New Year’s Trip & January 2005

Thursday, 30 December With Christmas over, a friend’s hen’s night celebrated, and The Taste tasted (several times) Snuva finally found herself with most of her holiday social obligations ticked off and her slaves FINALLY able to get on the road and get her to some unfound caches! We left early in the evening – we had another appointment at 6pm and wanted to get on the road ASAP. So the princess’s bowls were packed, the NEW eTrex Legend C had all the required waypoints uploaded, and off we went. We only travelled for about 2 hours before making camp in a lovely pull out in the trees between Wayatinah and Tarraleah. The slaves stayed up into the wee small hours entertaining a bottle of wine; Snuva got her beauty rest.

Friday, 31 December The slaves slept in, so we weren’t on the road until perhaps 10am, maybe even later! We had a look at Tarraleah and decided it is not worthy of a cache so pushed on to Derwent Bridge. The original plan was just to get some petrol, but the attached cafe had a decent looking espresso machine with staff who looked like they could actually use it, so we stayed for coffee and food. At one of the tables outside in the sun was Mr Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, known to his friends as “Mo”, and as his slave was quite a decent chap we shared a table. Mo and his mate are on a 2 year trip around the country and were on their way to Hobart. They were lovely to chat to, and (although it hasn’t been placed yet) gave Snuva a great idea for a cache – all will be revealed at placement! With the coffee drunk and the food consumed, we were off again. We checked out a few spots that might have been good places to stash caches, but the entire mainland seems to be camping in this area over the Christmas & New Year break, so there were just too many muggles for us to be able to put any serious thought into it. We were eventually able to stash one, Mordor! The area around Queenstown is rather stark and depressing and doesn’t look well cared for – much like Queenstown itself. We pushed on to Strahan were we visited CraigRat’s Strahan Keychain Exchange, the first cache logged with the new eTrex Legend C! It’s rather fun -“ when the eTrex knows it’s a cache, it lets you mark it as found and saves the time, then has a function to let you create a GoTo to the next nearest unfound geocache. Rather than going to the next nearest Snuva insisted we swim. Dog beasts are not allowed on one of the beaches, but Snuva was certain they are allowed at Cacher’s Beach, so that’s where we swam. It was a great place to swim as it was shallow and warn, though cooler than the sticky hotness of the day. Snuva was extremely competitive and would not let the slaves swim farther out than her and she kept swimming circles around them to remind them of her superiority.

After a late fish and chip lunch we headed off the Tunnel of Spray cache. It’s in a fantastic and fascinating area, but we took a long time to find the area (abandoning the car WAY too early and walking a ridiculous amount – remember, 1.37 kms as the arrow points can be many kms worth of walking!). And once we were in the correct area, the coordinates seemed WAY out. What was obviously WPT1 was 47 metres off, and although WPT 2 should have been less than 100m away, it was over 200m away. Grhh. We looked and looked, went up a long steep scramble in a way that can not without a lot of imagination be called graceful, and eventually gave up. Gggrrhhh !@#$ Nige ^%$#@ d#^%$!!!! It was getting late, so we just high tailed it for the north coast. As we were approaching Wynyard at about 9pm, when it was past sunset but still quite light, we received a text from team energizer61 giving us coordinates to their camp site and saying it’s a dog friendly place if we’re ever inclined to stop. We got in contact with them and found out it was about an hour’s drive from Wynyard, and as the male slave said he had at least an hour’s drive left in him we grabbed some take-away from Wynyard and headed West. The female slave was pretty exhausted by this time and was even hallucinating a bit (did we just bounce off that guard rail?!?!), but she picked up around the campfire amongst friends. We had a bit of trouble finding the energizer camp in the dark (should have just followed the GPSr, but they were too well hidden – a cache camp!), but no worry – they spotted us coming in. The camp was every puppy’s dream: eager young ‘uns ready to take a pup on a walk, people generously giving her Savoury Shapes, wallabies in the bushes right next to camp, AND coordinates to TWO new caches we could hit the next morning! energizer61’s parents and friends proved to be lovely people, New Year’s was seen in with sparklers and much enthusiasm throughout the campground. We stayed up well into the night chatting, showing off new toys, and sipping the red.

Saturday, 1 January 2005 As usual, the slaves attempted to ignore their duties by sleeping in, so Snuva had to resort to standing on them to get them to WAKE UP!!! And why stay in bed – as soon as they showed movement, there was Nige offering them coffee, Tyler and Carmel offering Snuva walks, and Gaylene giving them their wineglasses back clean and polished. It was soon time to head off for the day’s first cache, Stony Hammond! As this was one of their new ones, team energizer decided to accompany us (probably hoping we would do something silly – we were happy to oblige! ).

We logged the find without too much difficulty (as Nige took pity on someone and asked them to double check their maths!), and though it would have been easy to stay longer and relax, we said our goodbyes and pushed off as we had more caches to find – and another definite FTF to beta test! Our next stop was a brief pit-stop in Smithton for food and petrol, then we were off to Deadly Nut 2!!. There was no sign of the mounds of specially placed dog fertilizer that Horus had mentioned in his log, however Snuva obeyed the new regulations and sent her slaves in for the find. Unfortunately this seemed to be the theme for the area; Snuva was also not allowed to visit Pine Nut. So the male slave made his way up, the difficult way (although it must not have been too difficult as we was faster than people taking the easy route!). As it was such a hot sunny day, the female slave stayed in the van so the windows and doors could remain open to keep the Puppy Princess cool. While waiting, we received a new year’s greeting from CraigRat!! Yeah!!

With these to caches scored, our work in the area is done, so off we set to Rocky Cowrie. Another great spot we might have overlooked if it were not for caching, and those clever energizers had found a hiding place that seemed to be made for a cache! Snuva celebrated her newest find with a bit of oceanography.

So, in what was beginning to feel like a ‘team energizer Tour of the North-West’, we were now off to let’s take a Dip. The dip in question was pretty spectacular, and team energizer was very generous and gave a great hint for those who had difficulties with satellite coverage. We did a few short walks to see things from different perspectives and visited the Big Tree.

After finishing up there, we were off to the first waypoint of Guidor’s Beacon Cache. Lovely spot – stunning views, but many muggles! However, that didn’t make much of a difference at this waypoint, and we hoped it would be the same at the final waypoint. We stopped off in Wynyard for some lunch, then headed off for another energizer61 cache, reserve loop. This is a stunning spot which is beautiful and, when there are no cricket-playing and picnic-eating muggles is surely a lovely tranquil place to camp. Snuva tried to find the cache, battling through undergrowth until a muggle child was overheard saying, ‘mum, what are those people DOING?!’ and we knew it was time to leave. If you can’t scare the muggles off, it’s best to leave before they frustrate you into being too obvious (our excuse was something about looking for a toy a friend’s child had left behind during a picnic – how dodgy is that!!) Grumble. Second energizer DNF in 2 days; good thing they gave us 2 new ones! This one is probably best done if you camp overnight and get it first thing in the morning before the muggles are sturring – and for future reference, Nige, there isn’t a gate so it’s probably a pretty good camping spot. We didn’t notice any ‘No camping’ signs, but then again we were looking for something else! Our search at an end, we continued to the 2nd waypoint of Beacon Cache. Found the spot, walked out, and as we approached GZ we heard the sound of young male voices. At first we were convinced they must be fellow cachers, but listening to their conversation they were either extremely excellent actors or mere muggles. We tried to look for some ‘fossils’ and cleaning burs out of the Princess’s fur, but the stress of casually looking caual had the better of us, and as the lads didn’t look like leaving any time soon we gave up the hunt. We actually carried all 15kg of the Princess back to the cacheMobile so we wouldn’t undo all our un-burring work. As we approached the road, more muggles with recreational rods were spotted, so we probably gave up at the right time.

Off then to our next destination: The Cutter Fanny. This cache was in a fantastic area! Again, Snuva could not accompany (at least from the way her slave wound up approaching it – if they had been more familiar with the area she could have – however she enjoyed the rest in the sunshine in a rose garden) so the female slave went off to score it. This was soon done, and we were ready to Go Emu Go. This was a great multi – main challenge was navigating in an unfamiliar town, but it was a lot of fun and all waypoints were spot on. We drove right up to GZ and scored it easily. We decided to grab some food, find a camp, then phone the Waterwells to see if they were busy the next day, and we had accomplished the first task and were working on the second when who should call but Mrs Waterwells. Can we make it to Waterwells HQ in time for lunch with them, CraigRat, Horus et al – you betcha!After finding a camp (a lovely place on the beach – between the sewage treatment plant and gun club, as we found out in the morning!) and consuming our dinner, we re-organised our plan of attack so concentrate only on caches that were drive bys on our drive to the Waterwells, with the addition of plattacat as it was energizer61’s first hidden cache. We knew we had a great day ahead of us when we went to sleep that night!

Sunday, 2 January 2005 With a plan of attack in mind, for once the slaves actually awoke at a reasonable time. So the lazy things went into town for coffee and food. After reviewing the plan of attack, off we went to plattacatt! Again, Snuva had to wait in the cacheMobile and bark instructions. What a fantastic place – we’ll have to come back and check out the rest of the area next time we’re in the area. For now, we are Launceston bound! Next on the way was SOUNDS – SHELLS – WATER. An easy find – GZ was almost spot on – and it took us to another area of this town that Caches and robtas show us around. Off again Waterwells-bound, and next stop was The Cache Formerly Known As. . . We wouldn’t have attempted this cache if we didn’t know its neighbour is a friend of the cache owner. Well, we hope he was amused; he kept popping his head over the fence as he did his gardening. We made sure to trhow Snuva’s ball and call her name so he would know who to say had visited. Then, appropriately enough as we were on our way to their HQ, we decided to find out Does Parra Matter? Then, in keeping with the season, we visited Santa’s Sack. At this point we were running late for lunch, so Snuva nipped at the slaves and off we were to Launceston. And it was worth rushing – we had a fantastic time. We were able to meet 2 of the younger Waterwells, met the very lovely Zoe, and spent not just lunch but dinner and well into the evening chatting away. Those who will be logging this find (has embi approved the event yet?) include CraigRat, Horus, bastvet, The Caching Kid, and lil bast. Horus and Mrs Waterwells hunted down the clue for Racin’ One’s Tail, so we had a head-start on the next day’s caching.

Monday, 3 January 2005 After a lovely shower and breakfast, we bid the Waterwells goodbye so we could continue on our caching way, and the last day of our trip.

First off was Listen for the Yodel . . .. We had been looking forward to this cache and weren’t disappointed – we learned a bit about the area and came to a locale we wouldn’t have known about without the cache. Then we were off to Lookout Matthew! We then headed off to Lightfoot Bay which on CraigRat’s advise we hadn’t tried for last time we were in the area. Found it quite quickly – great little area to walk. Being close to CraigRat HQ we considered stopping by for a cuppa, however decided to let him sleep in! We zipped over to Rotten Eggs, which we noted as a great camping spot for the future, then headed to Bridge Over Troubled Water. We made our way north vis On a Pile of Gold and the Garden Isle of Clarence to The Beach is Green. Thinking we’d given CraigRat plenty of time to wake up and get to it before us, we went for Racing One’s Tail; he obviously was really having a sleep in as there was no log from him yet! (Looking at the logs now, he obviously slept in until the 22nd). We took one more go at our nemesis cache, Power Stepping, then it was time to face up to our fate and head for home. We stopped by Chopper’s Crime Town, and then visited somewhere that was No! Not in WA!

All in all, a wonderful trip with lots of socialising and a decent amount of caches along the way. Catching up with friends made it such a wonderful, memorable new year’s trip! Thank you, energizers, for sharing NYE with us and welcoming us into your family’s camp. And thank you Waterwells for not only letting us come for a visit, but also for being so hospitable and catering for lunch and dinner for every cacher who dropped in! And thank you for Horus, Bastvet, Lit Bast, The Caching Kid, and CraigRat for enjoying the aforementioned hospitality with us and sharing caching stories!!

Later in the month, we were able to visit with the energizers a bit more when they were down south. We had them, Malbena, orac7000 & the Tweeti crew over for a home made pizza night (made by the female slave, of course). And they were kind enough to leave We’ve Stumped Annie behind!

If you’d like to have a look at Snuva’s logs for January 2005, they can all be viewed on Geocaching Australia.