Monday, 22 April 2013

It's a bit Muddy (Duck)

Pretty lane
We noticed that a new ring has appeared in Pirbright.  Actually, that's not quite true. It's almost the same ring as the previous one which seems to have been archived, but a new owner has placed some of the caches in different areas so it's another lovely walk around the area to pick up 25 'High and Low' caches again.

Sunday arrived.  The sun was out, my bronchitis was much better now (as in I'm finally human sounding again as I was a bit more Dalek before) and we fancied some fresh air.  We parked up by the playground so we had some good bribery material to use to get the girls back to the car if their legs grew tired.  Fortunately, said ploy was not needed as they had a fab walk around.

#1 was in the same location as the original ring so was a quick pick up for us.  I'm pleased that I insisted that the girls wore wellies and I had my old boots on as there was a bit of mud as we headed off down the path.  We encountered a couple of ladies who informed us the mud got a little worse up ahead but we decided to go for it.  They were holding a GPS.  I wonder what they were doing?

Bridge to a big private house
We loved this little bridge that lead to the back of a huge garden area (more like a field) of a private house.  Come on Lottery win!  We carried on down the path. The stream that was running on one side was all copper coloured and I have to say not too pleasant to inhale near.  The mud wasn't too bad but I wouldn't want to fall in it.  In places it was almost dry to walk as you can see.

What mud?
Our next cache (#2) was in a new part of the path and almost had us stumped. There were a couple of 'cachers tracks' going to two different trees.  Hubby went up the bank to check the first out but the compass wasn't settling down there and started jumping around.  I moved away a bit and it settled a bit further on.  Up I went to look, poking around the ivy (not my favourite thing in the world) when I noticed that there was a football match on a field away and I was being watched.  I hopped off the bank and hubby went up to try and look more discrete (not sure how really) and as I stepped back, I noticed the cache.  A good hide and a lucky spot.  Signed and away we went.

#3 was a quick spot by me.  The youngest cachers wanted to make the retrieve but there was some twisty wire near the top and a very spikey bush behind the post so we said not this one. It's surprising what you wouldn't normally even consider when you're on your own as adults, but suddenly have to give great thought to when the little 'uns are around.  Signed and off we went.

We're watching ewe (get it?)
There was a little bit of walking along the pavement being watched by some sheep and lambs, before we veered off down another road - more of a track really. This area was where we'd stopped for our picnic last time and we decided to do the same again but first we'd get #4.  The location itself was nice and obvious but I completely overlooked the actual hiding place.  I can't believe it was that obvious and I didn't think about searching there first.  Hubby was shouting the location at me but I just said "no, it wouldn't be there".  He said to check and yep, he was right (I'll never live that down will I).  That got a favourite point from me but I won't spoil the fun here.  We spread our little picnic blanket out on the grass and had some sandwiches and fruit before carrying on our journey.

Snack time
There was a gorgeous farmhouse opposite where we were sitting.  They had a bench seat and super patch of green grass just behind their fence. Do you think they'd have noticed if we'd set our picnic up there instead?  I've decided if I win the Lottery, I'd like to buy the farmhouse (and all surrounding land of course).

Got to pick the right numbers!
The girls had started collecting some 'Angry Birds' toys that had been put into the caches so they were eager to see what was in #5.  We were so busy looking at the houses and chatting away that we walked straight past the area and had to back-track to pick up the cache.  A nice easy find for the little ones and another Angry Bird toy swapped out.  Glad they have one each now or there would be a fight soon.

#6 I remembered where it was originally and it was indeed in the same spot. I dashed across the road to do the retrieve, catching my rucksack handbag on a branch going in and out of the location.  Another Angry Bird swapped and now we had a bit of road to walk along.  Fortunately the footpath was only just around the corner and we were back off-road very quickly.

#7 was in the same place as last time too so I sent hubby in for the retrieve. Of course our memory wasn't *that* good.  The girls really liked the bridge.

Oops, wrong side
Now we had to cross over some fields.  Last time we were here the horses were very interested in us but this time they weren't bothered, which was good as S was worrying about them!  They grazed. We strolled through.  #8 was quite an obvious spot with the clue of 'lightning tree' as I'm sure you will agree.

Quick, before the ramblers spot us
N was lifted up by daddy to do the retrieve and S replaced (much to N's disgust).  As we were signing the log, we noticed four ramblers approaching. We had been so engrossed in chatting to the girls about what had happened to the tree and getting the cache that we never thought to look behind us!  They were moving at a fair pace and were out of sight very quickly.  I grabbed a lovely geocoin here but it hadn't been logged in the cache. I wondered if it had just been dropped off (we were seeing other names for today on each cache so were following some people around). When I got home it turned out that we had indeed grabbed it before it was logged as in there so I did a 'dip' for it for mileage.

Up the hill and through another stile, then between electric fences we walked to the next area.  The clue said 'Three in a row' and there were a couple of suspects for #9.  However, despite a false start in the correct location, moving some leaves with a geostick (yep, stick used for geocaching) turned up the cache.

I found it!
Despite the fact that S had made the find, it seemed that N was sure there was something else hidden here and was still busy searching while we signed the log and put a little swap in.

I'm sure there's another one here
Off through the woods we walked and down the hill to join a small road.  A riding muggle had unloaded his horse from the trailer and said hello as we passed.  Darn, he's near where #10 is.  Small people can be a great use for distraction though and we went to explore the lovely ivy covered tree.  Hubby made the spot and lifted N up to do the retrieve but it was then he realised it was attached and had to do it himeself (horse man had disappeared riding into the woods at this point).  There are another few houses here we'd like with the Lottery win.  We bumped into the ladies again. They were amazed to see the little ones still happily walking along with us and warned us of deep mud in the back half of the ring.  We were only doing half today so I'll make sure I have my wellies on too for that bit.  We had a bit of a chat and went on our opposite ways.

A bit more road walking now as there are a distinct lack of pavements around this bit.  Hubby stopped at a suspect for #11 and was scouting around it until I told him it was another 35m to go.  Duly found, S was lifted for the retrieve.  It was then that I realised I had nothing to get the log out.  Deft crafting of a miniature geostick did the job and the log was in hand.  S was lifted for the replace.  Food was now required as little legs were getting a bit achy.  Mini gingerbread men did the job (and for hubby and I too).

Around the corner we went, scrambling up the bank when cars were heard approaching. We don't enjoy road walking at the best of times but with little cachers it always feesls a bit more risky, although hands are very tightly held - they look after us, their parents, you know.

Our final one of the day was near the Mill House. I just adore the sound of rushing water (although I'd no doubt be up and down to the toilet all night if I lived there).  The road was quite bendy at this point so we didn't hang around.  As we reached a bit of safety at the entrance to the house, I realised we'd dashed past the final cache. Hubby sorted the girls out and I went back to disturb the resident to sign the log.

Oi! I was having a nap here
Little legs were very tired now so we said that was a jolly good walk and decided to head back to the car now. First a trip to the White Hart for a lemonade in the garden in the last of the sunshine (it was starting to cloud over a bit) and a bowl of the biggest chips I have seen - which were fantastic.  Then one final cache (well it would be rude not to) as we walked past it.  #25 was just around the corner from the pub. I spotted it quite quickly and made the retrieve. However, I was about to put it back without noticing that two muggles were approaching from the pub car park, another had pulled up on his bike and was talking to a third.  I'd never make a spy!  A bit of fumbling and trying to look non-suspicious and it was back in place.  That was my 420th cache.

The grass around the pond was very boggy and the ducks didn't seem to appreciate the cheese sandwich that N was throwing to them.  Fussy lot.

Giddy up
A detour to the playground for a well earned swing and ride on the see-saw (we let the girls have a go too *grin*) and back to the car.  First half done. If it's sunny tomorrow, we'll be back for a reverse walk to do the next half.

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