Unfortunately, it's not all nice areas
She is very excited about this fact. You may say why would I bother as she's only 3 and can't even sign her own logs yet? Well, having read about it on the fabulous Geocaching UK Facebook Group, I suddenly realised this made sense as eventually she will want her own account when she gets a little bigger and can log her own cache finds. As it is, she knows we sign logs and would love her name added so what more excuse do I need?
We thought we would have a wander out and let her find her first few caches 'officially'. She had asked if we could go caching before she went to school this morning so to say she is keen is an understatement!
Off we headed to West Byfleet and a few caches I had spotted on the map along the Basingstoke Canal.
Now, the Basingstoke Canal at Woking has had a lot of work done on it and has a lovely footpath, plenty of cycleway and generally has been 'done up' to a great standard. Hard to believe then that this shoddy area we had arrived at was only about 1.5 miles away from the nice area.
Immediately we felt it was not going to be a pleasant caching experience. I don't think any of us like to cache in amongst dog poo, litter and 3 foot tall stinger nettles. Fortunately the path was clear.
The first cache we came to was by a sign saying "Please clear up after your dog", with about four piles of dog poo next to it. Umm.... The cache itself was a magnetic 35mm canister with no lid. The log was wet through (unsurprisingly) and it was utterly pointless to put another piece of paper in as you couldn't read a single signature. We took a photo of S on the path near to it should the CO want proof but somehow I doubt they will. They seem to have ignored all maintenance requests from before July 2011 (that's as far back as I could be bothered to look).
The second cache seems to have disappeared despite me sending hubby in to investigate. Lots of DNFs so we moved on.
There were some gorgeous flowers growing in the reeds (see pic) which was one of the highlights of the walk, along with the tinest, baby Moorhen we had ever seen. The swans sitting at the bottom of someones garden seemed like giants as it swam past them.
A lady walking a retriever dog on a very, very long retractable lead was heading towards us. The dog bounded up to S (who doesn't like dogs at all) and scared her but hubby intercepted quickly and batted it out of the way, in a split second it had reached the pram with N in eating her sandwich, put its head in and snatched the sandwich out of her hand! I was absolutely horrified! This happened so quickly and I screamed at the woman to get the bloody dog away and she then pulled it back saying 'oh, sorry'. WTF? If you are going to walk a dog in a public place, keep it under control. Having it on 15 feet of lead and not even attempting to pull it back when passing other people is utterly unacceptable. It's not the dogs fault - it probably thought it would grab a quick snack - but it could have bitten N and then all hell would have been let loose. Hubby was absolutely livid and told the woman to control her dog and sorry was not acceptable. N was in total shock. She just sat there, staring to the side without moving. It took about 3 minutes to get her to look at us. Poor little mite :(
We carried on our way, feeling ever more disillusioned but there was another cache by a different CO set some 500m away and had been found in the last few days so we ambled up to have a look. S was getting disappointed as she really wanted to find one that she could comment on herself.
We arrived at GZ around the back of some houses. It had clearly been muggled. Graffiti was everywhere, a new lock was on a unit and the lock box was nowhere to be found. The clue was good and there really was only one place there it could be. Shame.
We headed back and decided that rather than walk the canal, we would rather walk on the footpath down the road. I think that says a lot.
As we went under the bridge to get to the other side of the road, woman and dog appeared. She pulled dog tightly to her and stood back as we passed. I should think so too!
Off we went down the road back to the car making a note to ourselves not to ever bother with this area again even if the caches reappear.