Geocaching HQ staff will attend dozens of Mega and Giga-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching! OnCloudDivine is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. She recently traveled to France to attend the Géolympiades #3 – Chabrières, Vaucluse, Provence Mega-Event (GC7TPCC). Here’s her trip recap.
On a warm July weekend under an industrial canopy adjacent to the beautiful vineyards of Château de la Croix Chabrières in the commune of Bollène, I found ground zero. Driving the 122 km (76 mi) from Aéroport de Marseille Provence provided a glimpse of the landscape at a swift 130 kph (80 mph). The sprawling lavender fields looked like pictures in a magazine. As soon as I, an eager adventurer, rounded the bend of the winding road next to the Event site, I knew I was in the right place … in more ways than one.
The most impressive aspect of this MEGA Event was just how many activities and things to do there were: wine tasting, guided tours of the castle ruins, admission to an adventure park in the trees within walking distance (complete with sixteen newly published caches along the walking route to the park), cache creation and photo contest, food trucks, two sets of Adventure Lab Caches (twenty total)—and all of this without even mentioning the géolympic events! With only three days for the MEGA Event activities, there was never a moment of boredom.
Each geocacher was given a score sheet with which to keep track of their progress in the competitive events. In addition to competing in the géolympic events, participants could collect a stamp from both Lackeys in attendance to enter a raffle for geocaching prizes. I was able to meet almost everyone at the Event because of this! As soon as attendees caught a glimpse of my black, ‘Geocaching HQ’ shirt at the registration booth, the crowds descended for their tampon (stamp).
Saturday was a day to adventure, cache, and explore around the Event site. This was the best day to visit the adjacent Parc Accrobranche, a series of zip lines built up into tall, sturdy pine trees. After a safety demonstration, I strapped on my harness and had a blast zipping from one treetop platform to another.
Sunday was the main day for competing in the team events. Games included: PET catapult, rope tying, archery, potato sack race, ‘Total Wipeout,’ and many more that I had to see in order to comprehend!
The magnitude of this Event would not have been possible without the dedication of the volunteers and hosts, Cybmat+Bubulle, who organised the event so skillfully for the third year. The quality, thoughtfulness, and time they dedicated to organize it was evident in every small detail. Un grand merci.
As someone whose role is to help the geocaching community every day, I came prepared to offer my assistance. I was overwhelmed—not only by the sheer number of people who wanted to speak with me—but also the kindness and hospitality that they displayed to a Seattleite who was eager to practice her French. Whether it was sharing trackables to discover, sips of homemade wine, or cellular data to log the MEGA’s Adventure Lab Caches, connecting with this important part of the geocaching community is a memory that I will cherish for a long time.