After our holiday away, our first caching trip at home was local, just a few miles away on the Eastern side of Camberley.
The 6-cache series that had taken our eye was entitled “The Maultway” named after the road which separates the Eastern side of Camberley from Army Ranges.
Before we attempted the series we found our first ‘Alphabet Series’ cache set by Uncle E. Uncle E has set many a cache in the area, but it’s his ‘Alphabet Series’ he is best known for. There are (unsurprisingly) 26 caches named “A”, “B”, “C” etc dotted around Berkshire/Surrey/Hampshire. Sometimes the cache name provides a little hint to the puzzle, as it did here. Cache “B” was marked on the map as being near the Maultway so we looked at it.
All Uncle E provided to find the most junior Northings and Westings were the two words “Previously Gentle”. Fortunately inspiration struck fairly quickly – like most puzzle caches the final destination is some way from the “?” symbol on the geocaching map, and we were a bit disappointed to find out it wasn’t near the Maultway. We are not going to say where it was, but there was adequate parking, nearish to some sports facilities. We did make a bit of misjudgement trying to get to GZ (following the bearing not the footpaths!), but we found it! Now for the other 25 letters!
Our principal target of the day was the Maultway series. The series follows the straight road, which meant we would have to retrace our steps to return to the start. This though would have the advantage of being able to ‘revisit’ any DNFs a second time!
The Maultway (road) is separated from Army ranges by 2 distinct ribbons of land. The first is a narrow band of trees/hedges perhaps 3-5 trees wide. The second ribbon is a tarmac footpath used by pedestrians, cyclists, dog walkers and of course us!
Most of the caches were in the woodland section, so every fifth of a mile of so, we deviated away from the tarmac and found ourselves looking for caches in brambles, hollow trees for a variety of containers.
We were fairly successful in finding 4 of the 6 caches, but 2 really eluded us. One, with a hint of ‘prickly’ was in an area surrounded by brambles and holly trees. Hardly a helpful hint!
The second failure was in fact a missing cache. We recorded our 20 minute DNF on http://www.geocaching.com and the cache owner checked the site, and has replaced the cache.
To cachers everywhere – please record your DNFs. The cache owner won’t know there is a problem unless they are told!
The highlight for us though was admiring a deer just yards away grazing away on the Army Ranges. Sadly it never posed for a photo in the best of positions.