4 December 2017 (Monday) - A Day in the Wicked City
I woke with something of a back ache this morning. I wonder what that was all about? Over brekkie I watched an episode of “Red Dwarf” before sparking up the lap-top to peer into cyber-space.
There were several comments on the photos I’d posted to Facebook last night; as the dogs slept I’d turned the telly to BBC1 and intended to watch David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet II”. However I spent most of the time watching Treacle. She was fascinated with the sea-lions and crabs, and was particularly intrigued by the puffins. Mind you she didn’t like the sharks, and growled at them.
I took photos of her watching the telly, and several people had commented overnight.
I got my stuff together, and leaving "er indoors TM" and the pups in bed I made my way to the railway station. I got my ticket, and soon I was on the train. Someone had left a newspaper, and I amused myself by struggling with the crossword puzzle. I got some (but not all) of it done by the time I arrived in Charing Cross.
For some time I’d fancied going to London to do two geocaches which together would take me all over the capital. A little while ago I posted on the “Geocaching in Kent” Facebook page to see if anyone else fancied a day out. Eight of us met up at the fourth plinth.
We started off with something of a minor disaster; We arrived at Trafalgar Square just as the huge Christmas tree (the annual gift from the people of Norway) was being installed. For us to start the first part of our little treasure hunt we needed to get some information which the builders had obscured. We then had a minor contretemps with the security staff… We naively thought that the barriers had fenced off the parts of Trafalgar Square in which the public weren’t supposed to go. The reality was that the public weren’t supposed to be within twenty yards of the fences. Whilst some of our number got the information we needed, I kept the security staff distracted by “politely” suggesting that if they put the fences in the right place then they wouldn’t need to have security staff chasing the likes of me away from the fence.
Some people have no sense of humour…
From Trafalgar Square we headed along Northumberland Avenue. There was (and still is) a field puzzle which I was unable to blag from Google Street View. And with puzzle blagged we set off to the toilet. If all else fails, have a tiddle.
Our next port of call was Parliament Square for a geology lesson featuring Prime Ministers Lloyd George and Peel, and then on to the Buxton Memorial Fountain and Smith Square. We didn’t realise that at this point we were walking past the end-point of a field puzzle we would solve later. This happens quite a bit when hunting Tupperware in London; you go somewhere, do a field puzzle, and after fifteen minutes of brain-wracking you realise you walked past the final location half an hour ago.
Oh how we laughed when we realised…
Lunch time came and we weren’t even close to the half-way point of our day. But we found a little café with the somewhat saucy name of “Crumpets” and we were hungry. I had a rather good cheese and tuna panini washed down with a bucket of latte.
As we scoffed lunch we sent messages… one cache we had found had a field puzzle in which we had to find the mobile phone number of the Queen (supposedly) and sent her a text asking for the final location of a particular geocache. Several of us sent several messages. One of us got a reply.
We then walked here, there and thither, soon arriving at the half-way point of the day. The second virtual wander round the capital started from Buckingham Palace. We took a few photos, and carried on going all over the place.
I must admit I did snigger when I was watching the security staff watching Nick being stealthy.
After a couple of hours we found ourselves by a pub on the South Bank, and went inside for a pint of winter warmer. “Wild Holly” wasn’t the best winter warmer I’ve ever had, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.
There’s no denying I was flagging here. We’d done over six miles. I was happy to stay in the pub, but geocaches don’t find themselves. We cracked on, and with the promise of another pint later we ended up at that pub having walked eight miles. And (I have to say) “Parabellum Milk Stout” probably *is* one of the best milk stouts I’ve ever had.
It was a very short walk to Cannon Street where I said my goodbyes and made my way to Charing Cross and home…
I’m worn out… You can see why from the photos I took.