Sunday, 23 March 2014

3 Adults and 1 teen beaten by a 5 year old!

Met up with my bestie and her fella today and we headed off to do some caching in Hazelmere, Bucks.  We parked up at the pub and reserved a table for some food later on in the day and headed off.

We were going to walk the Common Wood series as much as we could with little legs with us.  Our first cache was In Plain View and despite a jumping around GPS (all our phones said something different in terms of distance), we started the search.  After 5-10 minutes, we had scoured around and were no closer to finding the cache.  The hint was investigated further and we had a good rummage but decided it was unlikely the CO would put it near the barbed wire so extended our search out a bit. Another 5 minutes or so we decided to give up as we didn't want the little ones getting bored.  S had picked up some chalk and was busy making marks on trees. I called her to say we were going and would try again on the way back and she turned around and said "I've found it!"  She had as well.  This little 5 year old had done what 3 adults, 1 teen and another little one couldn't do working together.  Clever girl. Here she is with the cache in the first photo.  We decided as there were 7 of us, we would sign "Team MadAnts" for all of us on the logs.

Next was Horses.  A nice easy spot for A.  We had seen some big, black clouds heading our way as we set off and suddenly it had become very chilly indeed. I wished I'd remembered my gloves.  Sweeties were dished out by hubby to take our minds off the cold. He should have bought two packets of Moam sweets as everyone liked them.

Fallen was next for us.  Quick find by J as she ran for it to beat the rest of us. No competition here you know!  Funnily enough, our next cache was called Swinging and what did we see on the way?  Do you think someone took the title the wrong way?

I don't fancy yours much...
When we finally found the area, this was what was meant by it.  The girls enjoyed having a go on these old tyres.

I spotted the cache. Boy it was getting cold now.  Sandwiches were being called for by the little ones and we tucked in to them as we continued our walk (well, it is lunchtime).  Pit Stop was next and it was quickly spotted by our 3 year old cacher, N.

The clouds were now disappearing and things were looking brighter. Seems the rain had gone in a different direction.  The Larches was next and A made a dash for this one with G in hot pursuit.  He pipped her to the find.  Competitive? No...surely not.

Next was A Common Sign.  G and I started looking all around.  J counted the number of spiders in the information guide box (7 I think it was).  S found the cache (again!).  Well done. Think her height may have been an advantage here.  Near the Lane was another quick find for us all.  Here we decided a Team MadAnts selfie was required.

Team MadAnts - l-r: A, G, K,S, M (J at back, N in front)
What a scary bunch! :)  I'm sure some of the dog walkers and runners wondered what on earth this mad lot were doing rushing in and out of areas and scrabbling behind trees.  Beech Wood Cottage was another quick find for N.  These girls are going to be super-cachers when they get older.

Tubby was next.  What a super container!  We gave it a favourite point for having such a big cache container and also the super little knitted things that were inside (which of course the girls swapped immediately!).  A big thank you to whomever knitted the little 'grape' person and 'chick'.  Lovely job and the girls were so delighted to find them.  This cache was uncovered by S again.  She spotted hiding place easily and informed us that the ivy was plastic, just in case we didn't realise (maybe because we also tell her to keep away from it as it can make your eyes itch - well, it does mine).

Just a Tree involved A getting his arm prickled extracting it.  He did a good job though.  Astoneish was a quick find for both the little girls.  It did look like some of the cache had vanished and only part of it was left.  Can you spot it?  Perhaps the stick-o-flague has gone a bit overboard here, ha, ha.

I'd be 'astoneished' if you didn't find this
Cover was missing. There was a note put on the cache log saying they were logging in the area and had removed the cache and would put it, and any others, back once it was all done. How kind of the loggers (and clearly cachers) to do that.  Behind was another quick find for N.

Flint caused us problems.  Firstly, the GPS was bouncing around.  When it settled, we all homed in to one place. Nothing so we split up looking.  S and N went with A, G and I went in another area and M went in a third, while J searched quite a way away from us.  Suddenly you could hear a child crying further away.  Both hubby and I panicked for a second thinking one of ours had wondered off (most unlikely as A had them both) but then I spotted them.  I told hubby but he was still a bit concerned until he saw them both.  A French couple with two children (one who clearly wasn't enjoying the walk) were heading down the path towards us.  We were about to give up on this cache anyway as no amount of looking was working when the shout of "I've got it" went up from J who was on the other side of the woodland path, a fair distance from where the GPS said it was (about 50-60 feet I'd say).  That was a super find for her as we would have missed it completely as we never thought to cross the path.

Base was our final of the day and the two littlest cachers finished off their very successful run getting it.  We then headed back to the pub to have a drink and some food, still in the sunshine although the clouds were gathering again.

In case you were wondering, the little cachers 'find' caches that we spot and know they can retrieve safely. They aren't wandering around the woods on their own without one of us being beside them but yes, they often spot things around the other side of a tree or in a bush that we totally miss.  The first cache of today, for example, we were near but not near enough to lay any claim to the find before S did - that really was a true find of her own :)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Wellies at the ready

The email had come in and a new cache had been placed. I recognised the location and suggested to J we go and have a look.  The cache description said it was best done at night but no stipulation so off we went, at 10am!

Spotted the location as we drove past and thought I caught a glimpse of colour - blast, someone else was clearly there. Oh well.  Drove on and parked up in the free car park and walked back to the location.  It wasn't a person, only a blue piece of piping.  No sign of anyone else.

Wellies on.

J went in first. Slowly and steadily as the water has only just gone down after the recent flooding.  I came in next.  Glad we always kept wellies in the boot of the car as we'd carried them with us suspecting where we would end up.

Looking around, J spotted some things hanging.  Hold on. Keys!  Ah...making sense now.  We gathered them up and then began to look around some more.  

Suddenly J said she had the cache.  Brilliant.

Now which key would fit?  Turned out the one I had picked up was the right one for the lock. Opened up and the treasure was ours!  Signed the log as FTF.  What a great fun cache, even in the daytime.

Headed back to the car after logging the find on my phone.  Gave it a favourite too.  Love this type of thing.

Got home and J logged in to log it as a joint FTF.  Someone had written "Supposed to be a night cache?" in the logs. Really? Do you have nothing better to do than worry about someone finding a cache that said it was fun at night?  Come on, lots of people find caches that are 'preferred' at night in the daytime - I've seen plenty myself.  Anyway, although this slightly irritated me (did I beat you to FTF then?  Is that why you're grumbling?) the cache owner replied saying the maximum fun was doing it at night but unlike some of his other caches which were night only (glowing pins), this was for either but he would be happy to have a second FTF (if that makes sense) at night.  All in all, a good caching experience and only a couple of miles away for another lovely FTF for us both.

I won't tell you the cache name or GC code as I don't want to spoil it for anyone local but it really is fun if you're in the Surrey area (vague enough?).