Geocaching Wanders

Geocaching and Wildflowers At Evans Head, NSW

As I mention pretty much all the time, I’ve been working really hard on being a better organiser with my photographs. One aspects of this is to get them uploaded, processed, and into the world (or wherever else they’re heading) in a reasonable time.

To be completely honest, that reasonable time thing is still a little beyond me.

But I feel like I have so many images that I really want to share with you all. Images of past adventures, and things that, although they aren’t recent, are amazing chapters in my life. So I’ve been thinking about starting a regular (but not scheduled) series. Whenever I get a batch of great shots processed and ready to go, I’ll be sharing them with you in a throwback post. This may be the first and only, or the first of many.

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This little adventure happened during our road trip as we passed Evans Head in NSW, and I was so enamoured with these photographs that I wanted to showcase them all by themselves. I did write up a whole thing on the trip itself, but I felt like these had their own little story that I wanted to share.

We came across this area while doing the thing that usually takes us to strange and undiscovered locations: geocaching. We started geocaching about a year ago, and we are totally in love! If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s basically a treasure hunt that you do using GPS. People hide ‘caches’ at different points, and then you can find them using the Geocaching app.

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On that day, the geocaches we were chasing led us on a meandering wander away from the little town of Evans Head and onwards to the coast. Here, we slipped in between some of the ritzy houses on the cliff-front, and found a sandy path to locales unknown. Now, our GPS only gives us a bearing, a straight line into the bushland. But we’re fond of hedging our bets, so we took the sandy path into the wilderness.

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As we walk, I start to feel an enveloping cool through my sneakers. The sand is actually freezing, having been in the cool night just a few hours before, and with no sunlight hitting it to clue it up to the new day. This, along with its startling colour, makes it easy for me to imagine it like snow beneath our feet. The trees, although natively Australian, resemble pines of a fashion, and soon in my own mind I’m wandering in a winter wonderland.

Along the way, there was a stunning variety of Australian wildflowers. Like the country itself, Australian wildflowers are tough, odd and usually pretty deadly looking. They have spikes and spines, and very few petals and pastel colours that may be present in other countries. As an Australian, I have a hearty respect for these plants, and their ability to thrive unattended in a country where so few other species can.

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With the sun rising around us, and our little patches of shade fading into shadow, we wander on. We’re backtracking and taking new routes, occasionally heading where even the path doesn’t go. We only have the straight line, and there’s a lot of faith involved in that.

In the end we only get lost a couple of times before we realise we’ve arrived at the cache site. The ocean stretches out before us, and somewhere here a cache it hiding. Finding it requires a dig around in the rocks, and an attack by those very same wildflowers. It is like most of the other caches we’ve chased on our roadtrip: exhausting but very much worthwhile.

It took me a long time to remember where I took these photographs, and in fact is was another cacher who commented that it was Evans Head in NSW. I guess that shows that it’s not always the location that matters, but the experiences you have there. It was one of many amazing adventures we had on our roadtrip, and I’m so grateful just to have been able to experience it, even it I can’t quite remember where it was. I wonder if, in a few years time, we’ll be chasing geocaches again on the open road only to come across that sandy path and decide to follow it. I think I’d like that very much…

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Now, if you’re interested in trying geocaching, the app comes in a free version and a premium version. The free one is all you need to get started, but if you like it the premium version is definitely worth investing in. You can see more at the website here.

This post originally appeared on BarefootBeachBlonde.com, the pre-evolved version of Maps And Mandalas. I’ve republished it here with its original date because I love it that much.

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