December 6th – Bamboozled in Basingstoke

Basingstoke.

Various titles have been given to Basingstoke in the past…
“Doughnut City” (Ed : roundabout, after roundabout, after roundabout)
“The jewel of North Hampshire” (Ed : not sure if this a beautiful sapphire or a rough diamond)
“The lost city of Basingstoke” (Ed: drive South down the M3 to understand this)

Add to it now..
“The place where cachers fail” !

A simple urban series (Bobs Bimble), 9 caches + one other… on streets, footpaths, around a couple of residential estates in Basingstoke. No mud, no rivers, a dry walk with 10 straightforward caches.

Oh dear! Oh dear ! Oh dear!

This newish series was so new there was still a FTF available (despite at least 3 cachers being ahead of us). We parked near this cache and had a quick look at its GZ first. Nothing. Not too disappointing as we’d read the Cache Owner was going to inspect it and maybe something might well have changed when we return later.

Somewhere around this frosty park are 3 geocaches.. can you see them?

Somewhere around this frosty park are 3 geocaches.. can you see them?

Onto cache 2.. near a recycling point. Obvious place to hide a cache, and we were fairly certain we looked there… clearly not..2 caches searched – 2 DNFs.

Onto cache 3.. somewhere between a tree and a bush. Next to someone’s garden, where there was work going on. We looked quickly, but then were interrupted by dog-walker after dog-walker after dog-walker. We searched a bit more before the dogs made it clear they wanted ‘home’ and so they returned past us. We gave up. 3 searches… 3 DNFs.

Onto cache 4 …hidden very close to a back garden. Not visible, and we didn’t feel like checking really, really, thoroughly. Aargh ! 4 DNFs in a row.

Give up ? go on ? We went on !

We found a cache! Yay! Marked as a trackable hotel, but with no trackables in it. We have never been so grateful to see an ivy log!
Our success continued with our next few caches too, with the last being near a major supermarket. Here for some reason we were imagining a smallish magnetic nano, but very surprisingly found a largish container. A real highlight today!

We rejoined the Bobs Bimble trail, and our luck deserted us (or was it our poor caching skills?) when we failed to find another on a close-boarded fence. That’s 5 DNFs out of 9, with only one more cache to go…

…”behind a tree near a bush” – wonderful hint, but when there 3 trees, and loads of bushes and your luck isn’t in.. its an enormous task. We looked long, and hard, and looked again.

“Have you found it ?”

A pair of passers-by approached. “Have you found it?” they repeated.

They were cachers too (8p4l and fishying … and Rufus the dog) and joined us in the search. A few more moments and the cache was in hand and jointly signed. We exchanged notes on our morning’s work.. they had been more successful than us and shared some of the hiding places (thanks!).

We headed back to where we started… the potential FTF. We now had 4 pairs of eyes, and a geohound… but again the cache eluded us.

However armed with the information about one of our previous failures, we headed off to acquire our 6th find of the day.

So we finished with 6 out of 10 caches, bamboozled in Basingstoke.

Editors footnote :
Since our escapade, we have noted 2 of our DNFs have either been moved or re-calibrated. This work was being undertaken WHILE we on the route, so it was no wonder we couldn’t find them! We feel a bit better now!

Here are 2 of the caches we did find…

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