More Geocaching Gems

Spring put in a premature appearance for a few days, but has now vanished again, dumping us back into winter. However, we made the most of the good weather when we had it to do some geocaching. We enjoy this past-time and have discovered some amazing historical and geographical hidden treasures as a result.

Our first geocaching trip took us into the Maupuy hills at Guéret on one of our Wednesday afternoon rendez-vous with Rors. We’ve ventured into parts of these hills before, as they’re fairly extensive. We’ve encountered the rocking stone of Chabranle and the blue marble mines. This time we discovered the Pierres Civières – Stretcher Rocks.

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This is a rocky granite outcrop characterised by blocky boulders that, as Chris remarked, are more like coffins than stretchers. There are some caves and hollows beneath and behind some of these rocks. It turns out at that back in Napoleonic times, draft dodgers would hide here in order to escape being sent to fight in their emperor’s Russian campaign. Whether they were successful or not in evading enlistment I’m afraid I can’t tell you.

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About a week later, after dropping Benj back at university, we headed to the Tourbière de Dauge, the peatbogs not far from Limoges. These are high up at around 600m altitude, which is a big contrast from the peatbogs of Ireland, which are the only other ones I know about. Those are very low-lying. The scenery is beautiful, although we couldn’t see that much of it due to a very thick fog. That is the default weather for the area apparently. There’s a thick forest of mossy trees surrounding the bare boggy areas. We spotted looming in the murk what appeared to be very much like drumlins, but I’m not sure if they actually are, now that I’ve done some research online. However, they did look like the ones I used to draw back when doing O-level geography.

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The bogs are covered in sphagnum moss and carnivorous plants, drosera, grow there too. To Rorz’ disappointment, we didn’t spot any but that wasn’t surprising since they ‘hibernate’ during winter and die back. We’ll have to return in the summer. However, even if unsuccessful in that respect, the trip has rekindled our youngest son’s interest in carnivorous plants. He has quite a collection, and he’s now ordered some sphagnum moss from Amazon so that he can cultivate his own in one of the many suitably damp areas near our lakes. Sphagnum is a good growing companion to carnivorous plants as it retains a lot of moisture.

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So good old geocaching strikes again and provides us with some fascinating finds.