Boxing Day saw us geocaching again. We went for it big time, tackling our first multi-cache challenge. This one had been set by zephyrsailor. There were seven caches altogether to find, but we had to find all of the first six because each one gave a digit to slot into the GPS reference for the final one.
It took us five hours to do it. Be impressed! But luckily I’d made a hearty picnic to keep us going.
Caiti, who is a Noz addict (that’s a chain of discount stores in France) had brought along some self-heating hot chocolate. I took a pic of the pot after we got home. It actually seemed to contain more heating chemicals in the bottom of the pot than chocolate to heat up in the top, but it was very welcome and warming on a cold, winter’s day. Sadly I fear it is horrendously un-ecofriendly, even if it’s ingenious.
We made some mistakes in our cache hunting to start with, but to be fair, a lot of the clues were tree-related and the caches were largely hidden in and around a forest! Also, one of the caches wasn’t where it should have been, and as you can seen, has been well chewed by something small and furry who had also taken it for quite a long drag!
However, we Daggs are nothing if not determined so we stuck with the programme and it all came together. Even if it hadn’t, we’d have enjoyed ourselves since we love the Bois du Lassoux where the activity was based. We’ve trekked the llamas there in the past, but haven’t been for quite a while. The kids love the zipwire. Here are the two eldest having a go, first Ben …
… and then Caits.
Rors was still feeling a little travel sick after the windy drive to the Bois and didn’t fancy trying it out this time round.
I love this suspension bridge. It takes one car at a time, but even when a person walks over it, it vibrates and rumbles.
For the first time we visited the Chapelle de Ste Radegonde. (We call her St Ragondin – we have an ongoing battle with ragondins (coypus) in our lakes.) This is a beautiful medieval chapel set on a hillside above what’s now a reservoir. It, and a small graveyard, are all that’s left of a village, le Châtillon d’Entraigues, which was established in the eleventh century and inhabited until the 1800s.
Ste Radegonde is the patron saint of anything to do with running water, tempests and shipwrecks. Legend has it that when there’s a thunderstorm you should run to her chapel and ring the bell, and that will make the storm abate. I’m sure it’s good advice, but it’s a bit far from Nouzerines! Pilgrims to the chapel also believed that they could see if things were going to go well or otherwise for them by the way the light played on the face of the Saint’s statue.
The statue isn’t there any more but there is this intriguing wooden sculpture.
Ste Radegonde’s chapel is well worth a visit. It’s in a stunning location and is a fascinating building.
Back to our geocaching. The final cache contained a log to sign – but again, we had no pen. Duh. I’d had one in the car ready to put in the rucksack, but where it went to, heaven knows. So we’ll have to redo the trail sometime and sign it. There were a few items to select from as a momento. We took one and replaced it, as is the custom. We also took this. It’s a geocoin, or travel bug. It moves from cache to cache with the mission to travel around Europe. This one is ‘snixx’ and has the ambition of making it to Australia. So, we have two weeks in which to move snixx to another cache for someone else to find and move on. We’ve decided we’d better head southwards for our next geocaching session tomorrow to get snixx going in the right direction! Everyone who finds it in logs this info in on the geocache.com website. That’s where you find all the info on where the various caches are, register ones you’ve introduced, sign up your own geocaching team – we’re team Llamagems – and find out all about geocaching.
We’ll be investing in a couple of geocoins to put in caches we create for other geocachers to move around Europe. I think it’s a brilliant idea.