Virtually in London

Its half term this week so Sam is at home and that means that we get to do some fun stuff as well as just slobbing around on the sofa watching Scooby Doo. Not that watching Scooby Doo on the sofa in your pyjamas isn’t fun, but it is good to get out of the house every now and then… *sigh* amazing how over the last couple of years I am starting to sound more and more like my parents did when I was a child. On Tuesday we decided to head into London and visit the Transport Museum. I had never been before so this was a first for me and I was looking forward to it.

Once the plan was made I got down to the important business of seeing if there were any caches nearby! Of course there were a good handful all around the area but I picked 3 of the closest and suggested that we could grab them whilst we were in town. The first one was a nice simple trad slap bang in the middle of Covent Garden. If you don’t know London, then Covent Garden is famous for originally being the site of London’s renowned flower market. Nowadays it is a pedestrianized area full of pricey market stalls, boutique shops and very expensive eateries and bars. It is a massive tourist trap and amongst all those other things it is famous for street performers who brave the elements to entertain and fleece the people of their money. On this day there was a guy doing some pretty impressive tricks with Yo Yos and a Diablo. The cache itself was just a 35mm film pot with a magnet behind a telecoms box, nothing too exceptional but because of its location it gets a lot of traffic as you can imagine. It has had over 2500 finds in just over 2 years and at around 2pm we were the fourth to find it that day.

Then it was on to the Transport Museum for an hour or so and a very interesting tour through the history of buses and trains and other modes of transport dating back to the days of horse drawn carriages. They have a nice trail to follow that involves you stamping a card at various points around the museum to make sure you get to see it all and the best thing is that kids go in for free. Because of my disability I got in at a reduced price and Sharlene got in free as my carer so it was a relatively cheap visit and enjoyable to boot.

Sam sits in the driver's seat of a mock up of one of the new London Buses

All Aboard!

After the museum we went off in search of another cache on the way back to the tube station. This one is part of a series of caches set all over London based on the colours of the rainbow. They are virtual caches which means there is no actual container to locate but at the GZ you need to find some specific information that you have to send to the CO to prove that you actually went there. In this case you are asked to additionally send a photograph of you holding your GPS at the location as proof. We quickly found the location and it didn’t take us long to spot the info we needed and snap the photos. Later back at home I was able to log the cache using the Cos clever method of sending a blank email to a special email address that you can only work out by collecting the required info. When you send the email, if you have the correct address you get an automated response straight away telling you that you are right and that you can now log the cache as a find, making sure you attach your photo to the log when you do it. This was our first Virtual cache, which is surprising seeing as we have logged nearly 650 geocaches now. I like the idea of virtual caches and look forward to doing some more. Groundspeak no longer allow virtual caches to be created , I think people were misusing them and just creating hundreds and hundreds of meaningless caches all over the place, but the existing ones still remain and there is certainly a few of them in London that we can do.

After leaving the GZ of the virtual cache the rain started to step up its previous drizzle to a more annoying downpour so we made a beeline for the station to catch the train home. All in all it was an enjoyable day out in London.

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