31 March 2013 (Sunday) - In the Dark
And as we came back from our walk we met a rather portly chap wearing a Santa Claus hat. It's amazing what goes on whilst everyone else is in bed. Mind you there is a lot to be said for everyone else being in bed - Fudge got the complete run of the park with no other dogs to distract him. It was good for him to run, but didn't help his socialization skills. Much as it sounds harsh it does him good to get (gently) duffed up by other dogs from time to time. Being a gobby little sh*te means that most dogs back down from him. Which isn't good for him.
As we came home the snow started again. It's Easter - British Summer Time has started, and its snowing. In previous years Easter Sunday is synonymous with Smarden Duck Race and a barbecue at a farm, but Smarden Duck Race involves a lot of standing about in fields and it's too cold for that today. So instead half a dozen of us set off to Chislehurst. Or that was the plan. My car wouldn't start. The er indoors TM"-mobile had a flat tyre. So we left the knacked vehicles at home in the snow and went in alternate transport rather later than planned.
On arrival at Chislehurst caves we had forty minutes until the next tour started. We knew there was a geocache in the grounds - it was a puzzle cache and we couldn't solve the puzzle. So instead we randomly searched and soon found it.
And then into the caves. Over the years I've heard a lot about Chislehurst caves. They weren't what I was expecting. I imagined they would be something like the caves at Cheddar Gorge. They weren't. They were all man-made caves - made from chalk mining. But they nevertheless made for a good hour of tunnel-ratting in the pitch black darkness. And (perhaps not surprisingly) it was warmer in the caves than it was above ground.
From the caves we went into Petts wood for a Wetherspoons lunch. There are those that look down on Wetherspoons. Not me - a couple of pints of stout, roast dinner, ice cream sundae and I slept all the way home.
Once home I called out the breakdown people who got my car going and confirmed my suspicion that the battery was knacked. Apparently car batteries are only good for about two years so it's due for replacing. I shall get that done over the next day or so. I've had estimates of cost ranging from twenty quid to a hundred quid. Depending on actual cost I may need to re-think some of my plans for the next few weeks. Economies might need to be made, which would be a shame.
We then wrestled the spare tyre on to the er indoors TM"-mobile; which is something that was far easier to blog about that it was to do.
Being Sunday er indoors TM" set off bowling. I spent an hour or so clearing the undead out of NeverWinter. And then having started a theme of "dark" with the caves earlier in the day, we went off night caching. It's no secret that I'm not a fan of night caching, but one had gone live that was specially designed to be found at night. Four of us parked up in the dark at Hothfield common and followed the GPS to the designated start. We shone our torches and, sure enough, we could see a reflector on a tree. And then another. We followed a trail quite a way into the wood where we eventually found a canister which gave us half of the required co-ordinates. We then picked up another series of reflectors and found the second half of the required co-ordinates. After a short walk and a short search we realised the importance of actually reading the instructions, and within five minutes the cache was in our hands. And we were first to find it as well.
It was a really well laid out night cache, a lot of time and effort had clearly gone into the preparation. As I have said I don't like night caching.... or that is I don't like going caching at night when you are scrubbling about in the darkness trying to find something which is hard enough to find in broad daylight. But looking for a cache such as this which is clearly designed to be done at night is different. It was great fun. It has given me some ideas for a similar project I have in mind...
We then went on to do another cache which, whilst not specifically a night cache, also lent itself to being found in the dark.
I was up before 7am this morning. To bed well after midnight,,,