Time: 12:45 p.m.
Meeting place: Cafe on the Rye, in the middle of Peckham Rye Common, in the middle of a public transport desert
Looking for: Ha, like we knew. Someone with a red backpack? Or wearing a red beanie? Everyone around us looked suspicious. Too many people had out their notebooks and phones, waiting around expectantly. And were all these kids in red Arsenal jerseys planted here on purpose?!
About a month ago, Team Foreignerz, the scavenger hunt fiends that we are, signed up for the challenge: Find £5,000 hidden somewhere in an Eastpak backpack in London through a series of clues sent via text.
For each of the past three weeks, we dutifully completed a hunt, mesmerized by the videos, sometimes going as far as to transcribe them second by second to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. Had everyone else here at the cafe in Peckham done the same?
I wish I would have turned on the GPS tracker on my phone for this hunt. My dotted path would have looked like something out of the Family Circus comics, doing loop-de-loops, pausing, turning back, getting distracted, regrouping.
The hunt itself was way too much of an adrenaline rush to take many photos, especially when the other teams are all around you and randomly taking off running in some direction, and you’re doing your best not to shout the answer aloud because you’re so proud of yourself when you’ve finally solved it.
At Clue 15 (of 16), we got stumped. Our pile of papers was spread out across the half-wall on the fourth floor of an empty parking garage, but the ending time was looming. The sprinting had taken its toll, and we were spent.
Had we gone up just a few more floors, we might have walked away £5,000 richer.
Instead, we were treated to an incredible view and some orange and lemonades, deflated but happy to have at least been in the right location for the end of the hunt.
Amazing job to the people at In The Hidden City and Eastpak for putting this together. What to do now… Take up geocaching?