VARIOUS TEXTS: Finding Hidden Treasure in Dorset by Geocaching

Finding Hidden Treasure in Dorset by Geocaching
If you have never heard of "geocaching" before and you like walking, or you have children that you would like to get out of the house and get some fresh air, then this is definitely something you will like. What's more is it is free! All you need is a GPS device which you can buy from Argos, Amazon or local outdoor equipment stockists for example, or you maybe able to use your phone for which you can get an App. You then go online to www.geocaching.com where it is free to register. There are literally thousands of walks that people have added and they are in practically every area you can think of across the country (and even abroad!). Now, this is not just an ordinary walk... there is treasure to find! Well actually it is a box of trinkets* into which people have put all sorts of little things. It could be a large 'cache' (meaning hiding place especially of hidden goods, treasure) or a tiny something to find. The idea of the walk is to find the treasure. It is ideal for children who would otherwise severely object to even the thought of walking! Hayden, our son always responds with a big "Yeah!" when I say we are all going out to do a geocache. He doesn't even look at me if I say I want to go out for a walk! There are two types of geocache... one that just gives you the coordinates to get somewhere and you follow that until you find it. At the end of the 'hunt' you are given a clue to find the treasure. The second type is good for younger children as it gives lots of clues and there are lots of questions as you go along. This is called a multi cache. We like those the best. Every ten minutes or so there is a question about where you are. You need to answer the question to get the coordinates to be able to carry on. At the finale you get a clue to find a hidden box or similar object, often containing a little book (=logbook) to write your name in or a comment and then you can exchange a little trinket for something you want to leave behind. All great fun! Free and it gets us out of the house, enjoying the English country side, seaside, forest, in fact anywhere and everywhere.

Recently Stephen and I went with a group of friends and my sister to Swanage and did three geocaches starting at Durlston Country Park. A lovely cup of coffee and a piece of cake overlooking the fantastic British coastline set us off on the right foot. It was absolutely gorgeous, blue sky, blue sea and perfect temperature. I really enjoyed the whole day. What is funny, is seeing adults getting very competitive about finding the 'cache' first! There was a buzz of excitement as each of us rummaged* through the undergrowth to find the treasure. At the last cache, after walking for over an hour, my sister and I decided to sit and take in the amazing view and let the others 'fight for their supremacy'. We sat on a very comfortable rock and relaxed. After 10 minutes or so watching our friends busy hunting around, Sue laughed and said it would be funny if we were sitting on the cache. She casually put her hand down, into a small crevice in the rock and pulled out the box! We couldn't believe it, it was very funny... though I am not sure all of the others thought it was as funny as we did...

You can see some photos of our day. I highly recommend geocaching. It is definitely something you should try young or old, fit or not so fit. You can even create your own for others to follow, once you get the hang of it*.
Happy Hunting!

* trinket - Anhänger, Schmuckstück (wertlos) etc.
* to rummage -durchsuchen, durchstöbern
* to get the hang of it - mit etwas umgehen lernen

Describe in your own words what geocaching is all about.

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