I knew that last Friday night was going to be a bit of a geocaching adventure because Top rope ian had given us a little bit of a heads up on his plans.
Top rope ian is trying to fill his d/t grid and has been researching some rare d/t ratings. His plan was to hit two of those caches on Friday after work. All he mentioned was they were round the M25.
A quick call from nick the trucker to smif247 just after 4pm meant it was time to get changed, load up and head out to pick up Top rope ian & nick the trucker.
First stop was Clacket Lane services to grab some dinner and of course the two geocaches within the grounds. This was when we found out that the first geocache we were heading to was Robins nest in Epsom, Surrey.
I didn’t know much about this cache so I took the opportunity of the long journey to read up on it. Oh no, it’s another tree climb! I’m not particularly good with heights at the best of times, but by the time we arrived it was pitch black.
We took a small amount of climbing gear with us just in case but by the time Top rope ian had scouted the tree smif247 was already clambering up the branches.
It didn’t take him long to scale the heights and with three of us on the ground yelling at him to turn his torch on so I could take photos, he gingerly reached for his torch and began playing lighthouses while trying to sign the log.
When smif247 touched down nick the trucker decided he would be next and off he went, full of enthusiasm and excitement. His ascent was easy with little to report on and while we waited we watched a local fox playing in the grass with Top rope ian’s laser pointer.
His descent however was slightly more entertaining. We heard the occasional snap of unstable branches followed by a few expletives. And then he was in sight & the three of us began our words of encouragement to keep him motivated and focused on the task.
I had a bit more help though as Top rope ian accompanied me up the tree to the cache. Let me tell you that this was a task and a half. I discovered that I could do with being a tad taller to reach the sturdy branches, a tad stronger as my upper arms began to shake before I had even got a quarter of the way and I need to be considerably fitter. I was too busy making sure I was holding on and stable to be able to take in the night time views of London or even to sign the log book, thankfully I wasn’t up there alone.
I found the journey down to be just as taxing, especially when Top rope ian sped past me, full of confidence and adrenalin. Back on terra firma there were shouts of glee, commendations and lots of manly hugs (of which I was included, because that night I was “one of the lads”).
By now it was easily 21:30 so a quick and elated jaunt back to the car to begin the next leg of our journey. Back onto the M25 and round to St Albans for the next geocache, Bedmond rat run 2.
After having climbed an evergreen in the dark, this was an easy climb/slide/find for us and the log book was quickly signed.
Seeing as we had completed our tasks and it was only 22:45 we decided to stop off at the nearest pub for a well deserved drink, we arrived at The Hollybush just in time for last orders. Where we discussed the possibility that we are all mad and crazy. The conclusion was that we are no more mad than the next person.
Time was called so we piled into smif247’s geomobile and began our journey back to Kent. We arrived back on home turf at around half 1, and despite being utterly exhausted we were incredibly pleased with our achievements. There were even starting discussions for our next crazy trip… Wales in 24 hours was mentioned!