Posts Tagged ‘Rivington hall barn’

On a return visit to Rivington Hall Barn with hubby, son and daughter-in-law, they brought along a recently purchased iPhone 3Gs and were very excited to tell us about their newest hobby – Geocaching.  We have known about it for years but coming from Africa this was more about you, your 4×4 and the great outdoors.  I had not realised that it was also for urban adventurers just out for a stroll with baby in a smart new 3 wheeler and hot latte!  After showing us the application he had bought and how it identified caches in the area we thought that this was a perfect opportunity to try it out – after all we were here to go for a walk, so why not see if we could find some treasure at the same time.  Using the 3Gs and some software it was really easy to head in the direction of the first horde – who knew that you didn’t need an eye patch and parrot to find treasure!

While I stuck to the more established paths the family headed directly into the forest and stream in their quest for the hidden stash.  This was where the fun really began because the trees blocked much of the satellite signal and it kept changing its mind about the precise location.  After one shoe got swallowed up by the mud and had to be retrieved, and my daughter-in-law nearly becoming the next bog person for discovery by future generations, I was laughing hysterically from my dry and safe vantage point above the stream.  Eventually they admitted defeat and we decided to try for a tamer cache with less mud and risk to life and limb (well wellies and trainers anyway). 

The next cache was fairly close by and proved much more successful, and for me in a wheelchair it was easy as it was along a well-travelled pathway and just off the track.  This meant that I was able to participate in the discovery – until they needed to dig around the nettles and then I was obviously not able-bodied enough to assist!  After leaving a message in the book and trading one object for another of equally little value, we called it a day and headed back home.  

I think this may prove to be a very good way to build up my strength and at the same time enjoy the outdoors – hopefully our experiences will come in handy for other disabled geocachers. I have since found a great website at handicaching that allows you to rate each cache for ease of location and you can link back to the reviews from the main geocache website. With any luck, it will encourage a few other wheelchair users to be confident enough to try going off the beaten track; after all if I can do it then so can you!

Next cache here we come; arg, arg me maties…

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Take one bank holiday weekend and terrible weather and what do you have? A perfect opportunity for a bit of bundu bashing.  Hubby was away on a trip to Australia and I was desperate to go out and get some fresh air, so I invited my son, son-in-law and grandson to give me some support. Where to go? After a little thought I opted for Rivington Hall Barn in Rivington as it is not far from us and has a tea room for that essential cuppa to prepare us for the heavy work ahead.

Did I mention the lousy weather, of course, it was a bank holiday? It had poured for the two days prior and as a result it was a mud bath in the country but being the intrepid travellers, this was not going to put us off.

Parking was a little difficult as human nature seems to dictate that the closer to the door you get, the bigger the prize! Parking accomplished and now for a bracing beverage before setting off. Tea, latte, hot chocolate and bacon barms safely despatched and we set off.

The part of Rivington we decided on is near the Go-ape adventure facility and my goal was to see if I could follow the trail in my K-2. We started off on the high path which was reasonably flat but with enough mud to put off all of the other walkers with prams and wheelchairs. We however were not to be daunted and when the mud got too deep (not for the Trekinetic, but my son didn’t want to get his converse too dirty!), we just went round them through the forest! Roots, rocks and mud were no match for us and we were soon looking for more of a challenge. Rather than going along the path from the high road to the low road we cut across the forest down the steep incline towards the reservoir. Wow, what a buzz! We went zig zagging down the hill over the forest floor with the tree climbers whizzing past us on the zip line. My son helped out a little so that I could practice using my steering and drum brakes and soon we arrived at the footpath. Amazingly we were the only ones I saw taking the off-road option and definitely the only wheelchair that made it round the route. Bearing in mind that I have only been going off-road for a week and need plenty more exercise to build up strength, it was very tiring and I did need son-in-law power to assist me back up the steep slopes.

Muddy and happy we got back to the car and headed home. Next mission – find a way to clean off my wheels before loading the car!

(Photo’s not from original day out as we forgot the camera at home!)

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