6 January 2013 (Sunday) - The Wrotham Ramble
I probably went to bed too late last night, but I slept well despite the lurgy. It seemed a shame to be woken by the alarm when (for once) I was actually sleeping, but I can sleep later (or at least I will have the opportunity to do so later). I had a spot of brekkie which I enjoyed with Furry Face sitting on my chest. I checked to see what was going on in the world; or at least on the Internet. The previous six hours had been reasonably uneventful. Which was probably for the best.
Perhaps I should have stayed home today as I was still under the weather. But I didn't want to miss out on a day out. And I'd not seen "Team Wakey" for ages. We set off to Wrotham. There was debate as to how the place was pronounced. I was told that it was "Root-ham" (in a posh accent), but I was sticking to a working-class "Ruffum".
But regardless of how it sounded, eight of us (and three dogs) met up by the church there at 10am and followed a rather good walk. There was a dodgy five minutes when Fudge found his way through a fence onto the M20, and another dodgy five minutes shortly after that when he did exactly the same again. But he eventually got the idea of behaving himself.
We followed a well laid out series of geocaches; the Wrotham Ramble. There was a lot of up hill, and a lot of down hill too. Along the way we found half a dozen other caches too (and failed to find one other). Two of the caches had been hidden by my favourite caching team; Pooh, Tig and Lala. I've never met Pooh, Tig and Lala, but I can't help but feel they've chosen a wonderful name.
We found magnetic geocaches the size of my head that I couldn't see; we miscalculated mutli-cache co-ordinates by hundreds of yards. We found enormous sheep; the biggest you ever did see. We had great fun carrying wet dogs over stiles. We met one bunch of normal people several times who were walking a route of their own in an opposite direction to ours, and another bunch who mistook our geocaching for entymology. We even had to re-track a little bit to retrieve a forgotten walking stick.
This series would make a splendid walk in summer. However being January the elements were somewhat against us. The mud was rather thick in places, and it was chilly. Although the rain held off, the day was overcast and as the afternoon wore on so the mist rolled in. We were amazed at the speed the mist came. We saw tendrils of fog coming over a slope at the fourteenth cache; in the two minutes it took to do the secret geocache ritual (known only to us) the for was seriously thick.
We had started walking shortly after 10am; we got to the end (the bonus cache) shortly after 3pm. The route had been billed as six and a half miles; our technology told us we had covered eight and a half. But an excellent eight and a half miles. And it was another triumph of geocaching. Left to my own devices I would take Furry Face walking on the same old dozen walks. Today we had been guided along a well-laid out route that I'd never walked before; a route I would like to revisit. As always there are photos of the day on-line.
And so home. I dozed in the car a little on the way back. And once home the pup was bathed, muddy clothes were washed and after a little bit of tea "er indoors TM" set off bowling. Eventually Fudge settled down to sleep. I rather think he might have overdone it today; he seemed very fractious and despite not being cold he was rather shivery. Perhaps he's got my cold...