Friday, 5 April 2013

Did a giant place the cache?

Old mill stone, Pirbright

Found this old cache note I had made from September 2011 and as the weather has been so rubbish lately and S has a bad cough, I thought I'd post this in place of actually going out.  Oh dear. Roll on summer!

At this point, S would have been a month off of 2 and N was just 9 months old.

We decided to head off and start the Pirbright Ring caches with some friends who had come to visit.  We had a glance at the map and opted for around half of the ring to do that day before poor hubby had to head off to work.  A lovely day and off we went.

It was only when we arrived, unloaded the girls from car and were ready to set off, did I realise I'd left my phone at home!  It's a bit hard to go geocaching with no mobile device, no matter how keen you are. Fortunately both friends had their iPhones with them and away we went.

One of the interesting things to note about the iPhone was that our friends had different versions of it, the newer being the one that got the signal whilst the older 3G version couldn't pick up anything in the area.  Worth a thought if you're about to go caching with one of those as you're likely to just end up buying a loaf of bread to feed the ducks!

Our walk took us along the road for a while before we disappeared down a track road to the caches.  We certainly all prefer to be 'off road' for caching, particularly with little ones.  Just over 1 1/2 hours later (we were going at toddler pace you'll understand) we had 4 caches in hand and headed home for lunch.

The following day, hubby, girls and I headed back to Pirbright to pick up the rest of the ring.  We packed a small lunch for the toddler and away we went.

I had never completed a multi-cache before so we decided to head to the church to pick that one up as it seemed quite easy.  The clue was a Latin phrase on a War grave. Would you believe there were two War graves in this small church yard and, of course, I wondered off to the wrong one immediately and was therefore confused by the lack of Latin.  Looked across to the starting point and saw what I was looking for.  Like some other cachers (from the logs) I thought one word was in two parts then realised my mistake, so having searched around in some rather prickly holly, I headed off in another direction to a very obvious place.  It had to be here. Excellent hiding spots, a small cache, a quick search and.....nothing. Hubby had joined in and was having a good rummage around but no joy.  Even toddler with her usual stick couldn't see anything.  To be honest, finding the area wasn't easy as it was a dead (pardon the pun) zone on the live map and the compass did it's normal backwards and forwards ambling.

Another look at the logs and the implication was clearly that it was here. However, it seemed other cachers had the same idea but hadn't been able to find it either.  After about 20 minutes poking around, being prickled by holly and losing my shoe on a slope trying to almost climb into the tree, we gave up.  So I wouldn't have my first multi after all it seemed.

We went on to do the rest of the ring which took us, once again, past some lovely houses (a theme I'm noticing with geocaching) and down paths you would never have noticed.  Lots of nice caches to collect.

A sit down for toddler to have her sandwich and for baby to protest at having stopped moving and then we were off again.

One cache was a bit of a challenge.  The clue was '10 paces from 30' so we got to around GZ and noticed a 30mph sign.  Good start.  However, which way should we be pacing and how big a pace to take?  Off hubby went one way whilst the girls and I walked a little further down another.  Back we came.  Off we went in other directions and back we came again.  15 minutes had now passed and no cache was in hand.  Hubby spotted a wall further away and went to explore but I realised that would be the pace of a giant so unless one had come down the bean stalk to place the cache, that area was out!

We resorted to reading the logs and a thought occurred to me. Due to the size of the cache, I had expected it to be in a certain type of location but perhaps it was not?  A search around a dried up stream and in some vines proved fruitless but I decided (whilst hubby was still searching the giants area) that it could be over the road but attached in a different way.  Bingo!  There it was where I certainly hadn't expected it. Toddler was pleased as it had some nice bits in there to swap.

Away we went again and found two more 'unusual' caches.  Toddler couldn't understand why she wasn't allowed to keep the cache 'containers'.  I have to say that one that was hidden in plain sight (hubby spotted it from across the road) was smashing.

We had to walk down through a field of horses at one point and past the usual electric fence.  Toddler said the horses were lovely and was going to ride one when she was older UNTIL one came over to see us!  This was the point that toddler almost climbed up my leg.  I had to carry her whilst hubby walked ahead pushing baby (who was fast asleep at this point) with a horse at his back nudging him for a treat (he wasn't about to part with his extra strong mints for some old nag you know. No, not me, the horse!).

The usual clambering over some styles taking the pushchair apart and reassembling on the other side and we were back to walking along tarmac.  Our final cache made us laugh out loud and we let it be toddler's find which she loved.  Another lovely full container with a smashing travel bug that we'll help on it's way.  As we were signing this final log, a lady came past oddly staring at her mobile phone upon which I noticed was a map.  I wonder what she could possibly be up to?

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