St_Malo_24.JPGSaturday morning. The weather looked a bit wet and Granny and Granddad look a bit lethargic, but given that it was our main our holiday there was no way we were going to be sitting in all day. So the four of us piled into the bus with a target destination of Dinard – a posh little town on the other side of the Rance Estuary from St Malo. It was about 20 minutes drive from home so not far. We hadn’t really planned anything and didn’t really quote any return times to Granny or Granddad as we set off. We were just going for “a while” I think. It turned out to be most of the afternoon.

We had the urge to go for a few caches, and Dinard looked good. We parked up in a residential district at one end of a series along the “Grande Route 34” – one of France’s long coastal walking routes.

Our first stop was GR34 – Point de la Vicomte . This was listed somewhere up a tree and it proved to be a tree halfway up a rock slope as well. It was OK for Kev and Ami getting up, but then because of slightly shabby footwear and wet rocks it proved harder getting down again. I remember warning Ami to take care right before slipping and banging my elbow and upper thigh. The elbow/forearm was cut and I carried the injury with me all through the rest of the holiday. It was a nice little cache and contained some clues for another which were duly collected.

The series involved walking around a coastal path for a distance of a mile and a half, or so. Most was under trees so the rain wasn’t really causing problems, and anyway, it stopped pretty much as soon as we got there.

Second up wasLa Vicomte #2 – Le Blockaus. This involved some interesting approach routes, given that the site was an abandoned concrete gun emplacement halfway up a cliff. We tried dropping down from above, then backtracking around the side and up, and eventually got there. Kev and Ami ascended the heights and then walked round onto quite a precarious looking ledge. Bit of a scary moment to be honest, but I have to learn to give Ami some credit for good balance, now that she is a gymnast, I suppose. The cache was a tiny little thing shoved fairly tightly into a little hole in the concrete. Very easy to miss.

Next came La Vicomte #1 – La Plage. This was probably my favourite hide ever (of all time, ever). Can’t say too much but it proved to be at the top of a zig-zag path and extremely well hidden. Part of the cunningness of the hide was that the path was very steep. Another part was heavy tree cover causing some inaccuracy in the readings. Fair to say that the GPS was giving reading acceptably close at a bout 4 different places down the path. We must have spent 45 minutes here going up and down and searching around. Kids were getting bored and frustrated we wouldn’t let them go on the beach. Just at the point where we were about to give up, there was a bunch of muggles coming but Kev said “one more look over here”, and as ever this was the point where we walked straight to it. It was an excellent hide. You would never find it if you weren’t looking. It just wouldn’t occur. Unfortunately we also seemed to be getting watched with suspicion by a group of locals. I think we got away with it, though.

La Vicomte #3 – La Scene  was a nice little cache at a turn in the path where there was not quite enough room, so they built a little wooden stage/platform to carry the path round the corner. I think Kas and Izzy found this one. It would have been their turn.

St_Malo_30.JPGNext up was La Vicomte #4 – Le Pilier. This had the possibility of being really hard, in that the description says it is behind a brick. You assume it is in quite a large wall but actually it’s just a little pillar and there’s no other masonry in the same style nearby. It actually proved quite easy. I think Ami spotted the brick.

The next cache was Quelle Vue. This was a simple magnetic nano stuck to a fence. The complication, as ever, was muggle traffic and tree cover. It took about 5 minutes though. Only so many ferrous objects within acceptable range. It was at an extremely nice spot though, a turn in the coastal path with outlooks over the main part of Dinard.

Due to a very bad piece of parking we ended up about a mile from the car, and having been walking for an hour and a half the kids had had enough, so Kev left the three on the beach and walked back to the car, using the GPS as the only means of telling which way to go. It worked. I walked straight there.

Anyway, I collected the family and we drove down into Dinard for some lunch, crepes and the like,  I think. By now the weather had improved into sunshine rather than rain and it was really quite nice. Shame we couldn’t find anywhere to park for ages. That became a theme for the holiday. Lunch turned out to be crepes and beer, and through some form of disturbance in the space-time continuum, Kas managed to knock her beer over.

So having done all that we decided to set off home, but not until we’d walked all the way across the Barrage de la Rance and searched for GR34 – Le port des moines. That would make about 3 miles round trip from the parking, I think. Good job we’d totally forgotten the buggy. This one was the second goody-bag after the bonus words found in the first of the day (see above). The cache was a big box behind a big stone in a sea wall. The wall was in a very quiet little bay looking out north towards the Channel.

However, even after we had both bonus codes we were still unable to figure out what it meant, so we failed to find GR34 – Ça s’en va et Ça revient – Cache BONUS. Never mind, the Barrage was being used for power generation as we were crossing and this produced some fantastic whirlpools of water being sucked through the open sluices – a sight you don’t get to see very often. Even the girls went “woooo!”

So it turned out to be a good day’s caching. The kids enjoyed it, we enjoyed it, and it didn’t rain all day. Can’t be bad then.

We scooted off home via a local supermarket to buy stuff to make nachos for tea, and reunited with Granny and Granddad at home.

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