Tuesday, 31 August 2010

113) Find 10 geocaches: Part 1, Edgbaston Reservoir

Recently, one of my favourite blog friends, Brandi, told me about this thing called 'geocaching'. For those who don't know, I will give the brief explanation from the website.

"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online."

That explanation doesn't do it justice. There are thousands of geocaches. For example, in the hills near my house there are about 15. They are literally everywhere, and unless you knew about the website you would never know they were there. The geocaches sometimes have items in them... whoever finds it is allowed to take the item, as long as they replace it with something of equal or greater value.

By some people geocaching is seen as geeky, but others love the idea. I am in the latter group, and so is everyone I have told.

Anyway, on Saturday, Melissa came over and we decided to try and find a geocache. We didn't really know what we were looking for, so we got the coordinates of two of them. The first we gave up quite quickly, since we had another to go on to.

The second was at the Edgbaston Reservoir. One thing I love about the idea of geocaching is that even though I have lived by the reservoir for 3 months now, I have had no reason to go there. Geocaching has gave me a reason, and I imagine there are loads of places it gives a reason to go to.

We walked around the reservoir, which was nice. I haven't been to one for years. I didn't even know what they were, so I googled it and found out "a reservoir is an artificial lake used to store water"... you learn something new every day.

While walking around, Melissa noticed something, that I thought was a ball of fluff.

It was so cute. We weren't quite sure what it was, but it looks like a Dormouse. It kept closing it's eyes, and had no problems with me getting close to take a photo.

Melissa pointed ahead of us, where you could clearly see lots of rain, literally a few metres ahead... but we weren't getting wet at all. It was really weird! Then we walked a little bit ahead (a few steps) and was being rained on. I suppose rain has to start and end somewhere, but I have never seen something like that before. Amazing!

We got to where the geocache was meant to be. It was near one of the towers that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. For those who didn't know, he was from Birmingham and based lots of the places in the book on areas around Birmingham.

The website clue said it was behind a loose brick in a house. Melissa quickly found the house and started searching around. I got lucky, and the first loose brick I pulled out had a little container behind it. It looked like a camera film case. Inside the case was lots of pieces of paper, each with even more names on, and the occasional little message. Although this one was too small to have anything good in, it had a 'happy birthday' glitter thing, and a McDonalds Monopoly voucher.

We wrote our names and the date in it, and Melissa put in a Hello Kitty charm, and we put it back behind the loose rock.

It was a nice day, and a nice way to start number 113, 'Find 10 geocaches'. Without this first one I wouldn't have gone to the reservoir, seen a cute little mouse in the grass, and walked under a rain cloud, cartoon style.

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