Home and Away

Last week was book week at school, and I had costumes to make…. But not letting that get in the way of our weekly caching fix, Dad and I decided to head to the Southern tip of the Coast and do a multi cache that promised good views, and importantly, would take less than an hour to complete.

We parked at the designated parking place on the side of the road heading over the hill to Patonga, spying a narrow and almost overgrown track headed off into the National Park. Knowing the CO wanted to put this cache in the NP but had difficulty getting permission, we also knew we would probably be back near the road for the final GZ, but ventured in to gather the info needed to get us to the spot…. A short walk along the track and the we started heading up some rocks to above the tree-line…. As we approached the top, I spied the view, and got excited, pausing to take a photo from here, but then when we climbed up a little more onto the top of the rock platform, I realised the view was far more spectacular form the top – before us was a panoramic view over Broken Bay from Palm Beach (Sydney’s northern tip, and Home and Away’s Summer Bay) across to Patonga (The Coasts southern tip).image In awe of the view, I commented to dad, that with views like this, who cares about the cache! I think the absence of coming to caches like this in recent months made this view all the more special, but it also provided me another perspective on how close Sydney and the Coast actually are at this point.

imageOnce I was done taking in the view, we wandered along the impressive rock platform to the first marked waypoint on the other side… Here we found a ‘room’ (cave/alcove) and deduced its features and why The Elephant has left the Room, then wandering back the way we came looking to match a photo location for our 2nd waypoint – the CO provided a photo of himself on the rock in years gone by, and we were to get ourselves to the same spot – funnily enough, pretty much the same spot we’d stood moments before taking all our happy snaps 😀.

We then had to take coordinates to use for the maths to get the final GZ – which is an interesting component, because accuracy is the key here… But this is something that would be inordinately difficult to result in any potential finders coming up with the exact same coords as the CO – yes, the spot is clear and would get great satellite views (on a clear day especially, but we were there on a grey day) – but the differences in devices and ways to get coordinates, and the slight differences in whether you’re standing in the exact same spot as the CO did would make it almost impossible to get the same “accurate” reading as the CO. At any rate, we did what we had to do… Dad did it once, and I did it using 2 different methods, and we had 3 sets of numbers, all reasonably close by, and right near the road where we had parked, matching our expectations, so we figured that would do, and off we headed back down the track.

Once by the roadside, we quickly realised that the side of the road 2 of our numbers put us on didn’t match the clues, but the other side Did, so we focused our search there – the hint indicated a rock ledge, so we spread out quite a ways looking for rock ledges, poking beneath any we found looking for Horton. After traipsing about in the roadside scrub for a while I figured we were pretty much blindly searching in a very vague area now, so hit up the CO with a text to check our coords – all but one number was correct, and that number was only 2 digits off, so not too bad – I reset my device to the proper coords, and got myself back out to the road, realigning myself, and headed back into a patch of scrub I hadn’t yet explored – the compass pointed me one way, and I spied a rock, and reaching it, quickly located the cache… Easy find – if you get the right coords!

Cache Location: Patonga/Broken Bay, Central Coast, NSW

Find Number: 973

Date found: 25th August 2015

Found with: Opa-Shrek

👣👣👣👣👣

It’s always nice to have opportunity to grab a few caches away from home, and On Saturday I had to attend a wedding in Campbelltown in Sydney’s South West. Conveniently I was left to drive there alone. Getting the girls off to their respective sleepovers took less time than I thought, so conveniently, I had a little time up my sleeve as I headed in that direction. Having not visited the area for caches before, I had plenty to choose from, so just picked a few suburban side street marks sort of along the way I was travelling.

I detoured off the main road around Smithfeild and headed Into the Burbs for cache number 1 – the satellite map showed the cache clearly in the backyard of a private property but the private property attribute wasn’t applied so I was a little confused – still, the cache page gave plenty of instructor and hints, so I figured all would become clear in the fullness of time and headed toward GZ… As I stepped off the footpath onto the private drive, the compass said 15m to go, but I was crunching on gravel, which the description told me I needed do, so I hesitated and stepped back to the footpath – scanning the area before me, I spied what I should have seen a moment ago – a Devon container magnetised under the letterbox. Sorted, Signed, Sealed and Delivered.

As I passed through Casula, I spied a cache sitting on the edge of the Georges River, but unlike the others along the pedestrian path/cycleway, this was near a car park at the Casula Powerhouse (which I had no idea existed) – The Power of One also stood out as the CO was a name I recognised from logs on the Coast. As I headed toward GZ I saw an old metal pump system and groaned, thinking this was going to be another ‘nano in a gun’ and difficult to find, but figured seeing as how I was here now I had to give it a go, and started to slide my fingers around the inner edges of the holes about… Realising my hands were getting quite dirty, and remebering I was in wedding attire and shouldn’t be getting down and dirty, I stood up…. and saw a pole fence kinda thing behind me – a hollow one. I picked up a stick and poked it through the pole, and out the other end slipped the cache 😉.

Before I headed off, I picked another cache out that seemed to be just down the road from where I was, but evidently the roads didn’t connect, and I was directed out to the main road and back in again, which kind of defeated the purpose, but anyway, I found myself alongside Glenfeild Train Station – a commuter car park cache on a Sunday – perfect I thought, and heade up the top to hunt it down without the muggle factor that would be about on a weekday – but of course, as is the case with commuter type caches, I couldn’t find the bugger. Oh well, not wasting time, I moved on further down the road, and quickly located the smallest Bison I’ve ever seen hanging in a tree outside at the Historic Home – Glenfield House.

I picked out another cache, outside a school in Campbelltown, and headed there. Pulling up in front of it, I read through a couple of the logs, and saw that dad had been here yesterday “while in town for a wedding”, his log read – funny, that’s what mine will say I thought. But then I saw the time, and realised I couldn’t really afford the time to find it, so headed onto the wedding venue instead… Between the wedding and reception there is always time to kill though, and conveniently there was a cache in the venue car park…. So while collecting my scarf from the car, I ducked over to Emily’s Cottage (also of the ‘Historic Home’ series). The compass pointed me to a no parking sign opposite, and sure enough I spied a little nano sittin up in the usual place – but this was a tall sign, and I was too short to ride.  I had 2 options – come back later with the geobro to act as my reaching tool, or get it with a stick. I picked up a stick, doubtful of my ability to get it back up if indeed I got it down, but delightfully the nano happily allowed itself to be pushed and slid using the stick to bring it within reach, and then continued to behave itself while I got it back up there’s! And of course, I signed the log on this one, just behind dad, who,d picked it up earlier in the day 😀.

Caches found: 4

Location: Smithfield/Casula/Glenfield/Campbelltown, SouthWest Sydney, NSW

Date found: 29th August 2015

Find numbers: 974-977

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