30 March 2014 (Sunday) - Cooling
What with a late night combined with daylight saving I crawled into my pit shortly after 2am last night. Despite a small dog crawling over me (I wish he wouldn't) I didn't actually wake until nearly 7am. Almost five hours sleep. That's unheard of.
I shared my brekkie toast with "Furry Face TM". I say "shared"; "gave it all to" might have been a more accurate description. I wasn't hungry, and I did have belly ache. I then spent half an hour looking at the geo-map planning next week's walk. Everywhere I looked seemed to have rather fiendish puzzle caches.
Why is it that whenever I can't solve a really hard puzzle cache everyone else gloats about how easy they are, but when I set one that involves a little thought I get told that what I'd set was insoluble and the only way that anyone could find it was through cheating?
We set off to collect Gordon Tracy, and then we drove up to Cooling. I didn't realise that I'd been there before. Cooling is the site of a personal best; I once drank twenty one pints of London Pride in one sitting there. Today however was dog walking and tupperware hunting. We parked up, and pausing briefly to read the village notice board we found out the designated keyholders for the village heart defibrillator. I can't help but wonder how many other villages have a defibrillator.
So, ably advised in case of a cardiac incident we wandered round the Cooling Crawl series of geocaches. It was a rather good walk. It was certainly muddy in parts, and I would have put one or two more caches along the way. But nevertheless it was a really good way to spend the morning.
As with all circular walks we soon found ourselves back where we'd started, and we walked into the village where we sat in the garden of the village pub and washed our sarnies down with a rather tasty pint of a local ale. From here we then set off for a much shorter walk in the other direction. Only three geocaches along this way, but one involved a bit of a tree climb, and another one was a "Pooh, Tig and La-La" hide.
From here we then did some "cache and dash"-ing; drive-by geocaches. We did half a dozen without incident including one hidden by "tugmaster" (!)
And then we read the description for the next one on our itinery. "The Nest" said "...is what you would expect in that its high up. But there's a twist....You dont need to be an eggsellent climber but don't forget; no cache is worth losing your life over and more importantly no cache is worth the 999 call out". We thought it sounded too dangerous and we decided against it. But then we realised that "er indoors TM" had just found her 2699th cache. A special cache for her milestone would be nice. it wouldn't hurt to have a look-see at this dangerous cache, would it? After all, how bad could it be?
We soon found the cache. I say "found"; I could see the thing clearly from twenty (or so) yards away. the trouble was that those yards were up. It was rather high. Gordon Tracy was up that tree like a rat up a drainpipe (presuming, of course, that rats go up drainpipes). It was only when he got to the top that he realised he'd forgotten a pen to sign the cache log. So he came down again. "er indoors TM" scrambled up and down, and in a triumph of idiot enthusiasm over common sense I brought up the rear. I signed the log for everyone (One signature saves space!) and I even managed a selfie too. It was only when I was coming down that I wondered if I should still be climbing so high up trees at my age.
Was it dangerous? Yes. Was it that dangerous? Not really. Had I slipped there were so many branches that I wouldn't have dropped like a brick, I would have bounced my way down. Would I do it again? Most definitely.
We did have plans to go on elsewhere, but time had run out. We came home and "Furry Face TM" had a shower. If he will roll in fox poo he must pay the price. With "er indoors TM" off out at bowling I set the washing machine loose on grubby laundry, put some photos of our day onto the Internet, and then watched episode three of the new documentary "Cosmos". I wasn't impressed.
And I then ended a rather good weekend by ironing shirts...