This was a Saturday morning wander around Willen Lake (South) in search of a few noddy caches while Mummy went for a run. It was also a chance to test out Mummy’s new GPS, and how able we are to actually use the thing.

So Daddy and the girls set off from the pub on Willen Lake in a vaguely southerly direction, which proved to be opposite to all the guys setting up for the Park Run. Lots of people around, so it might be a bit tricky being circumspect and stealthy. “Highly suspicious” might be a better description.

Willen_Lake_05.JPGFirst target for the morning is the fairly simple Ouzel Valley – Willen Lake by Wavvy. It was a fair hike around there from the pub and inevitably the girls got distracted several times en route. Some walking the beams, some sit ups, some other random bits of the “Trim Trail” and two visits to the bushes for Izzy to “Check the Football Scores”

We eventually found the approximate area and whipped out the Garmin to see how we could manage. Ah ! Bit of a problem there. The locations we thought we downloaded don’t seem to be there now. The iPhone knows what we’re looking for but I can’t figure out how to manually transcribe the location as a waypoint in the Garmin. So this was found using the trusty iPhone. Wayward, but trusty. Turns out the compass was roughly right but the distance was out by 100ft, which in this case makes the difference between crossing the river and not crossing it.  We decided to stick with the preview on the website and not cross the river. So, read the hint, and where would be the obvious one of those ? Right in front of us, by the looks of it. So a quick nosey around and Hey Presto! – There it is. Sign the log and get a shift on before all those runners get here.

Next up is the nice little Child’s Play 3 Willen Holt by JollyJax. This proved to be the easiest one ever, even with just the iPhone. So easy that even Ami could find it. She took us to more or less the right spot straight away, and there was a little 35mm canister snuggled away in a corner. Sign the log and off we go.

By now even the laggards (including Kas) were finishing the run, so as we were right next to their finish we went to meet her and become a complete family again.

Final target for the morning was TOP OF THE POPS 60’s by We do checks and cache. This is a puzzler involving decoding of 10 anagrams of song titles, finding their highest chart position and then performing some sums with the result – All of which was done one evening previously so this should surely just be a matter of diving straight in to the calculated location, shouldn’t it ? Especially given that Kas could remember how to put a waypoint into the Garmin. However, the calculated location seems to be in the very centre of a large stand of laurel bushes interspersed with brambles. That can’t be right, can it ? So we hunted around a bit. then we went for breakfast (bagels, bacon sandwiches &  toast) and had another pop. Checked on Geochecker.com and yes, we’ve got the right coordinates. So then we played in the park for a bit and had a third (and final) pop. No joy. Some scratches, no luck.

So we signed it off as a bad job and went home. Subsequent Email exchanges with the owner established that we had the location right but maybe were off by a couple of yards. In that kind of territory, a couple of yards make the difference between finding it and missing completely. Oh Bananas ! Better come back on another day then.


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