So last week I was on holiday. If you weren’t aware before you soon will be. 😉
My initial excitement at having found a patch of Wi-Fi soon wore off, there’s only so long you can spend hopping around waving your phone for a whiff of signal and paying for the pleasure.
I won’t lie, it took a few days but my thumbs did eventually stop twitching – damn those tempting, shiny red notification badges!
Our first full day of exploring and we headed into nearby Castleton for the day. We’ve visited before and I love it there.
A honeypot village Full of character, pubs, yummy cafes, outdoors stores and the amazing walk that is cave dale. Seriously, what more could you want?
The drive into Castleton itself is incredible, through the jaw dropping cleft that is Winnats Pass. As we drove through I couldn’t help but wonder if there was an earth cache here. (Of course there was!)
As much as I love my GPSr, let’s face it, they take a bit of time to wake up and get going – just like me in fact.
By the time it had swung into action we were well down the road and much to my delight only a few meters away from the nearest cache. See where this is going?
‘STOP THE CAR!’
One of the children finding the whole thing very exciting rushes out to find the cache.
Useful things children! I’m clearly training them well. 🙂
The next stop, a tourist attraction called amusingly The Devils arse.
The last time we visited the area the attraction was called peak caverns. Oddly enough I never felt compelled to visit. This time they have been rebranded back to their original name of the Devil’s Arse and I’m in there like a shot. Tragic really.
Slightly awkward for a start but when all of the children can read, there’s no pretending it’s called anything else. Time to embrace the A word!
The queue for entry a little tedious, and I’m turning a blind eye to the children repeatedly saying arse.
Not giggling at all. Honest. 😉
I switch on my GPSr to satisfy my twitching thumbs and see we are standing at the site of another Earth Cache.
Four detailed tasks to be completed.
I don’t hide the fact I’m a lazy cacher.
Ok I’ll walk miles for a solitary cache but I just can’t be bothered to describe the rock in look, shape, colour and texture.
Yes I’ll visit your amazing spot and be blown away but I’m just not bothered about claiming that smiley.
Eventually we get in.
A series of caverns and tunnels to explore.
Sometimes being short it would seem has it advantages as the children brag in the darkness ‘Ha! Mum I don’t need to duck.’
‘Nope, me neither!’ 😉
In one of the caverns the children discover a huge pile of stones, ‘Is it a Geocache?’ They enquire.
You are learning well little ones.
How cool would that be though?
*Adds caching in a cave to things to do list*
After refuelling it was absolutely essential to pay a trip to cave dale.
I absolutely love this place, the fact that you are wandering through a quaint little Derbyshire village, pass through a rather unassuming gate and suddenly are in an amazing Limestone valley.
Like Narnia, only more epic and without Aslan. Or Mr Tumnus, although I expect he’d cope well in such terrain.
We start the gentle ascent up through the valley, Thankfully the children are starting to harness their inner mountain goat and are becoming much more stable on their feet.
Just as well as I’ve switched on the GPSr and found a nearby T4 (High terrain cache) 😉
We’ve already established how much I love this place, but after a morning of downpours we are now essentially climbing a waterfall, whilst exploring caves and rocks. How flipping cool is that?
We soon reach ground zero and after a short climb and the briefest of searches we find the cache. Whilst undoubtably the ascent would prove a challenge for many I can’t help but feel the rating may have been a little bit generous.
The walk back down eerily quiet, just the sounds of water running down the valley and the occasional splash as a child lands on their bottom.
That bit about mountain goats, I’ll take that back.