The drought has ended, literally!

We  haven’t been caching for over three months, except for a short puzzle cache early in March.

No particular reason; we haven’t been ill; we haven’t “gone off” caching; we haven’t been overly busy (or have we? Perhaps we have a bit!), but life just seems have taken us in a different direction for a while.

As usual, early March saw us returning to our beloved Island (Isle of Wight for those who don’t know us well) and catching up with the wonderful friends we have over there.

imageCockrobbinn has been busy with his singing and took part in a concert in April entitled Shakespeare 400, full of Shakespearean songs, sonnets and madrigals.  He is currently practising for a new concert – Jewels of the Baroque – so he flits between the Island and home more than I do leaving me to enjoy some “me” time with my friends over there!    This suits us perfectly and I never expected retirement to be such fun.

Two friends and I have become known as the Witches (probably because of our cackling on the beach) and one of us – definitely no names mentioned here – has even been known to cast spells to cause mayhem to certain people who annoy her by dumping grass cuttings in the wrong place! Unbelievably, their electricity went off just after. Needless-to-say our names are Hubble, Bubble and Trouble.


Our Witch’s Cushions

I know who Trouble is, but I keep forgetting if I’m Hubble or Bubble – must be an age thing.

But back to Geocaching. Our granddaughter came to stay with us over half-term week.  I never know if she is more excited to come, or we are to have her. HoneyRobbinn loves the beach as much as I do and is more than happy to spend hours down there regardless of the weather.  After a glorious few days we woke up to a dreary overcast morning so we suggested finding a cache which was only a short distance away in Seaview – a small Edwardian resort on the north-eastern corner of the Island overlooking the Solent.  ‘Gemini – give us a wave’ was located a little way back from the coastline so we decided we could drive there, pick up the cache then go out for lunch somewhere nice.

Now, Cockrobbinn is the first person to admit he is hopeless (understatement) at map reading; but he is also completely useless at following the blue dot (us) on the geocaching app and directing us to the green dot (ground zero).   I use my iPhone for caching and on reaching Seaview and within the vicinity of the cache, I showed Cockrobbinn where I wanted to go on the app with the instructions to just let me know when to turn off etc.   Firstly he lost the screen so I had to stop and find it for him; then he moved the screen and couldn’t see the blue dot (us) and then he failed miserably in seeing which roads I needed to drive down. Eventually, I wedged my phone in front of the steering wheel, wore my reading glasses to see it, and drove peering over the top of them.  Oh do hurry and grow up a little more HoneyRobbinn then you can take over the navigation.

At long last, with quite a few three-point turns and reversals, we arrived at ground zero and guess what – the heavens opened quite literally. We were only a few metres from the cache but it was throwing down stair-rods and we would have been drenched within a few seconds of getting out of the car. Plus, we weren’t 100% sure where the cache was hidden. Perhaps I should mention that “Gemini” was the name of a private house in a very quiet road with the most amazing views of the Solent (we only knew that from the description as we could barely see three metres in front of us because of the rain!).  We gave up, drove to a pub and had a delicious lunch and then returned home where Cockrobbinn and HoneyRobbinn spent the afternoon watching a couple of DVDs (CR was more than pleased as they both had happy endings – well, one was Jack and the Beanstalk and I can’t remember the other – and Cockrobbinn loves a happy ending!).

I spent the afternoon cooking – probably my most favourite hobby of all.  For anyone interested, I write another blog Robbinn’s Recipes which is my online collection of some of my most favourite healthy, gluten-free recipes.

Determined not to be completely beaten, we returned the following day to “Gemini” and after a few minutes searching found the hidden cache. We all waved to the house but I don’t think they saw us or maybe they weren’t in. It definitely was a good view of the Solent as we could actually see it this time.


“Gemini” cache


View of the Solent









On a roll, we decided to see whether we could find Barking Mad, another cache in Seaview which we had been unable to spot early on in our geocaching careers. It was a lovely walk. We parked in Bluett Avenue and walked up Pond Lane which took us up a little footpath with fields on one side and woods on the other. We knew roughly where the cache was hidden; in the woods by an enormous fallen tree. I remember we had searched all around before, every nook and cranny or so we thought but guess what! HoneyRobbinn went straight to a pile of stickoflage and retrieved the clip top box within a minute or two of us arriving there.   As a reward, she was delighted to take a little green teddy from the box which we swapped for some goodies. A really great find and another smilie on the map.


Well done HoneyRobbinn

Interestingly, there are not that many caches on the Isle of Wight compared with the mainland. We have hidden one which appears to be popular as it has received quite a few favourite points. I think we must now think about hiding some more.

These finds took place on 2nd June 2016.

Posted in Caching, Geocaching, Hobby, Isle of Wight, Seaview | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pesky Puzzles and Brilliant Drive Bys

I keep telling myself that we are all good at something, but not other things.  It seems one of the things I am not good at is a puzzle cache !!   We seem to have a tremendous amount of them around our way and since we started caching back in late August 2014, I have occasionally peeped at them but it is only in recent weeks that I have started to look more seriously at them.  Not that that has done much good.  I have even gone as far as printing many of them out so I can peruse them at my leisure, hoping that my brainwaves would kick in and help me solve them.  I’m still waiting…….     When I am trying to remember something, or work a problem out, I have often found myself coming-to in the middle of the night with the answer right in front of me.  Not with these blooming puzzle caches though.

We have a series of puzzles set quite local to us – 26 in all – the letters of the alphabet by ‘Uncle E’.  Try as I might, I cannot get into his brain and see how he is working them.  Perhaps I am being a trite thick, but my trusty iPad nearly got thrown out the window the other night as I lay in bed trying to solve “F” – I can think of lots of things F could stand for but in relation to the Eternal City, the Greek Gods who are probably Roman Gods; Zeus who is probably Jupiter or even Jove………………… not the sort of thing to go to sleep on.

We have collected one of Uncle E’s puzzle caches recently – Tracy GC16RVB – but even then we didn’t actually solve the puzzle ourselves!   I mentioned the puzzle to our friends the GeoVanns and Mrs. GV eventually came up with the answer, although I must say she didn’t do it immediately so perhaps there is hope for us.  I will not give up;  at the moment I won’t even email Uncle E for some hints as suggested by another cacher.  I can be quite determined when I want to be and I am taking a folder of puzzles away with me to ponder on in my spare moments (hope I don’t have too many of those).  I might even sidle up to Mrs. Geovann if she isn’t too busy and show her a few………  What is it they say “two heads are better than one” and Cockrobbinn is no bloomin’ use – he won’t even look at them!

In the meantime, on Saturday night my inbox started beeping and didn’t stop until 26 (yes, twenty-six) brand new geocaches dropped in, and the lovely thing about them was that they were fairly local to me.   Hampshire Drive Bys – all 26 with parking nearby; no fences nor hedges need be clambered over – a circuit of about 10 miles.  This was one series meant for us and Sunday morning dawned bright and dry so we headed out nice and early determined to have a lovely caching day.

We’ve never been ones for chasing down FTFs and didn’t expect to be first for these (on most of them we were second to find) but we did bump into ikran3 who was finishing the series having started in the dark on Saturday night and was FTF for quite a few of the caches (I’m Hiding I’m Hiding being FTF for the rest).  We were going in opposite directions (for once we had started at #1 and were working our way to #26) whilst ikran3 was going in the other direction.    We exchanged notes, as one does being a geocacher, and she mentioned that whilst she had found #9, she hadn’t been able to open it.   With a bit of trepidation we approached #9 and realized why she hadn’t been able to get in.  Cockrobbinn tried for quite a while but had to give up, then I tried but it seemed stuck fast.  I then grabbed my leather gloves from the car which gave me a much better grip and sure enough, we managed to get into #9.   When logging the cache later in the day, we noticed that ikran3 had decided to return to #9 with the hope that someone had eased the opening of the container, which of course we had.  Our good deed for the day !

Having never done a Drive By series, we were delighted with this route.  Most of the ten miles were down little country lanes with tiny pull-ins where a cache was hidden.  Sometimes we were parked within a couple of metres of the cache and could almost lean out of the car door to grab it;  although some took a bit of working out as to where they were hidden.

Some were easy – exactly where the clue stated but some were very craftily and very niftily hidden.  The cache owner, Fennyflip, had really taken a lot of time and care with this series and it was a pleasure to cover the ten miles or so finding them.   There were some beautiful views along the way, and we managed to add one extra find towards the end of the series, County Boundary GC1N32Y.


One of the Hampshire Drive Bys

However, #5 eluded us, as well as it did the first two cachers, but I must give the cache owner Fennyflip his due as he has already been out to check the missing cache (Sunday 28th) and it was found kicked in amongst leaves a little way from where it was supposed to be.   Perhaps tomorrow we will collect the elusive #5 as we know exactly where it should be hidden.

An excellent series of caches and many thanks to Fennyflip for taking the time and trouble to set them all up.  Cockrobbinn and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of driving to each cache as we normally do a lot of walking;  it made a lovely change.    I don’t want to give away too many spoilers for this series, but give below a few pictures of some of the favourite caches from the series.

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Just a few of our favourite caches from Hampshire Drive Bys

This expedition took place on Sunday 28th February 2015 and brought our total finds to 594.  BodRobbinn – our travelling charger has now achieved an amazing 12452 miles.


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February 19 : Isle of Wight ‘Wonky’ Caching

We have mentioned before on our blog that both of us are keen Scrabblers, and every year we attend a weekend event on the Isle of Wight. Most of the other competitors arrive a couple of hours befor…

Source: February 19 : Isle of Wight ‘Wonky’ Caching

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Crocodiles, Dragons and now Bats !!!

Cockrobbinn had rather an important appointment recently and I was accompanying him.

We were both dressed rather smartly and arrived at our destination half-an-hour early (anyone that knows us will soon tell you that we ALWAYS arrive early, wherever we go, or whatever we do,  we are early – it’s a fault of ours).

Now, what to do for half-an-hour?  To a geocacher there is an obvious answer – tap on the app and see if there is a cache nearby.  Simples.   AND it was only 187m away from where we had parked.

Off we trotted, pen in hand – a short walk down one road and up another and we arrived at ground zero which was at the junction of the second road and a main road, the latter being quite busy with cars slowing near us because of speed humps.  By the way, I’m purposely not giving away where we were as it would spoil the cache for anyone following in our footsteps.  Let’s just say it was a good half-hour drive away from Camberley !!

We were underneath a huge tree and after poking around the base, behind it, to the left, to the right and in-between all the branches growing up from it, we were still no wiser as to where the cache was hidden.  Being winter, no leaves cluttered our view but still no luck and time was creeping by.  Just as we decided that we ought to head back for our appointment, I spotted something very craftily hidden – a black cord.   Now there are not many reasons a black cord is hiding by a tree and as I excitedly looked closer I could see that there was a coil of cord and it seemed to be hooked onto the tree above my head with a brass ring.  I released the cord from the tree where it was looped over a small branch and gingerly fed out the cord to see what would happen.    I could feel something heavy but there was nothing in sight until Cockrobbinn, who was on the other side of the tree, shouted out that a huge bat was lowering itself on to his head !!!   It was brilliant and the cache was a tube stuffed up its bottom !!!  The bat was really high in the tree and only came down to head height but what a find.

It took a bit of reaching as the tube didn’t want to come out so we had to unscrew it in situ, sign the log, capture the bat again and replace the lid – all whilst trying to appear nonchalant and innocent to the passing motorists and hoping no-one from the very close house didn’t come out to see what we were doing.   Suspicious, or what !   Once the log was back in place, it was just a matter of hauling the cord in, hooking it back on the tree and hiding the evidence – ready for the next geocacher to find.

We hurried to our appointment, covered in bits of twig and leaves and still smiling about the cache.   I think the person we had the appointment with was ready to call out the men in white coats when we explained that we had just found a bat with a cache stuffed up its bum.   She looked very unsure about it all and us; not a glimmer of amusement.   Most definitely not geocaching material.


Bats in the Belfry ??

It was the first time we had found a bat cache so a favourite point awarded.  I do like it when an unexpected cache puts a smile on our faces.



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Insalan the Island Dragon

It was only recently we complained that we hadn’t found a travel bug during our travels but lo and behold, or perhaps I should say with a puff of smoke – we found Insalan the Island Dragon hiding within the cache Bush and Discover GC5Z2MT.  At first, we thought he was just a stuffed toy put in as a swappable but on opening his sealed bag, we delightedly saw his collar which held his TB identity.


Insalan the Island Dragon

Insalan has one brother and two sisters and is from Oregon, United States of America. His mission is to have his picture taken on at least five tropical islands in at least two countries. These could be any type of island, as long as they are between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, and then he would like to return home to Oregon. Not sure what he’s doing in England, but hey ho………


Insalan, Glacilan, Ignilan and Caelan

His brother, Ignilan the Fire Dragon (whose mission is to have his picture taken at 5 volcanos) hasn’t done much travelling and is still in the hands of his owner.

Insalan’s sister, Glacilan the Ice Dragon (wanted picture taken above the Arctic Circle and at least once below the Antarctic Circle) unfortunately went missing during 2010 in Utah – not really near the Arctic or Antarctic.

His other sister Caelan the Space Dragon (wanted picture taken near at least five spaceflight facilities in at least two countries. Any type of facility: launch facilities, mission control facilities, assembly facilities, or research facilities) also has gone AWOL without leaving Oregon.

It seems that Insalan is the only sibling to do much travelling and to date, he has covered 28921 miles. After travelling around Oregon, with a short trip to Mexico in 2009, Insalan was grabbed in January 2012 from Oregon and did a disappearing act until July 2014 when he miraculously appeared on South Island, New Zealand. Just shows how far dragons can travel !!!  He must have had a whale of a time flying around.

For a whole year Insalan travelled up and down the South Island enjoying his time exploring that beautiful country until he decided on a brief trip to Samoa for a couple of weeks before returning to NZ for another few months. This dragon then decided it was time for a change so in December 2015 he flew all the way to England landing near Plymouth before moving to Farnborough, Hampshire where we discovered the little critter hiding in a holly bush.

Now, I’m not sure we will be travelling to a tropical island any time soon but we are going to an Island within the next few weeks and will take Insalan with us. The Isle of Wight is a bit more south than Farnborough and we will take a picture of him perhaps on the ferry going over.

On second thoughts, perhaps we should really try and get to a tropical island in the next month or two. If you had a dragon desperately wanting to have his picture taken somewhere hot – wouldn’t you do all that you could to oblige …………………. Now where’s Cockrobbinn – I’ve a question for you!!!




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A Crocodile in Surrey ???

Under a mile from our home and we never knew Watchetts Lakes existed.

Only another geocacher can appreciate the excitement we felt when we saw that a small series of caches had been placed very close to our home.  The CDW (Camberley Dog Walk) series, #1 to #5,  was only published on 10th January 2016 and on our first available day we hurried to the start which was in nearby Heatherdale Road.

The FTF for this series had been Coin-Man.  This is a name we have so often come across on logbooks during our geocaching career that sometimes we felt that we had been following him.  Hopefully, one day we will bump into him either at a cache or a local meet and see who he really is.

CDW #1 was a very sneakily hidden cache and the CO gommezcrew had taken their time to make a suitable cache container which is much nicer to find than just a micro or magnetic tube.    I’m not giving away too many hints or clues to these finds as it will give the game away to any who are following in our footsteps.   Part of the beauty of this series is in the different containers used.

The route to CDW #2 took us along a couple of roads we haven’t walked before, even though very close to our home.   We found GZ easily enough and guessed where the cache would be hidden, but the crafty gommezcrew had made an even sneakier container for this log.   We almost gave up looking for the container when I suddenly realized I had been holding it in my hand all the time !!!

CDW #3 took us along a footpath into the woods.   We soon found the area where the cache should have been but after twenty minutes or more of searching for a sneaky hide, we sat down to reflect and read the previous logs.   An earlier log stated that it was in full view, but completely hidden – how perplexing.  The two previous caches had been good, but this was even better.  So good in fact that we awarded it a favourite point.   It’s amazing that when you know what the cache looks like, how simple it is to see, but how difficult it was to find.  Well done gommezcrew.  Now for #4.


Watchetts Lakes

By now, we were walking around Watchetts Lakes; it wasn’t too muddy but very cold.  As we approached GS we spotted two muggles acting quite suspiciously.  They didn’t move on as we approached and were poking about in the shubbery next to the lake so we decided to ask them whether they were geocachers.   Surprise, surprise, it was Grannymeeks who we had met last year at our very first Meet in the local pub.  She was searching with her husband and even with four pairs of eyes we had trouble finding the hidden cache.   Eventually I spotted something which led to the cache (again no clues to spoil the fun) and we all agreed that it was an extremely good hiding place and a great (not so little) container.

Part of the clue for the previous cache had been “be careful where this cache is hidden it bites…” so you can imagine our surprise/caution/almost shock when we came across this ‘monster’ in the lake.


The monster from the deep !!

Surely I cannot be the only one who thinks that this looks like a crocodile !   In a lake – in Surrey !!!    Okay ……….perhaps not.

Regrettably, we had to bypass CDW #5 as there was a group of people nearby who wouldn’t move.   We hung about for as long as we could, but they were cemented to the spot and didn’t realize they were holding up serious geocachers !!!    It’s a definite for another day – a quick grab (hopefully).

We made our way homewards suddenly realizing that we would be passing very close to a previous DNF.   Cricket Pitch Micro #15 – Camberley had us stumped in our early days of geocaching and we were determined that now we were seasoned cachers, we should be able to find it.  We walked straight to it …………….. which was either very good luck this time, or total inexperience last time but we were so happy to cross a DNF off our list.

This thoroughly enjoyable walk took place on 16th January.  Well done to gommezcrew for taking the trouble to make each cache different and perplexing.  We look forward to finding #5 shortly.


Posted in Caching, Camberley, DNFs, Geocaching, Watchetts Lakes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Reaching and Overtaking our 500th Find

Last December, we visited Worthing and managed to find quite a few caches along the shoreline from Ferring to just before Worthing Pier where we spotted The Burlington Hotel which beckoned with the most amazing lunch.

As mentioned in my earlier blog,  South Coast, we were quite impressed with this hotel and as a surprise for Cockrobbinn, I booked a couple of nights stay for over his birthday which happened to be on 12th January;  the idea being that we would try and find all the caches from Ferring through to Shoreham beach along the promenade.  After the disappointment in the quality of the last place we stayed in, I was hoping that this refurbished Victorian hotel would be a pleasant change, and I wasn’t mistaken.  Although a little tired in places (as all Victorian hotels tend to be) our room was absolutely enormous with every luxury you could imagine; not just soaps, shower gels, shampoos, bath cremes, shower caps but tooth cleaning ‘kits’, shaving kits, snowy white towels, masses of coffee sachets, hot chocolate sachets, various teas (flavoured and plain) and bottles and bottles of water replaced free of charge every morning.

We had been upgraded to a family room as I had requested (if possible) a room with a sea view and we weren’t disappointed.


Room with a view

You can just see my little car (bottom left hand corner) in the hotel’s parking bay.  It didn’t move all the time we were there as just over the hedge from the car is the promenade where the majority of caches were to be found.  We had already found most of the caches to the west – heading towards Ferring, so we turned East and started our search.

It was quite late in the afternoon by the time we had settled into our room, had lunched rather superbly and then suitably dressed and booted we walked out of our hotel and turned Eastwards towards our first cache of the day which was to be Daylight Shrubbery GC2474A.   It was freezing cold, blowy but lovely and dry and perfect for our stroll along the prom.   We soon found Boarding, Simon Says ….Sit, Splashpoint 2 and Rest Up – all hidden exactly where suggested and the GPS was working great.  We had a little bit of excitement at Splashpoint 2.  The cache was located at the side of a building on the seafront and we soon found it, but on returning to the promenade (only a few steps) we spotted two almost naked men leaning over the balcony of the building which we believe was a fitness centre/sauna.  The balcony was just above head-height so, dare I say, we had a good view but in that weather there wasn’t much to see !!!!

As it was starting to get even colder we decided to head back towards our hotel and attempt the cache hidden on Worthing Pier called Walking on Water GC5N4NT.  As Cockrobbinn would say, it was blowing a hoolie so we were grateful for the glass partitions running all the way down the pier and we were careful to stay on the east side to avoid most of the wind.  It was a glorious late afternoon but we soon realized that the cache was to be found on the westward side so we rounded the end of the pier and hit the full force of the wind.   Amazingly, the GPS took us straight to GZ and we spotted the little blighter quite quickly.   Now we can understand why it was named ‘Walking on Water’ as the view below was quite tummy churning!    Being extremely careful not to let the log disappear in the wind, we signed it and quickly hid it again before venturing into the South Pavilion for a spot of afternoon tea.

Anyone visiting Worthing really must visit the South Pavilion;  built in 1935 this Art Deco pavilion has been completely refurbished and has the most amazing views of the south coast.   Sitting in a comfy armchair with a pot of tea and listening to someone playing the piano is pure indulgence.  Out of season, December and January when we visited, there very few people and we almost had the place to ourselves.


South Pavilion, Worthing

I think the tea must have revived us as rather than returning to our hotel, which was on the promenade, we decided to head up the side streets to find a couple more caches.  There was method in my madness as I realized we were only 4 caches away from reaching the magical 500 figure and being this close, I really wanted to crack on.

Our first find ‘inland’ and away from the breeze (haha) was Chapel Road Micro GC4NRJJ and again, we walked straight to it and I quickly grabbed it as it was right in the centre of a very muggle-filled square.   Sneakily hidden, I don’t think any of the passers-by noticed what we were doing.  Our next cache was to be Wellwed’s Steak Out GC3V2B2 – an astonishing little garden in among the back roads of Worthing.  The CO describes it best:

“This Land that was Laid to Waste has Become Like the Garden of Eden.  A beautiful tiny space for all to enjoy – now complete with cache!”


This post was completely covered in a knitted sleeve


Decorated tree










Complete with knitted post covers, trees decorated, walls painted, this little area had been transformed.  It took us quite a while to find the cache but eventually Cockrobbinn proudly produced it from where I had already looked!

Determined now to reach our 500th cache, we soon came across Church Micro #1699 Worthing Tabernacle GC2Q25T and again Cockrobbinn was the first to find, leaving me trudging after him.  Now for our 500th find.

Another Church Micro this time #990 Christ Church, Worthing  GC23K5D was the resting place of our 500th cache – nicknamed Humphrey as that was the clue.  It was an easy find and we gave it a favourite point as it was such a lovely church for our celebratory cache.


Christ Church, Worthing – our 500th Find

We strolled back to our hotel along little roads we would never had seen had we not started geocaching back in August 2014;  very pleased with ourselves and looking forward to the following day when we hoped to complete the caches all the way to Shoreham beach.

It’s strange how things happen but I suppose we were on a roll.  After a rather filling dinner at The Burlington, we sat musing over coffee when I suggested what a good idea it would be to wrap up well and enjoy a short walk to help our dinner settle.    Amazingly, Cockrobbinn agreed so we ran upstairs (no lifts), wrapped up VERY warmly and headed out into the night.  It was actually a lovely night – cold but not too much wind and the stars were out.  Of course, it wasn’t just a walk around the block – there was a geocache just a short walk away !!!!


Would you trust this man in the dark?


Thankfully, Go West … the End GC5HF87 was at a well-lit crossroads, albeit down the back streets of Worthing.  The signal was jumping all over the place and was putting the cache in the middle of the crossroads but we soon found it and signed the log.  Our very first night-time cache and unbelievably – our torch didn’t work.  Thankfully my iPhone has a flashlight on it.



Just one more, just one more I pleaded with Cockrobbinn who soon gave in and off we went in search of Dame Vera Lynn GC5HFHD.  This time, I’m sure we looked really suspicious as Cockrobbinn ended up climbing on a wall, in among shrubbery, to retrieve the magnetic nano at the top of a sign.  After this, he insisted we went back to the hotel and safety.

The next day dawned really bright and beautiful with an amazingly clear blue sky but deceivingly cold.   Cockrobbinn and I had decided to take a taxi to the furthest cache on Shoreham beach and work backwards towards the pier, or rather the last cache we had found along the promenade.   The hotel had a taxi for us within a couple of minutes and we managed to get the driver totally interested in Geocaching on the drive to Shoreham; he even wrote the name down so he could look it up when he finished his shift.   He was also quite concerned in that we were going to walk all the way back to the hotel but to be fair, it was only about 8 or 9 km which isn’t really very far for seasoned Geocachers that we are …..haha.

I won’t bore you with listing all the caches but we started with Bench GC2G4PG and worked our way along the promenade with one small sortie into a park where we found two extra caches, and managed to pick up 25 caches before reaching Sleepers GC5F8TR which was the one we needed nearest our hotel.  Footsore, but delighted with our result.

The route from Shoreham towards Worthing passes Widewater Lagoon which is really beautiful.  The path is very popular with dog-walkers and we noticed that even the dogs were suitably coated with little pink jackets and tartan wraps.  It really was quite chilly.


Widewater Lagoon


Widewater Lagoon





Two-thirds of the way along, we stopped at a lovely beachfront café and sat outside in the sunshine sipping our coffee/hot chocolate.  I cannot believe how warm it was when sheltered,  for mid-January and we were lucky in that the wind had died down for the time being.   There is something very special about sitting drinking a hot chocolate on the beach in the middle of winter.

The following day, we sadly checked out of our hotel and made our way to Ferring.   When we had started this row of caches back in December we had missed the first four and we wanted to find them so that we would have a complete row of smilies along the shoreline.

Again, it was a beautiful day but VERY cold and VERY breezy but wrapped up warm we managed to find Ice Cream Van View GC57R99,  and Eleanor and Leo’s Cache GCK30C (which really does need some maintenance).   Horror of horrors – we couldn’t find the next cache 50/50 or PAF GC57Z3V.  We found where it should have been (it had been found a few days previously) but we believe it had probably slipped down out of sight so we had to leave a DNF and made a note to contact the CO.  Our disappointment was enormous but we carried on and found the final cache of the stretch of beach – What a Lifesaver! GC57Z3P    Another fantastic beach cafe found and after being suitably refreshed we added two more caches to our belt on the walk back to the car.  Overall, a very good morning.


Look at all our smilies – just one DNF

Time to head home, but whilst we were away we spotted the D2D Ring – just inland from Shoreham, which is a circular walk of approximately 8.5 miles and consists of 48 caches and takes you on walk along the Adur River and up across the South Downs.  I think this one may well be on a list of to-do’s the next time we decide to head down South.

Processed with MOLDIV

Just a few of the caches along the route


Heading back to the car – Beach View Bug Hotel GC4GCTZ but unfortunately no TBs


Someone took the trouble to hide this cache










This outing took place on 12th, 13th and 14th January 2016.  The sun gods were really kind to us as we had beautiful blue skies for most of the time.





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South Coast

I often thought that when my husband fully retired from work, we would probably spend two or three days a week geocaching, venturing further and further afield as we put smilies on the map.

How wrong I was !!   It seems that now he doesn’t work (I also sold my business a couple of years ago – so I am officially ‘retired’ as well)  we are busier than ever.  But I’m not quite sure what with.  Ok, I know we are beach bums in the good weather and we spend much of our summers on the Isle of Wight enjoying the company of good friends and the good services of our local Wonky beach cafe, but we seem to be doing less and less geocaching.

Not that we don’t want to, but life is so different and we are enjoying it so much,  but I am determined to make 2016 a year of finding some lovely new caches in various locations.  It’s not a race to see how many smilies we get, nor are we competing with anyone, but geocaching is still one of our favourite hobbies;  cooking being my most favourite !!!

Back in December, we took an unscheduled few days away down the South Coast; an area I have loved all my life.  It came about as I had booked a B & B for mid-February as we have been invited to a party on the South Coast and we thought it would be rather nice to spend a few days away rather than just an overnight trip.   I felt like an idiot when I realized that the B & B was a good few miles distant from where we were supposed to be, so I persuaded Cockrobbinn that it would be really pleasant to spend a few days mid-December before the hustle and bustle of Christmas and we could do some geocaching.  Thankfully, the B & B changed the booking.

The morning we left dawned grey, damp, drizzly and cold – not an auspicious start – but at we crossed the South Downs the sky broke and by the time we reached the lovely village of Bosham, it was a beautiful blue sky if not a bit chilly.  I love Bosham with its tidal road and after enjoying lunch in the quaint arts and craft centre we walked the tidal road towards our first cache.


The tidal road at Bosham

The cache was called Valentine’s Day and although the co-ordinates were quite a bit out, we guessed where the container was and soon had the log in hand.

It wasn’t planned, but we had timed our outing perfectly as the next two caches were tide dependent and thankfully it was low tide although I wish we had thought to put on our wellies !   Sea Dog proved an exciting find among the rocks and Cockrobbinn excitedly pulled an ammo can from its hiding place.


Ammo Can along the shore at Bosham

I’m not sure what it is with ammo cans, but we are always thrilled to find them.  They usually hold lots of goodies and this was no exception.  After replacing it carefully we made our way to the third cache along the shore,  Taking Nerys to Water which was named after the wonderful Nerys Hughes of Liver Birds fame.  For youngsters, this was a comedy in the early 70s.    It was a lovely walk, if a little lot muddy with both of us holding onto overhanging trees to try and stop from slipping and sliding on the muddy shore.   Unbelievably, Cockrobbinn had his ordinary black shoes on whilst I was wearing knee-high leather heeled boots.  Will we never learn !!!!   At last we found the cache which was in an enormous camo-bag well hidden behind a leaning tree.    Log signed I turned around to make my way back when I heard a strangled cry and Cockrobbinn had slid into the mud whilst trying to return the bag to its hiding place.


A muddy Cockrobbinn !

It was such a lovely sunny afternoon that he didn’t stay cross for long and we made our way slowly back along the shoreline and to dry ground.    With the three caches found we decided to try and find our B & B which was a few miles back on the South Downs and the reviews had stated that quite a few visitors had difficulty finding the place.  It was situated in a place called Walderton and the area really was beautiful.  The house was difficult to find but we stopped off at the local pub to ask directions (even the sat-nav didn’t help) and eventually found the gates to the house which needed a code to open them – rather majestic!  The pub, The Barley Mow, seemed to be in the middle of no-where but we returned that evening to sit beside a roaring fire and eat our evening meal.  It was so good, we returned the following evening as well.

Not related to geocaching, but we had an interesting experience with our B & B.  I had booked a ‘very‘ nice place to stay – AA 4* with extremely good reviews.  The house was absolutely stunning and set in beautiful countryside but 4* it was not.  Without going into too much detail, it was “tacky”, needed a thorough overhaul and various bits and pieces put right.  From when it was booked until we arrived, the rating had dropped from a 9 to 7 so it wasn’t just us.  In the middle of one night (I couldn’t sleep) I decided to email the Automobile Association and ask how a hotel/B&B gained its stars and explained that we were far from satisfied with the rating.  I was amazed to receive a reply at 7.03am the very next morning asking for all the details, our stay etc.  Once home I sent all the information they wanted and the next day I received back an extremely informative email detailing what the area representative would do – visiting the property as a guest to see for himself the standard of the rooms.  It seems the AA take their ‘stars’ very seriously and I was impressed with their very prompt response to what was basically a query.  Needless-to-say, we won’t be staying at that particular place again.  I won’t name and shame on this blog as I have done the necessary and left factual feedback on various sites.

The next day dawned really frosty but dry so we decided to head towards Worthing – somewhere I hadn’t been for years and years.   We parked at Ferring, overlooking the sea and ventured out into a gale.  This time we were suitably dressed, gloved and hatted and we slowly made our way towards Worthing along the promenade collecting caches as we went.   There are loads and loads of caches all the way along the promenade, every few hundred meters, so we decided to stay on firm ground in case the weather got worse.  As it was, the sky cleared after about an hour and although very windy and cold, we ended up with a perfectly blue sky and found 14 caches before ending up at The Burlington Hotel for a very late lunch.

Once fully repleted, we decided to stop caching and walk to the pier.  It was an absolutely glorious afternoon and we strolled to the end where we had tea in the Southern Pavilion overlooking the water.  A piano was playing in the background and there were only two other people in the Pavilion – perfect.   We could have stayed there for hours.


Along Worthing Pier


View from the Pier








I was very impressed with the Burlington Hotel – a refurbished seafront hotel in the Victorian style – that unbeknown to Cockrobbinn I booked a couple of nights stay there for later in January as it’s his birthday.  There is method in my madness as I thought we could continue our sortie along the promenade and find the rest of the caches, especially the one at the end of the pier.    Just hoping for good weather next week!

The following day we drove to one of my most favourite pubs of all time – The Crown and Anchor at Dell Quay.  Although I spent the day showing Cockrobbinn a lot of my old haunts, we managed to fit in some geocaching at the same time – partly because the pub wasn’t open until 11am.  We parked in their car park and followed the footpath along the Fishbourne Channel and managed to retieve six caches in The Return series.


One of the caches in The Return series


Chichester Cathedral in the distance – The Return series











Lipchis Canal Wander

We were so lucky with the weather – cold but sunny.   We collected a couple more caches on the way out of Dell Quay and headed just a short way towards the Witterings before we stopped by the Canal to collect three caches in the Lipchis Canal Wander.   Deciding that was enough caching for the day, I took Cockrobbinn down to East Wittering to show him where I used to stay.



A few of the caches found along the promenade at Worthing.

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Various caches along the promenade at Worthing

This outing took place on 7th, 8th and 9th December 2015 and took our cache total up to 487.







Posted in Bosham, Caching, Geocaching, Worthing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Not a blog, but a question to mobile phone techies

I’m bemused.

Is there a techie out there who can fill me in?

I use an iPhone for geocaching.  I have what is probably a standard contract with EE which gives me 2GB of data per month and so many calls and texts.  I never, ever, use up my limit of data, calls or texts so I’m quite happy with everything.  Rarely does my monthly bill change unless I phone abroad from the UK, or vice versa or send loads of pictures out of wifi’s reach.

When I started geocaching I read up on using the iPhone and was warned to be careful when overseas (further than the Isle of Wight – haha).  The data would soon be eaten up and extra charges incurred.  I even telephoned EE’s customer service department and was told the same thing.

By the way, I’m totally unorganized and don’t download any caches to the iPhone – just turn on and see what is close by and follow the signal !!

I have just returned from ten days in Lanzarote where I used my phone quite a bit for geocaching;  anyone reading my earlier blog will realize that I had more DNFs than finds but the phone was used a lot with Cockrobbinn and I following the compass through the app.  Whilst abroad, I turned off data roaming until we wanted to go geocaching then just switched it back on again.

Having been home a few days I thought I would check my account with EE to see how much extra I had spent and was amazed to see that my data allowance remains at 2GB and nothing has been used.   Nothing at all !!!   I have a slight payment due out of usual which I can see was when I checked my answerphone a few times.

How can this be?   I have been led to believe that using the GPS/Geocaching App used data yet my data hasn’t been used (it’s due to renew in 2 days time and it’s still at 2GB).  I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to have been in Paris in January and similar happened;  I also went to Kentucky in February and expected a huge bill for geocaching out there but my charges were about £5 more and on checking, these were all phone calls en route.

The question is – does Geocaching with your iPhone use your data allowance?   It appears that it doesn’t as my data allowance never seems to diminish even when we cache in the UK frequently.    I’m quite puzzled by this.  Any comments appreciated.







Posted in Geocaching, iPhone | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

How NOT to go Geocaching………..

It wasn’t a place on my ‘want to visit’ list; I had heard some really negative reports on Lanza-grotty;  the windy isle;  so when some good friends on the Island (Isle of Wight) told us that they went every November and to the same hotel year after year, Cockrobbinn and I were intrigued as our friends were very discerning people and we fancied a holiday in the sun before Christmas was upon us.   As you’re only young once (hahaha – I’m nearer 70 than 60!!!) we booked ten days at the recommended hotel and were so pleased with it, that we plan to return for a fortnight next November.

I’ve always said you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and how true this is.  Mind you, there are parts of most holiday destinations that we wouldn’t choose to visit.  If, like us, you want sun, sea, good food, good hotel and above all peace and quiet, don’t book in the centre of a noisy resort.  What we hadn’t planned on was how hot it would be (almost 30°C all week) and absolutely no breeze at all. Two lagoon style swimming pools (one salt water) plus a whirlpool overlooking the sea and so beautifully quiet that quite often we were the only ones swimming although the hotel was almost full.  Cannot wait to go back.


Cockrobbinn showing off in the pool!

Doing a pocket query on a 10 mile radius from our home location brings up caches way in excess of 1000. Similarly, the Isle of Wight (almost our second home) is home to around 250 Caches.  I did a pocket query for Playa Blanca where we were staying and it showed up just 53 caches and some of these were over the water in Fuerteventura and Lobos.   As there were a few near our hotel we were optimistic of finding some whilst away.   However, we didn’t take into account our bad preparations, or perhaps I should say lack of preparations.

I have only recently made some comments on how we don’t particularly prepare before going out geocaching;  just spot some caches or perhaps a series and off we go and hope for the best.  Up until now, this has worked well but we came to a very hot and sticky end in Lanzarote and really wished we had taken more time to check out some of the caches before attempting them.

On the morning of our first full day on the Island, we decided to have a very quiet time and just chill out by the pool with the odd burst of energy resulting in swimming a few lengths (slowly) of the salt-water pool;  refreshing ourselves with numerous bottles of water and delicious iced coffee delivered to us by the very obliging waiters.  Absolute bliss.  After a rather tasty lunch, I decided a stroll was in order and as there was a little paved promenade between our hotel and the beach AND a cache was only just over 800m away along this promenade, I persuaded Cockrobbinn that it would do us good to stretch our legs (I don’t think he was too keen but he came along).


Along the promenade, around the corner was the supposed cache

As I mentioned GC3AGA6 – U.L.I. was only a short walk away along a very quiet promenade which was between our hotel and the beach and our hotel had a keyed gateway on to  the walk.  So off we went; admiring the little sandy and rocky bays as we walked.   Being a volcanic island, nearly everything is made from lava rocks and as we approached ground zero we realized that the cache was hidden on the beach side of the wall of the promenade, where there was an outlet for the run-off from the mountain if it ever rained.

I am not sure how long we spent searching every nook and cranny for the cache but I left Cockrobbinn poking in every hole with a stick whilst I went off to find a convenient hotel to answer a rather urgent call of nature!!   Lanzarote is a very barren Island and there were no suitable bushes around!!!   I then bumped into two people I had sat next to on the plane, and spent rather a long time chatting to them so when I eventually returned, I found a rather hot, stroppy Cockrobbinn cursing the sun, the heat, the difficulty of climbing over lava rocks on his own with still no sign of the cache.    It was only then that I decided to check the activity on the cache on my iPhone and saw to my horror that the previous few logs were DNF’s.  Why, oh why had I not looked at this before starting out.   I don’t think Cockrobbinn was too pleased but he soon cheered up when we found a promenade-side café and refreshed ourselves with a cup of coffee.    It may have been under a kilometer from our hotel, but boy was it a hot walk and we couldn’t wait to get back into the pool as there was absolutely no breeze coming off the sea and the clouds seemed to sit over the mountains and come nowhere near us.  I love the sun and the heat but not too keen on it for walking.  Lesson learned here – check activity on a cache before going !!!!

One interesting feature of the beaches here2015-11-11_141922000_7614E_iOS was that overnight these little structures appeared.   The picture above was taken on a Tuesday, and about two days later,  the beach looked like this  ——>>>>

We saw these little buildings on many of the beaches on Lanzarote;  they have probably got a name but we don’t know what it is.


Our next ‘how not to find a cache’ event took place a couple of evenings later.  It didn’t get dark until about 7 to 7.30pm and we were all poshed-up one evening quite early;  I was wearing a lovely long dress and high heels and Cockrobbinn looked eminently eloquent in dark trousers and a white shirt.  We could have dinner anytime up until 9.30pm at our hotel so we decided to have a short walk beforehand.  I had previously noticed that there was a very local cache – not far from the entrance of the hotel and only about 380m away.  What I didn’t take into account was that our hotel was situated at the bottom of a mountain volcano and the GPS took us up the lava flow.  We reached the bottom slope quite easily but lava is not the easiest rock to climb over and most definitely not in high heels and a long dress.  We soon gave up and promised to return at a later date suitably dressed.   Again, in hindsight, had I read the previous activity, I would have known that it was a difficult climb as were the other caches on this particular mountain.

A few days later, we decided to visit the little town of Playa Blanca with its pretty harbour and there was a cache right at the end of the harbour wall/pier.  Surely we could find that one.  Third time lucky ?   I would have thought that by now I had learned my lesson and checked the activity before attempting it?   It was a lovely walk along the harbour, passing the huge ferry to/from Fuerterventura.


Cockrobbinn deciding whether to climb down for the cache

At the end of the harbour wall was not a lighthouse as such, but some sort of navigation point.  The GPS was telling us that the cache was about 12m further on which meant quite a dangerous scramble down the rocks towards the water.  Cockrobbinn was willing to try but to be honest I didn’t feel like a visit to the local hospital should he slip and break an ankle, or worse.  It looked decidedly difficult so I suggested we leave this one and so we walked around the harbour to find a café and yet more refreshment.  We were sitting directly opposite the beacon, across the harbour, when we spotted two possible geocachers clambering down the rocks.  I spent a while watching them through my camera lens and saw them give up after a few minutes.   Unbelievably, had I read the activity on this cache, I would have realized that it hadn’t been found for quite a long time (there were about 8 DNFs logged) and shortly after our visit, it was disabled.  We live and learn —- just wish I could learn a bit quicker !!!!

After suitably refreshing ourselves, and having a look around the lovely little town, we decided to walk back to our hotel along the promenade which ran all along the coastline.  There were two more caches on route – we were just hoping we could break our spell of bad luck bad preparation and find just one little cache.


Determined to find this one


At last….our first cache on Lanzarote

GC28Y95 Playa Blanca – El Jorge was actually hidden along the promenade so we were hoping we could find this fairly easily.  Our signal took us straight to GZ and Cockrobbinn lithely hopped over the little wall and within a few minutes he proudly presented me with the container.  Although there was a travel bug in the cache, we left it where it was as it wanted to travel to Rio and we weren’t going in that direction!

It is surprising how finding a cache lifts the spirits and we determinedly marched along the promenade as there was one more on the way back.  We reached GC3877F Gunners Nest in record time, considering how warm it was AND I had developed a blister on my toe as stupidly I was wearing beach shoes and not trainers.


Gunners Nest

All along the coast are the remains of outlooks and this one was in quite good repair whilst others are falling into the sea.  However, once there our GPS was all over the place even though we were out in the open.   I checked the hint on the cache only to find it wouldn’t ‘open’ on my iPhone.  Unbelievable !!!!   We checked every nook and cranny around the ‘nest’ but eventually came to the realization that we were not going to find it that day.   Hot, tired and frustrated, we headed back to our hotel for a cooling swim, determined to return the next day.    Once we read the hint, we walked straight up to cache the following day making our total finds on the island TWO.

I don’t really get annoyed or frustrated but this holiday has shown me that preparation is the key and I will probably start planning our expeditions with a little more care in future.  To be fair, we didn’t plan on doing a lot of caching in Lanzarote as I have often said before, we are beach bums when the weather is good and we had really hit lucky in the weather stakes this time as it was even hotter than normal for the time of year.

We had one more cache we wanted to try for and this time I checked out all the information I could before we headed out.   U.L.I. 2 was a couple of kilometres along the promenade to the lighthouse Faro Pechiguera, and every evening, we could see the most beautiful sunset which occurred behind the lighthouse.   We only had one day which was slightly overcast although very warm and so we decided to attempt this cache on that day.  It was a very pleasant walk along the coastline and the promenade took us to within easy reach of the lighthouse.  The cache was hidden among the lava rocks on the far side of the lighthouse and the hint (which thankfully I had looked at before we left the hotel) was a picture of a group of rocks.  On reaching ground zero, I tried to check the picture hint but it was having none of it and wouldn’t open.   One group of rocks looks awfully similar to the next group of rocks but eventually I spotted a clump which seemed familiar.   As I wound my way down in front of the rocks I could see something blue hidden deep underneath one of the rocks.  Cockrobbinn soon clambered up and cheerfully reached in and grabbed the container.  I sometimes wonder whether he ever thinks that there might be something creepy and crawly, or even slithery lurking in the rocks but it doesn’t seem to worry him – but I bet he’d jump a mile if something touched his hand!! 


Hope there is nothing creepy or crawly in there!


A jubilant Cockrobbinn


Our third and final cache on Lanzarote.  We never did get around to climbing the volcano to find the ones in the cave and on the lava flow but as we loved the holiday so much we plan to return for a fortnight next November and will definitely go much better prepared.  If nothing else, this caching experience has taught me to do my homework!


Lighthouse Faro Pechiguera

This caching experience took place between 2nd and 12th November bringing our caching total up to 461.  My BodRobbinn Travel Charger has now travelled 10459 miles.


Posted in DNFs, Geocaching, Lanzarote | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments