Monday, 12 October 2015

Madhouse Diaries : A walk (and geocaching) along the canal

When a new series of geocaches were posted along the length of one of Dunkirk's many canals, I decided it would be a great way to make the most of a fabulously sunny autumnal Saturday afternoon.

The canals are criss-crossed with bridges so I was slightly concerned we'd end up on the wrong side, unable to reach the caches !

As we wandered along, we saw a line of geese swimming downstream (or downcanal !).

We caught up with them again at the lock, paddling in the shallows !

There was also an impressive trio of cormorants who appeared to be sunbathing, drying out their wings in the warmth. I don't know where they've all come from but there seem to be loads of cormorants around town lately, diving for fish in the port, standing sentry on the posts in the middle of the canals, ...

Now, which way would the geocache trail take us ?

They were all micro geocaches in this series - the smallest ones - so they could be hidden anywhere. They are usually tiny metal cannisters just big enough to fit in a rolled up piece of paper (just like the ones attached to dog collars with the owner's address) so they are often stuck onto signs with magnets. We soon found the first one, behind this roadsign.

Some were harder than others though and we had a fair few DNFs (did not finds). Some involved clambering over the barriers and trying not to fall in the canal !

As we passed a park that we already knew, we popped in for a bit and saw absolutely loads of ducks and geese.

Plus a lone chicken !

They all seemed really hungry and were fighting over the bread that people were throwing them !

I like the way this photo came out, with the light playing on the water.

As we continued on our way, following the canal, we saw lots of splashes of colour, from  poppies ...

To pumpkins ... a definite sign of autumn.

There were also zillions of enormous spiders in huge webs... so I didn't bother retrieving this cache that was peeking out of the rusty pipe because I didn't want to brave the arachnids !

This was the final cache - can you spot it?

We could see it peeking out of the leaves but couldn't reach the branch (and didn't want to try too hard and fall into the canal !)

It was a nice walk, even if we only found 7 of the 15 caches, and we managed to rack up 14km on the FitBug !

Life Unexpected


  1. I love being beside the water, the canal looks gorgeous! Well done for finding the cache's, must have been quite annoying that the last one was out of reach! I will have to start geocaching, I have an Iphone now, so surely I can get GPS on that and a geocache app of some sort?
    Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x

    1. Yes, you can use the free app - you'll be hooked once you've given it a go !

  2. I love the random chicken. I've never heard of micro Geo caches before- I don't think my kids would be too impressed with that - they would want a prize! -#whatevertheweather

    1. Most of the caches around here are small or micro so it's a nice surprise when we actually get to swap some treasures !

  3. I LOVE geocaching. It's so much fun and a perfect excuse to get outside.

    The micro ones can be SO hard to find. I love some of the creative places you can find them. The most creative I found was in a telephone box. It was actually on the telephone but looked like it was a random black spot that was part of the design.

    But my favourites are the walks where there are lots. I can't wait till my daughter is old enough to go with us.

    Haha I love the random chicken. And the pumpkins really are a sure sign of autumn. Thank you so, so much for linking this to #whatevertheweather. xx

    1. I love the clever caches - my favourite ever was one that was a doorbell. When you rang it, you had to follow the chimes (in a wood) to the actual cache that was on a tree with the rest of the doorbell ! Genius !

  4. My hubby loves Geocaching
    I really enjoy the walking to find them