December 8 Day 344 Caches Found 17 Cumulative Total 410 (+1 bonus, +2 cachers’ meets)

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

As late autumn arrived, the days were shortening and becoming wetter, so we wanted a destination that was not far away, and with good going underfoot. We spotted a new circuit close-ish to home, the ‘Sweets Round’ circuit, which had been published but a few days before. This was previously occupied by the ‘Frimley Fuel Allotments’ circuit, which we had done back in February 2013, but this circuit had been archived and a new one had taken its place.

So off we went to Frimley. Of necessity, the new circuit followed much the same route as the old, but was very different in character. We found 15 of the 16 caches in the circuit, but one defeated us. As we arrived at that one, two people – and a small white dog – were searching in the undergrowth. They were geocachers – Secovians and lisawardle – accompanied by Baz the dog. We all did some more fruitless hunting and then went our separate ways; we’ve checked the logs for this cache since and it seems that about half the people who look for it don’t find it … so we don’t feel quite so bad about this miss. And it’s always nice to meet fellow geocachers. We also took the chance to find a cache we’d missed earlier in the year, ‘Smiley Balls 3’. This time we found it – yay! – and just afterwards we again met up with Baz and his cacher friends; they were doing the circuit in the opposite direction to us.

lisawardle, Baz, and Secovians

lisawardle, Baz, and Secovians

Overall, a highly successful series and a pleasant morning’s walk. I think we’ve got a bit better at finding caches. And we’ve also learnt to use paths to get to our destination, rather than the ‘shortest cross-country route’ techniques we were using earlier in the year, which does work but does also involve quite a bit of scrambling up and down steep slopes and through bushes!

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November 30 Day 336 Caches Found 4 Cumulative Total 393 (+1 bonus, 2 cacher’s meets)

Ambarrow Court is an 8.7 hectare (21.5 acres), Local Nature Reserve located in Little Sandhurst between the A321 and the Reading to Guildford railway line. Much of the site was once managed as a Victorian country estate, although the original house of 1855 has since been demolished, parts of the foundations are still visible. This site contains many habitats including ancient woodland, hazel coppice, marshes, ponds and pools, birch coppice and meadow. Notable plants include bluebells and associated spring woodland flowers, cuckoo flower and yellow rattle in the meadow.

Of course on a dreary November afternoon much of the above isn’t there but it was an enjoyable stroll nonetheless!

Ambarrow Court (or Ambarrow Woods as it’s locally known) hosts 4 caches of varying types.

Most of the caches we complete are standard i.e follow the co-ordinates and find the container. At Ambarrow there are two such caches including a tree-climb (one of the few successful tree climbs we’ve attempted).

There is also a multi – where the co-ordinates lead you to a location where you write down a number, which leads you to another a location, another number which leads to another location, another number etc… This particular multi was set by the local Scouts using Orienteering posts as the ‘number’ source. It took about 15 minutes to walk the whole route.

The fourth cache we found in Ambarrow Woods was a puzzle cache. Here the co-ordinates are given the form of a puzzle which you have to solve to derive the co-ordinates. This puzzle was based on Thomas the Tank Engine! The puzzle would have been easy to solve if we had been 6 or 7… sadly those days are well past and Wikipedia was a useful reference tool!

A great hour or so caching – and a great variety too!

November 2 Day 308 Caches Found 10 Cumulative Total 389 (+1 bonus, +2 cachers’ meets)

The summer Sun and dryness has finally gone. Paths are wet and muddy and don’t really inspire great walks. So we looked around and found a number of caches around a housing estate in Church Crookham. The housing estate had road names associated with Daphne Du Maurier her life and works. Apparently she rented a house in the area when she wrote one of her more famous works “Rebecca”. (Indeed 2 of the caches were close to Daphne Drive and Du Maurier Close!)

Like many estates it has numerous pathways criss-crossing the roads which is where many of the caches were placed. We also included a couple of caches outside of the estate which required a certain amount of stealth as it required pulling a rope to lower a cache from 20 feet in a tree! All this while standing in a bend in a road while traffic was whizzing by! During our caching history we’ve seen many different types of container – the photo below shows a new one for us – as was the re-using of old Pritt Sticks!

We loaded up about 19 caches to find, but only in the end found 10. The high number of ‘muggle’ dog-walkers and a local football match impeded our progress. Still we’ve left enough to make another visit worthwhile.

Spot the Cache and Ropes!

Spot the Cache and Ropes!

Nifty log container!

Nifty log container!

PS We took the three trackables with us that we’d picked up in Milton Keynes and placed them in caches we visited! Good luck with your future adventures!

October 23 – Lackey Crossing tag

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here again.

This travel bug wants to ‘Travel from cache to cache and visit all the continents.’ and has been doing so since August 2012. Since then, it’s been round much of its home country, Slovakia, made a quick visit to Gdansk, in Poland, and has now landed in England where we found it at Bletchley Park.

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October 22 – Travel Bug Dog Tag

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

The mission for this much-travelled bug … “On our 30th anniversary, Sep 3rd, 2013, My wife and I will travel to where the travel bug rests to retrieve it. Keep it moving, Don’t want to end up going to Dunsmuir Calif to pick it up !” This is a nifty idea for a travel bug mission; maybe we’ll try something similar.

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The travel bug was released in late 2008 at ‘25th Anniversary Cache’ in California (appropriate, if you do the arithmetic!) and has notched up 22000 miles in the intervening 5 years. Somewhere along the way, it lost whatever it was originally attached to, and is now joined onto a cardboard heart. I’m not sure that the owner, ‘peaceofmind’, was around to collect it on the appointed day as we found it soon afterwards at Bletchley Park.

October 21 – Moonwalk geocoin

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Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

This geocoin wants to ‘walk the world’ and has been doing so since setting off in early July. Since then, it’s been round much of the Netherlands, a quick trip to Antwerp, in Belgium, the across the Channel to England where we found it at Bletchley Park. Keep on walking, little geocoin!

October 20 Day 295 Caches Found 5 Cumulative Total 379 (+1 bonus, +2 cachers’ meets)

 

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

It was our last day in Milton Keynes and we decided to take in some of the sights before returning home.

First up was an iconic location in MK.  And there was a cache nearby – ‘GC10: The Concrete Cows’.   It also seemed a most suitable place to drop off our Geokret, ‘Der Champion’. 

The Concrete Cows

The Concrete Cows

The GC10 series was placed to commemorate 10 years of geocaching and includes 10 iconic locations, such as the Giant’s Causeway, White Cliffs of Dover, Edinburgh Castle, and … the cows!   Well, we found the cows easily enough, and then we searched for the cache, and searched, searched, and searched again.  We couldn’t find it.  Curses.  (Addendum: the cache was indeed missing and has since been temporarily disabled.)

Oh well, on to the next cache. 

Once again we searched, searched, and searched again.  And we couldn’t find it, again.  And the rain was beginning to fall.  We hardly ever fail to find two caches in a row, and this was not going well.  Perhaps we just hadn’t engaged our caching brains? 

We moved on again, to the remains of a Roman villa (we didn’t know there was one in MK, but a friendly muggle dog walker had mentioned  it) and to another cache.  This became a ‘Did Not Attempt’ rather than a failure, as we didn’t fancy a tree climb and a walk through a nettle-field, but time was passing, the weather was not so good, and we hadn’t laid hands on a single cache.

Roman Villa Remains

Roman Villa Remains

We decided on a change of scene: it must get better (mustn’t it?). 

Off we went to central MK, where there are a number of public artworks, along with nearby caches.  Our luck changed, and the rain eased.  We found three caches very quickly and easily and one was a suitable sized container that could take the Geokret.  A laurel hedge was not quite the iconic location we had in mind… but it’s on the road, travelling again.

MK Artworks I

MK Artworks I

The last cache we found was close to Milton Keynes station, so we diverted slightly and grabbed one of the ‘Sidetracked’ series that are spread around the country near stations.

Besides, the rain was threatening again and thunder was rumbling in the distance … It was time to stop.  We’d seen some varied sights after a disastrous start and it was time to stop while we were (just) ahead. 

MK Artworks II

MK Artworks II