This morning we decided, whilst the sun was shining still, that we would head off and find a few caches not too far away. We all fancied some fresh air so it was unanimous. Ok, so baby didn't have a vote but she doesn't count (yet!).
We went off down yet another road we've never visited and parked up. Everyone out and off we went down the footpath, baby in 3 wheel pram, 3 year old on scooter. Teen ended up carrying the scooter round nearly all of the circuit, bless her.
We got to the first cache very quickly. 3 year old was delighted to see the pigs in the field and we spotted the likely place (great hint) but nothing was there. Lots of places the cache could have been but nothing. Oh dear, simple cache and a DNF. Never mind, we'll just carry on the walk to retrieve the last 2 around this area.
Over our first stile and across a field and we reach a lovely little stream going under a bridge. Cache in hand courtesy of teen and not a bridge troll to be seen :) We carried on our way. Our next obstacle was a very narrow, metal kissing gate. The people who design these things really don't think about a pushchair now do they :( Our 'travel system' pushchair comes apart quite easily so with 1 year old sitting in the pram part, I hoisted her out and through the gate and sat her on the footpath the other side. Then teen and I lifted the frame over the gate and I put it back together the other side. Nothing will stop us!
We were approached by a farmer in his truck as we came through the gate. He was in the field across from us and thought, initially, it was just some kids wandering around as he'd not spotted me. They've been having trouble with people cutting the barbed wire he said. Shame some people cannot respect others property.
Off we continued. I suddenly realised we seemed to be moving away from the cache but as a road was coming up and the cache was 'round the bend' as it were, we decided to carry on and walk along the road so 3 year old could scoot. When we reached the road, we realised where we were and had to turn back. The road had no pavement at all along it and it was a pretty long stretch frequented by lorries and trucks. Not the place to take two little ones.
So, back past the farmer (who probably wondered what we were up to at this point) and pram over the stile in pieces again, back over the bridge, over the field and around the next stile and we turned left this time. Now we were heading in the correct direction!
We wandered across the fields and saw the footpath went left across a lovely wooden bridge over the stream again. As I was taking the pushchair to pieces (with a now sleeping 1 year old), teen noticed something. She pointed out to me the problem the other side of the bridge. No, not the high concrete steps down from it but the 'bog' and 'sleepers' (see top left picture) that we had to cross. Ah....now what?
Never to be deterred, a plan formulated. I would carry sleeping 1 year old in her pram section across said bog and leave her the other side. Teen crossed immediately with the bag and scooter to stay with sleepy head whilst I kept an eye on her and on 3 year old on my side. I then collapsed the pram frame and carried that across whilst holding 3 year old's hand. The other side I assembled sleepy head and pram frame, hung the bag back on it and off we went!
We carried on through some woodland which started to make me feel a bit nervous as I now had no idea really where I was but was heading for a road on the map that would finally join up with the road we were parked on. I picked up a big branch - just in case of bear attack or the like ;-)
We were just getting to the first piece of road (more like a track) when said farmer came past in his truck again and looked at us somewhat surprised. I'm sure he would be if he knew the area as it's not 'pushchair friendly' to say the least!
We found the last geocache quite quickly and then went back to terra-firma, aka tarmac. 3 year old was delighted at this as she could now, finally, scoot after walking alonge for about 1.5 hours.
We headed back to the car and home after quite the little adventure :)