We had walked three caches, and three times we came up empty. Clearly, we don't know how a geocacher looks at the landscape -- and so we don't know where to look! Once you have done a few caches, it becomes easier, because you can build a mental model of what other geocachers do.
We spent New Year's Even with babarage, gertvr and xaviar_nl, as is traditional. We convened in Tilburg, because it was babarage's turn to function as host -- she had bought a new house the past year, after all. (It's a good thing we never buy a house in the same year!)
They had gotten interested by our talk of geocaching, and we had selected a relatively short multi-cache (GCT514, Wolterbeekstraat) to do. At around 15:00 we were in position, and we started our walk.
It was a good thing we had these three extra pairs of eyes with us, because they found clues that we otherwise would have missed. Everyone had great fun -- it's nice to walk around outside with a goal.
And... we found the cache! We used our personal stamp (made from our super-deformed portraits) to sign the logbook. And there was a rather diverse mix of goodies...
That morning, we had gone through our stashes of trinkets, to select some stuff to exchange in the caches. I had found a plain whistle, but also klik's scouting whistle -- which had been declared strictly off-limits for exchanging in a cache. On the way to Tilburg, we talked about her time with the scouts, and she told me about the significance of the whistle and the cord it was on.
So imagine our surprise when we found a scout's whistle plus cord in the cache! We took it with us and we left a trinket of our own.
People had been warmed up now, and I was prepared for that. I had printed out the coordinates of a traditional cache very close to the Wolterbeekstraat: GCZ0AJ, someone's fishing spot. We went there (after a slight navigational mishap), and while we were seeking in the bushes, gertvr found the cache within a minute!
We also found our first ever TravelBug there, NinjaChop -- it had just been dropped off that day. We left it there, though -- it's not likely that it would get closer to Japan by being taken to Nijmegen.
And so, we now have more of an idea of what geocachers think like, thanks to the sharp eyes of babarage, gertvr and xaviar_nl! We resolved to do a cache together now and then, and I'm certainly looking forward to that!
Also, I have placed the geocaching.com stats banner in my profile. In the unlikely event you want to keep up with our finds, you can look there. Click on the banner to get to our profile page, where you can read all of our logs (most of which are in Dutch, because most are Dutch caches).