Birthday Geocaching in London…
My very good friend Ryan was looking for an unusual way to celebrate his birthday this year and so a plan emerged for us to cross paths in old London town for the day. The rules being that it should be as inexpensive as possible due to the fact that I live on a budget of diddly squat and, it costs an arm and a leg for Ryan to make it into London.
Budget fun I can handle, and as I’d been left in charge of the decision making progress and, with my healthy obsession for Geocaching, I went ahead and started looking at the Geocaching website for a few fun caches to pick up in the ‘big schmoke’.
To make the best of his birthday Ryan had got up at the b*crack of dawn to get in early for a full throttle day of London madness and mayhem and definitely deserves some kudos for that! My start time hadn’t been as Earth shattering but, with last minute printing preparations for the day ahead I’d had a pretty late night and consequently when we met at King’s Cross that morning there was a lot of yawn-talking going on before we made our way out. In the rain. For a short walk to the British Library, which definitely woke us both up a bit!
As it’s one of my favourite places in London I was excited to see that there was a multi-cache in the British Library and, with it being close to St Pancras it made for the perfect starting point to the day.
To find the coordinates of the final cache’s location you are given waypoints and, at each of these different waypoints, usually on different levels of the library, you have to answer a question. I hadn’t even seen some parts of the library before doing this Geocache and I think we were both impressed with the layout and size of it. And, even though we’d both visited the library before it was nice to look at the exhibits, some of them from a different perspective to the way we normally would’ve done. In fact we spent quite a bit of time with the Magna Carta when we struggled to find the answer to one of the questions, but we eventually got there in the end!
My GPS didn’t want to take us in the right direction for the penultimate part of the cache but after we double backed we found the right way and soon had our hands on part one of the cache. I won’t reveal any further details as I don’t want to spoil it for others but it was an amazing final and probably one of my favourite caches in London.
We also had time to stop and admire one of the exhibits which was on, the Children’s Illustrated Classics, which was fantastic and gave me the chance to see some original versions of my favourite books which was nice. There’s always lots of exhibitions on at the British Library so check their website for more details of what’s on when you visit. I think 2014’s highlight will be the Comics Unmasked exhibit which looks set to be very popular. It runs from 2nd May until the 19th August, maybe I’ll see you there?!
Heading back to Kings Cross we took the underground to Oxford Circus where we stopped for a well-earned lunch at Garfunkel’s. By that point we were ready for a sit down, some good munch and a natter about business ideas. The food was great and the staff were nice too, and so after paying up we took the brief walk back to the tube to find the aptly named Life Begins at Oxford Circus before I lead us over to a cache I’ve been wanting to pick up for a long time but never been in the vicinity for.
The cache is called Gridlocked – Capital Style and it’s a bit of a challenge cache with requirements involving;
Choice one requires a fully completed D/T grid and as we’re a long way off that we had to opt for ‘choice two’ which we’ve completed a few times as you can see; (All Terrain 1’s, 1.5’s, 2’s and 3’s, and all Difficulty 1’s) I was so pleased to get this one as it’s not an easy achievement.
Then as the skies had cleared we opted to walk from Oxford Circus to St James’s Park where our next box of treasure lay.
We also had a little wander into the epic M&M’s store, which is completely over the top but still great fun.
I’d had backup plans at this point to pop into Namco Funscape for some bowling if the weather wasn’t much cop but luckily the Gods were playing nicely and so the next multi-cache Walk around the Park was on. One of the nice elements about this multi-cache was that we hit the park from the right direction and so we didn’t have to walk around the park before we did the ‘Walk around the Park’ if you catch my drift.
Unfortunately we had a couple of ambiguities on this one and so after our nice stroll around the park we headed to a nearby café I knew to go through our workings out.
Luckily we managed to finish our tea and carrot cake before a fire alarm sounded and we were ushered out of the building. But, it didn’t matter too much because after reading some of the previous finders logs on the cache page I was armed with some new knowledge on the location of the final cache. We nipped down the little alleyway and soon found the cache which we hastily signed and replaced before a group of muggles starting making movements in our direction.
The last one of the day was called the Three London Icons which was a nice easy find but I’m renaming it the Four London Icons after we saw the British Police making an arrest right outside GZ! Located along the river it ended up being the last cache of the day as the light was fading and we were ready for some more food!
We walked to Chinatown as I’d earmarked a place called Koya for food but we arrived a little too early for opening time and, after waiting around for a while and with time pressing on we ended up heading back to St Pancras for our dinner.
All in all it was a successful day, and I’m glad we’d both made the effort to get in early as I feel we made the most of it. Good times!