Yesterday morning I was talking to Merijn my brother in law on Facebook and he gave us a really great tip on how to keep our walks and bike rides interesting – geocaching!! I’ve never done it before but I always hear about people doing it and how much fun it is. He helped me figure out how to use the website and the application for my phone and together we found one that was 2.5 kms away from our house and looked interesting.
I figured that with 2.5 kms there, some walking around to find it and the 2.5 kms back that would be a nice walk for me and my little family on a warm morning, and I was so right, what a good time we had!
Although, I was a little concerned when I realized I’d have to go into the woods.
When I look in there all I thought was… bugs, mosquitoes, SPIDERS, omg SPIDER WEBS!! Xander charged forward, dragging the dogs behind him while I still hesitated. After going into the woods a little ways there was a small ditch that Xander and the dogs both leaped over and continued on into the woods while I just kind of stood there.
Then after I made my way across a log, hoping it wasn’t going to crack under me, we may have had a small argument about whether it’s the husbandly thing to do, to wait and see if the wife makes it across the ditch ok.
We searched for a bit before I went into a complete tailspin. There were things flying all around me, things were biting my legs and I could swear I felt something starting to nest in my ear. The ground was covered in leaves and I had no idea where the thing was.
GAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! I HATE GEOCACHING!!
I was back over that log and out of the woods like a flash.
This, of course, made me kind of pissy. I’d been looking forward to enjoying this whole thing! I sat on a rock outside the woods and tried to psych myself up to go back in the woods. SHUT UP I know it’s silly but I’m so not a bug person! Eventually I decided that I would give it another go, and we decided to go back in.
It was like a time warp, Xander barged into the woods, leaped over the ditch and then we argued again about his manly duty to hang around to help me across. Well, *I* argued about that, he was arguing about me being silly for yelling at him for jumping over a ditch. Oh the joys of marriage!
Anyway, moving on… we eventually did find it! By we, I mean Xander, because I was hopeless. If truth be told I was busy making sure there was nothing crawling around in the leaves trying to get me while making myself look like I was looking for the box. Whatever, details details…
You can see where he uncovered the box just to the left of his feet. He was so proud! The dogs, on the other hand, couldn’t give a toss. Bailey made it his life’s mission to sniff every leaf in the woods, while Pixel tried to singlehandedly chew every fallen branch to a nub.
This was when I forgot all about the bugs because I was way too excited about our buried treasure!
Isn’t that cool? I’ve been in that park a million times and had no idea that this thing was there! What else is hiding in the park that I don’t know about?! Well, I’m sure there are some things I don’t WANT to know about but I’m dead curious about other geocaches in the area now.
This one, as Merijn suspected, was super cool. Apparently a lot of them are film cannisters with a magnet that are attached to something metal, but this one was a full on ammo box buried in the ground. What an awesome first one for us!
Bailey took a break from his busy leaf sniffing duty to help Xander open the box. By help, I mean sniff it, give it a lick and probably stop to consider peeing on it before getting bored and walking away.
I don’t know why I didn’t make more of an effort to get a decent photo of the contents, but I had only my mobile at the time and I was excited, so this one is blur city. You can see that people put all sorts of things in there though. Small toys, McDonald’s coupons, maps, coins etc.
There was a paper in there with some info on it and rules. Xander summed it up for me but to be honest I don’t remember exactly what it said but it was things along the lines of don’t take something out of the box without putting something in, make sure to sign the log book, make sure to cover it back up when you are done etc. It was good that they had that in there, especially for newbies like us. We weren’t sure if we should put something in there or not or what we were supposed to do with it exactly.
I don’t know who Hans is but he rocks at making geocaches! I looked on the website to see if he had others but this is apparently the only one he’s created. Pity, I would have loved to have done more of his!
I decided that I wouldn’t take anything out, but that I would put in a mini 5 cent coin from the Albert Heijn. I didn’t specifically bring something with me to put in so I had to go with what I had in my bag and I didn’t think I should put my OV Chipkaart in there, and I wasn’t sure anyone would want a bandaid.
Then I signed the log book. There were tons and tons of names in there and now ours is as well!! I wrote our names and what we left in the box. I sort of wish I’d spent a few more minutes going through the book and seeing what other people wrote but I guess there’s nothing stopping me from going back and digging it up again.
In the winter… when there are no bugs.
Then it was time to walk back home. I was a happy camper, even though I’d fought with the dogs to get them to sit and look at the camera… you can see how well that went. I think a leaf must have fallen somewhere, I swear those dogs have no attention span.
This was such a great way to make exercising fun and I’m so glad that Merijn told us about it, what a great idea. There are tons of geocaches here in Rotterdam within walking or biking distance from our house, so I think we may try to make this a regular thing. It definitely breaks up the monotony of trying to get out and exercise! I was talking to him after we returned and I think we are going to do a few geocaches with him when we are in the south of France (where he lives) in September!
I also had a look to see if there are any around my hometown in Canada, as I will be home for a month in October, and surprisingly, there are LOADS! So I will be keeping myself busy with that when I am home too. I will even drag mom and dad along!
We had a really fun morning that day, I’m already looking up our next geocaching adventure. Stay tuned!