February 3 : A Cold Camberley Constitutional

Camberley Scultpure

It was one of those cold winter’s days. The sun was nowhere to be seen. There was a coldish breeze blowing, and the clouds were periodically producing light drizzle.

Not the most inspiring day to go cachimg, so we chose somewhere local to us, Camberley Town Centre. About 1.5 miles from where we live, this seemed ideal. If the weather got slightly worse, we could shelter in shops; if the weather got really bad we could retreat to the car and get home very, very quickly.

Fortunately we didn’t need either escape route as we undertook the Camberley Constitutional Cache. This multi-cache took us to 11 different locations near the centre of Camberley. We started just to the south of the Town Centre and had to acquire information about a Grade II listed building associated with Sir Edwin Lutyens. Now without meaning to disrespect Camberley, it is not one of the places one would naturally associate with Lutyens. A truly unexpected find !

Edwin Lutyens House

We headed North towards the Centre, passing under the railway (waypoint 2), and walked to the Station.
Here we paused, to collect our first cache of the day. Another multi, and one where we had to count bicycle racks, platforms and doors to calculate the co-ordinates for the final hiding place. Although the cache was slightly off our Consitutional route, it was only a couple of minutes out of our way. (We discovered Camberley has an inordinate number of green telecoms boxes.. and this hide was the first of three green boxes we were going to cache behind!)

We resumed our Camberley Constitutional walk by passing the Theatre, Council Offices and Museum (a further three waypoints here). Then our route turned in toward the Town Centre, where we had a store name to verify (here, we almost miscounted the letters on the faded sign).

Up to now our route had been quiet, a bit bustly, but then we had to walk along the A30. A major traffic route, and the noise level increased substantially. We collected another waypoint before crossing to the road to Camberley’s War Memorial.

This stands outside the main gates of the Royal Military Academy (Sandhurst). (Interestingly the rear entrance to the RMA is in Sandhurst, Berkshire yards from our house, but the main official entrance is in Camberley, Surrey !). At the War Memorial we had to find the lengths of various names, and derive a set of co-ordinates for our third multi of the day. We made a school-boy error here, as the cache owner had given a checksum for the final co-ordinates for the cache, but we calculated the check-sum on the numbers we had found. We double and indeed triple checked our numbers (to no avail) before heading off to a possible location where we did find the cache! It was only after emailing the cache owner afterwards did he point out our inability to read instructions!

Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst

We had one more waypoint on the Camberley Constitutional to find on the A30. It was at a Church where a standard cache was also hidden (and if truth be told we took a bit too long finding the cache – unearthing cold, wet leaf litter on a freezing day was not our best strategy). The Camberley Constitutional route took us past several churches – some modern, some much older. St Tarcisius Church was erected 100 years ago to commemorate those soldiers trained at the RMA who were killed during the First World War.

St Tarcisius Church

Our Constitutional cache then took us away from the A30 (passing the Sports Centre – another waypoint) and through a park. We took the wrong exit out of the park (we mis-interpreted the term ‘diagonally across’ far too literally) and ended up heading back towards the A30!

Camberley Sculpture

Whoops! We realised out mistake and soon found ourselves collecting the final waypoints on our walk. A swift calculation later and we arrived at the cache! Although the container and its hiding place were not special the tour around Camberley certainly was. Caching really is educational!

We had one more cache to collect. We had solved a puzzle cache before we left home (part of the Surrey School Days series). We correctly identified a person who had been educated in Surrey, before becoming famous in a particular film role, and is still on our TV screens today). We drove 2 miles around the residential streets of Camberley, but a shorter route – had Mr Hg137 turned the car around ! – was only 0.5 miles!

A very entertaining, if cold, afternoon in Camberley. Three multi-caches, one puzzle cache, one standard cache and two very cold cachers! And the rain kept off too!


December 31 : Camberley – FTF !!!

Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Late breaking news … we had assumed that our caching for 2016 was over … but some time after 8pm, Mr Hg137 spotted that a new cache had been placed in Camberley AND THAT IT HAD NOT BEEN FOUND. By just after 9pm we had assembled a range of equipment – mostly torches – though it did look a little as if we were going out housebreaking – and set out in the geocar for the next county, and a nearby town. There weren’t many people about, and the roads were spookily quiet – wonder where everyone was?



Very soon we had parked and were training a multiplicity of torches onto the first clue … and then the second … then the third. We did the sums in the dark by the light of a torch, and found they didn’t add up to the checksum. We re-read the description, realised we had misread them in our haste, and did them again, correctly this time. A further walk in the dark, some rummaging around GZ, and we had found it! ‘Football Micro Series 010 – Camberley Town‘ – only our second ever ‘first to find’ (FTF) We are rubbish at night caching, multi-caches, AND the kind of location described in the hint, so we were more than pleasantly surprised.
It only remained to retrace our steps to the car. Part way back, the ‘hound of the Baskervilles’ (an Alsatian) appearing from nowhere to bark at us. Scary!

We were back home by just after 10pm, still buoyed up by adrenalin. A fantastic end to a year’s geocaching! Happy New Year to everyone, and to geocachers in particular!

June 4 : Camberley, The Maultway

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.

Maultway, Camberley

The Maultway caches are along here

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.

Deer on the Army Ranges

Deer on the Army Ranges

January 30 : Crocked in Camberley

One of the advantages of blogging about geocaching, is that our blogs are read, in the main, by geocachers and we in turn read their blogs.

Would this Swan help us to find a cache ?

Would this Swan help us to find a cache ?

We follow with interest the adventures of Robbinn (and CockRobin) whose blog you can link to at the side of this panel. Although we’ve never met them, we know that they live locally to us and when they blogged about a great new mini-series in Camberley – we knew we’d like it too!

The series CDW (Camberley Dog Walk) consists of 5 caches in a residential part of Camberley just north of the M3. We were expecting the M3’s noise to spoil the walk, but in fact it was barely audible at all.

We parked, as most people do, at CDW#1. The cache was hidden at a road junction, and the obvious hiding place was quickly scanned for the cache. We were expecting a small nano from the description warning “take tweezers” and thus is was a shock to eventually something much larger!

First cache of the day!

First cache of the day!

We walked on to CDW#2 passing some expensive looking houses arriving at a salt/sand bin, which given the warm winter is rather a superfluous piece of street furniture. The cache hint mentioned ‘sticky sand’, so we went looking for a stick near the sand bin. Lots of sticks lay in the nearby hedgerow. We picked each of them up, looked all over, trying to find the cache. Sadly we didn’t! The bin was close to several houses, and after 15 minutes searching we thought it best to move on, before suspicions were aroused. Clearly we missed the cache, but we’re sure on another day we’ll find it within seconds.

We then had a longish walk to CDW#3. The properties we passed were slightly less salubrious, but the wood and lake (Watchetts Pond) we arrived at were well worth the walk.

Surrounding the lake was a footpath and quite mature trees. There were two caches lakeside, one either side of the lake. The first CDW#3 was in a clearing. There was a fallen log/trunk, several trees with hidey-holes, several trees with no holes at all. There were also two concrete cubes which provided useful seating. (Most people we think sit on these cubes and feed the swans, which incidentally didn’t help us… I guess because we had nothing to feed them with!). We searched the trees, we searched the logs, we searched the cubes. Again to no avail. The clearing was not overlooked by houses, so we could search to our hearts-content.. poking here, prodding there, peeling bark here, lifting leaves there… where was this cache ? Eventually, and reluctantly, we gave up.

Watchetts Pond

Watchetts Pond

CDW#4 was a delight for several reasons – firstly we found it! Secondly the container was special. If you read RobbInn’s blog, and our title, and the cache hint, you know what to look for… but the moment the cache is found makes it very special. We, like RobbInn are not going to post a picture…you’ll have to wait for our end-of year caches for that!

We returned to CDW#3 and another look in the clearing. Had we missed anything ? After another 5 minutes fruitless searching we abandoned and headed for CDW#5.

CDW#5 should have been easy. It was in an alleyway in a bush. Quite straightforward. However, the bush was adjacent to a house and garden… and the lady of the house was gardening (in January ! Really! ) right next to GZ. No point searching – we moved on.

Last cache of the day!

Last cache of the day!

Our journey back to the car took us past the Camberley Cricket Club where another cache awaited us. Fortunately a quick find to raise our flagging spirits at the end of a disappointing morning’s caching trip. (3 of 6 caches found)

The only advantage, if there is one, to so many DNFs, is that we have a small cluster to come and re-attempt on another occasion.

That’s 2 poor caching trips in a row.. are we losing our caching skills or will February bring better luck. Lets hope so.

November 28th – Rolling Stones, Camberley


No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
November! – Thomas Hood.

November – a month when invariably both Mr and Mrs Hg137 have work commitments on at least 2 and maybe 3 weekends.

November a month when, because of the weather and these commitments we rarely go caching.

Our next section of the Thames Path was to be the iconic London section, and we really wanted clear skies for great photos. We waited, and waited and waited but November, being November, threw wind and rain, and darkness.

And then we realised we hadn’t been caching for a whole month. What days were left were due to be poor so we settled on abandoning the Thames for a local mini-series named after members of the Rolling Stones.

Somewhere in the Heath are the Rolling Stones!

Somewhere in the Heath are the Rolling Stones!

The series was only a couple of miles away, and we could walk it as a figure-of-eight returning to the car if the promised rain arrived early. Fortunately it didn’t so we able to visit all band members (Richards, Jagger, Wyman, Wood, and Watts) as well as an intriguingly named cache “You’re going to need a pin(e)”.

Indeed this was the first cache we found, and somehow we managed to park right by the cache! I’m sure our experienced caching friends have seen this type before, and it was no surprise to find the log encased within a pine cone!

Can you spot the Geo-car ?

Can you spot the Geo-car ?

Then onto the Rolling Stones series. Stones played a key part in the series – sometimes the cache log was in a stone, other times well concealed under stones. Once a cache was under a large piece of concrete!

Stone !

Stone !

Stone !

Stone !

Stone Me ! Its not a stone!

Stone Me ! Its not a stone!

The terrain was sandy heathland with moderately densely planted conifers and some deciduous trees which had lost most of their leaves. Heathland tends to dry out relatively quickly, so the going was slightly soft rather than ‘muddy’. Pine forests are notoriously difficult to navigate through and we grateful for printing out some simple footpath maps before we left. (We chose Thunderforest OpenCycleMap from the map selection tool in the top right corner of the ‘View Larger Map’ from the geocaching screen.)

Trees, leaves.. but is this an obvious footpath ?

Trees, leaves.. but is this an obvious footpath ?

And so after a quick journey around the circuit we arrived at the last cache, Watts. Having found all the other caches we were quietly confident of an easy find here! Our confidence was shattered as after 20 minutes we were still looking around fruitlessly.
Many of the trees didn’t lend themselves to hidey-holes (pine trees don’t). The clue suggested reading the title (“Watts”) – yet there was no electrical equipment around. Having reviewed logs and blogs on returning, we think our search was not wide enough!

Still the series did give us some caching “Satisfaction”, although the last cache did cause us a “(Nineteenth) Nervous Breakdown” !

February 16 Day 47 Caches Found 13 Cumulative Total 54 (+1 bonus)

February 16 Day 47 Caches Found 13 Cumulative Total 54 (+1 bonus)
At last a weekend of fair weather, but after some recent rain, we decidedly to stay local, and complete a series entitled (Frimley) Fuel Allotments. This was series of about 15 caches, though some had been withdrawn, as well as a couple of other caches set by other cachers.
Two hundred years ago, fuel allotments were a common feature of rural England. Almost every village had its plot of land set aside to enable the poor to cut turf or wood for their domestic fires. As better fuel became available in the form of coal and coke many of these allotments were made over for cultivation and that is the use with which most of us associate the word.
The area is now surrounded by Pine Ridge Golf Course.

We made a slight mistake when we left the car, as mistakenly went searching for the second nearest cache rather than one within yards of where we were standing. As we blundered away around the footpaths, we passed a young lady with a bike standing by a tree.
“Are you ok” we asked…”No I’m looking for a container”.
Both Mrs HG137 and I walked on but thought that this was odd and wondered whether she was a cacher. We proceeded and eventually found our first cache “Hog the Log” overlooking the Pine Ridge Golf Course. Just as we were about to replace the cache, who should appear but the lady on the bike. She WAS a fellow cacher (Triple AAAs). She took the Tea Cup travel bug, and she cycled away.

Triple AAA's

Triple AAA’s

For the next few caches we attempted, Triple AAA was at the cache site (Ground Zero) as we arrived. After about 4 caches she left the trail and we continued. The trail circumnavigated the Pine Ridge golf course, through sometimes boggy paths but in general the paths were surprisingly dry.
Frustratingly we failed to find one cache (not part of the Fuel Allotments series), but all others were successful.
Much of the second part of the trail was punctuated by dogs who took great pleasure in following us, and not their owners.
Deep in the woods we passed a memorial stone (a large Sarsen stone) remembering Daniel, who died aged 24 in February 2002. His anniversary had been marked with a recent bouquet.
Our final three caches of the day, involved criss-crossing the forest with some severe hill climbs, finishing with the cache we should have started with, Fuel Allotments 1.
Great series, as most of the caches were plastic boxes, with lots of goodies to find.

The Woodland around Frimley Fuel Allotments