May 25 – Simply ‘Ampshire … Simply Sunny

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Two days on, and we still fancied doing that long day’s walk. Our boots were nearly dry by now and we headed back to Alresford for another try at the “Simply ‘Ampshire” series.

We retraced our steps to Tichborne – the paths were damp but not too soggy – a good sign – and passed the “Fine Pair” which had been our final cache two days before. What a difference a few hours had made! It was a beautiful warm spring morning, and everything just looked so much better now that the sun was shining.

Tichborne - a Fine Pair

Tichborne – a Fine Pair

Tichborne Arms

Tichborne Arms

We passed Tichborne church and set off southwards towards Cheriton. In the distance we could hear an occasional noise of engines and tannoy announcements. Further on, we could see a line of white tents on the horizon. What could it be? A bit of research later on told us that the event we could hear was the British Motocross Grand Prix meeting taking place at Matterley Basin.

By late morning we had made good progress, and had reached Cheriton, dodging a few HUGE puddles en route. The caching was going well, too, with no failures so far. And … we had also found our first trackable since early March, a small cloth owl. Once again we stopped for lunch at the church, sitting outside on a bench in the sun; this served a dual purpose, as the bench held one of the clues for the Church Micro geocache for this church, which we duly found before heading off, past the busy Flower Pots Inn and then alongside the infant River Itchen for a short while before climbing up to the low hills above the village. Here it nearly went badly wrong … we had walked through a field of interested cows, and paused to look back across the valley at our past route. Actually, the cows were much too interested … as Mr Hg137 described the wonderful views, the cows were closing and the leader was breaking into a trot … we moved very swiftly on.

Interested cows

Interested cows

We stopped to chat to a muggle dog walker who passed us three times in about 15 minutes. Why? We fell into conversation and it turned out that she was looking for the site of the nearby Civil War battle of Cheriton. As we had both a map and GPS with us we were able to tell her that it was in the next field but one on the left. PS the Roundheads won …

We went on, and were nearly back to Alresford when we got close to the Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie mini-series that we had started two days before. We found the remaining two caches after a bit of stumbling around in the woods, solved the clues, and set off to find the bonus cache. And we didn’t find it … well, we found a location that matched the coordinates, the description and other cacher’s comments, but we just couldn’t find a cache in it. Either we worked out the sums incorrectly, or the cache isn’t there any more.

We arrived back at the car in the evening sunshine, having found 22 caches and one trackable. We had finally got our long walk, too – just over 11 miles. A lovely spring day out in beautiful countryside.


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