Found: 31 Jan 2012
They better listen ’cause we’re ringin’ a bell… Aint no deals, we got nothin’ to sell… Just a taste of things to come at the Star Hotel…
Stand up all you Cold Chisel fans!! Our next cache quest brought us to the historic Star Hotel, perched very closely on the eastern bank of Traralgon Creek. Constructed in1875 on the road to Sale, the Star is the oldest surviving building in Traralgon. After the railway arrived, the town bias shifted to the other side of the creek where a new Star Hotel was built and the licence transferred. The old Star became a boarding house, then later a private home. A few minor additions were added, though the original section of the building is still there in its entirety. The original shingled roof also still survives, though it’s covered over with corrugated iron roofing now. The Star is now a gorgeous little cafe, with a private secluded feel, yet it’s only a stones throw from the hustle and bustle of Stockland Plaza.
Pulling up, we spotted a guy with a… was it a phone? could it be a GPSr? Had we spotted a fellow cacher? Well he was standing only a short distance from the Star, but within a radius that could have him looking for caches. We eyed him suspiciously until he soon moved off, leaving us alone to complete our mission.
Approaching the Star Hotel, we had differing opinions on where we thought the cache could be, just going by the surroundings. Firing up the Groundspeak app and zoning in on GZ brought me to a tree. It brought geo-daughter to a fence. Great. Now even our iPhones can’t agree. We broadened our search area so that the two area’s would, or at least should, overlap.
Whilst scrambling about underneath some bushes around the side, I popped my head up and locked gaze over the fence of the Star with a young woman who was watching me with curiousity. She called out a cheerful hello. I gave a big smile, waved, and greeted her with a friendly “Hi,” whilst simultaneously thinking she must be wondering what the hell I am doing. I mean, here I am, a neatly dressed 40yr old woman, surreptitiously crawling around under bushes like a fugitive. Mind racing, I tried to come up with a cover story. “My dog lost his ball under here.” No wait, that’s no good… I didn’t have a dog with me. “I lost my dog under here…?” Thankfully she went back inside before any need for excuses arose.
Retreating, I quickly joined geo-daughter as she hunted out the front. We heard a door close behind us and the crunch of footsteps approaching. Uh-oh. Out came the young woman I had seen over the fence, followed closely by another woman, the owner of the Star Hotel Cafe (who I shall refer to as Mother Hen, as it soon became clear that she was very protective of the little box that brought new customers) My fears were allayed when Mother Hen said, “Are you looking for that sat-nav box?” Whew!
She then very kindly offered to show us where it was hidden if we were stumped. We declined as we wanted to see if we could find it on our own merits, though we did ask for a wee hint. Mother Hen had a chuckle and told us to just sing out if we couldn’t find it. After exhausting all avenues we returned with our heads bowed, to ask for some help. Mother Hen promptly took command of our failed search party, and went directly to the cache hiding spot. Oh no! It wasn’t where it should be! After a good 10 or 15 more mins, with direction from Mother Hen, geo-daughter emerged triumphant. Mother Hen seemed quite relieved it was safe, as she had been talking about phoning the cache owner to let him know it was missing. After a bit more of a chat and the signing of the log, Mother Hen supervised as we hid the cache exactly where the cache owner had originally placed it.
With a 5/5 strike rate today, we headed for home quite happy with our adventures around Traralgon.