Having grown up in the generation of Indiana Jones, I've always been excited by the prospect of going on my own treasure hunting adventure.
After coming across Geocaching I decided that this was the perfect way to satisfy my Indy envy. It also ticks alot of boxes on my list of favourite pastimes, like exploring the outdoors, heading off the beaten track and learning about places as I go. Although there may not be priceless artifacts at the end of the quest, there is still an unexplained excitement at discovering the random assortment of 'treasures' secreted in the strangest of places.
If you're a novice to Geocaching like me, you should have a look at the official website which will reveal all you need to know about this worldwide treasure hunting trend. Basically you are given a set of GPS co-ordinates, a few details and a cryptic clue before you set off with a purpose.
The Isle of Great Cumbrae is an 8 1/2 minute ferry ride from Largs on the west coast of Scotland and the perfect place to hone your Geocaching craft. Just over 10 miles in circumference and fairly flat terrain allows for easy travel between cache sites on foot or by bike. There are currently 14 sites listed for Cumbrae, although from my own searching I think a couple may be missing in action. With intriguing names such as 'The Hunt for Red October', 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' and of course 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' I knew this was going to be an entertaining weekend.
Despite the poor weather I downloaded the official app for Iphone (the £6.99 cost is worth every penny as I found it extremely helpful) and set off in search of my first cache only to be disappointed. I'm positive I was at the right spot and as does happen from time to time the cache appeared to have been removed (well that's my excuse anyway!).
Not to be disheartened I set off with enthusiasm to my next location at the highest point on the island where I was over delighted to find my first tub of treasure.
Despite picking up a few scratches and muddy knees the effort was totally worth it and I added a trinket of my own before replacing it and admiring the views across to my home island of Bute.
Full of new found confidence and refueled by Pringles and Irn Bru, I traversed across various landmarks of the island including the only standing stone and a lion shaped rock with many other points of interest in between.
In the end I found 5 of the 7 caches I went looking for and added a couple of treasures of my own. I can't emphasis how much fun I had and having the opportunity to explore and learn about this lovely little island was the icing on the cake.
With colourful painted rocks and benches, charming sailing boats and beautiful views even on a rainy day, my Geocaching adventure around Cumbrae was one I won't forget. I've deliberately left a few quests for a future visit.
Geocaching is enjoyable, free, educational and can be done alone or in groups and in any weather so what's stopping you?
Whilst in Cumbrae I stayed at The Cathedral of the Isles, the smallest Cathedral in Britain. A review of my stay along with tips on places to eat, visit etc can be found on another blog post.
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