April 20 : Leicester

We were in Leicester attending a 10 game 2 day Scrabble event. Mrs Hg137 lived near Leicester for many years, and knew many of the Scrabblers at the tournament, so it was a good couple of days catching up with old friends as well as taxing our brains.

College Court Conference Centre

When the Scrabble had finished, and our brains were recovering from the hard work-out, we went geocaching before we drove home.

The College Court Conference Centre, was surrounded by lots of mid-20th houses so we were expecting deviously hidden nanos and micros. We were not disappointed!

We were though disappointed to get a DNF at our first cache!

Our brains must have been asleep. We couldn’t find the cache…there were two trees to check, several signposts, a green communications box and much, more besides. The cache site was on a corner of two streets with several houses overlooking our search area. Despite looking hard, we gave up after 15 minutes searching, and moved on.

Criss-crossing one of Leicester’s suburbs the next cache site was in an alleyway. One muggle came by, but otherwise the alley was quiet. Alleys are notoriously difficult to search as generally they are busy thoroughfares, with few sightlines of oncoming people, and of course are near to houses.

After inspecting the obvious host for several minutes, it was only once we had peered at the street furniture on hands and knees did we spot the hidey-hole.

Phew! Our brains were recovering!

The third cache was near the entrance to a park. We could hear a bowls match going on behind a hedge, the swings and slides in the park though were unused. (It was a very hot afternoon, so the lack of people was no surprise). The hiding place, well indicated by the hint, took some finding. Again we spent a few minutes of fruitless hunting, until we took a step back and noticed the cache from afar! Strategic placement of Mrs Hg137’s handbag made the retrieval unseen by a passing muggle. (Why do muggles always appear at the crucial moment?)

And so onto our final cache. It was named after a former Lido, sited nearby. (A shame, as it was such a hot day a Lido would have been very, very tempting). Here we discovered the estate’s roads were named after towns on the Isle of Wight. As we wandered along, watching the GPS distance dropping with every footstep, we thought about our various holidays on the Isle of Wight and what we had seen in each town.

A relatively quick find awaited us – fortunate as two men and four dogs appeared from nowhere while we were signing the log!

We’d found three caches out of four, but the journey home was a celebratory one as we had both done rather well in the preceding Scrabble tournament. Mr Hg137 had finished well above his start position in Division A, and Mrs Hg137 had finished 2nd in Division B. Only the one DNF spoiled our fun…so it will be a target for us if we return for the Scrabble tournament next year!