24 February 2013 – Breaking a Sweat Around Blouberg Part 2

199 Tricky Choices#199 TRICKY CHOICES (GC2FG75)
Blouberg in Cape Town, South Africa

S33°48.311 E18°27.963

This Mystery Cache was properly our favourite hide for the day.

The coordinates takes you to a little bench in a small, elevated open space with a tiny jungle gym, some terraces, steps and a palm tree, all located within the confines of a 15m x 40m servitude between two buildings.  The trick was that the location of the cache was unknown and it was up to you to make the right choice in your surveillance of the area to spot it…

Not an easy one, but clever and extremely well hidden – got a favourite point from the Bossies!

Visit Tricky Choices at www.geocaching.com

200 Penny For Your Thoughts#200 PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS (GC439HH)
Blouberg in Cape Town, South Africa

S33°48.302 E18°27.799

Our two-hundredth cache!

This cache led us along the promenade toward a little deck onto the beach.

Visit Penny For Your Thoughts at www.geocaching.com

201 SS Robben Island#201 SS: ROBBEN ISLAND (GC2K0X2)
Blouberg in Cape Town, South Africa

S33°47.983 E18°27.472

Robben Island (Afrikaans: Robbeneiland) is an island in Table Bay, located about 7 km west off the coast of Bloubergstrand.   This flat island raises barely a few meters above sea level  and measures 3.3 x 1.9 km with a surface area of approximately 5.07 km².

Robben Islands boasts many notorious and later famous occupants, most being former political prisoners ranging from Harry, die Strandloper – also known as Autshumato, to South African icon, freedom fighter and Nobel laureate, Nelson Mandela.

The island was also used as a leper colony and animal quarantine station during the 1800’s.

Visit SS: Robben Island at www.geocaching.com

202 Impressionist Sunset#202 IMPRESSIONIST SUNSET (GC189VQ)
Kenridge in Durbanville, South Africa

S33°51.682 E18°38.131

Our last cache for the day was an impromptu go at a little urban micro hidden along a pond in Kenridge.  We ended our day with a good laugh while watching a hydrophilic Labrador attempting to pull a wet one over an unsuspecting Egyptian goose.

Visit Impressionist Sunset at www.geocaching.com

24 February 2013 – Breaking a Sweat Around Blouberg Part 1

195 The Little Wooden Bridge#195 THE LITTLE WOODEN BRIDGE (GC3WE52)
Parklands in Cape Town, South Africa

S33°48.858 E18°29.416

Re-energized and excited following breakfast at the Event Cache gathering earlier the morning, the Bossies temporarily merged with an impressive group of seasoned cachers to quickly go grab two caches that had remained elusive for quite a few trained eyes – the first being a minute nano cleverly hidden under a little wooden bridge in Parklands.

This one had remained amiss mainly due to it being very well hidden and the fact that its extraction required you lying flat on you back while having a go at it with a pair of fine-tipped pliers!

We managed to sign the log, thanks to some teamwork and we were off to the next vertiginous challenge…

Visit The Little Wooden Bridge at www.geocaching.com

196 The Inconvenient Cache#196 THE INCONVENIENT CACHE (CG42YXQ)
Parklands in Cape Town, South Africa

S33°48.312 E18°29.537

This cache located a good 4 metres up a lamp post had been on Brunette’s list for a while – mainly for it being a relative easily accessible 5-star difficulty terrain cache IF you conveniently had a ladder AND a way to transport it to Parklands…

So, after attending a conveniently situated Cache Event on a conveniently temperate day and conveniently along a group of seasoned cachers armed with Landy’s, high-clearance 4×4’s, special tools and the odd, convenient ladder strapped to a trailer… we finally had a chance to grab this now convenient cache!

Thanks Paddawan for making this one possible.

Visit The Inconvenient Cache at www.geocaching.com

197 Electric Tower#197 ELECTRIC TOWER (GC3TZFF)
Parklands in Cape Town, South Africa

S33°48.344 E18°29.669

Well, not much to say here…  It’s an electric tower and we found the cache…

Oh, and we don’t like ESCOM very much…

Visit Electric Tower at www.geocaching.com

198 A Whale's Tale#198 A WHALE’S TALE (GC439H7)
Blouberg in Cape Town, South Africa

S33°49.293 E18°28.594

This was a quick park-and-grab located on the traffic circle in central Blouberg.

Again we met up with quite a few fellow cachers at Ground Zero; not too sure we mastered true stealth with this one…  Mob-caching!

Visit A Whale’s Tale at www.geocaching.com

Continue this adventure in Part 2…

24 February 2013 – Meeting the Community

eventAccording to geocaching.com, an Event Cache is a gathering of local geocachers or geocaching organizations to discuss geocaching.  The Event Cache page specifies a time for the event and provides coordinates to its location.  After the event, the cache is archived.

194 Breakfast, Ducks and Castles#194 BREAKFAST, DUCKS AND CASTLES (GC45NFH)
Driftwood Cafe in Parklands, South Africa

S33°48.880 E18°30.116

Finally, our first Event Cache and a chance to meet the hiders and the seekers, legends and the infamous, the sneaky and the challenging…

So, we called up the Chappies and had ourselves booked for a table.  All enjoyed a pleasant breakfast arranged by ipodmusicman, before setting off on a day of caching in and around Parklands and Blouberg.

Visit Breakfast, Ducks and Castles at www.geocaching.com

23 February 2013 – En Route to a Braai

193 Bellville N1 - R300#193 BELLVILLE N1 – R300 (GC3BRG2)
Eversdal in Bellville, South Africa

S33°52.231 E18°39.991

This was our first Mystery Cache ever attempted AND solved; took us a while, though to go grab it.

We were on our way to Deb and the Dolphin for a long-overdue braai, so took the opportunity for a quick detour to log this one.

Visit Bellville N1 – R300 at www.geocaching.com

17 February 2013 – Quack Quack

192 Donald Duck#192 DONALD DUCK
Heldervue in Somerset West, South Africa

S34°03.518 E18°48.889

This aptly named cache is located next to a small, urban dam frequented by a large variety of spur-winged geese (wilde makoue), white quacker ducks, cape shovellers, mallards and several other feathered friends.

Visit Donald Duck at www.geocaching.com

16 February 2013 – Bad Luck in the Mother City

We all know that most caching trips have the occasional, almost obligatory DNF (or Did Not Find); such is life.  But then you get the odd day where the winds are against you, the sun is in your eyes, your GPS is all over the place and the Cache Fates simply throw you an empty hand…  This was such a day!

Our first failed attempt was located on the incomplete overpass located alongside the N2 inbound.  Two  approaches via the N2 failed to give us a safe spot to access it and resulted in several red-faced, fuming fellow motorists being confounded by the Sugar-mobile travelling at 20km/h in the right-hand lane with their right indicator on…

From here we moved on – maybe a bit ambitious, by eye-balling our first Letterbox Hybrid Cache.  Letterboxing is yet another form of treasure hunting using clues instead of coordinates, and we wanted to grab our first one located in the Golden Acre Mall in Cape Town.  Unfortunately, inexperience, being pressed for time and thousands of muggles, vendors, flower sellers, and other dodgy looking characters prevented us from really giving this one a go.

Our third botched attempt was a mystery cache about SA sailing legend, Bertie Reed.  The coordinates took us to the roof of the breakwater parking garage in the V&A Waterfront.  Unfortunately, this area was cordoned off for some private party function…

191 Mount Nelson Hotel#191 MOTHER CITY MEANDER SERIES – MOUNT NELSON HOTEL
Orange Street in Cape Town, South Africa

S33°55.884 E18°24.802

The Mount Nelson, our saving grace; we finally found one next to this iconic pink hotel.

The Mount Nelson opened on 6 March 1899 and was built to emulate London’s finest and was the first South African hotel to offer both hot and cold running water.  It was named The Mount Nelson in honour of Admiral Lord Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and because of its proximity to Table Mountain.

It functioned as a British headquarters during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and housed the likes of Lords Roberts, Kitchener and Buller, as well as a young, up-and-coming war correspondent named Winston Churchill…

The hotel was painted its iconic pink by Aldo Renato, the second manager in celebration of the end of the First World War.  Pink hotels were popular throughout Europe for the next few decades, and so it was that Mount Nelson Hotel retained her blush and is still known as “Cape Town’s famous pink hotel”.

The current entrance gate (also known as the Prince of Wales Gate) and its palm-lined driveway were constructed in preparation for a visit by the Prince of Wales to the hotel in 1925.

Visit Mount Nelson Hotel at www.geocaching.com

10 February 2013 – Wedding Weekend Road Trip Part 3

We ended our weekend road trip with some urban micro-caching in Stellenbosch.  As explained in one of our previous blogs, urban caching is more often about the ingenuity of the container and hide than about the scenery.  However, urban caching in scenic Stellenbosch is one of the few exceptions to the rule – brilliant containers (most of them compliments of Hesamati) in an urban setting of oak-lined avenues, lush riverbank gardens and historic buildings and streets…

182 Simonsrust#182 SIMONSRUST (GC3JNGX)
Simonswyk in Stellenbosch, South Africa

S33°55.591 E18°52.629

This was a traditional magnetic nano hidden amongst a grouping of public postboxes.

Visit Simonsrust at www.geocaching.com

 

183 Stellenbosch Views#183 STELLENBOSCH VIEWS (GC3C1R3)
Unie Park in Stellenbosch, South Africa

S33°55.780 E18°53.243

Number two for the day was a cleverly disguised micro hidden in a small, urban park…

Visit Stellenbosch Views at www.geocaching.com

184 001 - Tree Graveyard#184 001 – TREE GRAVEYARD (GC441QW)
Botmaskop in Stellenbosch, South Africa

S33°55.725 E18°53.559

We found this beautiful specimen of Argiope australis (one of the garden orb-web spiders) with its brightly coloured, scalloped abdomen and banded legs quite close to the cache and had to take very special care not to disturb this master weaver nor her webbed masterpiece…

Visit Tree Graveyard at www.geocaching.com

185 Eersterivier#185 EERSTERIVIER (GC1NB99)
Karindal in Stellenbosch, South Africa

S33°56.336 E18°53.215

This well disguised micro was hidden in Brümmer Park – a lush, riverside park situating along the Eersterivier.

Without a doubt a hidden gem and well-deserved of a favourite point!

Visit Eersterivier at www.geocaching.com

186 Doc Craven & Bliksem#186 DOC CRAVEN & BLIKSEM (GC2N1V3)
Near Coetzenburg in Stellenbosch, South Africa

S33°56.293 E18°52.349

Number five was a cleverly disguised, Hesamati-mechanics cache near the statue of Matie rugby patriarch and SA rugby legend, Dr Daniël Hartman Craven, or as he is more famously known, Doc Craven.

Visit Doc Craven & Bliksem at www.geocaching.com

187 Hesamati is 1#187 HESAMATI IS 1 (GC1YG6C)
Along the Eerste River in Stellenbosch, South Africa

S33°56.368 E18°51.893

This was another cleverly disguised Hesamati cache hidden on a bridge across the Eerste River…

Visit Hesamati is 1 at www.geocaching.com

 

188 Stellenbosch TB Lodge#188 STELLENBOSCH TB LODGE (GC2X329)
Verbatim Book Shop in Stellenbosch, South Africa

S33°56.320 E18°51.670

This very intellectual hide is hidden within a popular book shop in Dorp Street – just a pity it did not house any travellers for us to log…

Visit Stellenbosch TB Lodge at www.geocaching.com

189 The Town That Never Sleeps#189 THE TOWN THAT NEVER SLEEPS (GC39Q7R)
Die Boord in Stellenbosch, South Africa

S33°56.901 E18°50.933

This was a quick park-and-grab in a small, urban park in Die Boord…

Visit The Town That Never Sleeps at www.geocaching.com

 

190 Duiker Crescent#190 DUIKER CRESCENT (GC45NFR)
Sandbaai, South Africa

S34°25.569 E19°11.634

Our last cache for the day was an unexpected bonus – a brand new, just published cache up for First To Find (FTF) honours right in our home town!

It was a bit of a rush to get there in time, but “Found it!” and a second FTF to the Suikerbossies!

Visit Duiker Crescent at www.geocaching.com