August 19 : Farley Forage

Our plans today were the Farley Forage series and a couple of other caches on route. The caches were ‘squeezed’ between two other series we had completed recently – the Hampshire Drive By, and the Cache-as-Cache-can series in Farley Hill.

Passports at the ready!

The Farley Forage series was wholly in Berkshire, but due to quirkiness of the roads – and a troublesome (vehicle) ford crossing of the River Blackwater, we parked in Hampshire. Indeed this closeness of the county boundary was celebrated by our first cache of the day called County (Re) Boundary. This cache was a replacement for a previous one, and we suspect hidden in the same place. In a tree bole, 6 feet above a muddy bank.
Mr Hg137 scrambled up, located the cache and passed it down for Mrs Hg137 to sign the log and retrieve 2 trackables : Monkey Magic and a World Geocoin. What a good start to the day!

Farley Ford, standing in Berkshire, looking into Hampshire

We then started on the Farley Forage route, crossing the River Blackwater not by the ford but via a small concrete bridge and arriving very quickly at Farley Forage #1. We had read that the previous finder had reported the cache container was broken so we had taken along a film canister to provide a further layer of protection. It wasn’t needed as the cache owner had been out and fixed the cache before 9 o’clock!

The cache owner, Twinkandco, places small caches, generally nano sized, sometimes a film container, but nearly always connected to a piece of rural camouflage. Sometimes the container is inside some bark, or a log, sometimes with a ‘tail’ inside a tube.. but always great fun!

All of the caches are easy (ish) to find, but sometimes a bit of bank scrambling is needed for retrieval.

This series had been advertised as ” … very wet and boggy in places after rainy weather and WELLYS ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED“. We had worn walking boots, and we were grateful we had, as shortly after cache 4 came the mud. Two hundred yards of it. The path was one giant mudslide. We picked our way between the soft, squelchy mud, the really slippery mud and the much-easier-to-walk-on shaly mud. In fact while we were traversing the mud we almost forget to see how close the next cache was, and nearly walked by it.

Mud, mud..glorious mud!

The Farley Forage series consisted of 16 caches and we had two others to find on our 4 mile walk. The County (Re) Boundary was one, and we were soon at the other, Sandpit Lane. We had several host trees to search here, and it was only after a few minutes that we managed to find the cache.

The Farley Forage series contained one multi, and due to some over-zealous navigation on Mr Hg137’s part we approached the first part from the wrong direction thus meaning we had to retrace our steps for the final find.

We had walked uphill, away from the river and the paths were much, much drier.

Except at cache 7.

We had rounded a blind corner on the footpath, and discovered the cache was hidden behind a tree the other side of a large stretch of mud.

(We knew the cache was there, as a plethora of muddy bootprints pointed towards the tree!).

Mrs Hg137 ventured across, and retrieved the cache at the second attempt. It was just as the log was being signed when 2 people came round the blind corner.

We’d been rumbled!

But no! They were cachers too. Penwood Plodders – another husband and wife team. We made sure they endured the mud by asking them to replace the cache! We walked on with them for a cache or two, chatting about the Devon Mega, the mud and caching in general. It became apparent that their walking pace, and cache administration, was quicker then us, so we allowed them to speed ahead. Nice meeting you!

(Ed: in case you are wondering why it takes longer to write ‘hg137’ on a log rather than ‘Penwood Plodders’, its because we scribble down a brief note about each cache, our experience at it, as well as taking a photo for this blog).

That’s better… a bit drier here !

The next section of the route was relatively uneventful, the cache containers maintained their uniqueness. As we re-approached the River Blackwater we crossed a few stiles (always good hiding places) and well as a cache hidden deep in a nettle bush.

Somewhere.. near to this stile’s signage .. may be a cache!

Several times we thought we were catching up with Penwood Plodders, but every time they were returning to the footpath having left it to find a cache.

Penwood Plodders in the distance

For much of the day we could hear the sound of farm machinery, and as discovered caches 12-14 we were walking alongside the farmer’s field. What he thought of two pairs of ‘ramblers’ walking along the footpath and both pairs stopping mid-field, in the same spot, we shall never know.

I wonder whether he spotted us…

We were expecting more mud on this section as the river was only feet away, but the paths were dry and meant the mud layer on our boots was quickly being walked off.

We found all the caches on route – a very enjoyable 4 mile walk – full of interesting finds and varied countryside. If you are in the areas of Farley Hill.. we recommend the series to you!

Other Caches we found included :


March 11 : Sandhurst to Sandhurst (Kent) : Beare Green to Horley/Gatwick Airport

Newdigate Church

Newdigate Church

This year we have been fairly lucky with our caching. We have found nearly every cache we have attempted.

Today…well today..

…was DNF DAY !

It started badly and never really recovered.

The village of Beare Green, as we noted in our last Sandhurst to Sandhurst post, has several caches hidden in its boundaries. We attempted three and failed on each one !

A muddy path.. but will it lead to a cache ?

The first was a Sidetracked Multi. We had collected the information on our prior visit, and set off down a muddy footpath, and arrived at two likely hosts (and since the hint was ‘multi-trunked-tree’) we split up and searched both.

And searched.

And searched.

To no avail. This cache hadn’t been attempted since last October, so maybe the Autumn and Winter had been unkind to it. Sadly the cache would have contained the co-ordinates to another a double-DNF-whammy!

We moved our car to where we had parked previously on our walk and set off. Our last cache of that walk was ‘Mad Hatter’ and our next three caches were to be part of an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ series. Sadly our attempt to find ‘Caterpillar’ or the ‘Queen of Hearts’ resulted in DNFs. (Both have since been archived as they had both been DNFed by many cachers for the last 8 months!)

It was therefore with some trepidation that we arrived at Ground Zero for ‘White Rabbit’.

Hidden in a camo bag, in a pile of mud was indeed … A WHITE RABBIT. We pulled the rabbit out of the hat, sorry bag, and gratefully signed the log.

White Rabbit

White Rabbit

Our route then took us away from the ‘Alice’ series, and after walking through some very muddy woodland, jumping over a deep drainage ditch onto a lane, walking across a field and then realising the footpath we wanted wasn’t signposted, we somehow found ourselves on a farmyard track. (As well as failing to find caches, we were failing to find footpaths too!).

After a somewhat poor start, we decide to stop for coffee. Compose ourselves, and say..’caching can only get better’.

And it did.

Our next 3 finds were fortunately straightforward. These three caches were part of a 10 cache series between the villages of Newdigate and Capel. There is also a 10 cache series, using different paths back from Capel to Newdigate. What a great idea!

On a late Saturday morning, the village of Newdigate was quite busy. Farm vehicles sortied slowly up and down the main street; parked cars narrowed the road to single line traffic; people were scurrying about their business.

We had two targets in Newdigate. The first a simple Church Micro multi. We ascertained the final cache was on our route out of Newdigate, so went in search of the other cache – (hint : ‘magnetic’). Here the GPS gods decided not to play ball with us. The GPS led us to a metal sign, roadside, in a bush, next to the busy and congested highway. We searched, and failed to find. What we couldn’t see from our ill-chosen and dangerous position that behind a line of trees surrounding the bush was another metal host object which is where the cache was. We only discovered this on our return home.

Churches are great places for lunch. Normally there are seats outside, and here we ate lunch before finding (yes, really!) the Church Micro cache whose co-ordinates we had calculated a few minutes previously. We were grateful for the find, as we had about a mile and half walk before our next cluster of caches.

Newdigate Church

Newdigate Church Micro.. Found!

The mile and a half was predominately tarmac walking, mainly on small lanes. We passed modern barns, a variety of ponds, and a mobile home park before arriving at a grassy field. Here we were met by horses, so we paused while we were sniffed and checked all over.

Modern Barns along the way

No mud here…no caches either

We were eventually allowed to pass by, and we arrived our first (of four) Star Trek themed caches. We had mixed results at these caches as we found two quite easily, but the other two completed eluded us. The cache owner has subsequently told us what we missed, but with the DNF day we were having, we would have missed seeing a red-double-decker bus as well as the minute nanos hidden in both bridge and stile.

Somewhere on or near this stile is a cache! But we didn’t find it!

Charlwood was our last major town/village before the mass sprawl of Gatwick. Here there were plenty of caches for us to try. The first was a Church Micro multi. However the final coordinates, were half-a-mile back in the direction we had just come ! We both decided not to walk back! (More of a Did Not Attempt, rather than Did Not Find, but it still hurt our egos)

The next cache was a pleasant find, part of the ‘Poppies on Parade’ series where the cache was (just about) visible from the war memorial. We continued through Charlwood and then found a long distance footpath that would be the backbone for much of our remaining route to Sandhurst: The Sussex Border Path.

Martlets, Sussex

Martlets, the symbol for Sussex, mark the Sussex Border Path

The path broadly follows the Sussex county boundary, weaving in and out of adjacent counties on its journey of 111 miles. Charlwood is still in Surrey, our destination car was parked in Surrey, but the path would take us today on a short half-mile section into Sussex.

But first we had a few more Charlwood caches to find. The first on a a tree, rather too close to a dog-poo bin for comfort. (Definitely a poor day, when caches are either DNFed or next to dog-poo bins.)

We passed on another Church Micro multi as yet again it led us away from our route. However as we left Charlwood we found two caches in the pudding series (we found ‘Mums Apple Pie’ and ‘Rhubarb Crumble’ !). One of which needed careful extrication from under a water trough and through a hedge.


Getting close to Gatwick!

Our last mile of walking took us close to the flight path of Gatwick Airport. Although the noise level had increased, we were pleasantly surprised to find the noise level was not too imposing.

Our last cache of the day was near the car. This was quite a sneaky hide, as the hint mentioned ‘tree roots’. There was a huge fallen tree with a large hole with roots showing. But no cache visible. Next to the fallen tree was a smaller bush, with intricate roots, and hidden amongst it was our final find of the day. We released the ‘Hamburg’ trackable here, as given its proximity to Gatwick Airport, it might get back to Germany quite quickly.

We covered well over 10 miles on our route, but probably just as many miles wandering the pathways looking for a myriad of DNF caches. Roll on next time… when hopefully we will fare a little better.

Surprisingly, given it was a DNF day… we did find these caches :

March 3 : Isle of Wight : Wootton to Sandown

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Wootton Creek, Isle of Wight

Wootton Creek, Isle of Wight

We often go to the Isle of Wight in early spring, to take part in a Scrabble tournament held there. So off we went on a dank and rainy morning, catching the 10am ferry from Portsmouth, and arriving Isle of Wight with a few hours free before the start of the tournament. All that remained was for us to make our way to the Trouville Hotel, on the seafront at Sandown near the pier. We thought that we would make our way slowly, and collect a few caches on the way …

The rain had stopped while we were on the boat, but it was still well damp underfoot. Mr Hg137’s forward planning had taken account of this, and caches had been selected that could be found without getting too muddy. (Editor’s note: what Mr Hg137 was probably thinking was that I had slipped in the mud on our previous IoW Scrabble/caching trip, and I had to change in a rainy hilltop car park before arriving at the Scrabble tournament … )

A good omen for the Scrabble tournament?

A good omen for the Scrabble tournament?

The first cache chosen was on the opposite side of Wootton Creek from the ferry terminal at Fishbourne, and was called ‘Down the Pump’. What did that mean? Hmm – what it did mean was that the cache was located at the end of Pump Lane, overlooking the creek, and was found after a short but damp search.

Of the remaining four caches, one was hidden by a gate at the side of a lane, and was duly found without either of us getting dirty. The other three were all from the Sidetracked series, based around railway stations. Two were at Wootton and Havenstreet stations on the Isle of Wight steam railway which runs from Wootton to Smallbrook Junction, and the other was at Sandown station, on the Island Line from Ryde pier to Shanklin,_Isle_of_Wight We readily found two of the three, but the third eluded us, in spite of a lengthy search through piles of autumn leaves. (Editor’s note 2 : it has been found several times since, so we clearly didn’t search that well.)
Sandown Station - posh motor!

Sandown Station – posh motor!

And so we arrived at our destination, in good time, and, most importantly, NOT muddy!

February 26 : Sandhurst to Sandhurst (Kent) : Winterfold Heath to Beare Green

Firstly, we don’t often do large caching expeditions on Sundays.

As as the weather forecast was less favourable on the Saturday we ventured out on a Sunday. When our double car journey (of driving the end with two cars, parking one, driving to the start with the other) should have been quicker.


Somehow we found the slowest ‘A’ road in Surrey, a bus (on a Sunday, really?!) we couldn’t overtake, then a learner we couldn’t overtake … and so we parked the first car a little later than anticipated.

Then we discovered Storm Doris has blown a tree down within half a mile of where we wanted to park our second car. A 5 mile diversion later and we were then much, much later starting than we had planned.

Our first cache was one we had failed to attempt from our previous visit to Winterfold Heath. Hidden under a pile of logs, we were grateful for a quick find to eventually start our day.

Our next cache was slightly troublesome, but the cache owner had helpfully provided two sets of coordinates and we found the second most useful. However accessing the cache was slightly harder, as a stream of mountain bikers whizzed past. (‘Whizzed’ is a slightly misnomer as the track was exceedingly muddy and the cyclists were going uphill). Being a Sunday, the footpaths and bridleways were much in use. For much of the day we were accompanied by ramblers, runners, cyclists and dog walkers. Not the usual quiet footpaths we are used to on Saturdays.

We were following the Greensand Way which zigzagged its away across the ridge line. The waymarking could be best described as ‘haphazard’, and frequently we found ourselves on a similar, but wrong, path. Fortunately it did take us past Ewhurst Mill.

Ewhurst Mill

Ewhurst Mill

Almost in the shadow of the white mill was our next target cache, under a fallen white trunk of a silver birch. An easy find, but quite a hard approach through ankle high brambles.

Our fourth cache of the day was in a tree hole. The tree was on a slight slope so access was tricky, the hole was deep and Mrs HG137 was up to her elbows retrieving the small plastic container. We walked away from the cache and paused for coffee.

Then we heard the father of a young family exclaim “There’s Treasure nearby… shall we go and find it ?”
The two children shouted “yes” unanimously and off they ran.
We just had time to tell the father that we had just found the cache, and it roughly where it was.

We finished our coffee, but it was obvious that the family had NOT found the cache. It couldn’t have gone missing in the short time we had been away so Mr Hg137 ran up to them and nudged them towards the dark forbidding hole in the tree. At first the young son didn’t want to put his hands in the hole, but he did, but sadly his small arms weren’t big enough to fully retrieve the cache. The father though, was able to, and the family eventually found the cache!

Green Sand Rock

Green Sand Rock

That was to be our last cache for some while, as the Greensand Way undulated for 2 miles with no caches for us to attempt. (There were a couple of unsolved puzzle caches and some very long multis, but no ‘easy’ traditionals). The path yielded fine views across the Weald to the South Downs as well as dropping steeply through the grounds of the Duke of Kent School only for us to climb steeply up the far side of the valley.

Across the Weald to the South Downs

Across the Weald to the South Downs

Eventually we arrived at a cache to find. The GPS and the hint item seemed at first out by 100 feet, so we walked on, but after much futile searching arrived back at the hint item, where the GPS now said 6 feet! A large yew, and a small film canister. What a shame a larger container couldn’t have been hidden.

We were now on flattish, but gently rising terrain. We claimed a quick find for our next cache, and even added some new paper as the log book was full. A few short strides later and we arrived at the top of Leith Hill and Leith Tower in particular. Leith Hill is the highest point in Southern England and 14 counties should have been visible. By now low cloud was forming over the South Downs some 15-20 miles away, so not the best day for county-counting.

Leith Hill Tower

Leith Hill Tower

We had 2 caches to find near the top of the hill.. but Mr Hg137 made a schoolboy error in the order we attempted them …

First we attempted to find a puzzle cache, one we had solved a few days earlier and involved solving several “Christmas Cracker Riddles” :

“What do you call a Polar Bear in a Desert ?
Answer : Lost.

To find the cache we had to walk a fair way down one of the Leith Hill slopes. It was then we discovered that a traditional cache was back at the top! So we re-climbed the slope, and found that cache too. We admired the view for the second time, only to discover the low cloud had enveloped much of the Weald and there was no view at all from the top of the hill!

We still had two miles to walk, in ever worsening gloom. We descended the hill for the second time and walked across roads, very muddy fields, crossing a railway line – pausing only to go over stiles (one of which was being impressively guarded by a horse).

Thank goodness – no more mud!

Eventually gloom gave way to the lights of Beare Green, and we knew our 10 mile walk would soon be concluded. We had one more cache to find, underneath a small footbridge. An easy find, and a pleasant end to the walk. There are a few more caches to find in Beare Green, but we will leave those for another time when hopefully Sunday traffic and gloomy weather won’t conspire against us.

February 4 : Sandhurst to Sandhurst (Kent) : Wanborough to Guildford

Winter had changed from a cold, frosty season to a wet one. Very showery, very cloudy.

But the day was fairly fine with the promise of rain later. Best get on with the plan !

St Bartholomew's Church, Wanborough

St Bartholomew’s Church, Wanborough

The plan was to walk from Wanborough Station to Shalford Station, catch the hourly train from Shalford station to Guildford, then wait 20 minutes for the half-hourly train back from Guildford to Wanborough.

We had walked and cached some of this route before, so it should be straightforward. What could possibly go wrong? Eagle-eyed readers will have noted the blog title does not correlate to the plan so, a bit like caching, expect the unexpected!

It all started well enough. Our previous visit had left a previous multi/puzzle unfound, so before arriving at Wanborough station we parked near to where we had looked before and rummaged. Was it that we were fresher, keener and warmer than when we last looked? Was it the hedgerow seemed to have been trimmed ? Either way an easy find and a great start to our day’s caching.

How-l did we miss this on our previous visit ?

How-l did we miss this on our previous visit ?

Our first real target of the day was a Church Micro in Wanborough. To reach it meant walking for about half a mile on the Fox Way, a 39 circular route circumnavigating Guildford. The route is named after Richard Fox, one of its creators. There are also a number of geocaches on its route too! However our half-mile journey involved walking along a muddy, flooded, barbed-wire enclosed, narrow footpath.
Fox Way, Guildford, Surrey

The (somewhat muddy) Fox Way

We gingerly squelched our way along the track, sometimes using the fence posts as stability, other times a submerged brick was a useful stepping stone in the flooded section. During the summer this path would be really easy, but after a week of winter rain… the semi-submerged path proved tricky!

When we arrived at the Church (St Barthomolew’s) we found a real gem. The Church was built shortly after the Norman Conquest and the answers to the multi-puzzle cache were easy to find and easy to calculate. However a parked van obscured our vision of the optimal footpath sign, so we took a slightly longer route to the cache than we expected. The cache was found with the help of two sheep in the neighbouring field who came over to chat.

Ewe will find the cache here!

Ewe will find the cache here!

We decided to have a coffee stop back at the Church, as our previous knowledge of the area told us there would be no other suitable spot for a while.

We then had the longest section of pavement walking of the Sandhurst-Sandhurst route so far, but this was more to ensure an easy tunnel crossing of the Hogs Back, a notorious dual carriageway (A31).

We arrived at the North Downs Way, another long distance footpath, which links Farnham to Dover. We were only walking 3-4 miles of its 153 miles before turning away from it, to reach Shalford. We had cached twice on the North Downs Way and we had DNF’ed a couple of caches on our previous visit. Today was time to have another search!

And we were lucky with both! The first, discovered behind a fence post and really, really small; Mrs Hg137 also discovered stinging nettles sting even in February. The other was more troublesome since it was in tree roots at the top of a muddy gully. To reach the roots we slipped and slithered, and kept watch as several parties of muggles trudged by, each own complaining of the ankle deep mud. It took three attempts to find this cache (well Mr Hg137 took two, and Mrs Hg137 found it easily!). Still a find is a find !

The North Downs Way was quite busy as there was an afternoon event at the Watts Gallery. This Gallery has been rebuilt using Lottery funding and exhibits the work of Victorian painter and sculptor George Watts.

Watts Gallery, Compton

Watts Gallery, Compton

We also passed two groups of Bronze Duke of Edinburgh parties. (We’ve discovered over time that they spend just as much time having a six-way discussion over the map, as they do walking!).

North Downs Way

A less muddy section of the North Downs Way

Our next caches were just after we had turned away from the North Downs Way both easy finds, hidden in tree roots.

We were aiming for a tiny hamlet at Littleton where another Church Micro awaited. (We also assumed there would be a seat in the Church grounds for lunch). Sadly… there wasn’t.

The Church was originally built as a village school house back in 1843 and turned into a church when the school moved premises. However the granite step into the Church proved a more than adequate seat. Unlike Mr Hg137’s ability to load the Church Micro details into the GPS! He had written down the calculation but failed to load the cache details so that we had no means of finding the location of A,B,C, D and E. We searched unsuccessfully for a wifi signal. Nothing. Then, as were leaving we noticed 5 numbers on two signs which Mr Hg137 remembered being the key. We assigned values in an obvious way and undertook the calculation. We were only 100 feet away!

Littleton, Surrey

Littleton Church


Sadly, no!

The Ground Zero had just been re-fenced. New poles had been erected – even a nearby Farm Sign was new! We decided that the cache had been ‘lost’ in the upheaval and marked it down as our first DNF of the day.

So reluctantly we headed away from Littleton, and headed towards Shalford. The path formed the boundary of a Police Dog Training Centre, and it seemed no coincidence to us, that every dog walker seemed to have an Alsatian with them. Fortunately the two caches we had to find on this section were surprisingly straightforward. One hidden in the depths of some horizontal ivy (shame the log book was so wet we could barely write on it), the other not quite so well hidden in a recumbent log.

Lichen this walk a lot!

Lichen this walk a lot!

Time was ticking as were emerged on a main road halfway between Guildford and Shalford… could we walk and cache the last 3/4 mile or so in 30 minutes so we would make the next hourly train ?

All we had to do was cross the River Wey, find a cache on a ‘island’ (more accurately a large piece of land which the River Wey meandered around), cross the River Wey on the far side of island, walk through a cemetery (another cache) and arrive at the station.

St Catherines Lock, River Wey, Guildford

The River Wey from St Catherine’s Lock near Guildford

Our first River Wey crossing was at St Catherine’s Lock. Due to high water levels downstream this was as far as boats could travel (not that we saw any). We arrived at the first cache site, and then read the logs.. it had been DNFed since April last year. We undertook a token search, but decided with time pressing, to move on to locate our second bridge.

Could we find the bridge ? No ! There seemed to be no route off the far side of the island! Even a local dog walker (yet another Alsatian), said there was no bridge. We checked our maps, and although we could see one printed we accepted her word. We quickly concluded we would not have enough time to walk all the back to the lock gates, and walk an even longer route to Shalford station in the 20 minutes before the train was due.

Reluctantly we decided to walk to Guildford instead… we could follow the Wey to the City Centre, find the station, and still catch our connecting train. 40 minutes and 2 miles later we arrived at the Station, breathless and exhausted after an eventful day’s caching.

Our journey is being documented by a trackable which we are ‘dipping’ in found caches or at other cache locations to give a ‘broadly accurate route’.


Here are some of the caches found on today’s route :

March 27 : Easter Sunday: Magnificent Seven

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Easter cache contents!

Easter cache contents!

It was Easter Sunday: we wanted to go geocaching but the weather was, umm, mixed. Sunshine was mixed with sharp showers of torrential rain, hail, and squally winds. We picked a short, local cache circuit, piled into the geocar and set off. Not half a mile from home, it began to rain. Hard. We retreated home, and watched everything get (much) wetter. Half an hour later, the sun was shining again. Back into the geocar we went, and off to the start of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ series near Eversley in north Hampshire.

Leaving the geocar in a handy layby, we set out across a damp and slippery footpath (perhaps it had just rained, hard?) and soon arrived at the first cache in the series, a easy find, though needing bank-sliding acrobatic skills – Mr Hg137 volunteered. We moved on to the second cache in the series, which is clever, neatly blended into the background, and unique enough to merit a picture in our end of year roundup, but we won’t comment further: if we explain what it is, is makes it so much easier to find…

Emerging onto a busyish road, we walked along the wide verge, logging the next cache in the series before turning away down a track to resume the series. Before, it was slippery and a bit wet. Now, it was muddy, and wet, and muddy. The next cache was up a bank – so away from the mud – but it was a slippery climb for Mr Hg137, and some passing back and forth – rugby-style – of the cache was needed to get everything signed. On again, more mud and more slithering, and then another slippery climb for me, Mrs Hg137 – we do try to share these things out. This cache contained a very appropriate, Easter item – a nest of eggs.



The track climbed gently, and the mud and running water gradually reduced. We emerged onto a road – the one we drove along earlier, on our way to the start – then turned along a dry (hooray!) path running parallel to the road. The last but one cache was across a ditch, and a bit of a stretch; this cache was delegated to Mr Hg137, as he’s a few inches taller and he could just reach.
Big Stretch!

Big Stretch!

After the final cache – bigger, and under a log – we arrived back at the geocar just as the clouds began to threaten again in the middle distance. A good little series, this one, but it will be better when its drier.

Here are some of the caches we found (but not including the really clever one that we are not describing!

February 22 : A wet morning on the Wight

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

St Helen's Old Church

St Helen’s Old Church

Before boarding the ferry to take us back from the Isle of Wight back to the ‘Big Island’ to the north, we had a morning in which to fit … some more caching. We headed north-east in the drizzle along the coast from Sandown, stopping first at the ‘Up and over TB hotel’. This cache is right next to Bembridge airfield, a grass strip where one plane had also done an ‘up and over’ !
Bad landing?

Bad landing?

A mile or so away is the village of Bembridge, where we found another two caches. On the second, we had just started our search, when a muggle came out of his house to move his dustbin, spotted us, and came over to see what we were up to. We had been rumbled! But he was friendly and we explained about geocaching, found the cache, and showed it to him (it was hidden by the wall of next door’s garden). For the future, he will know what is up when suspicious-looking folk appear and start rootling around at the end of his drive.
Bembridge Church

Bembridge Church

Leaving Bembridge, we moved onwards to St Helens, heading for the harbour but stopping along the way to find a cache at St Helen’s Quay. This is a new record for us; at -1 metres, this cache has the lowest elevation we have yet done. (Editor’s note: it seemed above sea level to me!) The drizzle had now turned to rain, the cloud base was not much higher than us, and it was a high spring tide, so we never found out if the next cache merited its title ‘Beautiful Beaches’. Nearby, right by the sea, is an interesting building, half church tower, half whitewashed landmark. This is the remaining part of old St Helen’s Church and legend says that it was Admiral Lord Nelson’s last view of England, as HMS Victory anchored here to take on water before sailing off to the Battle of Trafalgar.
A wet morning's caching!

A wet morning’s caching

‘The Old Links’ was our next cache. A number of the previous logs had mentioned MUD, so we were prepared, with walking boots, geopole, etc. Those logs were not wrong; we slithered and sploshed around for some minutes before finding the cache right where the GPS said it should be. Covered in mud we arrived back at the geocar; I’d seen quite a bit of the island’s geology over the weekend, and mostly it had ended up stuck to me! Luckily, I had stayed upright, so the mud was only on my feet, and not everywhere else too. (Editor’s note 1: my walking trousers are not nearly as waterproof as I would like them to be!) (Editor’s note 2: mud is very cold indeed if you sit down in it on a cold rainy day!)


We had time for one final cache, and a coffee break, in a pleasant spot overlooking Bembridge harbour, before driving back to Fishbourne to catch the 13:00 ferry. We arrived a bit early and asked if we could catch the 12:30 ferry instead – there wasn’t one, so we sat and watched the rain through a steamed up car windscreen, reflecting on a successful, though wet, morning’s efforts.

Here are a few of the caches we found during the morning: