Before we left Chester for our drive home, we had some unfinished business in Chester.
Within yards of the hotel was a cache we had not attempted all week. We had walked past it several times, but had never loaded it in our GPS. Our gut instinct was that the cache was one side of the road, perhaps magnetically attached to a sign. On the same side of the road were some small bushes and trees, again, ideal hiding material.
Imagine our surprise when the GPS locked onto the bus stop furniture on the other side of the road. No-one waiting, so we quickly furtled in and around the bus stop (Ed : are we the only people that use the word ‘furtle’, meaning to ‘poke around’ – its not in any online dictionary!!!) . After a couple of minutes Mrs Hg137 found the small magnetic nano. Then we read the title and description ‘OTB3 Olive Rudge’. The cache owner had set a mini series of 7 caches based on character from the 1960s/1970s ITV Comedy ‘On The Buses’! The bus stop made perfect sense.
Our last three caches in Chester were near the Zoo. We parked in the zoo car park, ahead of many of the Saturday morning visitors. Our first target was a 6-stage multi we had investigated 5 days previously. We had the first 4 clues correct, but the other two, in a small nature reserve nearby were baffling. One of the stages needed a sign, which had recently been removed (we could see the groundholes), and the other asked us a question for which the answer was not obvious. So with two unknowns we weren’t fancying our chances. However a bit of reasoned logic, discounting obvious arithmetic anomalies (anything above eleven minus two will not yield a one digit number!) we gave ourselves 4 coordinates to try.
The first was in the warthog house.. unlikely ! The second was promising as it was in the zoo car park by some trees. Nothing there. The third location took us to somewhere where the hint made sense…we just had to be the correct side of a fence! And there it was… a large cache hidden in an apt container! Even with two unknown answers we had found the cache! Yippee!
We crossed the car park to a footpath – actually a cycleway called the Pink Route – as it is one of 11 cycleways emanating from Chester each named after a colour.
Our success at the previous cache had gone to our heads as the very descriptive hint ‘Half way down the slope on a large tree trunk with some regrowth covered in ivy , at head height’ made no initial sense. We clambered around until we found the tree in question. Even with two pairs of eyes our search of the tree was fruitless. Then, as many caches are, we looked at a very specific angle and saw the cache wedged in its hidey-hole.
We signed the log, took photos, and headed back towards the zoo.
We went underneath the zoo’s train lines and drew level with the rhinoceros enclosure. We could just see, through two types of fence a small baby rhino… the one that was born just a week before! Just as we were about to search for our last cache of our holiday Mrs Hg137 realised she was no longer wearing her sun hat. (One she had owned for over 30 years). She was wearing it earlier, but where was it now ? We quickly found the cache, signed the log and retreated our steps carefully.
We were about halfway back along the Pink Route when a man said he had seen our hat a bit further on.. Phew! We walked on, a little faster, and saw the hat… and another man approaching it. Fortunately he also realised it was Mrs Hg137’s hat and gave it to us. We chatted and as it turned out he was also a geocacher so had an inkling as to what we had found !
We could have driven home at that point, but we wanted one more look at the zoo. The entrance to Chester Zoo is staggered, after buying a ticket there is a wide concourse – where presumably large parties gather – before reaching the actual turnstile. We could wander into this concourse, and look into the first exhibit…the ELEPHANTS !
We had a great view – without paying remember – of all the elephants including the week-old elephant which no doubt will appear in the next series of Channel 4’s ‘The Secret Life of the Zoo’ . We were also entertained by zoo keepers parading dressed up as a giraffe! A fun end to a great week!