The Sketch

For a number of years now the annual UK Mega event has been preceeded by another event, held the Saturday before. Recently they have come to (vaguely) synchronizing their sites so that one is within easy driving distance of the other. This other (earlier) mega event is Piratemania.

As its name suggests, it is themed around pirates. People turn up in comedy pirate costumes and pretend for the weekend that they are not, in fact, camping in a field. Anyway, I’d never been before, but because this year’s was close to MK I could go without having to spend a night away. Game on then.

The Morning

After a fairly early drive up, and finding a space on a reasonably empty grassy car park, I found myself at Naseby Sports and Social Club, wandering around for someone to go caching with. I teamed up with a group of 5-6, some familiar and some not so.

The first job was to wander around Naseby village completing a set of Ad Labs that the Piratemania event committee had set. It was a little surreal walking around. One wonders if the locals were aware beforehand of their village being full of people wandering around in bad pirate costumes.

Back at the plot, it was a quick walk around the village, and we were soon back at the site. Time for a coffee and a bit of a chill before hitting the bigger circuits.

Walking to the West

The event committee had placed two sets of new caches for the event. Well, two loops. I think they were named as a single series. Anyway, the bigger loop was to the west of Naseby. It was quite a few miles round and had about 25 caches on it. About half of those were on roads or other paved routes, so good speed was made. We kind of needed good speed though. It felt like a long way for the number of caches involved. It took well over three hours to get round, I think.

By this time I was in a somewhat larger group, but we were all “of a certain mind” – it was good company anyway, so it didn’t seem too long a time while we were walking.

My feet were struggling a bit when we got back to the Piratemania event site, so I welcomed an hour or so getting off my feet and having some lunch.

The Afternoon

Later in the afternoon I set off again with a different party of cachers to attack the second loop of event caches, to the east of the village.

On this circuit my feet were seriously giving me some gyp. It was probably another 3-4 miles round and contributed a further 20 caches to the total. I had slowed down to a snails pace by the end though. In fact, up the final straight the others all got away from me because I was suffering a bit. I hadn’t carried enough drinks with me either.

Summary

I’d never been to Piratemania. Having now been once, I sort of know what it’s about, so I’m not sure about going again. It was OK as events go. I tend not to spend long in the actual events anyway, but maybe because I was only there for the day I kind of ran out of enthusiasm quite quickly.

Maybe I’ll go again in a couple of years.