1 January 2014 (Wednesday) - Walking in the Rain

Last night I spent much of the evening with back ache. Overnight the back ache subsided only to give way to gut rot. I'm not sure which is worse.
I got up early to chase an FTF for which I had been primed. And in a classic example of poetic justice in action I did not get that FTF. In retrospect I am pleased about that, even if I did have a rant at the time.

I came home, sulked, and then we rallied the troops and set off to Little Burton Farm. A new series of geocaches had gone live in honour of it being a new year, and the lady who had set them had made the offer of bacon sarnies at her house for anyone who fancied some brekkie before the walk. That was a kind offer which I was not going to turn down.
Eventually with sarnies scoffed we set out to the designated meeting place for the walk. The forecast bad weather had put a lot of people off, but seven of us set off. "Team Peter" (no - I don't know why either) made a good start. I certainly did. I found the first cache, popped it out of its hide, and when the rest of "Team Peter" found that hide I showed them the cache that was once on it.
And I was amazed to see that we were First to Find, despite two hours having passed since publication.

The second cache gave us a problem. We'd missed the footpath we needed to take, and found ourselves faced with a small river. One of our number thought he might jump the river, and so he did. "The Hurks" jumped, landed on the opposite river bank, slipped, and fell backwards straight into the drink. Oh, it was so funny. He was laying on his back, stretched out in the river. It was one of those moments that was hilarious; all the time it was happening to someone else.
Once I'd finished laughing, claiming a second FTF came as something of an anticlimax.

Despite a serious effort we couldn't find the third cache of the series, and by the time we'd claimed FTF on the fourth cache the rain was coming down rather heavily.
We were soon in Wye; which is a lot closer on foot than you might think, and it was here that we found that other people were goecaching too. We'd been beaten to these caches, but we didn't mind (really). We made our way through the village, and on past Perry Court farm to the A28. I drive past that place on the way to work, and have often seen the footpath signs. Today I was walking those footpaths. It was a shame that I was wriniging wet, but you can't have everything. It was shortly after this point that three more of our party threw in the towel and went home. What was once a team of seven was now only three.

We had a dilemma in Boughton Aluph. We found the geocache. It was quite obvious. It was just a long way up a tree. It will keep till another time.
It was at this point that others walking the route caught up with us, and with insults exchanged we had a rather soggy walk back into Kennington.
We then drove home to change into dry pants, and then went back to the Conningbrook where a meet-up of cachers was in full flow. We met friends old and new. We were pleased to see that "Gordon Tracy" had dried out (and had got the beers in). And we talked "hunting plastic boxes in the rain" for well over an hour. I had gone there with the naive idea to just have a glass of coca-cola; I ended up shifting three pints; including one of Shepherd Neame's Christmas Ale which (at 7% abv) isn't to be guzzled lightly.

And so home where I spent much of the rest of the day sleeping off the Christmas Ale...

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