Saturday, 11 August 2012

Kiddie friendly caching

Today we headed out to have a little walk around some child friendly caches.  The CO had said that they placed them to be of interest to children and not just the usual 35mm film canister type.  That interested us as although the girls are delighted to find any type of cache (and I'm certainly not knocking the good ol' film canister), something with a bit more thought really appeals.  

I would say this entire blog is one big spoiler!  So, if you want a surprise, don't read any further or look at the pictures! You have been warned ;-)

We parked up near Swinley Timber in Bracknell. The ring was around here and only a mile long so idea for even the smallest of legs! :)  Also the track you walked around was suitable for our 3 wheel pushchair with no stiles or narrow stretches where we're balancing it on the front wheel only (yes, we've done that).  The only downside to this area is the abundance of mosquitoes.  They are absolutely everywhere and to say I have been well and truly bitten is an understatement. Today I was in shorts so they've decided to eat my legs which were covered when we last came to Swinley Forest.  Oh well, at least my Elephant Man appearance is improving.  I don't think I've ever had so many lumps and bumps on my body (I'm clearly allergic to whatever the little buggers pump in to stop you noticing them).

Our first cache was called Summer Holiday 1 - Home for a Tree Elf in the Ivy? No signal on the phone so just the compass to guide us.  The GPS was a little off and we found ourselves in the car park of the timber merchants with no ivy to be seen. Hubby and teen had a little amble off route and within a few minutes a shout went up.  Myself, S and N wandered out of the car park and around the corner.  J was standing by an ivy covered tree and beckoned S over and she was absolutely delighted with what she saw :) I do wonder if she expected to find an Elf inside too though ;-)


A promising start and a favourite point awarded.  We signed the log and then headed off to Summer Holiday 2 - Fire Wood?  This cache was just under 200m away so the girls and hubby went ahead as I came along with N, who was already wanting a sandwich (our girls always expect a sandwich and fruit now whenever we go caching - no matter what time of day!).  We arrived at GZ and spotted a likely candidate straight away.  S and J went in for a better look and the cache was soon in hand.  J thought this was excellent.  I then noticed that other cachers had been here today as well and looking at their logs this evening, the mozzies were bothering them too (I'm pleased to say as we thought it was just us!).


Off we went down a bumpy, wide grass area to Summer Holiday 3 - All tied up.  As we narrowed in on the area, hubby J and S went to try and find the cache. A little rustling in the undergrowth and then a "There it is!" rang out.  Again, S was delighted with this one and did the retrieve herself with my help.  


The cache container is attached to a string which is over a branch and hooked onto a little lower branch that sticks out.  S unhooked it and lowered the container to the ground.  A buzzing noise was around us and at that point she screamed and ran back to hubby.  Too late for me, another bite on my legs. Oh well, what's another one when you already have 5?  I took the contents back to the pushchair to sign and then did the replace alone. No-one wanted to come back to mozzie land with me :(

Away we went to get Summer Holiday 4 - We're going on a Bear Hunt.  Again, hubby, J and S went in for the find and J spotted it.  Hubby and I swapped places as I'd been swatting mozzies away from N as she munched her biscuit.  I went in and signed the log as J had made the retrieve. S's arms weren't long enough, even with the rod.  She loved the little bear though.


While I was trying to sign, the whining noise was right by my ear as I crouched on the ground. J stood behind me fanning me with her dress to try and keep the little blighters away.  I don't think I've ever managed to unroll and roll up a micro log so fast in my life!  Here's J about to put it back.  Another favourite point from me!

Down to Summer Holiday 5 - You're Sitting on It past some golfers playing on the green at the Berkshire Golf Club. I wonder if they appreciated the shouting and laughter from us all as we went down the pathway batting away mozzies and making each other jump with hair and grass on backs and legs.  Then N decided to 'pram surf' all the way to the next cache whilst screaming and making an police car siren noise.  I bet they enjoyed every second of that as we all know golfers love a bit of noise and chaos around them when they are playing don't they. :)


Back out of the main wooded area and onto the main path we found GZ. It was quite obvious, as I'm sure you'll agree.  A quick search around and the cache was found by J who handed it to S to 'claim'.  That's what big sisters are for you know :)  S was pleased as punch at 'finding' this one as you can tell.


Signed and I put it back, shouting 'mind the dog poo' at S.  Damn those owners who do not pick up after their animals, especially by a seat for heavens sake.  None of this was going to bother us too much today though as this was a hugely fun ring.

Last cache coming up on our little walk.  This was Summer Holiday 6 - Nice Slice.  We were heading back towards the car on the main 'road' area.  GPS bouncing around again and I saw roughly where it wanted us to go.  Hubby spotted an 'easier' way in a bit further past and said that the compass hadn't really been accurate so he thought it was a tree stump.  S and I went for a look but nothing there except long grass and lots of grasshoppers.  Compass moving around a bit so we stood for a little while and it pointed back to the original area.  Off we went. The grass was almost taller than S in places!  Finally we got to the area and spotted this.


Yep, the cache was underneath.  It was a lovely tub of goodies to finish off the walk with the lid attached to this marvellous chunk of wood.  I'd forgotten to pick up the swaps bag so we just signed the log and headed back to the car.

If you live in/around the Bracknell area and have children, you'd do worse than check out this lovely set of caches.  Credit to the CO for setting a really fun little ring.  Thank you.

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