Sister Sledge, treasure hunts & a praying mantis: August Bank Holiday fun

 
Wow, wow, wow! I had a fantastic night on Saturday entertained on the Sunborn yacht hotel by the amazing Sister Sledge. I was well and truly star struck (my first ever single was Frankie back in 1985). They were great and put on a fantastic show.  

 
They sang loads of their old hits, except Frankie (what a disappointment) but apart from that it was a great night. Everyone was up dancing and there was a real party atmosphere. It was a fun musical prelude ahead of the great Gibraltar Music Festival which happens next weekend. For such a small community, we really are lucky with the amount of entertainment we get to experience here. 

Sunday, by comparison, was a rather quieter affair in the Postcard household, it was a dull humid day again which didn’t inspire us to venture far from home until evening. There was a bit of pottering on the patio in the afternoon, tidying up and cutting back some of the summer growth in the garden. While attending to an Oleander bush, my husband spotted this little fellow:

  
The praying mantis caused much excitement for the boys, especially our young bug enthusiast. Field notes were taken and research done.

   

Many of our patio plants are past their best now unfortunately but this sunflower, which has multiple flowers and buds up its stem just keeps going! I do love sunflowers, they are so cheery.
  
After dinner we decided to pay the Gibraltar Fair one last visit. It ran for nine days and Sunday was its last night. Could we entice one of our boys to have a go on one of the rides this time? (See this post for more on our previous trip to Gibraltar Fair)

  
The answer is ‘Yes we could!’ The youngest of the family not only had a trip round on a carousel, he also had a great time on a bouncy castle. Perhaps we are a family of doers rather than watchers after all? Watch this space!

I reckon the weather here in Gibraltar got the memo that it was a British bank holiday here too, because it was yet another grey and gloomy day on Bank Holiday Monday. I had rather hoped we could fit in a final trip to the beach before school starts next week but I wasn’t inspired by the clouds. What could we do to tire out three boys who need to start going to bed early again ahead of the fast approaching start of term? A treasure hunt! A friend of mine had mentioned geocaching to me once a while ago and I’d downloaded the app to my phone but didn’t do anything with it, until today. 

If you haven’t heard of geocaching before I’ll explain; (if you have heard of it, apologies for this bit!) the aim of the exercise is to try and find a cache. A cache can be just a piece of paper in a box or other container which is well hidden from view in sometimes quite obvious places. You use the app to find them, it tells you which direction to walk in and roughly how far you are from your destination using GPS and offers clues for where to look. When you find the cache, to mark your discovery you update the app to say you’ve found it and sign and date the piece of paper before hiding it back in it’s original hiding place. These caches are hidden all over the world by folks who presumably enjoy purting their puzzle and problem solving skills to the test.

There are quite a few of these caches dotted around Gibraltar so I decided to try the area around the Botanic Gardens as there are three nearby and if we failed in our mission, at least we could have a trip to the small zoo there.  

 
The gardens really are lovely, although the grey sky and murkiness in this photo don’t  show it off to it’s best advantage! We ambled through the gardens and paid a visit to the Alameda Wildlife Park or ‘zoo’ as we like to call it. It’s tucked away in a small corner of the gardens and offers a home to a small and eclectic collection of animals, many of which have been rescued from smugglers.

  
The pot-bellied pigs are big favourites for us, as are the tortoises.

   
Of course there a few of Gibraltar’s most famous residents, the Barbary Macaques.


Check out this little guinea pig – it’s got such a lot of hair! (Or perhaps that should be fur)

  
Back down through the gardens we headed over this gorgeous bridge over the sunken garden.

  

The garden is beautiful and a real green oasis in a rather built up environment- I do enjoy spending time here.

 
We were, of course, on a mission to find treasure or at the very least a bit of paper in a plastic box so we set off on our first mission. It was unsuccessful. Hunting around looking for something I had never seen before in grotty holes reminded me of the frustration I’m faced with daily as a mother of young boys who constantly lose toys (or bits of toys). I was not really enjoying this geocaching lark, so we gave up and went to the nearby shop and ate ice cream.

Reinvigorated and energized after a sugary treat we decided to push on and try to find a different cache. This was a short walk away and hidden in a wall. There are a lot of walls in Gibraltar and this particular one is over 100 metres long. After much rooting about in undergrowth and worried looks from passers-by I sat on a bench for a sip of water feeling defeated. That wasn’t the case for the rest of the team and the cache was discovered. There was much high-giving and congratulations. Feeling rather pleased with ourselves  we carried on and found a second one a short walk further along the road. 

I have to admit I’m intrigued by this geocaching business and would like to have another go soon. It’s interesting to see the names of the other people who have found them before you and signed the logs and also see where they have come from.  Have you had any experience of it? If so I’d love to hear from you. I haven’t included any pictures of the caches or where we found them as you may want to have a go at finding them yourself one day. That’s all for now, happy September to you all!

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