A couple of weeks ago I went on a geocaching expedition to the Central Coast with three other geocachers – lasramblas, Damo, and Darren from The Spindoctors (host of the Geotalk podcast). We had a few caches on our hitlist for the day, with two must-do caches – Head like a box, and #4 “Wonderful”. These are two of the oldest caches in NSW, having been placed in 2001. This makes them two of the qualifying geocaches for the Old School Challenge – New South Wales cache. In order to find this challenge cache, you need to find ten of the forty or so caches in NSW which were placed in 2000 or 2001. I’d already found a couple of these, so the plan was to add two more to the tally.
It was an early start for a Sunday morning, with a 7:30am departure from our meeting spot. Within an hour, we were at our first cache for the day (Go ask Charles). This one set the scene for the day, with an uphill walk to the cache location. We consulted Charles and calculated the final location, then went and found the cache.
The next cache (Rumbalara Rocks) also involved an uphill walk, but we were able to take a break along the way to find The Angel, Islington. The Angel took us longer to find than it should have (I’m blaming the early morning start).
Our next couple of stops were at puzzles caches that I’d solved a while ago but hadn’t had the chance to go and find. They were SuDoKu – Easy and Sudoku – Medium, and the terrain reflected the puzzle difficulty, too. The starting point for the walk to the medium difficulty was at a lookout that I’d been to a couple of times, and it has great views down the coast.
Next up was our first must-do cache for the day, Head like a box. It was a slow and careful drive to the parking area in our two wheel drive car, with Darren going a good job of avoiding all the ruts/potholes/washouts along the way. We had a half-hour walk to get to the cache location, and it was a nice walk through the coastal vegetation. It was a pretty straightforward trip, with the terrain only getting a bit tricky towards the end. In the end lasramblas made the scramble near the cliff edge to grab the container. It was a shame that the weather wasn’t a bit nicer, but we still had a good view south towards Barrenjoey and Pittwater.
We found the last of the three puzzle caches (Sudoku – Hard) before lunch, after another uphill walk. Lunch was a quick stop, then off for some more caching.
Our first post-lunch find (Crommelin’s Pearl) was another opportunistic one, as it was near our first (and incorrect) parking spot for Barrel-O-GeoMonkeys II (Reload). It was in an arboretum that I’d never heard of before. It was a nice quiet spot which I think I’ll come back to for a proper look around.
We found a better spot to park for our walk to Barrel-O-GeoMonkeys II (Reload), and it was nice to walk along the beach for a change. We had to go into the bush to find the cache, and there was a bit of a bush-bash involved. In the end we found the cache (a nice large container).
Finally, we arrived at the parking area for the other old cache on our list, #4 “Wonderful”. This one was located at the top of Mount Wondabyne, and we wondered if we’d be able to find it and get back to the car before it got too dark. In the end we decided to go for it, so we set off at a pretty quick pace. It was a fairly easy walk along a fire trail for most of the way, but things got a bit harder once we were at the top of the mountain. My legs were feeling it by this stage, but I knew this would probably be the only time I’d get a chance to go for this cache. After a scramble up the rocks we got to the top, and the search commenced. Darren found the cache, which was quite fitting as he’d previously been unable to find the cache earlier this year. After taking some photos and admiring the view, it was time to head back to the car.
We took a different route back, and arrived at the car at about 5:45pm. It was a long day with a lot of walking (which my right knee reminded me of for the next day or so) but it was a great day out. It was nice to go and do some “real” geocaching out in the bush, rather than trying to sneak around in an urban area. I’d definitely be up for another day like this. All I need to do is come up with a list of caches to find, and round up a posse of geocachers for the trip.