Geocaching on empty in the Isle of Man

After a long day and night travelling to the Isle of Man we didn’t want to waste a day of our holiday catching up on sleep, so we had breakfast when we arrived at Anna’s Mums and then headed off for a day out.

We had a geocache or two planned, the sun was shining and we hadn’t been to the island for a while so had to check out the usual places. We made a packed lunch, made room for Pat in the car and set off. First stop was a cache in Foxdale. There was still quite a bit of snow around up here and the sides of the road still had a few drifts. Morgan and I jumped out and found the cache fairly easily. The first on the Isle of Man for this trip so we were off.

We had planned on taking the road past the South Barrule Plantation over to Niarbyl for an interesting looking geocache there but the road was closed due to snow. Parts of it had been cleared but there were 6-8 foot drifts lining the sides of the roads and presumably further up the hill it was still impassable. Instead we headed down towards St Johns and then around via Glan Maye, stopping at a few little geocaches along the way. There was plenty of deep snow along the road here as well, but the road itself was clear. The road down to the shore at Niarbyl was a river thanks to snow melt but we parked at the bottom and scrambled across the wet slippery seaweed covered rocks to the island to find and ‘offshore cache’ that is only accessible at low tide. It was easy to find but a good fun cache in a lovely spot.

The sun may have been shining but the strong easterly winds and temperatures no higher than 3°C meant that it was pretty cold and not really a day for sitting around admiring the views. With no way back over the hills we had to retrace our route back through Glen Helen and then headed into Peel for a walk around the castle.

It was still too early for lunch so instead we headed back to the South of the Island and the Sound where we would attempt a cache at the most Westerly point of the island before having our picnic overlooking the Sound and the Calf of Man. We did a couple more quick caches en route and soon arrived at a busy car park. The cache itself had been melted in a recent gorse fire but we logged it anyway before eating lunch.

I was pretty tired by now after driving all day yesterday, getting very little sleep overnight on the boat and then driving again all day today so we decided to have a lazy afternoon back at Pats house. Not a bad start to the holiday though with 8 geocaches logged. Morgan now wants to beat our record of 79 geocaches in a year that we set back in 2007. Not a huge target to beat so it should be perfectly achievable, especially as we are up to 30 odd already this year. Don’t think we’ll quite do it whilst on the island though.

The lazy afternoon did involve building a Lego model with Morgan but I did fit a little snooze in as well. I was supposed to go for a swim but the local pool wasn’t open and I couldn’t be bothered to drive into Douglas so had yet another day of no training – my triathlete lifestyle is certainly slipping at the moment – I’d better do something tomorrow or else I’ll just turn into a fat, unfit blob. I’m therefore hoping to do a bike ride and some more geocaching as Morgan not only wants to beat the yearly record but also our consecutive days caching record that we set in January of this hear with a run of 6 days.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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