A mystery cache (sometimes also called a puzzle cache) is a cache that requires the finder to solve an intricate puzzle to obtain the true coordinates for the cache container.
The puzzle can be anything from a simple decryption or substitution cipher, to a complex enigma requiring ingenuity, logic, mathematical skill, lateral thinking… and a whole lot of luck!
The big challenge solving mystery caches and then blogging about it, is that we can’t share with the reader the bit that enthused us the most – how we got to solve the puzzle! A typical sword of Damocles – sharing the fun, automatically spoils it for the next cacher.
So, for the sake of this blog and out of respect for the caching community, we will just post these types of caches without giving away too much on how we managed to solve the final coordinates…
Our first mystery cache, and not just any mystery cache…
Google Spy, with its 5-out-of-5 difficulty rating, is an awe-inspiring, cuber-reconnaissance challenge requiring level upon level of cyber-sleuthing, intel-gathering and internet snooping.
We decided to draw fellow cachers, the Chappies into our spy network and with a clever shake-and-a-stir of our intellects, we achieved the remarkable feat of solving this one in the space of an afternoon.
Suffice to say, even the great Mr Bond would have been obliged to offered us a Martini toast on solving this one…
This was another mystery cache that required an on-line stroll with Google Earth, and soon the penny dropped…
This was a quick park-and-grab in a grassed park with beautiful kid’s jungle gym.
And another park-and-grab next to the Helderberg Nature Reserve… Still trying to figure out the name – Red Tree, as the cache was placed under a large, red rock with no tree in sight?!
“Gummi Bearrrrrrrrrs, bouncing here and there and everywhere…” – pretty much what Blonde Suikerbos did after having a close encounter of the reptilian kind in this beautiful and secluded blue gum forrest. Still not sure what it was, but needless to say, she quickly retreated to an open, shady spot, leaving the bundu bashing to Brunette.
Oddly enough, it was Blonde who from her vantage point soon spotted the perfect hidey hole – quite a way off the given coordinates. A quick grab by bush-whacking Brunette and on to our next.
This cleverly hidden micro, named for the common furniture beetle, was hidden along the Lourens River.
Interestingly, the Lourens used to be known as the Second River, with the First being in Stellenbosch.
Our last one for the day, was a mystery cache requiring some deciphering of DNA, base nucleotides, codons and amino acids, and eventually brought us to a hill in Rome Glen with a panoramic view of False Bay.
Seven done, and time to return home for a cold one and a dip in Brunette’s folk’s swimming pool.