12 June 2016 (Sunday) - Wet in Wye
I took myself off to bed relatively early last night and slept through till 7am this morning, despite the night being plagued wiith nightmares about the garden pond and "mud is the new water" (whatever that was supposed to mean).
Having a look on-line over brekkie it would seem that "er indoors TM"'s geo-meet went well yesterday. I'm still sulking that I missed it.
Also in the morrning's look on-line I got an email from Nadia Alfaleh who apparently is heir to fifty eight milion dollars in gold bullion but is too young to manage the account. If I were to fly out to the Republic of Benin (wherever that is) and marry her she'd get access to the money and she'd give me a bung.
It is years since I first got one of these scams; do people *really* still fall for these?
The plan for today had been a serious geo-mission round Godstone, but the weather forecast for Surrey wasn't that good. So last night Karl suggested Wye instead. Godstone is fifty miles from home; Wye is five miles. Wye seemed good. If nothing else we could leave home a little later.
I spent a few minutes trying to remeber what I'd done with my walking boots and we set off.
Usually on a Sunday we drive for over an hour to get to where we have chosen to walk. Ten minutes to Wye was a novelty. We soon met up with our crew, and ten of us (and two small dogs) set off on a geo-stroll. We knew the weather would be against us; we'd given up on Godstone as that was expecting heavy rain all day. Wye was expecting light rain at first, and a couple of hours of drizzle later and that was what happened. We also knew the terrain would be against us (well, I did - I've walked round Wye before); there was a *lot* of upping and downing. But we had a really good walk. Despite the low clouds there were some stunning views to be had - as we'd walked I took over fifty photos. You can see them by clicking here.
There are those who wouldn't appreciate sheltering from the rain under a tree covered from head to foot in waterproofs whist having a picnic. Personally I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Billed as a walk of eight and a half miles my GPS unit (Hannah) measured the distance walked as a shade over eleven miles.
Geocache-wise the walk was.... I've thought about how best to describe the geo-series. It was a good series. The hides were imaginative. GPS co-ordinates were spot-on, and the caches were hidden in such ways that whilst some were quite easy to spot others really were tucked away and were challenging. Waypoints were provided to guide us round and they were appreciated. Don't get me wrong - I liked the walk.
But... (without wishing to give offence) I came away feeling it was still something of a work in progress. Geo-law says that caches cannot be closer than one tenth of a mile from each other. That works out to one hundred andd sixty one metres apart at closest. Wiith that in mind, over the last few years I've put out series in which I aim to have caches *about* two hundred to two hundred and twenty metres apart. (I'm actually working on one such at the moment).
Having caches close to each other not only increases the geo-score you accrue, but also breaks the walk up. You don't have to go *that* far before you get a breather. In all honesty I struggled today; I had to do too much walking and not enough stopping for a rest. None of today's caches were very close together. Many of them were double the distance apart that I would have put them. Some were six hundred metres apart, and there was one stretch where there was an absolute genius cache which was then marred by a walk of a kilometre to the next hide. We walked a series of twenty-four caches; I honestly think there could have been forty along that route; maybe even more.
Having said that, this is a matter of personal opinion. When we got back to the car park we met a chap wringing his socks out. He recognised me as a geocacher (everyone recognises me; I never recognise anyone) and he said he'd just walked the same geo-series as us. He was effusive with praise because he felt that so many geo-series these days are put out with hides too close together and he liked having them spread out.
Usually we'd adjourn to the pub for a crafty half after a walk, but everyone was soaked. The rain hadn't been heavy but the long grass had been wet enough to give everyone wet trousers and wet socks. So we said our goodbyes and came home.
It was quite a novelty to be home so quickly.
Once home "Furry Face TM" had his bath, and so did I. I then sat on the sofa with a wet snoring dog whilst next door clanged on her piano. For once she wasn't playing scales but was performing what I can only describe as a piss-poor rendition of "Oh what a Friend we have in Jesus". Perhapss she's either got religion or got a job playing at a nearby church.
And as she clanged and the washing machine washed the mud off of our waterproofs so the sun came out.
With "er indoors TM" off bowling I then spent much of the evening researching astronomical events for the next few months. At the last astro committee I said I'd sort something so's we'd have notice of eclipses and the like. I've found some information - I just need to bodge it into the club's website...