7 April 2013 (Sunday) - Mereworth

Earlier in the week a geocachical chap of my acquaintance asked if anyone fancied going for a walk as a ruse for finding a geocache or two. He suggested a mooch round Mereworth - somewhere I've not been before. We set off at 9am and having picked up a crafty cache on the way six of us (and two small dogs) met up by Mereworth church. The first church was a multi involving solving puzzles. Everyone else had already arrived and solved the puzzle and was prepared to set off walking half a mile in an easterly direction. Out of a sense of doing the right thing I had a crack at solving the puzzle. My solution involved walking quarter of a mile in a westerly direction. Since west was the direction we wanted to be going in, the consensus of opinion was to try my solution. Fortunately it turned out to be right. I was rather pleased about that. However it pays not to be too smug, as I was soon to find out.

And then we set off along the Mereworth Meander. Billed as a series of thirty one geocaches along a walk off six and a bit miles we ended up with having done thirty six over a ten mile walk. Including one which required a soduku expert to solve a puzzle.
Half way round was a puzzle cache that I'd solved before we'd set out. We sat down to a picnic lunch just before going to this cache. I called up the details, entered my solution into my geocompass, and realised that I''d stuffed it up. My answer was miles away. So I asked for pencil and paper and worked it all out again. This time I worked it out properly. Perhaps somewhat appropriately this cache was called "bird brain" (!)

Today was a good walk out with friends. Two of our number found their 1000th caches, one found his 1200th cache, and I got my 1450th. Both dogs were well behaved - Suzy is never any trouble anyway, but Fudge was good for all of the time for a change.
We finished walking at 4pm (six hours walking) and Dave asked if we fancied visiting his new cache before going home; he'd taken one on. It would have been rude not to have had a look, so we went to "forgotten gate". When we got there we disturbed a couple who were indulging in a spot of al-fresco rumpy-pumpy. It was great - Kallie even saw their leopard-skin undercrackers. We soon found this cache that Dave had taken on.
But of more interest was the forgotten gate. It was huge - an enormous structure - obviously once a gatehouse to Mereworth Castle; now fallen into disrepair. Well off the beaten track and left to fall to pieces.

It would have been good to have carried on, but time was pressing so we said our goodbyes and made our separate ways home. We had an errand to run in Sittingbourne, so that was where we went, picking up one or two more caches as we went. But once in Sittingbourne it was obvious from the three mile tailbacks that the road back to Ashford was blocked. So we decided to come home via Faversham.
No one had told us that the road from Faversham to Ashford was also closed. We eventually came home via Canterbury, stopping off on the way to pick up a geocache named "Forrest and the Wombles". It was probably too late to be messing around like that, but with a name like "Forrest and the Wombles" we couldn't resist it.

Today was a good day out with friends, a good walk for the dogs, and a successful hunt for small plastic boxes; finding all forty four of the ones we tried for. As always there are photos of the day on-line,

Once (eventually) home Fudge was bathed, as was I, and the little dog was soon fast asleep and snoring. As was I...

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