Last time I went to Hastings, they burned their pier down in celebration, so this time, I didn't tell them I was coming.
I parked in the middle of town; my plan was to go south in the morning, working my way down to the sea front (I always like to see the sea), then go north in the afternoon. My plan didn't work.
I got the bike out, with my replacement wheel motor (I'd installed it and tested it on Wednesday), loaded it up and set off.
It all started to go wrong on the first cache. This was clever, but it took me a long time to find. Eventually, I found the loop of cord in the fence, and pulled it. Up rose a hand. Neat! So I did it a few more times, then wondered where the cache was. I used my mirror to look down behind the fence, and I could see the mechanism that worked the hand, but no sign of a log book container. As I was fiddling with it, a man appeared from over the fence.
I've seen the mechanism (via my mirror), there's no way that this could have been installed from the outside. Therefore, it must be in place with the knowledge and consent of the householder - maybe the cache owner was the householder? So I gave him a big grin. He didn't return the grin. "You're trespassing," he said (I wasn't, I was outside his property on a public place). "If you don't leave, I'm calling the police." I asked him if he was the householder (he said he was) and if he knew about the cache (he said he did). But he still wanted me gone. So I went. A DNF.
So I moved on. I did "Who killed Kenny", got the four pieces of information (some well hidden, including one where I was asked by a couple of policemen what I was doing (I told them it's a sort of treasure hunt), then went for the final. When I got to GZ, I saw the cache immediately, but didn't realise it. So I scrambled down a steep muddy slope, rummaged around for a while, gave up, saw the cache again on my way scrambling back up, realised that maybe this was the cache, looked, and there it was. Duh.
I also tried two of the puzzles that I'd solved, and failed to find both of them.
Hastings, or at least the parts that I visited, is very hilly. All up and down, and flights of steps, which are not good when you're biking. Altogether, that morning I only just managed ten caches in four hours; I'd usually expect 20 and hope for 30.
I got back to the car at 3pm, had lunch, drank my coffee, replaced the bike battery, recharged my GPS battery, and set off again, this time to the north. Again, I DNFed the first one I tried, and the afternoon didn't improve from there.
I found a total of 20 caches, several DNFs, but I did enjoy the day out.
... update ...
It turns out that the man from over the fence, wasn't the householder, he was a neighbour. And he hadn't known about the cache. I suppose he was trying to be helpful, but if he hadn't wrongly claimed to be the householder, then I would have realised that he was just a helpful neighbour, and I would have explained to him about the cache. This shouldn't be a problem in future, because the cache owner has now told him about the cache.