Geocaching whimsy in Penicuik

I have been feeling very unsettled lately as I am still “temporarily unemployed”* and that has been impacting my motivation for getting out into the fresh air for adventures. Of course, the recent rainy weather hasn’t helped, either.

But I “forced” myself out of the house yesterday for a geocaching walk, and am pleased to say that it was relatively successful. Not only in racking up the cache count, but also in improving my mood a bit, thanks in part to a range of whimsical geocache finds.

My destination for the day’s adventure was the Penicuik Estate, a 1,000-acre designed estate and home to the ruined Penicuik House and more than 20 geocaches. The estate is not too far from my cottage, but it is far enough that I never go. That’s partly because I have to walk 4 miles along a fairly busy road and through Penicuik to access the estate which seems silly when I have another (although smaller) estate literally on my doorstep and the Pentland Hills are only a 15-minute walk from my cottage.

However, I have already found the geocaches closer to home and as I am only using public transport for necessary travel, a bit of boring walking is needed to get to the fun walking portions of any adventure now. To fuel my adventure and to break up the 4-mile “boring” part of the walk, I stopped off at the baker’s for a sausage roll (breakfast), a sandwich (lunch), and a pasty (afternoon snack).

I chose a route that started along the edge of the estate then double-backed through the middle of the estate generally along the river. It meant that I didn’t get near the house or the surrounding gardens and lawns, but I did enjoy some lovely views across to the Pentland Hills.

I also “discovered” an old ruined castle along the way which delighted me greatly. There isn’t much of the castle (Ravensneuk) left as the stones were repurposed for some of the estate’s park walls, but I saw just enough to know that I want to return in the winter when the foliage dies back a bit. I will share more about the site (and photos) when I do that.

Oh! And I enjoyed a nice chat with another solo walker – an older woman who stopped to make sure I was OK as I was standing off the trail eating my pastry. She worried I might be lost as she’d seen me “looking around” earlier and back-tracking over a bridge so I explained that I was geocaching (and what geocaching is). We then walked along the trail together until I reached the next geocache where we parted ways. She seemed quite keen to tell her granddaughter about geocaching and was amused at the idea of so many treasures hidden all around her.

By the end of the day, I managed 11 geocaches and more than 13 miles. That gets me a little closer to my goal of 75 geocaches this year (and I already exceeded my goal of walking 365 miles). I also managed to find a little solace for my soul and some joy for my heart. So, you could say the adventure was a success!

I will make another trip to the estate for more geocaches and a proper look around the old house. In the meantime, here are some photos from today’s visit.

* Yes, I am still waiting on my new work visa. I’m trying not to be overly stressed about it but it’s not working. Prayers and positive energy is very appreciated.

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