Friday 6 September 2013

An outing to Andover

On the way there, it was drizzling, but I had confidence in the weather forecast.  I was listening to the Today program, and they were talking about the idea that the NSA and GCHQ can decrypt the kind of internet messages that are sent with HTTPS encryption, and they got Graham Cluley in as the expert to talk to.  Graham seems to be the goto guy for the media for anything to do with computer security. I must have trained him well! He, of course, had no idea whether this is true or not, and I wouldn't expect him to. But he covered up his ignorance well, in a blaze of jargon and a display of irrelevant information. As one does.

Unfortunately, I didn't have lunch with me though - the garage where I'd planned to pick up petrol and a sandwich was coned off, and the next one along was closed; permantently, I think. But I thought, I can live off the land, at this time of year there's nuts and berries, maybe an unlucky rabbit, and probably an open pub.

So I got on my bike for the first circuit, the Colour Coded caches; I needed to pick up the clues for four bonus caches as I went around.

I was stymied almost immediately. Cache 4BC1M was blocked. As I went along the road towards it, I encountered a lorryload of concrete dumped in the road, still wet, and stretching from side to side. I decided that I'd try to approach this from the other side after going round the series the other way, but when I did that, I was equally blocked. So I went to the footpath that led in from the side, but that was also cordoned off, and when I looked, I could see that even if I climbed over that cordon, they'd dug an eight foot trench in the road, and even if I struggled over that somehow, the cache was under a big pile of pipes that they were about to lay. So, no go on that one.

But I got all the others, and the weather met my hopes and expectations. I had to go a very long way round to get past the road works, but that's not too bad on a bike, because it was all road. Then I went for the four bonuses, which I found, and on the way to those I passed "The Bell", which offered a carvery, so after I got back to the car, I went there for lunch. And although they didn't have rabbit, they had great parsnips.

The seond series I did was the Andover Orbital, and I managed to find all of those.

So, a good day out, 45 finds. But on the way back, a huge lorry clipped my wing mirror on the motorway. Not too big a deal; when I got home and looked on Ebay, I can get a replacement for maybe £75, and I think I can fix it myself. Meanwhile, the generous application of duck tape (they can't call it duct tape, I guess that's a brand name) gives me a temporary fix.

Also, my steel bike carrier arrived. Well, it was advertised as steel. But what turned up was alloy, which is annoying, because I had specifically wanted to try a steel one, because I've had two alloy carriers fracture, and maybe steel will stand up better to the cross-country that I do. So I emailed the vendor with the complaint, and suggested very strongly that they correct their mistaken description, plus I'm giving them a change to make me less unhappy before I give them negative feedback on account of the item is *significantly* not as described.

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