Monday, February 10, 2014

Geo-caching - A New Hobby

   The sun showed its radiance yesterday so I took full advantage, downloaded a new App and went geo-caching. What is geo-caching, you may well ask?
   Basically, it is a treasure hunt using GPS coordinates to find a box that contains trinkets along with paper and pen to sign your name. It is popular back home, and I always thought it would be a great way to get younger kids onto the trail with a little less whining than normal. The only one willing to indulge my new sense of adventure was Middle Child so off we went with my phone and a few snacks.
   There are many geo-caches in this rural part of France, much to my surprise. We went with a couple in mind. For an Old Dog like me, figuring the most efficient way to use the GPS on the phone was the biggest challenge. The cache was near an old, dilapidated church called Chapelle St. Martin. As I have mentioned, one can stumble upon a church on any route- they may be nearly falling down, but they are everywhere. We searched and searched, going back and forth along this ancient wall where we were certain the cache should be. Across the road, men pruning grape vines must have thought we were nuts- crazy tourists.
   On our bellies, peering into a whole behind a fallen rock from the wall, we spotted the box. But, we could not reach it. We will return with some sort of device to retrieve the box and place it back in its proper hiding spot.
   Invigorated by the find, we marched further up the road to the next cache. Vines and cobwebs covered a small grotto where the small, discrete container was hidden- Middle Child was thrilled( as was I) and signed her name and left a little trinket in the box.
   We were hooked and needed more. Onward to an ancient ice house that would partially fill with water in the winter and after a few days, ice would form. I am not sure who the ice was for- the villagers perhaps? There is a water source burbling out of the ground, and that is where our last cache of the day was hidden. And it was really hidden because we never found it. We snacked under massive Plaine trees along the burbling source, Middle Child happily plopping acorns into the water.
   This may be my ticket to keeping my kids going through the rest of our travels. I must admit, they are tiring a little with the touring. They have been troopers and seen more than their fair share of museums, churches and architecture in the past 8 months. A little geo-caching through Brussels might re-energize them.

Chapelle St. Martin 

Trail markers
It's as good as gold


UnclePhool said...

Welcome to the world of geocahcing. I have very much enjoyed using caching as a way to get out of the tourist areas and see where the locals take me. -UnclePhool

Margery Poitras said...

We did another one today! I can't believe there are so many in my rural area. It is fun and kids enjoy the find!