, it has only been to South Africa so far. I decided that it has been here way too long and planned on leaving it somewhere that might somehow get it to another country.

Not a cache

Our next cache was Vreemde Pilare (Weird/Unusual Pillars). The clue took us down memory lane referencing an old TV ad of Cremora. Dad and I searched quite a long time. In hindsight, if I had actually loaded the pic on the site (I had pics turned off) it would have made our search a lot easier. Dad found it of course in the only place we didn’t look – I doubt if I would have reached it though, I’m pretty short. However while poking around in the pillars I found a little resident: A red frog hiding in a cranny. Almost mistook it for a cache though, until I saw its nostrils move.

Did I Mention this one was a micro cache? I’m seriously starting to not like microcaches 😉 Would I ever manage to find a nano one?

At home I downloaded some more waypoints and found the Vaal TB Hotel. At first I mistook it for an actual Tuberculosis Hotel – cause in Vanrhynsdorp there is an old TB Hospital. Turns our this is a safe stopover for Travel Bugs. Team Antron did a  great job by making little compartments (rooms) with different destinations for the TB’s. Here, I decided, will be the perfect place for Madame butterfly as there is an International ‘room’ at the hotel. I read up on a few of the caches and checked their histories to decide which ones will come back with me to the Western Cape.

Animals guarding the cache

Mom knew where the nursery was where the TB Hotel was, mounted on a wall. Off us girls went (Amelia tags along on all these hunts too).

There were a few muggles about, but no one paid me any attention fiddling with the lock. Amelia was petting the animal statues and Mom was trying to keep her out of the ponds. I looked through all the TB’s and decided on two.

At the Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

 Pongo the Racing Dalmatian needs to travel a lot for points, and needs some unique photo’s taken for additional points. One of these is posing with an animal other than a dog or cat – easy peasy, will do that before going home. Then it has to cross a border – check, and bonus if it can have a picture at an actual border. I’ll see if I can wing it. And I have the perfect spot to put it for it’s further journey. The other TB I took is Elf King’s TNLN Scion. Will still take a pic – have a neat shot planned.

It was weird writing 2010 in the logs – and I might have written 2009 at Ghost Road 😡 I noticed while browsing some of the Western Cape caches that some teams tend to leave the same swag (I keep on wanting to say spam), like the team who seem to always leave a toy soldier to guard the cache, or the little leopard spots custom log paper with the date on by another cacher. So I got to thinking what could I leave as a trademark souvenir? Henk insists we leave rubber insects (cause I have a morbid irrational fear of them). I opted for marbles, but left my bag at home. But I did find some Soccer ball stickers for my Postcrossing postcards (It is 2010 ama-socca-socca afterall). SO I’m sticking soccer ball stickers in the logbooks and leaving marbles in caches (or toy cars while I’m in Gauteng).

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