NZ 2013: First week

11 02 2013

W1 9/1-15/1 a quick statistical summary
93 finds, 77 trad, 1 multi, 1 letterbox, 7 mysteries, 1 event, 4 earthcaches and 2 virtuals.

This year I spent my usual month in New Zealand only on the South Island. Before I traveled down here I solved a number of mysteries at home and roughly planned some of the caches I wanted to find and where to go. The main things on my list were to find the remaining six of the ten oldest South Island caches that I had not found on earlier visits. Then, of course, I am always on the lookout for D/T combinations that are missing in my D/T matrix. Additionally, I was looking for caches found on 17th January and 9th March from any year in order to fill in the last two missing dates in the “placed on date” calendar. Apart from that I had made a note to do the Thompson Track power trail and find a couple of caches who’s owners had names starting with numbers for my alphanumerical challenge.

My first find was actually an event hosted by Ingabo, Sweden’s No. 1 cacher who was on holiday in New Zealand with his family. To say that he is a smitten geocacher is an understatement. During his stay on New Zealand he found 349 caches. More of that later. It was great to meet him, his family and a handful of local cachers.
On the following day I managed to tick off a few mysteries including one that I had virtually solved several years ago. Kryptos Canterbury As with many cachers I have a low mystery to traditional cache ratio and though that it would be fun to do something about it.

My travels then took me south from Christchurch via Omarama, Alexandra and Gore to Invercargill, which was to be my base for finding three of the remaining six of the oldest South Island caches.
Bluff Hill
Monkey Island
Clifden Bridge

Two of them were virtuals and the third at Bluff gave me a chance to return to a town I never though I would see again after my visit there in 2003. It’s not the most attractive of places, now is it?
As expected the container at Bluff Hill was of generous size, which is just as well as there was not quite the precision in the coordinates that we are seeing these days. It still took quite a few minutes to find the bucket in the dense undergrowth despite the many visitors having trampled a lot of the vegetation.

View from Bluff Hill

View from Bluff Hill

BluffHill2

Bluff Hill cache – 10 liter bucket

BluffHill3

First page of logbook from 2001!

When I approached Monkey Island I wondered if the tide would be in or out as I hadn’t checked in advance. To my relief it was out and I could walk over to the island without getting wet.

MonkeyIsland

Monkey Island

The suspension bridge at Clifden was being repaired so I didn’t have the opportunity to walk across it. Nontheless it’s quite impressive.

Clifden1

Clifden Bridge with scaffolding

Clifden2

Plaque on Clifden Bridge

Clifden3

Cables suspending the bridge

The remaining three of the oldest caches were found on the way to and with Dunedin as the base for the hunt. More in the next posting.

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