1 August 2015 (Saturday) - The UK Mega
After a very restless night I got up rather earlier than I might have done and watched a fight on "Toddlers and Tiaras". One of the mothers apparently suggested some new dance moves to a competing brat whilst its mother wasn't looking. Said brat then added the dance moves to its routine which (according to its mother) completely ruined what was originally a perfect dance routine.
I can't help but feel that aggrieved mother probably had a point. I never saw the original unadulterated dance routine, but in the knobbled one the child looked like a hippopotomus with epilepsy.
I missed an anniversay yesterday; yesterday was the third anniversary of the discovery of my first geocache. My Ham Street Lover had spent six months prior to that trying to turn me to the dark side. Eventually on 31 July 2012 I succumbed to his wiles. In the intervening three years I've found 5 242 caches,, and what better way to start the fourth year by going to the National Convovation of Tupperware Hunters.
The 2015 UK Mega had been going on all week, but today was *the* big day, and having collected the crew we set off. Pausing only briefly for two First to Finds on the way we were soon in Essex for the event.
There was a little confusion about getting to the designated parking spot; and having parked there was a little more confusion in finding where we were supposed to be. But when all else fails we read the instructions and were soon on the right track.
First of all we had to sign in. Whilst doing so I met a Wherigo-maker with whom I've spoken on-line. It was good to meet in person and talk for a few minutes. We also met several of our Kentish friends, and after a little chat we wandered on and decided on our plan of action for the day - contrary to popular opinion I don't make (all of) it up as I go along.
First of all we wet off for a little geo-wander; the dogs didn't understand why we weren't going anywhere and were getting restless. We walked for about a mile or so meeting other hunters of tupperware as we went. One of the caches on this route was up a tree. I climbed up several yards, and just as I was about to do the secret geo-thing a voice shouted up "It's all right - I'm a tree climber" and some chap scrambled up the tree after me with a rather frightening display of idiot enthusiasm.
As the chap clambered up so he demolished many of the less-suspecting branches which were on (or in) his way. Having nearly plummeted to his doom several times he then announced to the world that most of the tree was dead. Seeing he'd got himself settled I made my way back down as quick as I could whilst there were still a few branches left.
After a quick conversation with a micro-lite pilot we made our way back to base camp. I felt peckish, and went up to the catering stall. I fancied the curry. It wasn't ready yet. Paella? Fifteen minutes. Burger? Not yet. When I asked what was ready there was an embarrassed cough and the chap said they weren't actually open. Why didn't he say that right at the start?
We then did a spot of geo-shopping and I got myself a new T-Shirt. We then met Rob and Lizzie and we went back to the caterers. Paella was... it wasn't bad. But it wasn't good either and it wasn't cheap.
And then the rest of the day was something of a blur. Around the site were ten lab caches. A lab cache is the holy grail of geocaching; out of the over five thousand of the things I've found, only thirty-one of my finds are lab caches. Today's ten had a James Bond theme. One involved a serious climb; I've never done a climbing wall before. Others involved Chirp technology, dynamos, scrabble boards, magic eye pictures and even rubber ducks. In between this we fitted in more shopping, ice creams and a Punch and Judy show (which the dogs found fascinating).
Pausing only briefly to send Rob into the river we made our way to the bar for a crafty half. We met more friends there, and as Rob and Lizzie set off for a Wheri-adventure we sat chatting for a little while before setting off home.
We did get stuck in motorway traffic on the way home, but bearing in mind what the M20 has been like lately that is hardly surprising.
I took a few photos whilst we were out. We had a great day. I had been offered the opportunity to have been there for the week. Do I wish I had actually been there for the week? Possibly.
Next year's National Convovation of Tupperware Hunters is in North Wales. Plans are afoot...