Sunday, July 25, 2010

250 Finds

We knew that we were close to the 250 finds milestone so we set ourselves the goal of reaching this target.
 Looking at the geocache map we could see a lot of caches from one of our favourite cachers, Haksu10.
He is not only a cache hunter but a breeder of caches, and has bred some of the best caches in the area, if not the best, upon closer investigation we found that Haksu10 also had a pet cache on his ranch (Haksulandia), so armed with this knowledge we thought we should make this cache our 250th find, and at the same time try and meet with the Lord of the manor.
We got his phone number and sent him a text message laying out our plan, he replied by saying that he would be pleased to meet with us and would be in residence.
We have a function on our gps that alerts us when we are close to a cache or waypoint such as a parking place, it sets off a loud "ping" sound, it did not take us that long to find the needed caches to take us to 249 finds, just 1 away from our target.
Now we headed towards Haksulandia, nearing our target location our trusty gps let out the alert, but it did not just "ping" the once, in fact it would not stop going "ping", there were so many waypoints around that in the end we had to mute the gps.
There in the grounds of Haksulandia was the Lord of the manor, waiting to welcome us.
This is where the pressure was really on us, trying to find his pet cache, whilst the owner was following our every footstep.
He informed us that this cache has never had a single "did not find" logged on it, great just what we needed more pressure.
Then grazing in the shade we found his pet cache, and what a magnificent specimen it was. Mrs Geocacher logged the cache, and noted down all the travel bugs that were in residence, replenished our stock of silica gel bags from a large tub that is provided so that cachers are able to replace damp bags in other caches.
Then we went inside for refreshing coffee, biscuits and a chat with the Lord of the manor.
He showed us his collection of Geocoins and gave us a list of the tracking numbers so that we could log them, we also chatted about how new cachers are not being so accurate with terrain difficulty levels or coordinates (sometimes being up to 100 meters or 300ft away from the actual location), and how some are using unclean ice cream containers or margarine tubs.
We left feeling very pleased that we had made this our 250 finds milestone, and headed off to find a couple more to start us on our way to the next milestone.

Mr and Mrs Geocachers 250 Finds Geocoins

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mid-Summer (Juhannus)

Last weekend saw the mid-summer (juhannus) celebrations here in Finland, so like many people here in Finland we headed for the countryside, for us this means going to visit Geocaching mummy.
Well we had a really good time, going to sauna, grilling (indoors due to a bit of rain), and just relaxing.
Mrs Geocacher spent time with her mummy, while Mr Geocacher did some fishing (and fed the local mosquito's).
We did not stay the whole weekend because of getting home to the pets. So on the Saturday evening we headed off home. It was a nice evening so we thought we would hunt out a few caches on the way.
As it was the evening after mid-summer there was lots of dances going on, so we still had to be careful of muggles, well avoiding muggles and short showers of rain we managed to bag ourselves a nice batch of caches.
Below are just a few pictures from that evening, taken from or near cache locations.

 Taken near a cache location
 Yes we found a cache hiding near here
 This is one of the barn dances that was going on that evening, there is a cache close to this location. It is the oldest barn still hosting these dances in Finland, and has been hosting dances since 1949.
This was taken just after one of the short showers of rain, and yes it is at a cache location, plus I like this picture very much.
Well that is it for this post, but there will be more as we are both now on our summer holiday.
I also have some plans to write some kind of explanation about Geo-caching as a lot of people have been asking me about it, so if there is anything you wish to know or would like to read, now is the time to mention it in the comments below, and I will see if I can accommodate you or even answer your questions.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New look

I do have a new post to put up, but first I wanted to introduce you to the new look.
First off I have changed the blog name to that of our caching name.
Second I have changed the background and look.
I hope you all like the new changes.
So now that is out of the way it is back to normal posts, well as normal as you get from me  ;)

Saturday, June 5, 2010


It has been so long since I posted here, sorry for the delay but we have had so much going on that I just have not had much time.
There have been changes at work, leading to my working hours being changed, so I now do shift work and a lot of evening work.
We have moved to a newer apartment. We now have a much bigger balcony and our own private sauna in the apartment (pictures to follow at a later date).
Sadly our pets passed away at the start of the year, although we did not stay petless very long and now have two cute female pet rats (trying to teach them to find caches, but they are more interested in playing).
Before all this happened we did manage to take a short trip to England at the end of September and do a few of the local caches, we would like to thank the English cachers for some very good caches.

Yes, Mrs Geocacher still managed to find berries in England

"Erm, sorry are we suppose to be caching?
Well I thought I saw one run in here and hide"

Well not long after our return all the above happenings started, and added to that the winter arrived.
This is when we went into hibernation, with temperatures dropping to minus 21 degrees Celsius on most days  we put all our caching plans on hold, we had worked out some winter caches to do, but even those got passed over as it was far too cold for us.
Along with the freezing temperatures came the snow, and I for one have not seen this much snow in a long time.

Clearing the snow from the canteen roof
(isn't our uniform wonderful, at least it is warm)

Just a small pile of snow from the canteen roof

So finally around April the winter came to an end, and this is when we came out of hibernation.
Having moved about 6 miles (10 km) from where we were living in the city, to a suburb just outside, and an area we had not done any caching before, we thought we would use it to get our Geocaching eye back in focus, after all it would be a crime to not hunt the new caches on our own doorstep.
It did not take long for our Geocaching eye to zero in and we were soon able to log our first caches of the season. Sadly I did not have my camera with me so I do not have any pictures of that first hunting expedition.

Finally a really nice weekend arrived and we decided to visit Geocaching Mummy, plus work out a nice caching route to do on our way there. Whilst looking at potential caches for the route we came across one amusing log entry, it is in Finnish so here is the translation as best as I can do it, to set the scene for you here in Finland they have grill kiosks, they are kind of like roadside food caravans in England, but they are permanent constructions and are like small shops selling basic supplies, and they are not only on the roadside they are also in the towns as well.
So the log entry went something like this.

Cacher goes to search a cache but is unable to because of GeoMuggles NATSBOG.
Cacher sees a Grill Kiosk near the cache location and decides that he is hungry and will get something to eat.

Hungry Cacher to man behind the counter: "I would like a pizza please"
Man behind counter: "Don't have"
Hungry Cacher: "What do you mean? It says on the menu"
Man behind the counter: "Pizza maker gone shopping"
Hungry cacher: "Well a Kebab then"
Man behind the counter: "6 euros"
Hungry cacher: "but your sign says it is 4 euros"
Man behind the counter: "Yeah that's an add"
Hungry cacher: " OK and then 1 milk please"
Man behind the counter: "Don't have"
Hungry cacher: "but you do, I can see a 1 liter carton in your fridge"
Man behind the counter: "Don't have, thats empty"
So the Hungry cacher left without buying anything.

Any way we added this cache to our trip, but like the Hungry cacher we was unable to catch it as once again it was NATSBOG.
We had a lovely journey and logged every cache that we were able to search for, a few places were NATSBOG, but that was not surprising as it was a wonderfully hot sunny day.
We did however manage to log one cache that was on a bridge. "O wow a bridge cache, big deal" I hear you cry.
This concrete bridge is almost 100 years old and even had a battle fought on it during the Finnish civil war, these days not much traffic flows over the bridge as it has a 4T weight limit, and so a new bridge has been built close by.

The view across the bridge

View from one side of the bridge

View from the other side of the bridge, with the replacement bridge in the near distance

Our next adventure took place one evening.
Seeing as it was a nice evening and we did not have much to do we decided to go out and find a couple of caches that had managed to escape us in the past. The first that we headed for we had tried several times before and for one reason or another we had never been able to hunt it down, muggles, weather or some other thing getting in our way.
The cache was part of a series and this part was a puzzle cache, although we do not normally do puzzle caches this one was different as it is part of the series and the puzzle gets solved as you do the other parts, so a kind of multicache puzzle cache combo.
Here we was again back at the final location, would we this time bring and end to this most tricky of caches.
Arriving at the location we were once again faced with muggles, but they seemed to be preoccupied with their own activities, so the hunt was on.
Hunting high and low, ducking muggles and pretending we was taking photos of the scenery, we searched and searched, searching the same places several times over, when at long last the cry went up "FOUND IT", yes the cache had at last been hunted to it's hiding place and trapped.

Finally the cache is caught

So who was the lucky finder?

Yes Mrs Geocacher found it

Yes yes we get it, you found it clever girl, and not a berry in sight yet

The other caches that evening went the same way, although Mr Geocacher had his share of finds, this was the most pleasing having been such a tricky find.

Now we are gearing up for the rest of the summer, and Geocache command center is ready.
Hope you stayed awake through this rather long update, I will try and keep more up to date from here on in.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Puzzle Continues

Sorry for the long break in updating, changes at work have meant less time for hobbies.
So you want to know how it went? Did we find the final location for the puzzle cache?
Ok ok lets get on with the story.
Having captured the final Puzzle Coin we were able to extract the final coordinates we needed from it. We then released it back into the wild.
Once released we have noticed how these pieces have been moving very fast now that they are in more accessible caches.

Ok sorry back to the main story.

Entering the complete coordinates into the navigator we were now ready to hunt down the head quaters and finally log this cache as completed.
Excitedly we set out.
Soon arriving at the location, we parked the car and set off on foot, the navigator leading us to GZ quickly, we started the search.
After what seemed ages, but was in fact a few short minutes the shout went up and the cache had been caught.
We set about logging, only having to dive for cover as some Geo-muggle dog walkers had managed to somehow sneak close to us.
When replacing the cache we decided to leave the ingot at this location, a tempting little prize for the next hunters, and perhaps the start of their next adventure.

An old pier near the cache location

Of course Mr Geo-Cacher had to test it

Happy that we had finally completed this cache we set off on our next hunt.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lord of the Flies

It was another nice weekend here in Finland so we headed out for another of our cache hunts.

Close to when we first started GeoCaching we had found a Geo-Puzzle coin.
What is a Geo-Puzzle coin?
Well they are four coins that make up the GeoCaching logo, but in this case they also lead to a cache once you have all four, as each coin has part of the coordinates for the final cache location.
So this is a very sneaky cache as all four parts travel separately around the region, something around the area of a 100km radius, and hide in other caches.

Our first piece of the puzzle.

Well we kept an eye on the movements of the remaining coins, and when one would come within range we would go and retrieve it, it took some time but we managed to track down three of the coins and upon interrogation get the coordinates from them.
All that was left was the fourth and final coin, well we had noted that the fourth part was deep in the forest, and had not moved for a long time, maybe because of its location deep in the forest, or maybe because the location was some distance out of town.

So back to the main story, sorry but I had to lay the background to this story.

On this particular weekend we had noticed a new cache had been hidden, and it was fairly near to where the fourth puzzle coin was hiding, (see there was a point to the first part of this story), so we set off in search of a possible First to Find and the last piece of the puzzle.

Things started off well, as it did not take us that long to located and capture our first cache, that being the newly hidden, well sadly we were not the First to Find this cache, but we were able to log as Second to Find, although as a bonus we did find a travel ingot.
As it turns out this travel ingot is also part of a series where you have to track down others from its clan and capture the coordinates for the final hunt, although this time they travel in a much smaller radius, just 55km.

The Travel Ingot.

So we entered the coordinates if the cache that the final puzzle coin was using as it's hideout.
We should have known this was not going to be as easy as first thought, when our navigator first sent us one way, and then another, but finally we found the road it wanted us to take.
I say road using the loosest term possible, at first it was not too bad, but soon the tarmac turned to a dirt road, then that turned into what I can only describe as small rocks compacted to make some kind of trail through the forest, clearly only meant for agricultural vehicles.
Well we found the parking location, a very small clearing next to the rocky road.
We were now about 1km from the cache location.
Leaving the car behind us we started to follow the trail, now of course we expected to find some kind of hiking trail, or a little path through the forest, boy were we ever wrong.
The path we were following soon ran out and we had to make our own path, being careful where we stepped, so as not to disappear into a bog or hidden stream.
Do not get me wrong, the forest was gorgeous, and there were mushrooms everywhere, these we were also careful not to step on.
There were a few bugs around, but nothing seemed to take much interest in us, little did we know that these were just the advance guard.
It took us awhile but we found the location, but we could not find the cache.
Then from out of nowhere came squadrons of Deer-Ked a type of Deer Fly, first attacking Mrs GeoCacher, and then Mr GeoCacher.
We bravely fought them off while trying to search, and just as we were about to give up we found our goal.
Logging as fast as we could, we retrieved the Puzzle coin, and made as fast an exit as we could.
We were surrounded, the cache had unleashed its protectors and they were not about to let us escape that easy.
We must have looked a sight as we stumbled and moved as quickly as we could over the poor terrain, all the while our arms waving frantically trying to beat off the attack, and keep the flies out of each other's hair, necks, and clothing.
Finally making it back to the safety of the car we climbed inside and took off as fast as we dare, still finding these flies in our hair, Mrs GeoCacher must have thrown about 12 out of the car window on our trip home.
Once home we dived for the shower, and even then we were still finding more of these flies, Mrs GeoCacher tried washing them down the sink, but the little buggers just climbed back up and were almost grinning at us in our attempts to get rid of them, although thankfully in the end we did.

Home of the Cache and the Deer-Ked. (who stole the path?)

So we now had all four Puzzle coins coordinates, and would soon be able to go on the hunt final cache.

Two more of the Geo-Puzzle coins, as you can see they even gave Mrs GeoCacher trouble when she was trying to photograph them.

That's enough for this time, no seriously it is, do not worry I will return and let you know if we were able to hunt down the final cache.

Monday, August 31, 2009

We hide our first cache

We had been thinking about when and where to hide our first GeoCache. Well we decided on the when, that being once we had reached our 100 finds, and would therefore be a kind of celebration Cache.
So as you have read previously we reached that target, so next we had to decide upon where we were going to hide the Cache.
After a lot of head scratching, and rejecting of ideas for one reason or another, we rested on the idea that it should be at a location that had some meaning for the both of us, once that was settled, it became much easier.
We chose a location that was close to where we met for the very first time, this being a small park called Lampipuisto (Pond Park).
We visited the potential location to find a good hiding place, we spent a long time there choosing the location very carefully, this done we then collected all the things together and returned later to hide the Cache.

Lampipuisto (Pond Park)

Small wooden bridge over the pond

View of the pond from the bridge

A couple of ducks enjoying the good life

After all it is hard to be a duck (yeah riiiiight)

So we added the cache to the website and waited eagerly for it to be made public.
Soon enough it was, and the first find log soon followed.
These logs have been, and still remain to be, interesting, it seems a lot of the cachers finding the cache have some kind of story to tell about the park, and others who even though they might pass the area everyday were not aware the park was even there. So we are very happy with our choice of location, and the cache seems to be a bit of a hit and success.

Mr Geocacher has one weeks summer holiday left, so we checked on flight prices to England, and found a pair of really cheap tickets, so we took the bull by the horns and booked them.
So the last week of September/first week of October we will be in England.
We do plan to do some GeoCaching whilst we are there, and intend to compare English ways of caching to the Finnish ways. So more on this subject at a later date, plus Mr Geocacher has to start adding the caches to the navigator.

After all this excitement we took a trip to hunt down another of those caches that has been eluding us.
Last time we had visited this location we had spent a long time searching and had to admit that at that time the cache had managed to avoid detection.
But on this occasion it was not so lucky, with no berries around to distract Mrs Geocacher, she demonstrated just how good her Geo-eye has developed and soon hunted down the poor unfortunate micro-cache, despite its cunning camouflage.

Although well camouflaged it could not escape Mrs Geocacher (it should have tried hiding in the berries)

Don't forget to join us again to find out what we have been up to.