Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.
We were off on holiday for a week in east Cornwall. But it’s a long drive, so we stopped for lunch in Devon. We (well, I) chose Ladram Bay, near Sidmouth, as it’s one of my favourite places on earth and I’ve been returning there on and off ever since 1985. But I have found that there’s an earthcache there, so (for once) I don’t have to drag Mr Hg137 there – he came along willingly! And, as insurance, we had loaded a couple of back-up caches – we haven’t cached in Devon before and we wanted to get at least one cache.
We found the usual parking place just above the bay … and in the 5 years since we last visited, the price of parking has risen from £2 to £5 … seems just a bit above inflation, that.
We walked down the steep path to the beach. There was a new coffee spot, and a place selling lobster and crab; we stopped by, and saw the lobsters and crabs swimming in a tank of seawater, while their unluckier cousins boiled gently in a pot. Down on the beach, we settled on the picnic benches … they, too, weren’t there 5 years ago. As we got comfortable, we noticed a big bank of grey cloud obscuring the sunshine, and it got colder, windier, and darker. We beat a hasty retreat back to the geocar just as the first large drops of rain began to fall, then ate our lunch while the rain pelted down. Oh well…
Then the rain cleared, and, apart from the puddles, it was as if the downpour had never happened. We set off to find the information needed for the earthcache, which involved visiting the beach, posing for a picture, and walking a little way along the coast path on both sides of the bay, and noting and counting various items and measurements. (We later found out that our answers were correct).
Leaving the bay, we stopped for two drive-by caches (ie stop nearby, leap out of the car, find and sign the cache and move on quickly). One was near the brick cross at the crossroads which lead down to Otterton village, the nearest settlement to Ladram Bay, and the other was near the gates of Bicton Park, an agricultural college and gardens. Both caches were succesfully found, though one – not saying which, was brilliantly camouflaged and faded into the background …
After that little (two-and-a-half hour) diversion, we set off again and arrived at our destination, Liskeard, about 10 miles on from the Tamar bridge, in the late afternoon. We were tired, but looking forward to the rest of the holiday.