The Welsh Mega Event 2016

I’ll start by being honest.

I’m not really a people person. Crowds and being the life and soul of the party…not so much my thing.

I dabble with local geocaching events, mainly because we have a super bunch of local cachers. Don’t tell ’em I said that though. 😉 

Therefore the thought of attending a Mega Geocaching event with thousands of other people should be a totally ridiculous suggestion right?

Nope.
It would seem curiosity got the better of me and I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about and attend the biggest caching event of the year.

Each year a UK Mega event takes place in a different part of the UK, with numbers of attending cachers growing each year it has become the biggest event of the caching calendar, attracting cachers from across the globe. With events held over a week many cachers coincide the main event with a holiday to maximise the fun. Vast campsites are established to accommodate the extra visitors to the area and enhance the experience.

I however booked a hotel. Baby steps folk. Baby steps.

With a friend daft enough keen to join me and a couple of our kids roped into the situation it was even safe to say I was even a little bit excited. A girly road trip is never a bad thing right?

The weekend was off to a flying start with a painless journey and we had soon made ourselves at home in a local pub catching lots of little Welsh Pokemon.

Yes I play Pokemon.

A lot.

And I’m not even a little bit sorry about that either. 😀

An amusing turn to the evening as I noticed across the bar a nearby chap with a small number on his t-shirt. Barely noticeable to the untrained eye but super sleuth that I am suspected a trackable code. Plugging the number into my geocaching app I was quickly proved right. (As always 😉 ) and with the bravado of a drink or *ahem* few two left a discovered log which only had the mildest suggestion of stalker.

Highly amusing to watch that one play out.

Worry not though, we did introduce ourselves on leaving and we didn’t even get arrested. 😀

With an early start on Mega day we arrived way before the masses, we expected lots of waiting around but actually it worked out wonderfully.

Having pondered the GPS Maze we’d decided that while a one off opportunity to experience it would be fabulous, we couldn’t actually be bothered to Queue for it.  With the maze not scheduled to open for several hours we were resigned to the fact it would be one icon from the trip we wouldn’t be experiencing.

However on this occasion it would seem the early bird really does catch the big fat, juicy worm. The maze opened early and even better, with only a handful of people visiting. Result.

As for the maze, well it got me a new icon for my geocaching profile and had some neat lab caches which kept the kids interested.
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A really informative attraction but for smart arse know it alls seasoned cachers like myself it wasn’t much more than an experience.

With the Maze and its lab caches completed our good fortune was to continue as we stumbled on the  lab caches for the Mega event itself being set up.

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Braving the Dragon’s lair.

I had been really looking forward to the lab caches having heard great things about similar events in the past, but if i’m brutally honest, they didn’t quite live up to expectation.

A serious of differing tasks in order to access a code, but nothing to get excited about. 

Again entertaining for the mini cachers and we got to experience them without the crowds.

With the majority of the Lab caches done it was time for the grand opening of the event to begin.

Yes, a lot of cachers but with plenty of space not the uncomfortable experience I’d imagined.

With lots of trackables to discover (not my thing), caching products to buy and a whole lot of people wearing clothing with their geocaching name emblazoned. 😉

Great to put some faces to names, although personally I  value the anonymity of a user name. Especially when it saved me a potentially rather awkward moment bumping into somebody which may have had something to do with a pallet. Oopsie.

With the Mega event visited  we decided to escape the crowds and head into town and complete the remaining lab cache. We later discovered we could have done so on the mega site itself but I can only feel this was at the detriment of a great experience.

Essentially a multi cache taking in the delightful grounds of Plas Newydd.

Hmm let me think about this…

Explore this….


..and this..

…or find numbers on posts in a car park…. Tough one. 😉

With the final lab cache completed we were en route to the mega site to make plans for the afternoon and catch the Red Arrows fly past. (Exciting!)

However it would seem our lucky streak had come to an abrupt end, wandering back through town my darling daughter chose exactly the wrong moment to decide that she was ravenous and absolutely needed one of those sausage rolls in the window of the Deli… they did look nice…

However whilst parting with my pennies I heard the unmistakable roar of what could only possibly be the red arrows flying overhead, despite an athletic exit from the deli I merely managed to catch the sodding vapour trails. Bum.

With children refuelled and a little bit of (adult) sulking 😉 we decided to try our hand at some local caches. With all those cachers in the area I fully expected very little finding and lots of signing logs that were being passed around the masses. However it wasn’t the case at all. A lovely trail along the Llangollen canal, taking in the views, finding caches, helping others who were struggling with finds and a lovely camaraderie of like minded strangers.

To finish the day we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the nearby, magnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

What a place.

A fabulous experience walking the narrow tow path, over a rather impressive drop.

Best not to look down really. A cache found nearby making a great ending to our Mega Geocaching day.

Well, maybe a little more Pokemon in the pub first…

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14 thoughts on “The Welsh Mega Event 2016

  1. Not a crowd person eh? Join the club. Missed a nearby Mega last month. Wanted to go but passed. Maybe next year. Beautiful scenery there. I do need to get across the pond sometime for a look around.

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    1. I’d go as far as saying not a people person. I guess that’s half the attraction of the call of the wild – all that peace and solitude.
      HOWEVER if you do ever hop across the pond be sure to let me know, I’d certainly come and say hi to you guys.

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  2. As someone who has a bit of an affinity with canals (maybe I was a legger in a previous life) I always mean to make the effort to go there, it is after all not that far for me so no excuse really. It looks beautiful, bet you can see for miles from the aqueduct.

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  3. The area looks gorgeous – not sure I’d feel brave enough to walk that aqueduct though! Always quite fancied the idea of attending a mega event but I’d be paranoid that they’d know I wasn’t a serious cacher and had only just managed to get into the ‘3 figure finds’ club! 😉

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    1. I’m not bad with heights and I found it a bit unsettling up there. They had a geocaching event in the week where you could take a kayak along the aqueduct, cool!
      I’ll see you at next year’s mega, we can outrage people by playing Pokemon. 😉

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  4. Ha Ha, that’s one good thing about being blind, I could have happily chomped on my sausage roll and enjoyed the sound of the red arrows going by with no reduction of experience. Except of course I would have been standin goutside taking 50 photos of empty sky in an attempt to snap one of a plane.

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  5. Hehe! I totally agree – I wrote a post about Pontcysyllte Aqueduct earlier this year, it is so high up there and the path is very narrow. There was a fab barge selling old fashioned sweets at the other side when we went, almost worth braving the aqueduct for xx

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  6. I didn’t even realise there was such an event! Sounds intriguing but I’m with you on crowds. We were in Llangollen too, over Oct half-term, and also walked across the aqueduct. Didn’t even think to look for geocaches though!

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