This post is tagged under  ‘walks’  but that only reveals a  small part of the outing. This is not a true or accurate account of the day as I am still bruised, tired and disorientated. Read the true version on  –

A glorious day, for December, was promised and I was glad I’d arranged to meet Conrad for a trip out. Foolishly I had suggested over the phone that he would organise the itinerary to suit his progressive recovery from his leg injuries. As I drove up the motorway, with the morning sunshine highlighting the distant Lakeland Fells across Morecambe Bay – a view to stir the heart of any outdoor enthusiast, I was looking forward to a leisurely stroll.

Without much ado we were parked up at the busy car park for Gummer’s How at the south end of Lake Windermere. That was the last we saw of humanity for the rest of the day. Conrad [or shall I call him Livingstone] set off with a missionary zeal, GPS in hand, onto the mysterious Simpson Ground. He has recently taken up the dubious hobby?, pursuit?, obsession?, addiction?  of Geocaching and had planned a six ‘cache’  navigation search for us.

The hidden caches were plotted on his map and from clues we had to find them.  This is easy I thought as the first one  ‘in tree roots next to the path’  was unearthed  –  a little Tupperware box containing a few trinkets and more importantly to Livingstone a log for him to sign as proof of our visit. The last person logged in here was dated in August.

Coming from an orienteering background I eagerly set off through the forest on a bearing to the next  ‘under a stone by an outcrop’ –  simple. I doubted the need for the GPS as we discussed the merits of map navigation, electronic aids and even dead reckoning.

under a stone at the back of a stone building’ seemed a little more challenging as the impenetrable forest showed no obvious evidence of any such structure. After thrashing through the trees and vegetation, mainly in circles, a small stone hut emerged. The roof had collapsed but there was an intact fireplace and chimney, I reckoned it would make an ideal small bothy. The little box was there. Time for a leisurely lunch by a tarn sat on an upturned boat!  I would like to commend Livingstone’s soup making skills.

Our last three challenges were grouped around an area of tarns and their associated bog. Things deteriorated quickly as we attempted to take short cuts through the morass, ski poles plunged into the depths and ominous gurgling noises accompanied us. Having previously being scathing of the ‘unnecessary’  GPS device I was soon imploring Livingstone to take a fix. Forgot to check when the ultimate amphibious cache had last been visited. SAM_5827Why had the ‘hider’  ventured into this floating jungle for us ‘seekers’  to try and follow. There lies the conundrum of this geocaching game and I hesitate to provide an answer, at least a polite one.

Won’t show a map of our tortuous explorations, suffice to say that what felt like 10 – 12miles in five hours was only about 5miles. We did make it back to the car just as it was getting dark.

Livingstone seemed pleased with his explorations and I have to thank him for a well organised day.  I’m not sure about my conversion as I don’t even own a GPS. Navigating back down the M6 was a breeze.



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