An Early Start

Despite all the beer the previous night, I was up bright and early the next morning and got myself downstairs at 7:30 for some breakfast. It was the day of the actual event – the Caledonian Cachefest. My whole reason for being here, I guess. As there were lots of caches in town and I wasn’t quite sure what to do, I’d decided to try to run around the town in the morning so that afternoon could be more relaxed.

My caching day therefore started with a walk up and down the high street outside the hotel. There were a bunch of labs there as well as a selection of other things. This walk highlighted to me that Moffat is, in fact, not a very big place. Small but perfectly formed, I guess. I managed to get all the way round town (well, most of it) in three hours before the event started. All, aside from one multi which required walking around a graveyard. I couldn’t find all the details, so I guessed a couple and ended up with a final location that was feasible but rather a long way away. Another multi involved a bit of a reach out into a promontory between two streams. That was fun.

Thankfully, the weather was tolerably good. I won’t say “nice”, because it was cloudy. But it wasn’t cold or raining. Funnily enough, there were a fair few other cachers wandering around the town too. I wonder why!

By the time it got to the start of the event, I’d made about 25 finds and had essentially cleared out the centre of town, so that felt like a decent tally.

Caledonian Cachefest

The main event. The reason for being here, and all that. Well, to be honest, I’m not much of an event fan. I usually don’t spend long. But I fancied a weekend of caching in a part of the country I’d never been to before.

The event was held in a church hall at the back of St. Andrews. It was a moderate sized room and, at the start of the event, it wasn’t really big enough for everybody. Whilst it was nothing like busy enough for a mega event, it was certainly a large-sized regular event. The room had all the usual stands – vendors of various kinds, the GAGB, a couple of upcoming UK Mega events, raffles, games, and the like. So I think I maybe spend 90 minutes inside the actual event just wandering around, buying stuff, and talking to people. I was a bit peopled out after that so I went and sat in the garden for a while and thought about what to do in the afternoon.

A Second Lap

At some point when I was outside I saw Pesh and Mr+Mrs Minion. They were off to do the walk around town that I’d done in the morning. I asked if I could tag along with them, because I didn’t fancy getting in the car to go somewhere else. Much better to join some friends, even if that meant doubling back on the morning’s walk. So the four humans and two canines set off to do a lap of the town.

We went more or less the same route – starting at the high street and then venturing to the east of there before going south around the Recreation Park and then back up the riverside. A couple of extra bits of walking meant that it wasn’t a totally cacheless afternoon for me. We went further across the recreation park to grab a cache beyond the boating lake, and then when walking back up the river we went much further than I had in the morning. That grabbed me an extra four finds, including that troublesome multi, which was, in fact, more or less where I’d guess-calculated.

It was good to walk around in good company. I can tend to get a bit too deep into it when I’m on my own, and I reminded myself I was there as much to enjoy the atmosphere as I was to engage in heavy geocacing. So it was an excellent walk in excellent company.

When we were done walking, we went back to the event site just in time for the raffle draw and the general closing up. I got one winning raffle ticket and managed to bag myself one of the extra, extra-limited event geocoins. Nice!

Evening Event

For dinner I decided to eat in the hotel, and had made a reservation. When I walked down into the restaurant there was a group of other cachers (some of whom I knew, and some of whom I didn’t) who’d just sat down. There were seven of them at an eight-seat table, and I was very happy to join them for dinner. The food in the restaurant was good, solid, pub-style food.

The main event was supported by a host of other events. There’d been one the previous night as a welcome, and tonight there was another in the nearby Proudfoot Indoor Sports & Social Club. The theme for this one was “Cachemaster” – kind of like Taskmaster, but with a heavy theme on geocaching. It was a strange event, to be honest. There were lots of people there, but most seemed just to want to chat and have a drink rather than participating in the events. Anyway, I met up with Pesh, the Minions and Pesh’s two canines again and we sat with a few others nattering. After the previous night I wasn’t so keen on more alcohol, so I kept off it most of the night.

And that was more or less the end of my day. I went back to the hotel and made sure I’d finished all the day’s logs. I couldn’t have any biscuits with a cup of tea, because I’d eaten them all the previous night and I hadn’t been restocked. To be honest, I didn’t need them. So the end of the day and time for bed. Tomorrow was scheduled to include some more local exploration.