It was on a lovely Thursday afternoon that the Graff.io Team descended upon the coast of Wales, to a lovely little place called Cilgerran. The estimated departure time was originally approximately half past three on a beautiful day, however, this was delayed due to an unforeseen back injury to one member. It was with sheer bravery and courage that meant that this didn’t affect what would be a fantastic weekend. So, with few delays, the team were en route by 5pm – sadly hitting a little bit of the good ol’ English rush hour traffic.
The Journey to Wales.
With half of the Graff.io team in one car, and the other in the van, the journey was well and truly underway. With some tunes and pillows at our disposal, the journey was accompanied with laughs and storytelling. It was around 11pm that the Graff.io team arrived, and they were ready to go… to bed.
However, the music was turned on and a few drinks were poured, which led to intellectual discussions, amusing conversations and a fair amount of team building. Shortly after, the majority retreated to bed to prepare themselves for the activities that were due to occur the following day.
Friday, as told by the Graff.io Team.
Bright and early on Friday morning, the team awoke. We were all greeted to a full English breakfast fit for a king – lovingly prepared by the boss himself Andy. One can only describe this breakfast to be utter perfection – one that would adequately keep the body running and satisfied for a lifetime. Delicious. Anyway, I digress…
So, following a deliciously scrumptiously fantastic mythical breakfast, the teams were pulled out of a hat. There were five on the A-Team, headed by the king of art and breakfast himself, Andy. On the other side, we had the team comprising of five champions – the B Team, representing Mr Barradell the courageous. As the two teams congregated in different areas to discuss and formulate a winning plan, it became clear that the competition was on. The task? Geocaching.
What is Geocaching, you may ask?
Geocaching is an activity in which an item or container holding several items, is hidden at a particular location. GPS users find it by means of coordinates posted on the Internet.
Andy had selected a set of Geocaches for the teams to find – all in beautiful locations in the surrounding areas. The aim was to reach as many as possible before the end time of 7 pm. Leaving at 12 pm, the race was well and truly on. With a few minor hiccups (Team B putting the B in Barricade by blocking in Team A’s van), the competition started even.
Team A versus Team B: the ultimate showdown…
They went their separate ways. Team B made it to the first geocache first, a lovely telephone box. In completing the cache log, they saw Team A approaching and ran back to the car before splitting up. At this point, the rest becomes a blur. It was only when the two teams accidentally reconvened at around 3:30 pm that both teams were spurred into fighting harder. With 23 geocaches to locate, around half way it appeared that the teams were equal. This meant that both sides had to up their game.
So, who won?
Team B arrived at the end location at 7 pm precisely and were hungry to meet team A. They were instilled with fear and determination as Team A approached with smug grins on their faces. This was it. The moment of truth was finally upon us.
As Team A declared that they had located all but three of their caches (totalling 20) – it was clear that it was all over. It was only in that moment that the grins fell quickly from their faces. They discovered that the ever-amazing Team B had managed to discover all but… two of their caches! At first, they couldn’t believe their ears – was this a trap? Sadly, for them – it was not. Huddled around, both teams told their experiences and shared their day. It was truly beautiful to discover the different techniques deployed on both sides. Averaging approximately 17,000 steps each, it is safe to say that the Graff.io team consisted of tired legs at this point.
So, setting off to a bit of a late start, the Graff.io team headed on down to what J dubbed as ‘the canal’ with our Kayaks, we tactically selected the pairs. With the youths equipped with their extra protective iPhone cases, they stumbled into their kayaks ready for a casual journey down the river.
The surroundings were gorgeous. Much to Alex’s delight, there were cows in the surrounding fields that decided to follow them along the route. Surprisingly dry, the first mile was an absolute treat to all. It was only when a large “DEAR” echoed across the valleys, that we were alerted to a minor setback. As Kieran and I had just emerged around a corner, we witnessed the cause of the exclamation, shortly followed by a splash.
Who became the water?
Alex was in, shortly followed by James and his iPhone. Zak and Naima crashed into the back of them and ended up in the water, also. As we giggled, Andy and Guy reached the view and watched on as one kayak floated off in the distance. Of course, James had his priorities straight – diving in vigorously after his iPhone 7. It was at this precise moment that he realised – his case worked. Kieran and I raced off after the kayak – and were greeted by a floating flip-flop. It was only after reclaiming aforementioned Kayak and oars, holding flip-flops akimbo that the team simultaneously realised. They needed to be like water.
So, what happened next?
Sadly, the team building events had to come to an end. Soaking wet, we all returned to the house to pack and prepare to leave. As I’m sure you can all imagine, the journey back was extremely quiet on all counts. With one exhausted team, it is safe to say that Wales taught us some crucial and vital life lessons.
- If you climb inside a chimney, you become the chimney.
- Jay can grab any item floating in water extremely quickly – provided it isn’t important.
- Dr Martens aren’t intended for faces.
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