After the abysmal failure of our first visit, the Fatdog and I returned to Plean Country Park fully determined to uncover the tiny tupperware tubs of treasure that had so frustratingly eluded us.
Geocaching is a strange occupation. For example there is the element of lurking as you stroll aimlessly around the cache locale impatiently waiting for other visitors to leave the vicinity. This can be suitably augmented by a dash of nonchalant whistling. All this nonchalant whistling, aimless strolling and general lurking has the added bonus of ensuring that parents quickly pull their darling children close and leave the area as fast as is decently possible. Not a total waste of time then…well…as long as you can find the cache before the local constabulary arrive!
Once the unbelievers have gone you can overturn rocks, insert nervous hands into dead trees and dismantle, stone by stone, the odd boundary wall in an effort to find the wee plastic box. In fact if all else fails you can whip out the chainsaw and the pneumatic breaker from below the old raincoat and get down to some serious investigation.
“BEEEEEP!” went the GPS.
“YEEEEELP!” went the Fatdog. I had stood on her paw.
We had closed in on the cache – in the same place that had given me such a problem during our last visit. Well at least it was consistent. It must have taken me a good 20 minutes to find that bloody box. There was a clue about a particular shaped log. Could I see a log within a 5m radius? I moved 20m away and switched the GPS off, then on. I marked my spot and loaded in the cache coordinates once more. Back to the same spot I trudged though I was certain the arrow on the electronic compass appeared steadier this time. Wedged between a barbed wire fence and a stone wall was a very small “log”…the sort of log that was almost a stick.
Could this be the cache hideaway? I put my hand through the fence to move the “log” and promptly cut my wrist on the barbed wire. Cursing I climbed through the wires and squeezed into the spot where I suspected the cache was hidden.
SUCCESS – our first ever cache!
The Fatdog radiated disinterest and ambled off once she had made certain the box contained nothing remotely edible. I photographed the contents for posterity and put the box back in place. I pressed the “Next Cache” option on the GPS and off FD and I headed across the Park in search of our next target.
This proved a much simpler affair and we zoomed straight in on cache number 2.
So, there’s nothing much to this geocaching lark but it certainly makes dog walking more interesting. I particularly liked the lurking and the scaring of small children. On both counts I would consider it as a full time occupation. The Fatdog however prefers hillwalking.