February 7 : A ford, a pub, and a giant strawberry

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

We are wimpy fair-weather folk who don’t really like getting wet if there is an alternative. On yet another weekend with rain forecast, we spotted a few hours on Sunday morning when it was both dry and sunny, and rushed out to do some local caching. Our plan was to collect some puzzle caches that we had solved over the winter, and to accompany that with other nearby caches.

The world's biggest strawberry - resting for the winter

The world’s biggest strawberry – resting for the winter

First was ‘Eleven’, a puzzle cache, which involved investigating a mixture of postcodes and coordinates and deriving an answer which led to the coordinates. We duly turned up at the likely location and found the cache within seconds; it was a rather weatherworn ceramic teddy bear. Next was ‘World’s Biggest Strawberry?’, a traditional (non-puzzle) cache on the fringes of Grays Farm http://www.graysfarm.co.uk/ This is an award winning pick your own fruit and veg business; we’ve been there often (to buy or pick) and the quality and value is brilliant. We wanted to find the cache here while it’s still there, as the farm will be turned into sports fields in 2018 and the cache and all those lovely fruit and veg will be gone http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-28582670 For now, the PYO business has two seasons left to run, and its trademark – the giant strawberry – is resting for the winter.
Ford at Gardener's Green

Ford at Gardener’s Green

Our early confidence became dented as we failed to find our next two caches, but had a pleasant few minutes pottering around the ford at Gardener’s Green – quite deep at this time of year – and sniffing at the delicious Sunday roast smells coming from the Crooked Billet pub http://www.crookedbilletwokingham.co.uk/index.php
We moved on a little way to Barkham for the next part of our little caching trip. We set off down Doles Lane, a muddy and puddle filled track, popular with muggle dogs, walkers and cyclists. All of these meant we took longer than planned to retrieve the first cache we found, amid much diversionary activity (from us) of shoelaces tying, map reading, and answering of imaginary phone calls. Turning off the track onto a quieter path, we quickly found two more puzzle caches – more of those we had solved over Christmas. The next cache, ‘Going to California’, was found even more easily as it was right out in the open and visible to anyone passing. Oops – but it might have been exposed by recent high winds. We signed the log and hid it more carefully.

One more cache to go, and its description suggested that it was teensy tiny. It turned out to be pretty small, but not quite as tiny as that. But still small enough for the geo-penknife to be needed! Final total for the morning: seven caches found out of nine: much more successful than our recent caching efforts: perhaps our searching skills are improving again after a not-especially successful January.

Here, as ever, are some of the caches we found:



5 Responses to “February 7 : A ford, a pub, and a giant strawberry”

  1. TheRobbInn Says:

    Interesting blog as usual. We are struggling with the alphabet puzzle caches of Uncle E at the moment. You’ve probably done them as they are quite local but we are not on his wave length at the moment !!

  2. hg137 Says:

    Hi, thanks for your comment about our blog. We’ve not really studied Uncle E’s caches yet. We’re sure we’ll get round to them at some point. As you may have noticed the Wonky Café got a visit!

    • Robb-inn Says:

      I heard from WC owners that they had a visit, and I read your kind comments on the cache page. Glad you found it. Did you get the cache half-way down the hill from Culver Haven?

      • hg137 Says:

        Yes, on that caching trip we found WC on the Beach (your cache, we made a right meal of finding it!), Scratch’s Scratchbox (left a TB), Arbeia (left 2 TBs), and Bembridge Fort. Unfortunately, on the way down the hill in the mud, Mrs Hg137 slipped and became covered in rather a lot of the stuff. Neither Mr Hg137 nor the cafe owners laughed, and a picture will doubtless appear in a blog entry soon!

        Mrs Hg137 (now de-mudded and dried out)

  3. TheRobbInn Says:

    Excellent (not about the mud). Look forward to reading the blog.

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