Emerging From Winter

Nothing much happens geocaching wise in The Western Isles over the winter but this has been the most miserable, wettest, windiest and downright horrible winter since I came here in 2010. In fact local neighbours say it has been the worst winter for at least ten years or more. There was no point in updating the site over the winter months since so little was happening but now we are emerging from winter I though it was time for an update.

Much of the statistical information comes from Project-GC but when I tried to sign in today it looks like they have been having major problems with Geocaching.com and I am unable to sign in. That means that certain parts of this site – like Most Finds and Most Hides are almost impossible to update, however the total number of caches and the cache owners on each of the islands has been updated. One point of interest is that we are now only 2 caches short of the magic 100 on Lewis. I will have to do something about that!

It hasn’t been all quiet over the winter. There have been 5 new caches on Lewis including 3 in the Lews Castle grounds which make a nice easy outing for most people. The big news though is a series of 7 caches placed in North Harris by The Pudding man. This is a superb and quite challenging series although they all stand as individual caches and don’t have to be done in any kind of sequence. I got into all sorts of trouble on  the last one of these (Cravadale) – check the logs!

The Scotland The Quest cache brought over a team of four cachers just before Christmas who found many more while they were here including a rare visit to The End of The Road is Nigh. I still can’t bring myself to tackle the 8 mile walk on that one!

So things should start picking up now although probably not until the end of April and, judging by last year, most happenings will be towards the end of summer. Let’s hope the visitors keep coming and new caches keep being placed.

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11 Responses to “Emerging From Winter”

  1. Terry countrymattets says:

    Hi Les…chin up! Skye event 5th April. Tobermory event 15th April. ManxCacheFest 15-21 August – http://www.manxcachefest.com.

  2. Joy says:

    mmm mmm- my notifications within X miles of my home bring up all your caches, they are probably the nearest as the crow flies but geocaching.com doesn’t realise I have to cross the Minch to get them!! I wasn’t caching last time I crossed the Minch – relative newbie as I am — but yes here too it has been:
    “most miserable, wettest, windiest and downright horrible winter since I came here” in my case in 2007″ but hey the skye is a funny colour (blue??) and there is a bright light up there (sun??) and now we remember why we came to live in such beautiful places. Hope to come over soon and claim some caches

  3. Terry countrymatters says:

    Everything Joy said.

  4. GerryU2 says:

    Now a camping event would be a good way to get a load of cachers over. Any decent campsites on Lewis or Harris that could section off an area for cachers.

  5. Les says:

    It’s an idea, Gerry, but maybe not practical. As far as I am aware there are only four official campsites plus a couple of caravan only sites. Cache location wise the best is the one just outside Stornoway but it’s only a small site and mainly used by motorhomes. There’s one at North Shawbost on the west side but the majority of caches are over on the east of the island. By far the best sites are at Ardroil in Uig and at Reef also over Uig way and both are huge so wouldn’t need any special areas set aside. Trouble is there are only two or three caches within easy reach of these sites and it’s over an hour’s drive each way to reach the areas where most caches are. Not sure folk would enjoy that!

  6. Terry countrymatters says:

    Maybe what is needed is a cache-placement event, where the object of the exercise is not only to gather in caches, but to place lots more for Les (and, of course, all visitors) to find.

    Now I’m not likely to be back to the Outer Isles for a while, so, Gerry et al, are you up for it?

  7. Magareeroo says:

    I’m seeing that there’s new caches and cachers appearing on a near weekly basis, that’s fab!
    I have a couple of series planned that I’ve been meaning to place for months now but just haven’t had the time. I’ve been spurred on recently and have placed th first in one of the series (Pirate N’s Loot).
    There’s to be what I would deem a family friendly series that will compirse treasure boxes in fun, accessible locations on the East side (Stornoway Trust area, Lochs and Kinloch).
    And, a sneaky fun series, probably in similar areas but Achmor and North Lochs will gain a few. I’m pretty excited about this series as it’s been planned for a while and includes some cool, clever ones (I hope, all going well).

    I’m also hoping to collect all the caches in at least Lewis, this summer when I get my holidays so hopefully we’ll get a few weeks good weather in June.

    The purpose of this post was to enquire about the types of caches people like finding. I take my wee guy out with me and he’s mad about finding a ‘treasure box’ so I do like a lock and lock box, but I’m also partial to the buzz of having to be stealthy and quick so as to avoid suspicion in public areas. If there’s a type of cache that local cachers like/prefer, then I’ll try and work them in too, (I’ve bulk bought, made and collected with the placement of a new series or two or three in mind).

    M + Pirate Niall

    • Les says:

      Great that there will be more caches soon, there’s certainly a lot of potential in the areas you mention. I prefer caches that take me to places that I might not have otherwise discovered, or that have some sort of history attached, rather than those placed by the roadside. That’s what I have tried to do with many of my caches but, having said that, the caches I have placed in the best scenic locations are the least popular! It seems that most folk would prefer a ‘cache and dash’ or ones where there is not much walking involved.

      At the end of the day a cache is a cache to most finders but variety (combined with common sense) keeps it interesting. Nanos are fine in ‘stealth areas’ but I can’t see the point in trogging two miles across the moors and then spending half an hour looking for a nano in the middle of nowhere.

      Hopefully a few others will add their views.

  8. mmla* says:

    Hi all, first post here after getting sucked into Geocaching a month or so ago thanks to Magareeroo! 🙂

    It’s a great adventure finding all these caches in both public places and taking you to new places you haven’t been to. I do like a mix of the small stealthy ones and some bigger boxes where there are swaps etc. I guess it all boils down to the person you are and how much free time you either to get a cache and dash or a trek.

    Our little team (family) have now planted 6 new caches for all you treasure hunters, a mix of sneaky Nanos to slightly bigger 35mm containers and snaps boxes. Hope we will have some more to plant soon as we have nearly packed them all up ready 😀

    Happy hunting!

  9. Magareeroo says:

    Hiya,
    Me again. Firstly I have to admit and apologise that I haven’t been as active as I intended in placing new caches this summer with only three (one today and not yet published) of a family friendly series actually placed. There’s another 6 prepped and ready to go but I’ve just not made the time.
    Reason for this post (also to thank Cankita for his new hides) is to ask if anyone would be willing to place a mystery cache! I’m hoping to place one in the coming days that’s simple and fun and on finding would give any local cacher the find they need for the 5th road trip 15 souvenir (if they have already got the Point Villages bonus cache) . I’m going after the souvenir and at this rate will have to travel to the mainland for it (went to an event in Skye for the second souvenir, it was fun but costly). Anyhow, I’d be very grateful! Also hoping to place two more caches tomorrow (including the puzzler) so look out for those as well as the Pirate N series.
    Cheers,
    Magareeroo

  10. Torshavn says:

    Hey,

    it is nearly winter again – so it will be great to read the latest up-dates from the Isles. Already longing to go back…

    Greetings
    Torshavn

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