Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Garmin Is So Lonely!

You may have noticed that the Custards have been quiet of late on here but trust me, there is a reason.  Whilst out geocaching a few weeks ago in Bingley, poor Mr Custard slipped on a tree route whilst trying to find the geocache he was looking for.  He fell over sideways and then when he tried to get up he couldn't put any pressure on his foot whatsoever - oh dear, not good :(.

The problem was - he was in the middle of nowhere in the midst of the St Ives Estate (which he said was really lovely by the way if you fancy a day out, well, at least until he fell!) - 2 miles from the car, no one to be seen....I'm sure by now you get the picture!  Courageous Mr Custard managed to hobble back to the path in the hope that someone would walk past and he could get some help back to the car.  Luckily, about half an hour after sitting on the ground, a man out walking his dog walked past and came to his rescue!

After an unsuccessful attempt of trying to use two walking poles to hold himself up and hobble back to the car, it soon became apparent to Mr Custard and the walker that there was a serious problem with his foot and it was time to call an ambulance...easy you might think?  Nope!!!  The ambulance found it really difficult to pinpoint where they were on such a large estate (even though Mr Custard had the co ordinates due to having his beloved Garmin Oregon 300 with him) and even when they kind of figured it out between them, the ambulance drivers weren't sure that they could get to him.  This then meant that the air ambulance was now on standby to go and airlift him to hospital!

Whilst waiting patiently in pain, Mr Custard rang me to let me know what was going on.  I was absolutely gobsmacked as he was just walking in general and the previous two nights before that we were out climbing trees and clambering over huge rocks in a quarry all in the name of the geocache hunt and there was not an injury in sight!  Unbelievable!!

When the ambulance arrived and figured out where they were, it had the huge feat of trying to get 2 miles up a bridleway.  Not an easy job - but it managed thankfully.  The down side to the ambulance getting up the bumpy bridleway was it had to come back down with Mr Custard in it....he was in major pain...there were millions of bumps....I think that this now means that after his trip the West Yorkshire ambulance service are now completely out of gas and air!!!

After many hours in Bradford Royal Infirmary, the doctor came to see us with the results from Mr Custards x rays - the diagnosis was very simple...his ankle was full on broken.  After getting his ankle potted up by the funniest Mexican nurse I have ever met, we then had to figure out A. how to get home and then B. how to get the car home as it was still in Bingley!  We eventually figured it all out with the amazing help of our geocaching buddies 'The Harrison Boys' who came over after work (without tea and everything!) and helped us to get home (thank you!!!).

We are now just about two weeks on from Mr Custards injury and the poor little mite has since had an operation and been instructed by the medical team to elevate his leg - constantly!  This means that he is stuck in (just when the sun has come out) and has had to stop geocaching for a while...to someone as avid a fan of this hobby as him....its a real down side to an injury like this and his trusty Garmin GPS is feeling a little lonely at the moment!

After such a hectic few weeks with many traumas I will however try and keep up to this blog a little more often from now on, I will let you know how Mr Custard is getting on and will find other things to tell you about...I am the kind of person who has never been lost for words before so I'm sure I will find something to write about!

I would now just like to end this post with a couple of things - firstly, get well soon Mr Custard! And finally - thank you Harrison Boys you have been amazing and we owe you one! :)

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Village Hotels - Bargain Fridays!

Now then...Ive done a few posts on Geocaching previously so I thought it was about time to introduce the other reason for this blog - sharing with you AMAZING places to go and stay which don't break the bank but at the same time are wicked!  You don't need to spend hundreds of pounds on top notch accommodation - you just need to have patience to search or alternatively, which is easier for you - just keep reading this blog and let Mr and Mrs Custard find them for you!

The first place I thought I would write about is somewhere we have frequented a few times this year already - purely due to the excellent standard of accommodation and facilities here and of course, the absolutely fantastic price!  The place I am talking about is The Village Hotel - South Leeds.  the best day to go without a doubt is on a Friday as they have a special offer on called 'The Village Friday feeling' enter code VFF into the website.  The last few times that we have been, the cost of a room for 2 people is £46!!!  Yes....£46!!  This price includes use of all of the spa facilities in the hotel too - swimming pool, gym, spa pool, sauna, jacuzzi and steam room!  The changing rooms in the spa are super modern and spotlessly clean.  The best thing about these facilities is being sat in the spa pool at tea time which looks onto the M62 (usually stood still at this point) and thinking "Aaarrrr!!  This is the life - how nice to relax whilst others are still in the Friday rat race!"

If like us, you live in Huddersfield or the surrounding area, this place is literally on your door step - for us it takes around 20 minutes to get there which is great as there is no long car journey to get there either!  Once inside, you could be anywhere - its great!  The hotel is only about 2 and half years old so even from the moment you drive up to the building it has a really contemporary feeling!

The entrance caption is so true!!

The rooms are super modern, cosy, clean and extremely comfortable.  They have been decorated in a contemporary way which includes colourfully striped carpets, flat screen TVs and beautifully modern bathrooms.

The hotel is really great for whatever mood you are in - should you want a few beers and a bar meal, the Victory pub is the best option - again, as its Friday they have some great offers on, with every drink you buy you can get a massive tray of burger and Fries for only £2 (Burger me its Friday!)!  So even the food doesn't break the bank!  If you would prefer to get dressed up though and have a nice meal, the hotel has its very own restaurant called 'Verve' - again, following the style of the hotel, it is very modern and has a great menu choice!  If none of the above appeals to you and you just want to go and sit quietly whilst reading a news paper, there is a Starbucks coffee house on site as well and lots of comfy sofas in the lounge to go and have some peace and quiet!

All in all, this is a fantastic hotel at an amazing price and I don't think Id ever get bored of going there!  We have definitely found Fridays to be the best value, however, The Village also have other great offers from time to time (special weekend rates etc.) so check it out and get your first bargain rest and relaxation break booked....even if it is just for one night!!  Trust me - its a bargain and will really put a great big grin on your face - it always has done to the Custards!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Princesses in Peril and Vontrapp Villa!

A few weekends ago The Custards decided to get some fresh air into the lungs accompanied by some fellow cachers and some family members.  Mr custard had ear marked a little circular set of caches by Tinker Beth and Zippy Dora called 'Princesses in peril' which looked like a lot of fun - especially for the little ones!  Also en route was a cache by Flookbird (who also helped to plan Princesses in Peril) called Vontrapp Villa.  Well....what a day!  The Geocachers who planted the afore mentioned caches deserve a pat on the back...what fun, as you will see from the photos below!

Mr Custard and the little ones at the start!

Basically, the Disney princesses needed saving....and it was our duty to do it!  The first few caches were in great locations and contained some very important information which was needed in order to save the day!  After collecting all of the information needed, we came to a cache which had a sting in the tale....it was padlocked up and we needed to work out how to save the Princess in this one....!  What a great idea which really made the brain have to work!

Woohoo!  Another one found!
Now that's a padlock!
After much head scratching we figured out how to open the padlock....phew!!!  Gathered the details inside (the little ones did some more swop's) and off we went to find the last few.  Just before the final cache, we had Flookbirds 'Vontrapp Villa' cache to find so we headed off in the right direction and got searching for this one.  In no time at all we found the cache and inside it was a spot of dressing up gear....a nuns costume!  Mr Custard wasted no time and was dressed as a nun before we knew it....pictures were taken and uploaded to facebook within seconds!  We howled with laughter - what a fantastic idea Flookbird!  And just in case anyone missed the photo of Mr Custard, please see below!  I wouldn't want you to miss out!

Vontrapp Villa - i didn't know nuns had beards!

We then carried on to the final caches where we managed to save all of the Princesses - hooray!! The little ones also had a few little trips through a stream in their wellies which they also enjoyed - until it got a little deep and went over the top of them - this was then wet leg time - but luckily we were nearly back at the cars so they weren't very bothered after all of the fun which they had just had!!

All in all, a great morning out, I would really recommend these caches - especially if you have youngsters with you - Tinker Beth, Zippy Dora and Flookbird have put a lot of time and effort into them and have created an amazing little circuit which they should be proud of!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A Trip To The City Of Culture - Liverpool!!

Mr Custard had the weekend off last week so we decided to do something.  We wanted to go somewhere that we hadn't been for a long while so, after looking at the amount of caches in cities etc that weren't too far away (a regular occurrence in our house when arranging trips) we decided on Liverpool - the city of culture.

We set off early on Saturday morning as the plan was to do some earth caches etc in the morning and then go onto the city centre in the afternoon to do some urban caches down at the Albert docks etc ( I was looking forward to these ones more as they didn't include mud - I HATE MUD!). 

Earth caches I find are usually quite good as you tend to learn things from them and see some really interesting stuff - on Saturday we went to the place where the rock was mined which was used to build the Mersey tunnel and then went on to a place called Dungeon Wood to see a fault in the rock which has created an amazing waterfall.  Dungeon Wood was muddy to say the least.....so, about 50 ft away from the co ordinates I refused to go any further as I was slipping all over the place and was concerned that if I fell in the mud I had no clean coat to walk around Liverpool in.  Mr Custard in true Bear Grylls style carried on to take the pictures etc needed to claim the cache - now that was funny to watch...the muddy bankings became quite steep and the mud was like clay (extremely slippy) so he had to swing from the branches of trees and make leaps of faith to get to the end - which he did with style and grace!  After another earth cache down on the beach, we changed our wellies to normal boots/shoes and set off into the city!

Time was getting on so we decided to go through the Mersey tunnel into the city centre - which I thought wasn't that badly priced as toll roads go - £1.40 each way.  On arrival we headed towards the Albert Docks and found parking at Liverpool One - this was the most organised car park I have ever seen - it was absolutely huge and had staff all over the place telling you where the spaces were - which was much better than driving round for ages to try and find one.  The escalators out of the car park took you right up into the centre of the new shopping precinct by John Lewis' etc which was right across the road from the Albert Docks!

Along with all of the other tourists, we crossed the main road and started walking towards the docks.  Although a very sunny day, the wind was quite high and due to it coming off the river Mersey it was absolutely freezing!  We quickly walked towards the cache and at about 100ft off realised that the bridge we needed to go over to get to the information needed to answer the questions about Liverpool and famine a long while ago was shut off due to work being carried out!  This now meant that we had to walk all the way around the docks to get to where we needed to be so we started to walk quickly in order to not turn into ice statues!!  Once we got there, again the other bridge was closed off (very disheartening indeed!) but luckily we bumped into a guy who worked there and tried to persuade him to let us over - the answer was no of course however, we asked him about the information needed and he pointed to a statue/plaque just behind us which had been moved until the work had been done!  Hurray!!  Had he not been there we never would have found it!  We noted down the info and then headed back towards the centre to get out of the cold!

The last cache we did was then up at the John Lennon Peace Memorial......Wow!!  Now that is a beautiful statue and is really worth a look...high up in the new precinct, you arrive at the memorial to see a wonderful burst of colour and shimmer - the doves on top of the statue look like they are beautifully flying above you and due to the gorgeous blue sky/sunshine which was with us that day, everything looked so inspirational and vibrant!  I took a few photos of the statue and then we decided to go back to the car as we had been out all day.....it was also now mid afternoon and the jacuzzi/pub at The Village hotel in the Wirral where we were staying at were calling..........

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Introducing The Custards!!!

Well, this has been a long time coming but Ive finally got us up and running! :)  I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to start a blog....The Custards go to some ace places, see some cool things and always manage to find some great deals when it comes to holidays/weekends/nights away so, I thought the purpose of this blog could be to share these adventures and great places with the world and pass on great information so other people can have as good a time as us (for not that much money!!)

When we (Mr and Mrs Custard) first started looking for nice places to stay, a friend recommended a book called 'The Mr and Mrs Smith Guide' - which we managed to come across (its a secret how - only a select few friends know this part - but sorry I cant tell you that story!).  We went to one of the places in the book called 'The Drunken Duck' which was lovely and has a great story surrounding it but I'll tell you about that one a little later in the blog - the place was really great and not too badly priced, however, most of the other places in the book needed a second mortgage on our home taking out to go and stay there, so we just started researching places to stay ourselves, by trawling the Internet, reading books, picking up leaflets here, there and everywhere and within no time at all had found some really ace places to go and stay for a fraction of the cost of the hotels in the previously mentioned guide.....and you lucky people will now be able to share our top places!

A few years after this, Mr Custard started Geocaching which is a hobby which takes us all over the place too, so being able to find great places to stay has been a god send!  We have met some really great friends through Geocaching too and been on some fabulous walks etc so, I thought this was a fantastic topic to blog about alongside the above - this is also where the name 'The Custards' came from so I feel it would only be right to include it in the blog!  I will tell you about good walks we have been on, great caches we have found, upcoming/previous geocaching events and anything else which I feel everyone should know about!  Should you want to find out more about Geocaching please have a look on this website: www.geocaching.com - this should tell you more about this relatively low cost hobby which is great for families, friends, couples....whoever really!  Right then...time to get going!