Hello, Mrs Hg137 here again.
The Tuesday after Easter was a bright sunny day and we assumed that Wednesday would be the same. How wrong we were. It was cloudy and just above freezing, with a bitter wind, thus giving us yet another chance to get mild hypothermia while out caching …
Our target this time was the ‘Hampshire Milk Round’, a series of 23 caches starting/finishing in the attractive small village of Binsted, a few miles from Farnham. We had also loaded up the ‘Church Micro’ cache for this village as it was on our route, and this was our first cache of the day. We hadn’t realised that the churchyard is the burial place of Montgomery – he of ‘El Alamein’ fame – who moved into the nearby Isington Mill in the late 1940s.
Next, we moved on to tackle the ‘Milk Round’, finding the first 10 caches in the series. Most were easy to find. Some would have been easier if only we had read/understood the hints … there was a lot of futile scrambling up and down banks for caches at ground level … never mind, we got them. The track turned into a stream for part of the way, and I nearly fell into said stream when a piece of rotting wood gave way while shinning down a bank to reach a cache; no harm done except loss of dignity.
We found a geocoin – our first – in one of the caches. It was first placed in March 2009 in Henley on Thames and has travelled 12,800 miles since then, including a trip to Cape Town and Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
It all went wrong (for us) at cache no. 9 in the series. It took us AGES to find this cache, and the GPS kept pointing to a spot some way out in the field. We must have been there 15 minutes, and had examined every twig and leaf in about 10 trees, before finding it just before we were going to give up and move on. Our hands were now rather cold, as were most of our other bits. By the next cache we were really, really cold, and this was the one place on the circuit where we could break off and take a short cut back to Binsted: so we did. The rest of the series can wait till a (warmer) day; it’s an excellent series in lovely countryside.
We didn’t see much wildlife on our way, other than birds – maybe they were all sheltering from the icy wind. The cache notes mentioned hares, though we didn’t see any, or the snakes that are warned of, and there must be deer in the area as we saw lots of hoofprints. But there is an interesting range of rare breed farm animals – pigs, geese, chickens, sheep, ducks and cattle – adjacent to cache 10 in this series.