July 28 Day 209 Caches Found 5 Cumulative Total 243 (+1 bonus, +1cacher’s meet)

CACHERS SAVE PARKLAND FROM RAGING INFERNO

(Well more of a smouldering pit, rather than inferno… but more of that later!)

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Next weekend we are hoping to visit the UK Mega Meet at the Gaydon Motor Museum where over 1500 cachers will be attending. We realised it would be a great opportunity to swap trackables, with other cachers …. but we had none to swap !

We reviewed http://www.geocaching.com to see find some nearby caches containing trackables. We discovered 3 good candidates and 3 other caches near them, so we went on a driving route starting in South Farnborough and heading North back to Sandhurst. All caches were predominantly caches and dashes.

(We say candidate caches, as some cachers are slow at updating their records on http://www.geocaching.com so the trackables may not be there after all!)

The first three caches we attempted yielded one Trackable (ES-CAR-GO 5 – a snail, racing 4 other snails) and one Did Not Find! (In fact we were about to DNF another cache, but eventually found it after 15 minutes of searching. One of these caches was a 'Trackable Hotel' where cachers can deposit their trackables.

The Trackable Hotel

The next 2 caches were in Queen Elizabeth Park, Farnborough. Both caches were found easily (including another trackable hotel), but one of the caches had a special ‘mechanism’ for opening which needed resolving ! (Two caches found and two trackables : a Pontiac and A Clown Fish).

Here's the cache.. but how to open ?

Here’s the cache.. but how to open ?

It was on our way back to the car when the fun started….

WE SMELT FIRE !
WE SAW SMOKE COMING FROM THE UNDERGROWTH !

Could we put it out ourselves ? We decided not, as the smoulders covered a large area. Should we phone the Fire Brigade ? We had no mobile phone with us, so enquired of various parents at the play area to borrow their phones. The 6th person we asked, a Polish lady, lent her phone and we summoned the Fire Brigade.

We were told to wait for them so they could be escorted to the fire. Just as we waited a Local Warden appeared, so we split up with Mrs Hg137 accompanying the warden to the fire, and Mr Hg137 awaiting the Firemen.

After about 10 minutes a Fire Engine arrived (would have been sooner, but it couldn’t get under a low bridge!) and 4 firemen filled half-a-dozen buckets and canvas bags with water. Although these doused the fire, the underlying ground was peat, and this was what was alight! We left them undertaking a further ‘bucket’ run and no doubt a couple more were made too.

Dousing ...

Dousing …

All a bit stressful, but we felt we had done our civic duty.

Our 6th cache (remember we were caching?) was closer to home, on a bridge over the River Blackwater where we secured our 4th trackable, a Grasshopper ! (Nearby there were fishermen trying catch American Signal Crayfish which were causing environmental damage to banks and other river creatures).

The peacefulness of this location seemed far away from the drama we’d experienced at the previous cache.

So 5 caches found, 4 trackables acquired, and a major fire averted … all in a morning’s work for SANDHURST GEOCACHERS !

Blackwater Bridge

Blackwater Bridge

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