"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Saturday, July 28, 2007

LONDON! Day 11: Geocaching

Now a little less soaking wet and with the whole afternoon ahead of us, we did what any person would do: we went geocaching! Since it was early evening in London, that meant it would be early morning in Utah. We called my good buddy - and fellow cacher - to get some info from her. During my many hours of working hard at the convention (read: being bored stiff), I was able to do a little (read: a LOT) of Internet browsing. So I wrote down a few geocaches in the immediate area of our hotel. While my buddy looked up some information for us (see? I knew hanging out with early-risers would come in handy), we realized something: we were standing in Hyde Park, in the infamous Speaker's Corner, no less.

Hrmmm...why exactly is this spot famous? Beats me. Looked pretty ordinary, actually.

After getting directions, we realized the cache was no where remotely close to where we were, which tends to happen a lot while in London. Nothing is close. We headed back to the hotel to get the GPS (essential to successful caching), my caching notebook, and also for a potty break because really, who wants to spend nearly on dollar on a public toilet?

First geocache was a webcam cache. See the two camers just above the curtained window? In order to claim a visit, you must stand in view of the camera, have someone else go online and copy the image of you, and then you post that along with your log to the cache website. By now, it was early evening. We called the Crazy Grandparents and asked my mom to be the one to save the image of us on the webcam. The kids got to see us on the webcam! They got very excited, wanted to know if we were right outside. Ooops...maybe not such a good idea. But we got the image and moved on.

The second cache was just a few blocks away, in the Tube's Paddington Station. The clue on this cache said that if we looked in a certain place, we might see someone famous. Hrmmm...whatever could that mean? And then we saw this:

Yup! That's Paddington Bear! He was found in this station by Mr and Mrs Bear, who then gave him the name Paddington. In order to claim this cache, you had to find the words on his suitcase and then email them to the cache owner. Done! What's next? Well, remember how I said that this area of town was known as Little Italy? It's because there is a canal. On the canal are these long boats.

The last cache was along the canal.

Here is the Man trying to look nonchalant while there are other people (or muggles, in geo-speak) present, people who might find the cache and - not knowing what it is - take it, ruining the fun for future cache seekers. So we try not to draw attention to what we are doing when we find an actual cache. This one was a small tube, fitted with a strong magnet and tucked in such a way that it looked like it completely belonged there. To claim this one, you sign your name on a rolled up strip of paper inside. You usually have to bring your own pencil on these, as they are very small.

By now it was getting dark and we were exhausted. And we were sick of eating in restaurants. Instead, we stopped at the little market by our hotel, picked up bread, milk (in the cutest little jug!), and chocolate. I intended to return home with half a suitcase full of English chocolates. Had to settle for a half full grocery sack instead. See, we had a lot of coins. The international money changers don't accepts coins, so we had to spend them. Used a good portion right here at the market, getting all kinds of chocolates: organic milk chocolate (for my sister), stuff called Maya Gold, Turkish Delight (kinda like jellied, chocolate covered perfume), nearly a dozen different Cadbury bars that I'd never seen before, and even a Kit Kat (but with the smoother European chocolate on it, it was a different experience). So back in the hotel room, we watched odd shows on TV while munching on bread schmeared with jelly, drank milk and savored the chocolate. Our last evening in London.


Amanda said...

I had no idea what this Geocatching was at the beginning of this post! How interesting......I doubt I would do it b/c let's be honest I am just too lazy to run around a city for no reason! But sounds like ya'll had fun. And the bread, milk, and chocolate is making me very HUNGRY!!! I need breakfast!

Heather said...

Turkish delight as in Narnia Turkish delight? Careful of the white witch.

Kristie said...

Sounds like a fun end to your day!! I really enjoyed going to all the links and finding out a little bit more about the sport.

Debi said...

Geocaching sounds like so much fun! I jumped over to the site you hyperlinked....to think, all this time I thought geocaching had something to do with hunting for geo's....you know, those rocks that are petty on the inside but rough looking on the outside. Maybe they are Geods....I don't know how the word is spelled. Anyway, now I know what it is all about (thanks to you) and I am a tiny step closer to being "in the know!" Thanks Jessie. You are educating me. I talked to Crazy Grandma today at church. I am so glad they are back here. I am telling her all about what a great blogger you are :)

Emily said...

as sarcasm doesn't translate well in print sometimes, do you really not know what Speaker's Corner is?

it's so you to go geocaching in London! :)

Jessica G. said...

Heather - yup! I bought it because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I'll stick with my jellied orange sticks, thanks.
Em - so it's a place for free speech but there weren't any other people there, just us. We made a few bold statements and no one opposed them so we feel we are well on our way to global domination.

Emily said...

But see how important a place in a country that has no free speech in the constitution is? Especially as I hear London gets a bit self centered and forgets that it isn't the whole country in and of itself...
(kind of like Denver here)...of course it could just be that I talked to the dissatisfied.

I feel like bugging you today :)

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