Wednesday 19 April 2017

Geocaching diaries : The Tom Thumb Circuit

The day before, we'd had a fabulous day out at the park and at the Ferme Vernaelde educational farm, but I hadn't managed to squeeze in any geocaching. Luckily, Juliette was up for retracing our steps but this time hunting for caches rather than visiting the play areas and animals. Our first stop was the Jardin d'Eau or Water Garden, a little area that has been created on what was pretty much wasteland.

It's been left quite natural, with insect hotels made out of old tree trunks and wild flower zones to encourage Mother Nature to do her stuff.

Just next to the garden is the old bag factory, which dates from the 19th century. It's been converted into a new community centre with cafes and a creche.

It took us a while rummaging through the ivy but we soon found the cache - yay !

Our next cache took us to a nearby town square ... which was round !

We needed long arms but soon uncovered this cache too.

We headed into the woods. Juliette couldn't decide whether to keep her coat on or take it off so she decided for a one-shoulder option. Nutcase !

Funnily enough, the route to our next cache took us straight through the Ferme Vernaelde. We'd only been there the day before but Juliette couldn't resist going round to see all the animals again !

The donkey yawned, as if to say "you again ?"!

The goats were all snuggled up together.

We were confused about where the pig's tusks had disappeared to ...

... until Juliette rustled a sweet wrapper in her pocket and a load more pigs came out. We've only ever seen one pig at a time so we always thought he was all by himself.

Aahhh there's Mr Tusky !

We headed over to the far end of the farm, dodging an escaped pony with a couple of girls desperately trying to catch him (they did eventually !) and Juliette used the gymkhana equipment for some gymnastics !

Followed by a quick rest !

We had to walk right through the horses' pasture.

Spotting a couple of burrows on the way, presumably belonging to field mice. "Or snakes?" gasped Juliette !

Our GPS made us force a way through a hole in the hedge which Juliette wasn't too pleased about ... especially when we arrived on a big path and realised that we definitely hadn't taken the easiest route, even if it was the most direct !

She soon stopped grumbling when she laid eyes on the cache though - it was enoirmous.

And even better, it was full of Kinder egg capsules. We had to sort through them all to find the log book to sign and were delighted to discover that most of them contained a little treasure to swap.

While Juliette sorted through to see what she wanted to take home, I rummaged through our bag to find suitably sized treasures to replace them with.

The little treasures are always a bonus when we find them, because they are few and far between in France.

A few hundred metres on, we found another cache. This one was sneakily hidden inside a fake brick, especially made as a geocache. It's hollow and has a little sliding door to seal the log book and treasures inside the compartment.

And we found another little treasure to swap - Smurftastic !

As we continued on our walk, we came across what I was always thought was a camouflaged shelter for hunters. That made sense because this series of caches is inaccessible over winter because it is a hunting area.

However, on closer inspection, it's actually a shelter for birds, with water troughs and a grain dispenser. We headed into the trees for the next cache.

Aha, here it is - carefully pushed into a hole in a tree !

We walked along a muddy path that covered Juliette's trainers and jeans in a thick, oily black substance - that will be fun to get off later then !

We didn't manage to find the final cache for the day but we did miraculously discover that we were just next to a road and our bus was waiting for us, ready to leave in five minutes. The next one didn't come for half an hour so we were really lucky !

Country Kids


  1. Only Juliette with you this time?
    Loks like a lot of fun was had, well apart from the mud at the end anyway.
    Great to see so many different types of cache. Your kinder egg one remineded me of a few years back finding a cache and the clue had us believing that the log book was inside a pen, there were over 200 pens in the cache.....turns out it was on the bottom of the box......sneaky.
    We are off today to do some new caches in the area.

    1. Yep, Sophie was getting ready for her friend to come to stay with us and Pierre was still tired after our epic walk the day before ! I do love the clever caches - and the ones with treasures to swap, which are few and far between ! I haven't got many caches left to find around here but I might go out and hide some more myself today or tomorrow :)

  2. It's lovely for Juliette to have your company just for herself. Lots of clever caches. Love the tusky piggy, very cute.

    1. I do try to get in a one-on-one day with each of them every now and then :)

  3. This looks like a wonderful adventure for yourself and Juliette, it's great that you had time just the two of you. I love that even though you visited the day before you still had to say hello to all the animals, it's funny that there's more than one pig, they can be lazy and lie inside all day sometimes. Well done on finding so many caches too, I'd probably miss half of them!

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    1. LOL We've visited the farm so many times and I always thought there was only one pig !!

  4. That one cache was huge! It sounds like a perfect day, a little bit of everything, playing, animals and treasure finding :)

    1. I love days like this, full of mini adventures :)

  5. Love the huge cache! What a great idea having it full of kinder cases, that's a lot of fun, although I might have got frustrated looking for the log book! #countrykidsfun

    1. It was a great cache - might have to pinch that idea for one of our own !!

  6. It's great to geocache together and see a place from another point of view. #CountryKids

  7. I keep meaning to start geocaching with Monkey as he loves treasure so I think he would love exploring! I had no idea that you needed to leave little treasures in return though so I will have to read up on caching equittique! #CountryKids

    1. We always keep a few odds and ends in our coat pockets just in case we have an impromptu geocaching adventure ! ;)


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