Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.
Starting near Eversley, about halfway between Wokingham and Basingstoke, we set off to undertake the Hampshire Drive By series. It comprises twenty-six caches spread over about 10 miles, each with somewhere to park nearby – a perfect choice for a cold, misty November day. I volunteered to drive. Mr HG137 had driven previous drive by series we had attempted, but thought I should experience the adrenalin rush of parking in odd places as traffic whizzed by … I wasn’t entirely sure about that!
The first four caches lived up to the billing perfectly, with impressively large parking places and caches that were easy to find, but all different and hidden in a variety of ways. We turned into a much narrower single track lane, much of it through woods. The parking spots became smaller too, including one that I didn’t spot underneath fallen leaves, so Mr Hg137 had to leap out of the car to find the cache while I drove on, found somewhere to turn, and came back to collect him. But he managed just fine without me … At the end of the lane, just before emerging onto a ‘bigger’ road, we found another cache and paused for coffee, with the geocar parked on a slope with the handbrake firmly applied. Or so I thought. On our return to the car, it seemed to have moved a bit. Odd. And when Mr Hg137 climbed in it began to roll gently down the slope. No harm done, but a bit disquieting.
I overshot the next cache, too, and had to retrace our route to find the parking spot at the end of a farm drive. While retrieving the cache on the other side of the road, I turned around to see a cement mixer edging past my geocar. Oh no! But there was enough room for all. One of the next caches was hidden by a rural post box, with a teeny tiny pull-in where the postie parks his van. I stayed in the car, close to the road, on a bend, and quivered with fear as the traffic rushed by very close, and Mr Hg137 seemed to take a very long time finding the cache.
After finding one more cache on this busy main road, this one with a giant layby for parking (five stars for that!), we turned off once again down a narrow country lane. And once again Mr Hg137 needed to trot off down the lane to find the cache while I loitered, engine running, in the driveway of a house. This time I didn’t have to wait so long before I was waved onwards to collect him. Further on, parked on the very narrow lane, I was away from the car, searching under a log for the cache when a car appeared. Mr Hg137 moved the geocar to let it pass, but commented to me that he ‘couldn’t make the handbrake work’. Odd again. When I got back into the driving seat to drive on, I saw that the button on the end of the handbrake had disappeared and there was no way to lock the brake in position. Not good at all. That went some way to explaining the problem we had earlier, when parking on a slope.
We did just one more cache, quickly, before abandoning the series at cache number eighteen of twenty-six and rushing back to our local garage to see if they could help with the non-working handbrake. They duly did some magic – thanks to http://sandhurstmot.com – and they didn’t even charge for it!
That leaves a bit of the cache series to do. Hmm, I wonder when we could do that?