Sunday, 30 June 2013

Westhumble geocaching

First one found
The sun is out so it's geocaching time again.

Two Pollonella for the teen to keep hay fever at bay first thing this morning and away we went.

I'd printed out a little map so we could work out a couple of places to park near where we wanted to start. Also, out of courtesy, I had called the pub we were to stop in to have a drink on our way back to see if they would mind me leaving the car there while we went walking (there's not much parking around Westhumble and the streets are very narrow), which they didn't object to.

As we arrived, there was just one space in the tiny triangle where you can park for free so we frightened off some young back-packers who were sitting on the curb and parked up.  Cyclists were whizzing past down the hill.  There was clearly a rambling event and a cycling one both going on through this village.  The first 'achoo' from J as well. Oh dear.

Our first of the day was a little walk beside the railway line to Humble Hike 33.  The clue was great and I spotted it, sending J in for the retrieve. She did a great job avoiding the one stinger near it.  There was a little bench nearby overlooking the fields and dried up stream so the girls sat there with hubby while I logged the cache on my phone, watching the trains go past.

Humble Hike 33 almost in hand
There seemed to be quite a few people hiking around here and we spotted a few heading the same way as us.  Slightly awkward as this was the point S needed a wee.  While I understand she's only little still, I do try and hide her away a bit for her and everyone elses dignity.  There was just one tree coming up so we ducked behind that, to realise it just opened up the other side. Oh well, needs must and the other people had disappeared from view.

Up the path we went to Humble Hike 34 which was the next one from where we finished last time.  Hubby was sent in to make the retrieve as he had boots and socks on (not sandals and flip-flops like us girls) and the stingers and brambles were high here.  He made a quick spot and the log was signed. 

J and I striding away in the distance
Back through the stile we went across the field and to the car.  "Are we going home again now?" asked N.  We pointed out we were not but off to find more caches which made her happy.  'Achoo' again from J.

We crossed over the road and walked up the footpath that ran past some very nice houses (another village we'd be happy to live in) until we had about a 5 metre walk on the road, which we did very quickly, to claim our next find for Humble Hike 32.  A nice easy spot for S.

S found it quickly
Down the alleyway we went, chatting away.  More hikers came past and we exchanged the usual pleasantries.  The alleyway opened up onto another little cul-de-sac and we all said we'd like to live there.  All these wonderful, tucked away places we have found while out caching.  Off we went down another alleyway to retrieve Humble Hike 31 which was a quick find for S again.  

What has N spotted?
Through another kissing gate and across a field (more sneezing from J) we came to the North Downs Way path which we were going to walk down for a while. We were right next to North Downs Way Micro Trail Part 2 so we opted to pick this one up as we were passing.  GPS was bouncing around a bit and there were some clear cachers trails disappearing into nettles. I wasn't about to do that.  The shame about this area was that it was full of dog poo bags. They were literally everywhere - hanging in trees, on bushes, by the path, in the nettles...  The poo fairy clearly is very busy around there.  We weren't about to go searching this area (for obvious reasons), so the girls and hubby went into Denbies Wine Estate and settled down while J and I had a cursory look around.  Hubby popped his head back over the kissing gate and had a look too.  I suddenly spotted the cache but still had to dodge a close dog poo bag to get it. Not nice but it was now signed.  Into Denbies for our picnic at the edge of the vines.

Picnic by the vines
Lunch eaten and we headed back to the North Downs Way to continue our trip.  Another small detour to collect North Downs Way Micro Trail Part 3 which hubby spotted from a little way off.  

Back onto the path and up to Humble Hike 30.  This is apparently a very close multi-cache.  We read the clue.  We looked around.  We read previous logs.  We looked around.   We looked around some more. The GPS was settled but we widened our search going through the kissing gate and looking the other side.  We even looked up when the clue said look down, just in case.  Nothing.  We couldn't find the sign so we couldn't do anything else. I just placed a note on the cache page to say we didn't find the sign which is a bit of  a concern as others said it was really easy to spot.  Oh well, onwards we go.

"Come on, it's this way"
Walking towards Humble Hike 29 and poor J was really suffering now with her hay fever. The sneezes were coming thicker and faster and her nose was very blocked up. My right eye had begun to itch too and was starting to feel like I had grit in it. Not good.  The cache was quickly in hand though and we turned up the path towards the next one.  However, at the end we had a choice of walking around the field - the long route - or through it but it was full of cows.  Now, call me picky, but I'm just not a fan of being rushed up to by cows and especially not with the girls.  Let's face it, it's bad enough when your adult height but being 4 and 2 would be very scary.  The girls were getting a bit tired, J was sneezing, my eye was itching so this was the point we decided to call it a day. Wise I feel.  

Back we went past another lot of young hikers and to the car.  

Chapel of Ease
There was one final cache I was going to get.  The girls and hubby sat in the car and got the aircon on while J and I went off to find Church Micro 2381 - Westhumble Chapel of Ease which was a short multi.  First to retrieve the numbers we needed.  

J sitting on the 'clue'
Written down and location of cache found, J and I had a death-defying walk down to it, having to cross the road twice due to the bends/lack of pavement.  Cache was quickly in hand and signed and then we headed back.  Cyclists are probably more dangerous than cars here and we were nearly taken out by two who came flying round the bend (you can't hear them!) as we were stepping out to cross. We had to jump back onto the pavement.  

Back at the car, we hopped in and turned around, heading to the Stepping Stones pub to have a well deserved drink in the sunshine before heading home to give poor J some Piriton and me some allergy eye drops!

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