Wednesday 17 February 2016

No mud in Maldon

After my last very muddy trip to Souldrop, I was attracted by a series in Maldon called "No mud!".

I went to the Promenade Park there, and paid an unexpected £6 for an all-day ticket. I got the bike out, loaded it up and set off. Usually, I don't pay for parking - there's no point, because I usually park way outside town and get on the bike. But since I was there, I decided to stay.

My first cache was Boating Lake, where I searched for a long time. Then I found a Christmas bauble, and thought "Aha". But it wasn't the cache. Eventually I gave up.

Then I had a second DNF with "A mendacious challenge"; another half hour spent fruitlessly.

But then things improved, and I wound up with 38 caches, and no mud! When I was at the town centre, I chained up the bike outside a bank, and went in to revive my credit card, which had been barred because I'd put in the wrong PIN number three times (I don't think I did). To get it revived, I had to put it into a cash machine, and I never do that because I have no way of knowing if a random machine has been compromised. But I'm thinking that one that's *inside* the bank's premises is as safe as they can get, so I did it there.

The first machine spat my card back out, with a terse message saying it couldn't handle it. I found a handy bank employee, who took me to another machine and that worked. I have no idea why the first one rejected the card. But now I once again have a working credit card, which means I don't have to carry so much cash around.

I got back to the car at about 4 pm; along the way, ladysolly had phoned me with the solution to a puzzle that was her specialty; the coords were about 20 yards from where I'd parked the car, and the cache was an easy find.

After a late lunch, I drove home, picking up a few final caches before I got back to the motorway. Another good day out, except that, that evening, Alexander the Great slaughtered my forces in Civ V.

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