Saturday, 7 July 2018

07/07/18 - Summertime and the caching is queasy

Distance - 4 Miles
Geocaches - 4 out of 17
First Cache

If this is foreshadowing for the way the World Cup is going to pan out, then there's a Volvo in Worcestershire that is so going to get it.

6am start - to be back before the heat, to be back before England vs. Sweden at 3pm - heading off to the Wrekin area of Shropshire.  An area with a rich seam of geocaches, many entombed in soggy black socks from Matalan.

Today's circuit is the Rushmoor Ramble - 17 Caches and parking at a pub.

Things have changed since Google Streetview was in town.

Pub No More, The Gate, Bratton
That's the post walk drink cancelled
Off with the caching....  even with an OS Map and GPS route finding is tricky.  I don't need the track to the disused railway line but the road and a footpath along the side of houses.   Overgrown stile, leads to overgrown paths and a GZ for cache 1 that is... you've guessed, overgrown.

Still, I'm an experienced cacher, I can improvise.

Caching Whacking Stick
Mappiman Weed Whacker 
Caches 1 and 2 are found, but not easily.  At three, there is no chance.  I get the clue but no way to fight my way through brambles to find something that I realise has not been found this calendar year.

I must be really late to this party, as this is most unusual for a lengthy cache trail.   I make the decision not to drop my TB off and if I succeed if one thing today, its liberating another that's been lurking since 29/10/17.

Not Found this Year
Longtime not found
I proceed, attempting the ones that I can but not worrying about the inaccessible ones.

After the horseflies, the next hazard is the cows.  A field full of them is traversed and a wide birth applied.  Just as I get past them, I can hear movement and the one with very bull-like udders motions towards me.   The weed wacker is held aloft in preparation for combat, but after some snorting, he releases the longest fart I have ever heard and lies back down.

The 4th and last find of the day comes at #8 and the hazards intensify.  Horses.  God, I hate them.  I sometimes wish I was French, just so that I could order them off the menu.

Most are behind fences but along a narrow public footpath at Lawn Farm, the most skittish of the lot is bucking and broncoing his disapproval that the world's worst cacher wants to get by.

I decide not to antagnoise him and attempt to climb over the fence to avoid death by hoof.

The fence is waist high and of course, its electrified.   I find this out mid straddle, at the time my testicles get electrocuted.

There's people that would happily pay for this level of entertainment on a Saturday morning but I am questioning myself.

Caching now given up, I try and enjoy the walk.  There are fine views over the Wrekin.

Best Views
Best of the Views
You might think I'd end this blog on a high point but no, I've got to get through this path first.

Overgrown Paths
Footpath runs direct to the gap in the hedge, where there's a cache.  A DNF
It was a question of what to first when I got home..... Eat, drink, pick the pointy bits of grass out of my socks or log the poorest attempt at caching in my 10 year history.   4 out of 17.

A handful of stings, scratches and fly bites.  An extended shower required to check for ticks.  Zapped nuts.

I'll be back caching next weekend.

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