Friday, 27 June 2014

A few interesting caches

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday was a quiet day with some people from a craft group visiting and so I worked on my miniature plants.  I made a few water lilies with which I am not very impressed.  Perhaps they need some more work.  Will get to them later.

The weather wasn't very inviting to go for walks, so we had a quiet day at home.

On Tuesday morning I decided to go and walk to one of the caches nearby.  I'd found out that it was back on the list after it had been disabled for a while.  It didn't show on my GPS the day before, because I had downloaded older information.

T2A-R: Show Up (BOP)

The gate to the showgrounds

T2A-R: Show Up (BOP)

This one was kind of interesting, because first of all I discovered that the new information hadn't downloaded correctly, so I did not have the correct co-ordinates.  However I didn't notice until I had replaced my batteries which died at the moment I walked towards GZ.  Fortunately I had read the description at home and remembered the hint.  I also had had a closer look on Google Earth, so I was happy to come well-prepared.  I found the container without difficulty and signed the log.  On the way back the same lady who was looking out of her window across the fields was still standing at her same spot, but she couldn't have seen me as I had disappeared behind a high fence.  I used my camera as a kind of distraction, appearing to take pictures of the various buildings in the show grounds.

After lunch the weather cleared a bit more so my friend was happy to drive me to Waihi, where I wanted to go back to an earlier cache and to a few around the gold mine.

T2A-R: Take a Break at the Lake (Waihi, Waikato)

T2A-R: Take a Break at the Lake (Waihi, Waikato)

This was a cache I couldn't find the first time around, but after a friendly e-mail message from the CO I wanted to give it another go, and it worked, which means, I understood the hint better. ;-)  I signed the log while my friend waited in her car (to hide me a bit from muggles) and then we were on our way again.  This time to the gold mine in the middle of the town.

The Pumphouse (Bay of Plenty)

It's correct name: The Cornish Pumphouse

Some camo!

The Pumphouse (Bay of Plenty)

This particular cache I really wanted to find, because Frank and I had been standing right here a month before we started geocaching and we never even realised it!  I have very fond memories of this area, because it has beautiful walking tracks and we have walked just about everywhere here.  Even Kevin, our son, knows the mine, because we have taken him there to show him around a few years earlier.

This cache was not very easy to find, but eventually I noticed a possible hiding place and after a bit of unloading small rocks I had the container in hand.  Then it was back to the car and onto the next ones around the other area of the mine.

Waihi Martha Lookout, Bay of Plenty

Waihi Martha Lookout, Bay of Plenty

This is one of the lookouts around the mine where you can observe the work in progress.  We have spent many an hour here just watching the hive of activity.  The cache was an easy find and since it was still a bit cool and overcast there weren't any muggles around.

Martha Gold and Silver Mine (Waihi)


Martha Gold and Silver Mine (Waihi) 

In this corner were two more caches: an earth cache and a virtual cache.  As they were close together I wanted to try to get them as well while I was there.  The earth cache required answers to a number of questions that I got right and I was allowed to log my find.  The picture I had to take myself using the self-timer on my camera as my friend stayed in the car while I was on my mission.

It's not mine, it's Martha's (Bay of Plenty)

It's not mine, it's Martha's (Bay of Plenty) 

The virtual cache only required the serial number of the big truck, but I took a picture anyway.  This one was okay to log as well, so all in all I managed to find 18 geocaches in New Zealand.  Not a bad result. After all it's more than one cache a day.

The next morning all the fun was over and I had to pack for the trip home.  The shuttle arrived at 11:30am and the flight home was quite uneventful.  I managed to finish a movie which I had started on the first flight and watched a second one as well.  At home we were delayed for 20 minutes and circled in a holding pattern for the duration.  Customs was a breeze and my son didn't have to wait too long.

So, I say goodbye till the next caching adventure...

Monday, 23 June 2014

Only four days to go now...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday was a quiet day, mostly at home.  We started the day early watching a soccer match which we enjoyed and later walked to the shops.  Since the weather kept dry I walked on to one of the caches I knew to be fairly nearby.  I had to let the puzzle cache go, because where I thought GZ to be was very busy with muggles.  Council people or such like clearing the area around the trees of leaves... Just my luck!

Kati Park ( Bay of Plenty)

Kati Park ( Bay of Plenty)

First of all it took a while for my GPS to settle and then I still had a hard time searching. Fortunately I had memorised a photograph at home and this helped me in the end.  Still, it took me half an hour or more altogether to find the cache and I was happy to get this log signed.

At home we spent most of the afternoon working on our crafts again. I made a pot of cyclamen and an orchid. Very fiddly work as usual, but an afternoon well spent.



The orchid doesn't look right, but it's only a temporary picture as I will need to put it together properly when I am home.  Miniature flowers don't travel well anyway... ;-)

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Time flies...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My memory is playing up again, but I believe that on Thursday morning we went back into Katikati town to check on the murals that I couldn't find the day before. The tourist information centre in the library couldn't help me, but I knew there to be more murals than previously listed, so we went in search for those.  Lucky enough we found them and they provided me with the answers that I needed.  Although they still didn't provide enough information to find the 2nd cache I gave it another try, but to no avail.

In the meantime we went to the local bakery to have lunch with Dorothee's friends, one of whom I'd met before, and a new one.  The bakery's menu wasn't very exciting and I clearly made the wrong choice: Hot cakes with bacon, bananas and honey.  It would have been reasonably nice if the hot cakes had been fluffy and light, but they were very dense and floury and spoilt the meal.  For lunch it was far too much as well, so I cannot say I enjoyed it, and neither did I enjoy the Chai latte to wash down the meal with, because it was far too sweet.  Oh well, life can't be perfect all the time.  It would be soooo boring...

Later in the day we played around with a few flower kits in 12th scale, because we both have dollshouses and miniatures as a hobby.  We made Hollyhocks and I also made the pink Hibiscus.

The red ones are Dorothee's and
the pink ones are mine

Pink Hibiscus

I also looked into my geocache puzzle and after using the rule of elimination in Google Earth, as planned, I discovered that I had been looking near a series of particular trees that are repeated a bit further down the road, so I may have to go back to have another look at those.  Preferably sometime before I go home... ;-)

Friday, June 20, 2014

I have prepared a series of caches to search for in and on the way to Waihi.  We find a quick one along the road side at a truck stop, which I forgot to photograph, but took a picture from the car on the way back.

T2A-R: Truck Stop (Waihi, Waikato)

To be honest, this wasn't the most exciting find, but sometimes an easy grab is enough to boost the numbers. ;-)  We could've almost parked the car next to it and retrieve it through the window...  In Waihi we had another search for a cache near Lake Gilmour, but there were too many muggles having morning tea in their cars (again!) and I could not work out the hint.  However, later in the day, when I had logged my DNF I received a very helpful message from the CO so if we can go back to Waihi I will have another go at it.

After this one we had just enough time left for a quick dash to the quilt shop (Dorothee) and the local supermarket for a bottle of wine (Marion) and then we made our way to Merv and Josie where we were expected for lunch.  We spent a pleasant afternoon together and I must say I enjoyed their simple lunch so much more than the one the day before.  Just to show that it's not always necessary to be extravagant and sometimes the company is just as important, if not more.  I would have loved to spend more time with them, but there are never enough hours in the day, are there?

A little incident made us rather late for further caching in Waihi, so we picked up a few on the way home.

Waihi Permanent Rest Area, Bay of Plenty

Waihi Permanent Rest Area, Bay of Plenty

Normally I am not very successful at cemeteries, but this one was easy.  I needed only one half of the hint and there was no reason to disturb the residents...

Bigger and Better ???? Rest Area ,Bay of Plenty

Bigger and Better ???? Rest Area ,Bay of Plenty


"Bigger" was not about the rocks, but about the rest area.  Still, GZ was very clearly near the big rock, so again an easy find.  The last one for the day.

On the way home we stopped off at the local farmer's market for some produce and we had a quiet night at home.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Not many plans for the day, but shopping in Tauranga was on the list.  We tried a few caches while in town, but it being a busy Saturday morning there were too many muggles around, and one, we discovered too late, was a multi cache of which the questions did not show on my GPS.  This was a pity, because it was at a historical village and could have been interesting.  At another stop some oldies gave me dirty looks when they saw me scrounging about and a third one was in a playground where children were running around and plenty of tennis players arrived.  So, in the end I was left with the one I found on the way in:

Aongatete Domain (Bay of Plenty)

Aongatete Domain (Bay of Plenty)

A fairly easy walk past the tennis courts into the bush following my compass towards GZ.  A big enough container not to be overlooked and there I had my one and only cache of the day!

The rest of the day was spent watching the soccer highlights, updating my blog and playing endless games of Wordfeud and WordOn!

What's up tomorrow?  I don't know...

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

One more...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I had some time on my own this morning and thought it a good idea to walk into town and start working on a multi cache, which to my mind also was a puzzle cache.  I am in Katikati at present and this town is well-known for its murals.  The multi cache exists of two caches and to find the second cache one has to walk through town, find certain murals and answer questions to obtain the waypoints for the second cache.  The second one will have the numbers to add to the co-ordinates to the final cache.

Problem: there are more murals now than in the past and they are not all numbered in the questions.  Makes it very hard to find them all and find the answers to the questions.  Then I think I have the correct co-ordinates for the 2nd cache, but can't find it.  It doesn't help that there is no verification of the co-ordinates, so you don't really know what you're doing.

Anyway, I am going to have a look again tomorrow for the final cache, because I may be able to skip the 2nd one and use the rule of elimination for the final one.  You'll no doubt hear from me if I have found it. :-)

T2A-R: Haiku (BOP)

one of the murals in town

T2A-R: Haiku (BOP)

Since I was walking through town anyway I thought I may as well pick up this one, as I was passing by. Had to have a go at it three times, because of muggles sitting on a bench nearby, but finally got it.  Signed the log quickly before other people needed to have a rest...

Next I will be preparing for a few caches in Waihi.  Tomorrow we've got other plans, besides me probably looking for the multi again, but on Friday we're going to visit friends in Waihi with whom Frank and I have done a house swap in the past.  Will be nice to see them again.  Unfortunately we stayed there a month before we knew about geocaching, otherwise we would have had a lot more smileys...

Monday, 16 June 2014

A few more days (and caches) in New Zealand

Sunday, June 15, 2014

While I am in New Zealand the World Cup Soccer is on and not to be missed.  Unfortunately I had miscalculated the starting date so it happened to coincide with my stay here and not all matches are televised. I have to make do with one match a day now and then and the highlights of all matches at night time.  Better this than nothing at all.

Sunday morning, however, I have to cut short my TV time as we are going to visit a friend of Dorothee's. The sun is out, so we walk over and back after coffee and a chat.  The rest of the day is spend playing games on our tablets (yes, us oldies are hooked!) and working on a few of our 12th scale kits, because we are both miniaturists and love hobbying together.  We are making hollyhocks, Dorothee a red one, and I a pink one.  Pictures may follow when I have some spare time... ;-)

Then Monday comes around and we go for a half our drive to Tauranga in search for shoes for Dorothee and... a few caches on the way!  Shoes are found soon enough, but not so the caches.  Most of them are in high-traffic (high-muggle areas in geo-speak!) and with people breathing down your neck you can't do a lot. 

So, the first three already are a DNF (Did Not Find).  A fourth one can't be reached and two other ones on the list I had forgotten to download on my GPS.  I don't have international roaming on my sim card in the tablet, so my back-up is non-existing...

We have stopped for coffee in between the searches and are now ready to return to Katikati.  We stop off at a supermarket and... there is a cache nearby.

Sign of the times 5 (Bay of Plenty)

Sign of the times 5 (Bay of Plenty)

GZ is in the name of the cache, as it often is, so I know to walk up straight to it. A quick grab and the container is in my hands, the log signed.  Under the guise of taking photo's of the supermarket building the cache is replaced and I can do my shopping too.

Further down the road is a cache that we have tried to find on the way to Tauranga, but it's at a combined parking and picnic area, so there were too many muggles around.  We try this on the way back, but it being lunch time and there also being a van selling coffee and hot foods, it still is too busy.  Cars parked everywhere and people eating their lunch.  We stop to eat our pies that we'd bought earlier and that's all we can do.  On top of everything else I discover that I've lost my reading glasses.  B...., such things always happen when you're on holidays!

T2A-R: Stock on Station (BOP)

T2A-R: Stock on Station (BOP)

The last one of the day, close to the main road.  Again discovered by Dorothee, because I'd been reading out the details and was waiting for my compass to settle.  An easy find in a huge container, so I signed the log and put it back.  Then we were ready to head for home.  In Katikati we stopped at the chemist for me to buy new glasses (which later appeared to be too strong and had to be exchanged) and went on to settle with a cuppa at home.

Travelling again: New Zealand

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I am a little bit behind with my blog, but shortly after my little trip to Burrum Heads I was heading for New Zealand, so not much time to catch up with blogging.

Wednesday morning started early as in 3:30am! The shuttle bus arrived early to take me to the airport.  As it wasn't busy I had plenty of time before boarding and took a photo of the rising sun trying to peek through the clouds.

Brisbane International Airport

After a short and uneventful, but not unpleasant, flight I landed in Auckland where another shuttle was waiting for me to take me to Katikati and where the sun was shining.  After a stormy night with lots of damaging winds, I might add.

Auckland International Airport

Travelling through the mountain range and the gorge changed the outlook completely.  The sun disappeared and the first raindrops came down.  Meeting up again with Dorothee was great and the first night we had to catch up on a lot of news.  The next morning we were woken by a thunderstorm and the rest of the day wasn't any better.

On Friday the clouds lifted and as I had told Dorothee of my passion for geocaching she said she would take me to some nearby places to search for them.

Our first try-out was a cache at the lookout.  I have been there many times before and it provides a fantastic view over Katikati and surroundings.


Lindemann Lookout II (Bay of Plenty)

The area was still damp and muddy from the recent rains and I had to climb around on a slope underneath the ramp of the lookout.  Not very pleasant to say the least and worse of all: no results.  I took some colourful pictures of some mushrooms instead:

Our trip to the lookout was rather late in the afternoon, so it's all we did.  On Saturday we had more time, the weather was still good and the plan was to make the short trip to Athenree.

On our way we passed the lookout again, so I had another look.  By now I had had a good look at the logs and pictures, so I was sure I knew what I was looking for, but was still unsuccessful.

The next one was

Tanner's Lookout. (Bay of Plenty)

Tanner's Lookout. (Bay of Plenty)

It was indeed a pleasant lookout and the cache was a relatively easy find after a walk of some 300 metres. The hint was not very helpful, but using common sense helped me locating the cache after all.

First or Last View, Bay of Plenty, NZ

First or Last View, Bay of Plenty, NZ

Walking around and climbing in the tree didn't help me much and I had to climb down quickly again when Dorothee said: Got it!  A sneaky hiding place indeed.  The log was soon signed and we were on our way again to the next one.

Athenree Homestead (Bay of Plenty)

Athenree Homestead (Bay of Plenty)

Again Dorothee was quick!  Looking down at my compass I walked straight past the tree in which the cache was hidden.  I was rather glad Dorothee got it out of its hiding spot, because it was covered with mud, bark and... wood lice!

The next one I couldn't find.  Dorothee stayed in the car as it was a muddy walk in the grass.  I am not too sure if my coordinates were out or what, but GZ appeared to be in a place that I couldn't reach.  Well, there were more on the list:

Athenree Walk, ( Bay of Plenty )

Athenree Walk, ( Bay of Plenty )

This was again a walk of about 300 metres, so not too long.  GZ was easily determined and the cache almost out in the open.  The log was quickly signed and the cache hidden just a tad bit better for the next person to find.

We had lunch at my favourite restaurant, The Flippin' Bear.  Not that we had planned it that way, but I remembered a little restaurant on the way to Waihi Beach and The Flippin' Bear, which used to be on the main road, had moved into this building.  Lucky me, because it's a pancake restaurant and I just love pancakes!  Dorothee had a seafood chowder, which wasn't to her liking, but my pancake, with white chocolate, icecream, cream and raspberry sauce was delicious.

After lunch we were going to try for one last cache, but unfortunately we ended up at 17 metres from GZ which was on another walkway far down below us and which could only be reached by walking the length of that one.  As we didn't feel like driving to the start of the walkway we decided to call it a day.  The cache will still be there for us to find on another day if we're in the area.