And so it was time for yet another UK MEGA event! We’ve been really spoilt this year what with the UK MEGA 2012, Piratemania, and the Geolympix this year. The fact that there was a 4th MEGA just goes to show how much Geocaching has grown over recent years. This MEGA event evolved from a well established yearly event in Northamptonshire at Stanwick Lakes: Halloween Hides and Creepy Caches.
I arrived pretty early when there were very few cachers around, however met up with fellow punctual Essex cachers andy750x, BEASTMARSTA, Original Red Hen and Foxscout. We decided to waste some time by heading for a cache that was already hidden nearby, however whilst we were busy hunting for it BEASTMARSTA received notifications for caches that were published for the event. We decided to try for a few FTFs as they were only 0.25 miles from where we were hunting.
We rushed to Guardian of the Swamp and were not only delighted to see a blank logbook, but also to see such a fantastic container. Wow!
We also grabbed Marriage From Hell as an FTF before deciding not to get greedy and head back ready to register for the event. You can imagine how surprised we all were when we were very nearly standing on a bridge across a river when an earthcache was published at it! We quickly gathered and worked out the answer and took a photo. I quickly emailed the CO our answers and we were delighted to be told that we were indeed FTF on the earthcache.
At the event there were many cachers who looked really scary, some even had costumes on! 😉 There were some fabulously dressed cachers in Team Essex including Helennbrian’s whole family and infinson and co who looked absolutely amazing.
There were many caches placed for the event with a variety of traditionals, multis, puzzles, and even a Wherigo. As well as a “day series” of caches, there were also promises of a really good “night series” that we had to look forward to.
I ended up caching in a huge “Team Essex” mob with Helennbrian + co, Yorkie63/MammaD + Co, Hollyncharlie, Infinson + Co, BigBadJohn, Tazzy1234, PeCeH, Doggywalker, Andy750x, BEASTMARSTA, Foxscout, Kris&Co, and a few others. It was great fun, especially as some people stayed dressed up for the caching. One of the many great cache containers was a big snake. We’ve found small snakes before, but never anything quite this impressive before.
Assault & Battree was a great multi which involved us needing to complete an assault course. With all of the children, however, we stayed firmly on the ground and sent the kids up to count how many bolts there were on the aparatus, and what the number was inside one of the crawling tunnels! They had great fun!
After finishing the big day cache series we headed into the carpark where Masterchef 2011 runner-up Yorkie63 (And MammaD) cooked us all paella in a huge pan. Afterwards we all enjoyed cakes, nibbles, and two giant trifles that andy750x had created!
After a lovely lunch (after which we could all barely walk!) we headed off to do the rest of the day caches. We started off with an older cache, Stanwick Lakes – Hide and Seek that was hidden at a bird hide. We chose the perfect time to search for it, as a few minutes after we got there, there was a massive hailstorm!!! We all huddle under the hide for shelter…
As we waited for the storm to pass we suddenly heard a creeking noise near by. A spooky old haunted house creeking in the wind? No! The tree just a few meters from us all ready to break. Suddenly there was a massive crack and it collapsed across the path. Yikes!
The storm finally passed and some clever cacher found the tricky cache that we were all trying very hard to hunt out. It was a very tricky one. After that we embarked on a long walk around to get the rest of the caches, and a quick run back to the event in time for the fancy dress competition. A quick drink warmed us up in preparation for the next installment of the event… The night caching series!!!
The coords for the night caches were released at 7pm and we all frantically tapped them into our GPS. If I were a caching superhero, my super power would be manually inputting coordinates into my GPS at lightning speed! Yorkie63 has told me that I tap coords into my GPS like teenagers text on their mobile phones. Lol! After a few seconds 😉 I had all of the waypoints in and we were ready to head off for the most amazing night caching experience and the most amazing cache hides…
The Haunted house monster actually moved his arms and groaned and many of the spooky creatures made scary noises. It was absolutely fabulous! It was a long day however and we finished off back at the cafe for refreshments before heading home around 11pm. By this time everyone had taken their costumes off, but some how most of us looked like the living dead after such a long day with so much walking and caching. 😉 It was an amazing day and I know everyone that I was caching with had a super time. For me, the best bit wasn’t just the amazing hides, but the opportunity to cache with the lovely people I’ve met whilst geocaching over the past few years. Thanks everybody!
I can’t wait until next year when I wonder if there will be even more MEGA events to keep us busy???