Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Shamley Green Amble

Off we go
J has headed off with the cousins to Chessington today (fright night type event) so we decided fresh air was needed and jumped into the car to walk a ring at Shamley Green, near Guildford.  A lovely village indeed.

Parked up opposite the church, having overshot the car park twice!  You just couldn't see it at the top of the hill and the church was set back from the road so we only saw it when heading back into the village after we realised we'd now left it!

It always makes me laugh in car parks. The whole thing was empty bar our car.  Two others pulled in as we were setting off and guess where they parked?  Yep, one either side of my car!  They even got out chatting to each other to take their dogs for a walk.  Aren't people funny.

SGB Shamley Green Bipedal Motion 01 was our first cache of the day. A nice little walk from the car park but the GPS decided to play up and take us around 20m past the actual location. A bit of too-ing and fro-ing and suddenly I spotted it.  Dropped off a little yellow duck TB I'd picked up in Hemel to carry on it's journey.  I was a bit thrown as I put my hand into my rucksack pocket to find it and there was no sign.  Slightly perplexed, I emptied the pocket and then realised there was a hole either side of it.  Putting my hand into the lining of the rucksack, I found the two TBs, my tweezers (wondered where they had gone) and an old shopping list (as you do).

SGB 02 was a very quick spot as there really weren't many places it could be to be honest!  As I signed the log I suddenly realised I'd forgotten to sign SGB 01 as I was hunting the TBs down in my rucksack.  Oops!

SGB 03 was a relatively quick spot too and the girls retrieved this one as the dog walkers headed back having had their walk.  Dropped off a 2nd TB from Hemel in here and away we went up the little road.  S was hungry and had a sandwich and N was complaining already about being tired and her legs aching. This is the norm when we are doing something she doesn't want to do.  I suggested if she was that tired she had better not go to her little friend's Halloween party tonight but she said she wasn't that tired.  Umm...

SGB 04 was another quick spot in an obvious place.  Lovely houses around here and such a nice, quiet area.

SGB 05 I thought I saw a good place as the GPS took me past and into a bit of treeline where a small stream was running.  However, once I had crouched under the branches, snagging my rucksack, it decided to point back to where I'd come from. Yeah, thanks.  Back I trundled and there was the cache in the place I'd glanced at as we'd come past.  All signed and back in place. Neat little hide.

SGB 06 was to be my 600th cache (yippee - does a little dance).  Nice easy spot along a piece of road with no paths.  Clearly the locals are used to driving slowly around here, thankfully, so we waited for a passing car before carrying on our walk.

SGB 07 was a quick spot but owch! the prickles and stingers while making the retrieve. More sandwich and crisps by the alleyway before we went through. Wonder what the householders must have thought of this strange family picnicking standing on the pavement passing out food.

SGB 08 was a quick spot by hubby as we approached.  Different side to the one I thought it would be on though.  N was now asking to go home and we explained we were going back to the car but neglected to mention the large circle we were walking in.

Off we went to SGB 09 but at the end of the road, N was getting really grouchy so we decided to call it a day before poor hubby had to carry her around the rest of the ring and cross over and head back, taking in the back part of the loop.

We sat on the bench while hubby took a look at Cricket Pitch Micro #21 Shamley Green but said there didn't appear to be anything there.  I took a cursory look too but considering the clue and comments from previous DNF's, it seemed to be gone again. With people working on the house opposite and the position of the cache, seems maybe someone was getting rid of it.  Posted a DNF for this one.

SGB 25 we seemed to manage to get to via a different route as we were not following the main circuit now. The footpath had warning signs to carry on at your own peril due to a dangerous tree that they were awaiting tree surgeons for.  The GPS settled at GZ nicely though and there was the obvious location.  Nothing. Just in case I was going mad (and seeing the hint), I checked the other end of the gate too. Hubby checked the opposite gate just in case. Nothing there. There was a new padlock on the gate so think it probably had been removed.  Logged another DNF here.

SGB 26 also appeared to be missing.  The clue was very straight-forward and yet there was nothing here either.  As there really wasn't anywhere else to look, another DNF, rather frustratingly, was logged.

We headed back to the church and S wanted to look around so we took her for a walk around the grave stones. She wanted to know who the people were and then looked at the poppy crosses by the War Memorial.  Finishing up we crossed the road and I collected Church Micro 754 Shamley Green quickly while hubby got the girls wellies off in the car.

A good walk and we'll be back to finish off the loop soon.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hemel Hills

It was like a ravine over there
Went over to see friends with the girls today as hubby was working and we were going to pick up a few geocaches around Hemel Hempstead.  I had no idea it was so hilly (although I have been there before quite a few times in the car - never walking though).

The storm was due today so we were being a bit cautious and keeping an eye on the weather but under blue skies and a bit of wind, we set off and it was the same when we arrived.  Perfect caching weather - not too hot.

Having had a drink and a natter, we jumped into two cars to go to Antscroff's cache, Whomping Walk, which was local.  I had to find this one.   GPS was bouncing around under the trees on the footpath when we arrived and S and I headed up a bit further to look before it swung back around.  By this time, N, who was with G, had spotted the cache and claimed it.  Not bad for a 2 year old!  She did a wonderful replace but tried to push it too far in and I thought for a moment she was going to follow it to its resting place as she went head first down.  Fortunately she was ok with just a little scratch to show for her stumble.  

Back in the cars, dropping one off (why were we in two?) and off we went to Felden to pick up a few on a little circuit we had spotted. Nice convenient bit of parking and away we headed up the hill.  We got to the top and saw...another hill.  How hilly is this place?

Our first cache was Staggering to Bovington #18 Deep in the Rough.  Which pub had the CO's been to or were heading for we wondered.  I'd not be too keen to stagger anywhere round here for fear of rolling down the hill and ending up on the M1 heading to Milton Keynes!  Yes, it was steep. Did I mention that?
A nice easy spot for N again.  Nevermind having the name Bashtastic - it should be changed to Cachetastic now don't you think?  Signed Team MadAnts for us all (saves putting 5 names in the small log and seems to sum us up).

Away we went to Staggering to Bovington #17 Big Old Holly which was aptly named.  A good spot by Ant, all signed and away we went.

Staggering to Bovington #16 Bury Wood was next on the list.  An easy find for the two little cachers who enjoyed showing us oldies how it is done.  Delighted to find some swaps which they always enjoy.

Staggering to Bovington #15 Herts Way took us up past some nice houses and yep, up a bit more of a hill. We'll need oxygen soon! However, the rain started a little and we decided that it would be better to head back towards the car in case of the storm arriving earlier than planned.  A quick spot for the cache and we were off back down the road.  At least it was downhill all the way now.

Back to A's house for some well deserved soup and crusty rolls and another chat before we decided to walk our late lunch off by collecting a couple of local caches.  Yes, they were uphill.  How did you guess?  The friends had both done the first one so off I went to find He ain't heavy, hes my breathren which was a very quick spot. Felt a bit obvious though. Little cachers stayed on the other side of the road.  Two TBs in the box so I decided to take them both as hubby and I are off on caching adventures next week during half term so we can move them both on quickly.

Just around the corner was one more cache that G and I could find. G had tried this before without success so we thought we'd give it a go. As we almost reached GZ, the drizzle started again but G had not put her waterproof back on so we'd have to make this quick. GZ was an interesting place indeed so we set about searching for Squirrel Paradise Island hoping the locals didn't think we were a weird bunch ambling from tree to tree.  After a good look around most of the suspects, nothing was to hand so I ventured over to the most likely one again.  Looking around I suddenly spotted something laying on the ground about 3 feet from the tree. There was the cache.  Previous logs had said it was on the ground too and had been replaced by those finders so I'm guessing that the squirrels do not like this foreign object around their homes and are tossing it out.  G and I signed and I popped it back in a likely looking place, hoping it was wedged in enough this time.  Rain falling a little heavier now so back to A's for a few minutes before we jumped in our car to head home having had a very nice walk around.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Little Missenden Geocaching

On Sunday, I was rewarded by hubby with a well-earned bit of self-indulgence to go out with my friend G to have a good old natter and collect some geocaches. I should add this was due to a particularly difficult week with the girls that had stressed me out somewhat - yep, general bad behaviour at bedtimes! To say I was losing the plot was an understatement.  I needed a break - argh!

G and I decided to meet at the mid-way point at a pub then go for a nice walk seeking out Tupperware.  As we checked where to meet, I think it occurred to us both that it would be nice to beat our last record day of 19 caches.  Who knows, maybe we can do it today?

We parked up right beside Toby's Lane and were going to start with the PM caches there which are all about Shakespeare.  Sadly, neither of us is any good at quotes from his plays and therefore after trying in vain to find the second cache, having given up on the first, we turned around and headed back to the pub to have a drink and a packet of crisps and regroup.  Having made the locals laugh by G ordering crisps only to be given unsalted ones (eugh) and me heading in to ask for salt, we were away, this time off to do a nice circuit that we had planned anyway, but adding a few more to make up for the lack of Toby's Lane ones.

Our first cache was Connect 4d which was one of a set of 4 linking caches between two sets of circuits.  A nice easy find once we got to the right place and we both dropped off our travel bugs.

Connect 4c was right opposite some cut down trees and the smell of the wood was wonderful. Boy this is a busy little place though.  Stealth (or trying to be a bit discreet) was near impossible.

Connect 4b had us confused as we were sure the clue item wasn't what was suggested. A bit of searching and we found it.  Not sure I'd call that a 'platform' either but the log was signed so that's all that mattered.

Connect 4a was well camoflagued, quite naturally now it seemed.  G and I were busy admiring an 'invisible horse' to get this while the muggles carried on going past.  The field was also busy with scouts it looked like doing some kind of raft/bridge exercise.

Shardeloes - Moorhen was next. The scouts were too busy to notice us.

Shardeloes - Jay was a quick find but I nearly wiped G out on my way back down. It was a bit steeper than I thought.

Shardeloes - Swan was one that G made a bit of extra work of by heading round completely the wrong way. As for me, I was just glad it had levelled out.  I was puffing a bit on the way up.

Shardeloes - Partridge we had a laugh at.  G rolled the large piece of flint straight onto her foot! Not the way to really do it do you think?  Glad she wasn't wearing flipflops. where could it be?
Shardeloes - Blackbird I managed to get pricked by every bit of holly much to G's amusement as I was shouting "owch, owch" from the bushes.  I also stood on the cache and got pricked a bit more for my efforts.

Shardeloes - Robin was a very quick spot for G. We were having a lovely chat as we went along but boy those nettles are tall!

Amersham to Little Missenden - Mop End was next. We had a good idea what it would be and where but no, it wasn't there. We searched around lots of other objects just in case but no, nothing.  We shoved our arms down the suspected object as far as we could go and still nothing.  Suspect this one has gone.  G had her arm in the top of the object when a couple of ladies pulled up almost next to us and looked a bit confused.  Bit hard to explain that so we decided to say nothing at all and just leave, following them up the path (I'm sure they thought we were doing something very suspicious as we began to fall back from them).

Kite (no strings attached)
Shardeloes - Nuthatch was a bit of a trickier find.  We both went to GZ and had a search but nothing came to hand despite there being a very obvious place.  We split up as our GPS's were bouncing around and looked for all possible suspects.  Eventually, after a few minutes, G went back to the original location and on looking around just a little more, spotted another likely place. A quick reach in and the cache was in hand.  Funny how sometimes you can't see things for looking.

Shardeloes - ChiffChaff was a prickly route in for G to make the find.  Not really a pile of logs and the cache was well exposed.  She covered it up a bit more but to be honest, it would be hard to put it where it is supposed to be as the nettles are so high you'd end up stinging your face if you leaned down to get it.  We suspected that's why it was where it was for the summer maybe?  Our phones predictive text made us laugh here, instead of "prickles from trousers" it entered the log as "pupils from Trussocks".  Err...yep, sounds about right.

Shardeloes - Woodpecker was an easy spot but again, we were chatting so much we walked right past GZ before we bothered to check the distance.  Oops!

Shardeloes - Pheasant was certainly helped by the clue. We did wonder if we'd find it after two previous DNFs and the GPS was all over the place but without too much delay, it was in hand.

Amersham to Little Missenden - A quiet Place is where I crouched down to get the cache and sat on the most stingy nettles you're ever going to find!  Jeans were no protection.   My thighs and bottom! Owwwwwww.......

Shardeloes - Skylark said camoflagued string.  I have to say that the string (or bootlace) would only be camoflagued if the fence were painted in stripes *grin*.  A very easy find. Also, not hanging, but more 'on a piece of string touching the ground'. Made us laugh.

Shardeloes - Kestrel.  We were distracted here by the biggest bench seat we've ever seen with a number on it.  Wow, you could fit a lot of people onto that. Oh, wait, hang on there's another.  Ah, horse jumps.  Would have been a bit awkward to sit here with a picnic and suddenly find the equivalent of the Grand National hurtling down on you.

Have a seat....or maybe not

Shardeloes - Chaffinch.  A quick find here which is fortunate as my phone battery is dying now!

Shardeloes - Rook was a neat cache but boy it's busy here again with people and horses. Didn't spot the elderly muggles approaching as I made the retrieve.  Smiled at them but they looked a bit perturbed and hurried past us.

Amersham to Little Missenden - Shardeloes was our 20th find of the day. This is now officially our best caching day and once again we've done it together.  G went in to do the find and only looked at what we would have considered to be litter due to the clue.

Looks like it rolled away
Shardeloes - Heron. I was convinced here we were off the path but the GPS told us otherwise. Rather an odd place to cross as it's a cricket pitch and you walk right through the green to the left of it.  Goodness knows how you follow the unmarked footpath when there's a cricket game on (suppose you have to be a good catcher).  Fortunately some people emerged from the area we were heading too and walked towards us so we knew we were on the right path.  Would be nice if it were marked out a bit though.

Shardeloes - Coot.  Would have been nice for the GPS to have settled down BEFORE I went into two separate hawthorn trees and got pricked to bits.  Yes, you guessed it, the right one needed not bending down, getting prickled or getting my rucksack stuck!

Stand alone at Shardeloes was an easy spot but had to wait for muggles to pass.

Shardeloes - Owl was where I risked life and limb to scale an enormous lime tree to make the retrieve.  Darn, you got me, it was just standing on part of the tree 2 feet from the ground but it sounded impressive right?

Man's best friend was a quick spot and our 25th cache of the day.  A new record.

We walked back along the way we had come to the car but the pub we'd parked by was still closed (I think some around these country parts don't open again until 6pm).  G spotted there was another cache not too far away so it seemed rude not to do it.  Off we walked down the lane to Amersham to Little Missenden - Little Missenden which was a very easy find despite the GPS saying it was in the middle of a small park area.  The clue gave it away so a quick retrieve was made.

The pub opposite here was open so we went to sit in the garden area on comfy seats to rest our legs after our lovely walk but typically, someone sat right next to us and lit cigarettes that blew straight on us.  The whole flipping area was empty!  Argh. A quick move and somewhere smoke free was found.  A bit more of a chat, congratulating ourselves on 26 caches in a day and off we went our separate ways until a few months time when we're planning to reach 30 in a day.

G was sneaky on her way home and let me know via Facebook that she'd found 2 more so her best is now 28.  Definitely 30 next time for us then!