School Holidays: In for a Pinny, In for a Found

The past 2 and a half weeks I’ve been off in school holiday land, and on 2 occassions (yes, just 2), our adventures took us to caches…

imageIn the first week the kids and I ventured off to the South side of Sydney City, in search of a giant slide in an urban neighbourhood park in Waterloo I had read about.  I found nearby free parking at the nearby SuperCentre, and we walked to the park, hidden between several apartment high rises, where we stayed and played for quite a while. The park itself was pretty cool – the giant slide we’d come for was at least 3.5 storeys high, and was clearly the most popular piece of equipment here, but besides that there was a large green space with a small raised platform, suitable for community concerts, a communal BBQ and table area, several fixed ping pong tables and 2 painted handball courts.  It impressed me greatly, but sadly there were no caches within spitting distance – and me without a container at hand 😕 – I hope by the time we return someone has placed something here because the place is worthy of the attention in my mind, despite the high muggle population.  Besides, there wasn’t even any caches in or near the place we’d parked which was also a little surprising, but never mind. The girls had declared they only wanted to find a “lunchbox cache with treasure” (read, regular size with SWAG) so while they played I had looked up their criteria finding one that not only was a suitable size and held a travel bug (if nothing else) but it also had 20-something favourite points. Good enough for me, so that’s where we navigated to when we were done with our play…

I was intrigued by the cache name/theme, “The Martian Embassy“, and recalled a piece of street art in the middle of Redfern that would fit the bill for a spaceship crash so I assumed that’s where we were headed, but after finding a place to park and walking towards GZ we found ourselves on the other side of the busy street to the steel artwork. And then I saw the shop called “The Martian Embassy” and knew we were in the right spot, although I couldn’t quite shake the fact that this would have crossed my reviewers line for “commercial”, and the cache (by that na mean) wouldn’t have been allowed – but in this case, it had been approved, and was well favourited, so who am I to say any differently? imageAnyway, there was a busstop seat right there (handily) so I directed the girls to sit so we could look first, being the location that we were in – and in doing so we spied the simple pipe mechanism attached to the front of the shop itself. GeoJorjy did the honours of unscrewing the lid to get the cache within, and we they sifted through the limited contents to choose their Prix while I signed, before a stealthy (or not) return by GeoJorjy – who then pressed herself up against the window to peer inside the business 😂.

With only urban micros around for miles we headed next for Mumma-Jen’s office, where I left the kids for a while to file, while I ducked down the road for a nearby puzzle and multi, near Central Station. The puzzle is much like a multi, requiring a visit to numerous points in King Alfred Park to gather info, but after completing a lap of the park the numbers I garnered put me in the grounds of UNSW several Kim’s away, and I knew this finished in the same park, so I left it (albeit grumbling to myself) for another day. The multi on the other hand was quite straightforward – a row of busts gave me the info needed and pointed me to metal eaves at the side of the station – perfect for an urban magnetic micro… But the hint matched a label on a little locked cabinet right at GZ, so I spent far too long trying to stealthily jimmy it open – which by its appearance had also been done by cachers past – only then to run my hand under the eave to find the magnetic key hide I had first anticipated!

Caches found: 2 (#1216-1217)

Date found: 13th April 2016

Location: Redfern & Ultimo, Sydney, NSW

Found with: GeoJorjy & Remmus (found one but not the other)
imageA week or so later the girls and I headed off to Newcastle – we arrived at the foreshore thinking we’d wander all the way along to the lighthouse at Nobby’s, but the parking I found would have cost a small fortune to stay more than an hour, so we picked a single Harbourside cache and headed for it – After a bit of prodding around the edges of the garden beds we found the teensy nano at the back of a street light post… And when I say we, I mean eagle-eyed GeoJojy found it 😉 – and so after a shirt wander we were back to the car and headed for our targeted adventure destination, Caves Beach. I had noted a cluster of caches along the coastal tracks above the caves, and out to Pinny Beach, and figured it would make for a fun few hours, and it certainly paid its dividends.

imageWe started first toward the top end of the track, where we walked out to the SpoonBill Lookout (and 165-odd metres beyond) and found ourselves 3 caches for our troubles… The worst here was the tall grass that at times was taller than the girls, but it was a well worn track, and all the coordinates were good. While walking the kids took an interest in the break wall we could see below, and were delighted when I told them there was a cache out on its end, which sped our return trek on the linear trail back to the car, where we moved ourselves to a different trailhead a little further down the hillside.

This was the track that would lead us to the beach and the break wall, with a cache to find at either end of the trail as well as the point of the break wall – so we paused just as soon as we’d started …and just as the geogirls spotted it and dove in for the retrieval an older couple paused on their way past us and said “congratulations, you found it!” – I turned to greet the fellow cachers, and the kindly gent saw that the kids weren’t satisfied by the minimal offerings of SWAG in this one, so reached into his pocket and fished out 4 Penny’s, giving one each to the girls and tossing 2 into the cache – “Now there’s a prepared geocacher I said, and he smiled in achknowledgement before they continued on their way down to the beach leaving us to pack the cache away… And as they wandered off I realised I hadn’t asked their name, nor introduced ourselves properly 😱… Oh well. Ce la vie.

We continued down the track, which gave us more lovely views along the way until we reached the beach, and the next GZ – a short search there and we found the small container tucked away behind a rock, with more Penny’s inside which I convinced the girls to leave for others seeing as how the gentleman had already given them both one, and then we headed toward the break wall. imageThe Cache page for this one tells an interesting story of a failed industrial site here many moons ago, leaving this poorly constructed break wall – but it wasn’t until the girls and I were more than halfway along before I realised this was a terrain 4 – oh, whoops… At least we,d obviously managed to time it with the right tide or wave activity because we weren’t really having any issues, although it was slow going across the Jagger’s edges, and what’s more all three of us were having a great time doing it, so that’s what mattered, and I smiled to myself when I next realised that my geogirls were about to get a 3rd to find on this terrain 4 cache 😃

imageReaching the headland of sorts, we spied some cool rock stacks – not the kind where there’s a cache underneath, but the kind where people almost magically stack rocks in a balancing art form.  We decided to inspect them closer, and the girls spent a short while trying to create their own mini stacks before we crossed over to GZ – and quickly found the cache wedged between some big stones, not likely to wash away anytime soon. as we signed third in line, I marvelled that there was so few people who had found this one, despite it being active right through the summer season…and finding yet more penny’s here, I also wondered if it was possible the couple we et earlier were in fact the CO… But I guess I’ll never know.

imageReturning back to the beach via the less active side of the wall, getting a little more wet on the way back than we did on the way in ;quite intentionally) and a little play on the beach before returning up the track to our car, the girls had had their fill, so the remaining caches down at Caves Beach would wait for another days adventure 😀

Caches found: 7 (#1218-1224)

Date found:

Location: Newcastl & Caves/Pinny Beach, Newcastle, NSW

Found with: GeoJorjy and Remmus (who decided to be called geokitty for the day…don’t ask!)

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