Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brisbane Blitz

After the success of our other caching expeditions the extended Gong Gangsters wanted to broaden our horizons. An interstate blitz was suggested and after alot of planning a date and itinerary was set.

Late on the 9th Oct, Steeba and myself flew to Brisbane for what was to be 3 days of solid caching. Big Matt was already in Brisbane and it was his hospitality that provided us with transport and a place to crash while we were all in Brisbane.

As soon as we were off the plane the thought of new caches was overwhelming and we quickly had 2 finds. Self-control prevailed and we grabbed some necessary food before making it an early night.

Friday started with all guns blazing, which included the rain which at times was relentless, but that didn’t us. Our plan was to stick around the northern suburbs of Brisbane and while there were pockets of caches our day seemed to drag along at a slow pace with us slowly but surely picked up our finds, but not at the cracking pace we’d dreamt of. As the day unfolded we met a few local cachers at various points and found some clever hides. Not long after dinner on our first day we called it quits with a disappointing 69 finds.

Saturday was a very early start, as we had to drop Shell off at the Roma St rail station by 6.00am. Soon after we were bagging our 1st inner city cache. Early morning caching means no muggles and quick finds and our numbers grew quickly with a promising day ahead. The persistent rain was still there but it didn’t slow us. By lunchtime we had already found 50 caches and with plenty more zigging and zagged across town to do we were sure to amass big numbers. The area known as ‘The Gap’ proved very fruitful for us. It seemed as though there was a cache on every corner. By the time we’d finished our days caching we had found a whopping 92 finds with 11 DNF’s. This was a new one-day record for me.

Our last of this caching blitz and with weiry bodies we started a little slower than the previous days, but we were soon back into it. The southeastern part of Brissy was to be today’s hotspot. The area offered finds similar to Friday with each cache being a little spread out. As we made our way towards the coast we were rewarded with some excellent views and a glimpse at how the other half live. By mid afternoon it was time to slowly start heading back towards the airport, but not before another 1 or 2 finds.

Eventually our caching blitz on Brisbane had o come to an end. It had been thoroughly enjoyable, good company and plenty of finds. Our weekend had resulted in a massive 205 finds.

Thanks to fellow cachers Steeba and Big Matt for a great adventure, but now the logging starts.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

2000 not out!

Its taken six and half years but ‘The Rats’ have reached the milestone of 2000 geocaching finds, however it wasn’t without incident. On my first attempt at reaching 2000 I had to abort an attempt on the Altaire cache atop the Thurat Spires. Some 70mm of rain in the area had turned creeks into raging rapids and simply impassable.

A week later and with beautiful skies I was heading into the Grose Valley to find Bshwckr’s cache the ‘Bee Gees’. This seldom found cache suited my idea of doing a physical challenge for a milestone. After only 45min I was down the bottom and approaching GZ. The cache was soon in hand and the formalities completed. A bit of exploring was done before it was time to head back out.

As I made my way up up and up I was pleasantly surprised to come across 2 young foxes playing on the track. They soon disappeared allowing me to continue on my way. Eventually I was back on top where the spectacular view was captured on film. This is truly a spectacular spot with its towering cliffs and huge eucalypt trees making up the forest floor.

With 2000 finds now, its time to move onto 3000.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Geocaching - Wagga Endurance weekend

After the success of the Gong gangsters assault on Bathurst back in November talk was of where we could go for our next assault. Based on a very technical formula, which I can’t explain we decided Wagga was the likely spot. We recruited a new member in Big Matt to our team and after months of planning we picked a suitable weekend. Coincidental it just happened to be the same weekend others from around the state had also decided to ascend on Wagga. An official event was organised to mark the special occasion, thus another find.
As the weekend of the 24-25th May drew near our plan was simple. Get as many traditional caches as possible between Friday night and Sunday afternoon. As our adventure unfolded we made good time down the highway bagging everything along the way. Work restraints meant we had to catch up with Steeba and Big Matt just outside Wagga, but once all together we continued zigging and zagging our way into Wagga. Just after midnight we wisely decided to make camp for the night. The thought of pressing on was tempting but the burnout factor also ran high.

A good nights sleep on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River was broken by the sounds of thousands of galahs singing in the trees. Nevertheless there was caching to be done and no time for sleep-ins. Into Wagga for the first time and we quickly picked up from the previous night. 1 then 2 then 3 and so on, reaching double figures was very quick. After car-pooling it wasn’t long before the little memorable moments began to happen. A chat with the station master here, the donning of a mask there, the drive-by caches, a game of AFL also, it all added to the fun as we headed out of town for a big loop which took us to the ‘The Rock' and through ‘Livingstone N.P’

On our return to Wagga we bagged a few very unique caches. Someone in town had put a lot of work and pride into their caching containers. These containers and hide techniques remain the highlight of my trip…. Simply they were awesome. Occasionally we’d bump into a few of the other teams that had come to Wagga, but it wasn’t till dinnertime when we got to meet the locals and others from a field. Dinner was at the local sportsman’s club and apart from the long wait it was great to meet and catch up with other cachers. While sharing a story was fun we all agreed there was a whole heap more caches to be found so it was back on the road. A few more good hides and a practical joke on the Canberra cachers all made for a good night.

Eventually the time had come where part of our team had to bid us farewell and head for home. Farewell to them and more caching for us. The city was alive with drunks and young people having fun, which often made cache hunting difficult. With our hit/miss ratio not very good we chose to abandon our nights caching.

Sunday morning dawned and it felt like I’d been hit with a sledgehammer. A massive migraine was brewing, the head and stomach were working against one another, but it takes more than that to slow me down. By 7.00am we were off in search of more caches, just at a slower pace this time. By mid morning we had pretty much cleared out all of the traditional caches in Wagga and started for home. However a cacher can never just head home, there is always one more to find and so it was that we chose to come home via the Olympic Way. Not the most direct route but very fruitful for Hoojar and myself as we nabbed another 25 caches along this road.

As I bagged my last cache in Goulburn some impressive stats were collated. From Friday night till Sunday afternoon I had amassed 133 finds, travelled some 1450km and was sporting a migraine from hell, but it was all worth it. To my fellow Gong Gangsters, thanks to all of you for another great endurance weekend. Where to next!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Caching in Sydney

I was long overdue for some series caching, its like a drug to me. A cache here and there only wets my appetite for a dose of series caching. So with that said, I had been busy leading up to the 13th March organising fellow cachers for a day of series caching in Sydney.

It was 4.30am when we left the Illawarra, heading towards our first find for the day. The weather had been kind, actually it was probably a little too hot, but for someone who loves the heat I can’t complain. For today I had teamed up with my fellow caching mates Hoojar and Gribbly. Both of which were as keen as I was for a big day in Sydney.

Right on 6.00am we bagged our first find. The sun hadn’t showed itself as yet which was a pity as most of the places we went were thick with spider’s webs. It didn’t take long and our cache finds steadily climbed. We had started in Sydney’s west and had made a circular arc northeast. By lunchtime we had made it to Olympic park where with everyone else we soaked up the beautiful day.

There was no time for lunch, geocachers don’t stop for trivial things such as lunch. As we pressed on we made our way around the northern foreshore of Parramatta River and then up towards the Lane Cover River. Our day eventually finished at Macquarie University, I had personally bagged 34 caches in approx’ 10 hours. Not a bad days work.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

2nd Annual Illawarra Caching Get-together

With fine weather greeting us, the 2nd annual caching get-together was held yesterday at Blackbutt reserve, Shellharbour. After arriving early with the hope of securing the undercover table n chairs it was disappointing to see that I wasn't early enough to achieve this.

That aside we still had a beautiful spot in the parkland. Teams started arriving from about 10.30am onwards, many bringing family and food for a great picnic day. Plenty of people took in the customary time trial which had teams doing a 'word association' around the park. Later in the day we had the 20m measurement game which has teams testing their GPS & skill to accurately measure 20m. Congrats to Big Matt & Shell & USAT31 for winner the 2 games.

As the day progressed there were countless caching stories shared and hints told. Nearly 100 travel bugs and geocoins were exchanged with everyone managed to grab 2 or 3. A real picnic atmosphere was enjoyed by all, the kids played happily in the playground while we soaked up the sun.
Eventually the day come to an end, cachers logs from the event can be found here. Until next years event, happy caching all.

The Rats are hosting the 2nd Annual Illawarra Get-together once again. With the success of last years event we have decided to make this an annual event. Its at the same place and same coords. More details on the event can be found at the cache listing. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

This post will be regularly updated