June 10 : Blackwater River Path

Yateley, Sandhurst

One of the many Fishing Lakes

It is quite unusual to find new caches, indeed high quality caches, within 2 miles from home.

Somehow a 5 cache series (BRPW 1-5 – Blackwater River Path Walk) had sneaked under our radar. As had 6 other caches close to them. The series circumnavigates a number of fisherman’s lakes which until a few years ago was private land. Since then a small part of the land has been made into a small car park and also some allotments.

Yateley, Sandhurst

Allotments

Interestingly we looked at placing caches at this location, but never quite got round to getting approval from the land owner, but in all fairness, our caches would have very inferior to those that had been placed.

And so well before 9am, we parked the car, and looked for our first two caches. These were a short distance away from the fishing lakes. One cache camouflaged in a tree, the other, magnetic, overlooking…a sewage plant. Yes ! The wonderfully named Pooh’s Place was a magnetic cache attached to an disused gate, overlooking the ever-turning blades of sewage ponds. Lovely!

Good job you can’t smell photographs!

And so to the lakes. Our first cache was a travel bug hotel. We had two travel bugs with us – a Toy Story Woody (Woody’s Escape) and a metallic Africa. The cache led us a merry dance. The title of the cache included the word ‘Waterside’ but with a lake one side of the footpath, and a fabulous ‘cache friendly’ tree near a river on the other..we looked at the wrong ‘Waterside’ for a very long time.

Eventually we found the cache. Smaller than many travel bug hotels we’ve found and as we couldn’t squash ‘Woody’ in, we deposited ‘Africa’ and walked on.

Yateley, Sandhurst

Onward, onward

The fishing lakes were being well used. Or at least probably were. Many of the anglers were packing up after a night’s fishing, others were slowly waking up and the remainder…well let’s just the snoring would keep the fish away! We tiptoed (in walking boots!) past and in our quietness failed to notice the stump hosting our next find. So we walked back and found the cache just out of what would have been a slumbering angler’s eyeline.

The caches we had found so far were all good, but were not the main event as the next 5 caches were the BRPW series. 4 of these were ‘bird box’ caches, and each had to be opened in a different way. Does the lid move ? What about the pole at the front – does that turn ? What if we press this ? All good fun!

The exception was well concealed cache in a hollowed out branch attached very discreetly to a small trunk.

Away from the road we had the paths and lakes to ourselves and we barely saw anyone for the majority of the walk – but what we did see were hundreds of dragonflies. We stopped several times to take pictures, but taking a picture of a moving dragonfly is very, very difficult.

Yateley, sandhurst

Stay still while we photograph you!

Towards the end of the route, we think our navigation went wrong as the path became narrower and narrower. And nettlier and nettlier. The geo-pole was exceeding useful in cutting a way through to the final two caches. These two were hidden in wood, one found easily. The other, less so. Being the last cache of the day, and no DNF so far for the day, we wanted to find them all and spent 15 minutes looking in totally the wrong place.

Find it we did, and a fine morning’s caching was complete. None of the caches were film canisters under a pile of sticks. Each provided a little moment of euphoria as the cache container was extricated from its natural looking hide. A fine series and well worth the favourite points we awarded.

Here are a few of the caches we found …

Yateley, SandhurstYateley, SandhurstYateley, Sandhurst


One sad note, and one we are very ashamed of.

We took the trackable “Woody’s Escape” out with us. Somehow it didn’t come back. We must have dropped it somewhere on route. We have searched our home, our bags, our car and the car park, all to no avail. Fingers crossed some cacher will find it and re-start it on its journey. To the owner of ‘Woody’ we are very, very sorry.

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February 22 Day 53 Caches Found 11 Cumulative Total 65 (+1 bonus)

Blackbushe Airport

Blackbushe Airport

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Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.

Our latest caching destination was Blackbushe Airport.
– Although it’s quite close to where we live, it’s not somewhere we’ve visited often.
– There are a number of caches here.
– The weather wasn’t great so it was easy to give up if we weren’t enjoying it.

We parked near the control tower and got out of the car. My, it was cold! That base layer, two fleeces, cagoule, hat, gloves and scarf were all good choices, as were the thick walking socks. I only wished I’d extended the base layer to my legs as one pair of trousers just weren’t enough. Mr Hg137 was similarly swaddled against the cold and we set off, watching the occasional flake of snow driven by the wind.

We found eleven of the twelve caches we sought. Many, given the location, were named after aircraft. The first we found was ‘Spitfire’ – appropriate because a squadron of Spitfires was based at RAF Hartfordbridge during World War II – also appropriate for me because my father worked on engineering and testing Spitfire components at that time. RAF Hartfordbridge was renamed after the war and became Blackbushe Airport.

Bushe_cache1 Bushe_cache2
The caches were varied, including film canisters, Tupperware containers, a largeish ammunition box, and a very clever wooden thing (not giving too much away, here). These were hidden in a variety of hiding places, including, trees, bushes, heather, and rather a lot of gorse. And there was the usual very friendly dog, an elderly Labrador who appeared just as we stopped for a warming coffee, no doubt hoping for some food. We found two travel bugs during the morning; Mr Hg137 will post on those very soon.

This part of Yateley Common was new to us, and an interesting place. (Geocaching does take you to interesting/unexpected places.) Signs of the old airfield are all around, and planes are taking off nearby, yet it’s a popular piece of open land.

After a good morning’s caching we headed home for a nice hot drink …

January 1 Sandhurst/Yateley Day 1 Caches Found 3 Cumulative Total 3

January 1 Sandhurst/Yateley Day 1 Caches Found 3 Cumulative Total 3

There are many ways to find a cache. During the year we will explain each that we use and we start with two : Traditional and Multi-Cache.
The first, Traditional, is where a published set of co-ordinates takes you to the exact spot where the cache is hidden.

The second, Multi-Cache, is where the published set of co-ordinates takes you to a place where there is a supplementary clue(s). Using these clue(s) will yield the co-ordinates for the actual cache.
Our first successful cache of the year was a Multi-Cache (our first!). The first set of co-ordinates took us to St Michael and All Angels Church in Sandhurst. Using a phone number on the Welcome Board, we very quickly found a nano magnetic cache yards from the Church.
Nano caches are very small, not much bigger than a fingernail, and only contain a small rolled sheet of paper as a log. Once signed the log is re-rolled back into the cache – this is very fiddly!
Our second cache of the day was a traditional find, a micro cache (film canister size) . Sited on the outskirts of Yateley’s Sean Devereux Park, it was a fairly quick and easy find. We didn’t explore Sean Devereux Park (you can read about Sean Devereux here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Devereux ) but the sporting facilities in the Park looked extensive.

Our third cache was in the middle of a small wood close to the B3732 on the outskirts of Yateley and was a large Tupperware container containing lots of small treasures. Two of the treasures were ‘trackables’ – where a previous cacher had sent a trackable item on a mission. We retrieved the trackables – but without internet access – were unable to find out their missions until we returned home.
So a good start to the New Year – one day gone, and three caches found… our quest was started!

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