[First filed: Aug 24, 2010 @ 13:08]
Hidden all over Canberra are hidden caches. There are hundreds of them. Bright eyed enthusiasts scurry between them peering at hand held devices and secreting coded messages for each other.
But it’s not as sinister as it might seem at first hand.
Part orienteering, scavenger hunt, game of hide and seek, with a whiff of the flash-mob it’s Geocaching, and quite a lot of it happens in this town.
When I first heard about it I was interested, but didn’t have a GPS (an essential tool).
But these days even midrange mobile phones have GPS so I thought I’d give it a go.
$13 got me the dedicated geocaching app which immediately alerted me to nearby caches and I was off with George the Kelpie of Few Accomplishments.
Heading up Dryandra Street I quickly realised I was going to have to head into the woods.
But walking from the road to the GPS location I realised there was a bit of a path. The sort of thing you wouldn’t notice if you didn’t have reason to be going that way.
Walking up the hill I reached the point where the GPS said I should be, looked around, and there it was!
Risking the redbacks I removed the rocks and there was a little blue piece of tupperware.
And inside was a little notebook for recording my passing, a pen which had ceased to work, some playing cards and a pin.
Apparently it’s normal to take and leave things between caches.
For months people have been trekking up into the trees, scrabbling around by the side of Barry Drive, and recording it.
So I did the same.
Then it was a case of putting the rocks back in place, telling the software I’d found it, and walking the dog back down the hill.
I don’t know what I really achieved.
But in a daft sort of way it’s rather fun.