Wednesday, November 22, 2006
A glorious day, so it was off to the Hillswick Ness for a wee (and very soggy underfoot) wander, made specific and a bit high-tech by heading for Another Fine Ness, the geocache I maintain there.
So what's geocaching? Well, it's a kind of slow-paced, techno-orienteering-cum-treasure hunt. Makes walking a bit more interesting for the easily bored. And bearable for computer geek weans. Little boxes full of...stuff, really, bits and pieces you can exchange, take or leave, plus a logbook and pencil, are hidden in various places - and that means everywhere. It's a worldwide thing. The latitude and longitude, as worked out by a portable GPS satellite navigator, are posted on the Geocaching website. Then it's over to the finder. If you're in the vicinity, you enter said latitude and longitude into your GPS, and, guided by a swinging arrow thingy on the GPS screen, set off to find it. Looking about you, in the case of Another Fine Ness, at the stunning scenery. That's the view from the Hillswick Ness geocache, by the way. Those peculiar rocks are The Drongs.
All of this is completely free, once you've paid for the GPS. The one I have (off EvilBay)is a very basic Magellan Sportrak, which cost £25. You can get colour ones with downloadable maps, whereabouts of pubs, brothels, record shops etc, but they're very dear.
What can I tell you? It's walking for gadget freaks.