23 July 2015 (Thursday) - Benenden

After a rather late finish at work last night and a fairly stressful evening I thought I'd sleep like a log. But today's plans called for an early start. And, as is so often the case for me, an early start means a sleepless night. I would probably have slept better had "er indoors TM" not been thrashing about for much of the night. I did wonder if she was having nightmares but I've found it best to let sleeping "er indoors TM"s lie.
Yesterday I mentioned that the Facebook-feds had forced me to change my name on social media to something they felt was more recognisable. Over brekkie I saw that I had recevied more than thirty messages of support. I was rather pleased about that.
But for all that I would rather be "Manky Badger" on Facebook, it is their toy they are letting me play with.
"Furry Face TM" had a little woofing fit shortly after 6am, but (in a novel break with tradition) he ate his brekkie. He did look rather knackered, and I contemplated leaving him at home today. But when he saw my rucksack he went mental. So (with "Hannah" programmed) we set off to Benenden. A new geo-series had gone live there earlier in the week. There are those who might feel I would have the inside story on these caches; after all it was "er indoors TM" who'd hidden them. But we cache seperately in that respect. I knew nothing about the series. In much the same way that there is a geo puzzle box in our garden. The thing is three feet long and two feet high. You need to work out a fiendish puzzle to get it open; she don't know the secret and I'm not telling her (!)
I got to Benenden where I soon met up with Cliff, Gordon and geo-pup Norton, and we set off hunting out plastic boxes. There are those to whom I cannot explain the fascination of geocaching. I wish I could; we had an excellent day. Excellent company for a really good walk over (about) seventeen miles, and being guided by GPS we didn't go more than fifty yards down any wrong paths. We managed three pub stops on the way; it was a hot day and those stops were appreciated. As we walked we found a field of Christmas trees and got mobbed by a herd of cows. We saw squirrels and woodpeckers, more butterflies than we'd ever seen before, and an odd bird with a yellow head. I thought it was a Patagonian Chicken-Eagle, but I might have been mistaken.

Today was also the first serious test for my new walking boots; I'm rather pleased with them. Mind you it remains to be seen how long they will last. I would like to be able to report detailed statistics of our moving time and stopping time and distances covered and maximuum and minimum elevations acheived, but in a triumph of pressing the wrong button I managed to do a factory reset on my new GPS unit about a third of the way round the route. It was a shame I did that; I'm finally getting to grips with the device.

We started walking at 8am; we finished a minute or so after 5pm having found over fifty caches, not having had any elude us, and totted up fifteen First to Finds into the bargain too. We did mistake a multi for a traditional, but that will be our little secret. Both Cliff and Gordon got their highest cache count for a day which was something of a result too.
If you know where to look on Facebook you can see some photos of the day.

We said our goodbyes (for now) and came home. "Furry Face TM" snored most of the way. Once home I hosed the dried fox poo of off my dog (wish he wouldn't roll in the stuff), had a shower myself and then did the secret e-geo-thingy known only to the cognescenti.
"er indoors TM" arrived home, and with "Furry Face TM" completely worn out and fast asleep we had a bottle of plonk and watched "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" on the DVD. Party on dude !!!

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