NZ 2013: Fourth week

4 03 2013

W4 30/1-6/2 A quick statistical summary
64 finds, 62 trad, 2 myst

I have mentioned Little G Magic in my previous post and started off my last week in New Zealand with another one Little G Says – It’s Oh! K. This is a simple D2.5/T5 but with a muggle factor. It’s located at the entrance to the housing development where I was living and I passed it every day. The easy way is just to wade through the stomach deep water to the cache which technically makes it a T4.5. However, after much thought and the purchase of a 3 dollar tape measure I discovered that the ladder where I was staying was just adequate for the job and I could grab the cache without getting wet. As I used equipment that made it a T5 again. Nice . 😉 I have no idea what the neighbours across the road thought of my movements though.

During a couple of the days that followed I spent some time to the northeast of Christchurch picking up some easy caches located along the route that the old railway from Kaiapoi to Oxford followed. The railways in New Zealand never really made it as they came too late and there was just not enough people or goods to make them profitable. Along the route I followed were signs to show where the stations had been. In some way it reminded me of my own Upptåg series of caches, although in that case the line is still in operation and in good health.

One of the station signs on the Oxford line

One of the station signs on the Oxford line

One of the station signs on the Oxford line

Another of the station signs on the Oxford line

What really tickled my imagination were a couple of caches that I found at historic sites. One of them was at the site of the New Zealand motorcycle GP from 1936 and the other at the site where two motorcycle world speed records were broken in 1955. It’s amazing what you can find in the middle of nowhere.

New Zealand GP 1936

World motorcycle speed record 1955

World motorcycle speed record 1955

New Zealand GP 1936

In Kaiapoi, which suffered heavily in the earthquakes, some historic buildings that are to be preserved still lean. An example of this is the railway station. The building itself has been moved to a safer place but the platform canopy still shows how much movement there was.

A new sculpture has been raised in Kaiapoi and a cleverly placed cache is located there. Spoiler warning.

Kaiapoi sculpture

Kaiapoi sculpture

Kaikoura sculpture (Spoiler)

Kaikoura sculpture (Spoiler)

The week ended with another couple of Little G Magic Caches. I didn’t start the hunt until it was nearly too late. Basically, in Little G’s Book of Secrets there are clues to three mystery caches.

Little G's Book of Secrets

Little G’s Book of Secrets

Finding the clues is just the start of the fun. Solving the puzzles takes things to a higher level and actually finding the caches puts the icing on the cake. I solved two of the mysteries, and found one of them. I know how to do the third one but I am just too far away to do it. Another nail biting year will have to pass before I may be able to return.

I spent more time than usual finding mystery cache on this trip. My mystery to traditional cache find ratio at the end of 2012 was 162/2825 = 5,73%. After my NZ holiday it was 188/3157 = 5,96%.

I’m not sure what I will aim for but at the event I talked with a few cachers where mysteries play an important part of their hunting life and they try to keep a 10% ratio. To me that sounds difficult, but on the other hand, when the snow is deep and the days are short solving mysteries can be a good way to go so that when the physical hunt is on again there is a nice pile of solved mystery caches to find.

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