Monday, January 12, 2015

Caching in the sunshine

Who needs to lie on the beach this summer, when there's geocaching to be done beside the roads and on the bridges of our largest city? Here's Paul Janman giving my oldest lad a lecture about the occult science known as GPS, during a recent geocaching mission down Auckland's Great South Road. Paul and I were replenishing the treasure boxes we stashed along the road as part of last year's A Sense of Place exhibition.
As well as filling ice cream containers with goodies and hiding them under convenient bricks and bridges, Paul showed Aneirin how to locate other people's geocaches. Under his avuncular gaze, Aneirin pulled a small box from a hollow tree on Pukekawa, the green and pleasant volcano in Auckland's Domain. The box contained a tiny replica of Mercury; its distance from Auckland's central business district was supposed to simulate the distance of that planet from the sun. At Mutukaroa, the vast traffic island just north of Otahuhu, Paul and Echo's kids Cosmo and Linton helped stash a cache; you can find coordinates for the treasure, and the comments of a few treasure
hunters, on this page.
Further down the Great South Road, Paul and I stopped to check on the geocache we left at Southdown Park, a rat-ridden maze of overgrown shrubs that sits between half-demolished slaughterhouses and the mud of the upper Manukau harbour. The park's entrances had been sealed, after asbestos was detected amidst its greenery. The ruins of the future have turned toxic. We've had to abandon our Southdown box, but the cache that we left on Mangere Bridge as part of the recent Other Waters festival seems to be doing good business.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]

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