When Donnacha received a phone call from a “German TV Director” wanting to make a documentary on Geocaching, and wanting to film it in Ireland with our help, the cynics amongst us here at Geocaching Ireland had a good hearty laugh. A documentary about Geocaching? In Ireland? Unlikely! It had to be Klaus having a laugh at our expense. Surely he had asked one of his German relatives to ring Donnacha and excite him with tales of interviews, a camera crew, and ultimately, fame on the continent. However over the course of the next few weeks, several authentic looking emails and phone calls originating in Germany, combined with extensive Googling on our part led us to believe that the whole thing was actually going to take place! We learned that ARTE, a multilingual TV company based in Strasbourg, was filming a series that would be broadcast both in France and Germany. The theme of the series was hunting in Europe. Previous episodes had covered elk hunts in Scandinavia and the capture of wild birds of prey in Italy. Ireland would be the scene for a slightly more animal friendly type of hunting – treasure hunting! We decided that it would be best to bring the crew to a couple of caches in Wicklow, as they would be within easy reach of Dublin, where the crew would be staying, and would also offer excellent scenery for the documentary makers to show to our continental brethren (we’re still waiting for the cheque from Bord Failte!). We chose Peat Hags Perch and the recently placed August and Everything After. The walk would take in Djouce mountain, the Powerscourt Waterfall and large amounts of nice green forest.
The day before the caches were to be visited, Bootle, Donnacha and the TV crew converged on Donnacha’s house to film the planning of a caching trip. Our fears that we might appear somewhat leaden in front of the camera, and would be stuck for words, were unfounded as we prattled on about various aspects of caching, maps, equipment, etc. for a good hour. Donnacha was a natural!
The following day Klaus, Kyle, Bootle and Donnacha were joined by a couple of non-cachers out for a stroll, as well as the film crew. Our plan was to head up to the summit of Djouce first and find the August And Everything After cache, then head down again and get the Peat Hags Perch cache. We met at the designated spot and were filmed making over-elaborate greetings and plans. The dialogue was a bit forced at first – “Hello. Donnacha. How. Are. You. Lets. Look. For. The. Cache.” – but we soon became used to being filmed, and headed off through the forest.
With the cameras rolling we were filmed walking through forests, across streams and over styles. Bootle was filmed unsuccessfully trying to untangle his GPS from his backpack. Klaus talked of male cachers being interested in “finding the box”, which raised a chuckle amongst the more immature members of the group. Donnacha, ever the professional, never even fluffed his lines once. As we neared the summit of Djouce we got caught in a low cloud which made the whole treasure hunting aspect of the afternoon quite exciting. When we located the cache, much time was spent filming the processes of finding, examining, exchanging, signing and hiding the cache. When that was finished we noticed that we were basically standing in a cloud and were freezing! We beat a hasty retreat to the base of the mountain and had a relaxed lunch.
After lunch we all headed through the forest to the nearby Peat Hag’s Perch. The tall undergrowth made for some interesting jungle documentary type shots. The much falling over and slipping made for some less interesting Benny Hill style shots. I’m intrigued as to which will feature more prominently in the documentary! Kyle located the cache and we were interviewed about how we felt to be finding it. As nearly all of us had found it before, we did our best to feign surprise and joy! Once the cache was replaced, all that was left was for us to head back to our cars and be filmed driving off into the sunset!
Many thanks to Christianne from ARTE for showing the initial interest in caching and making contact with us. A big thanks also to Mick and Steve for doing the sound and camera.
Have a look for yourself…..