Blog writing was always a bit of an erratic beast, however I have even surprised myself about how long it is since there were regular reports on here. Mind you, a lot has happened nationally, locally & personally to focus our minds elsewhere over the last two years. It seems that my last frequent blogging was early last year, 2011.
February 22 last year, this generation of New Zealanders experienced the trauma of a major natural disaster. An earthquake struck the heart of the city at 12:51pm. 185 people died, many many homes & businesses were ruined, and the on-going effects will be part of New Zealand’s future for all of us now. The trauma changed the people & face of our second most populated city forever.
As part of one of the many volunteer organisations that responded to the needs of the city & its people in the hours, days & weeks following the earthquake Annie spent almost a month in the city, and PB also had two periods of time there.
Two of our geocaching pals were significantly involved in the response efforts for their organisations, and as it happened we all finished up or had a gap in our duties on the same weekend. So, someone declared – ‘let’s go caching.’ These pictures are from that trip around the middle of March 2011.
We packed four cachers & all their requirements into our van & off we went. I don’t even remember now if there was a specific plan. I’m guessing not – other than ‘find next’! But I’m sure the boys will enlighten me if I’ve forgotten.
Sunset somewhere along the way on the Friday night. Somewhere between Christchurch & Tekapo maybe.
Everyone took turn at driving – or sleeping! Some did more sleeping than others.
It appears from this photo that I did find at least one cache. But I’m afraid I wasn’t any where near fast enough to get most of them. I guess that’s the ‘problem’ with going caching with experienced ‘binge’ & record setting cachers. Ah well, it sure is one way to up the numbers if your stats need a bit of a boost. We’ve got 59 finds from that weekend. And 2 DNFs. I expect there were probably a few more of each, but those are the ones that made it to my records. Quite a lot for one weekend for us. And nothing much at all for our caching pals. (You know who you are. :) )
One of my favourites and most memorable was a rough road through the stunning Mackenzie Country scenery to a DNF. The very spot we needed to search was occupied by mustering muggle horses and no doubt their humans were somewhere nearby. Oh well, it was a nice drive.
More fantastic Mackenzie views – this is from Mt John near Lake Tekapo. Those who chose can walk up this little hill. Others drive. Guess which we did? We’d been here before but some of the party hadn’t and its always worth a visit for the stunning views anyways. There is an earthcache this area as well as a traditional.
We can’t even remember some of this trip now, we were that tired, but it was actually a great idea to do something crazy like this after finishing up & before going home to ‘normality.’ It allowed us to wind down & get out of ‘emergency response’ mode. I think we would have felt very dislocated or dis-associated if we had just gone straight back to our regular routine. That in its self was a good thing to learn.