Wild in Woburn.jpgWhat can you do when it’s Thursday afternoon, everyone is out, and you have a minging cold. Go caching, that’s what ! There is no point in mooching around at home feeling sorry for yourself when there’s a whole world full to tupperware to be discovered.

So I planned a quick trip around the Woburn Animal Series in (funnily enough) Woburn. To be more precise, they are to the south of Woburn, spread over about 5 miles round a bunch of fields of the agricultural variety.

I parked in the middle of Woburn village, leaving me a half mile hike before starting, and paid for parking. I then realised that all the time I had spent lovingly loading waypoints onto the Garmin was wasted. Why ? Because I left the flaming thing on the windowsill at home instead of chucking it in the bag. Doh ! Let’s just hope that I can get a 3G signal on the phone all afternoon or it might be a very short afternoon. In the Car Park, the signal was fine, so I decided to give it a go and see how far I could get. As well as the iPhone I was armed with a pocketful of tissues, several hankies, a couple of Tracker bars and a Lucozade Sport (other isotonic sports drinks are available…).

And so to the caching…..

The series proved to be fairly well laid out and the walk is fairly pleasant, but it is just fields, mainly, so don’t go here expecting a great view.

Most of the caches also were pretty easy to find. I missed a couple from the series because they are marked inactive. As it turns out, one is actually there and has been rehoused on the same feature. It has been in an inactive state for several months now, so I am assuming that the owner is not maintaining the series at all.

First up was Woburn Animal Series – 7) Antelope – a fairly easy find in a tree. Second up was Woburn Animal Series – 6) Lion and then Woburn Animal Series – 5) Camel – both of which were in hedges. The hint was off on one of them so I spent ages looking on the wrong side of the gate.

Now time for someone else’s cache. Woburn’s Three Mansions (Beds) was quite tricky to find. I had the coords around 15 feet from where I actually found it. This cache claims to contain some coordinates for a puzzle cache back in Woburn somewhere, but in practice there was nothing in there. I have subsequently gleaned the coordinates from someone else, and lost them, and got them again, and lost them again, so I don’t foresee me collecting the puzzle anytime soon, I am obviously jinxed.

So back to the animals. Woburn Animal Series – 4) Zebra was a nice little one next to a fence and Woburn Animal Series – 3) Monkey was under a rock near a hedge. Woburn Animal Series – 1) Black Bear was under the roots of a tree. It took me a little while to do this one as someone parked up a white van on the road just around the time I arrived and then spent an eternity offloading a couple of dogs before walking off in the direction I was going. He wasn’t going quickly and I was in two minds whether to walk past him on the way to Benjamin’s Cache or not. I chose not as I didn’t want him to catch me while I was looking underneath the huge lump of concrete which is its home.

And with that it was time to turn around and start walking back again. Woburn Animal Series – 15) Ape was an easy little magnetic on a gate by the side of the road.

Woburn Animal Series – 14) Rhino was the first “proper” cache of the series – a reasonable sized clip lock box inside a tree. It was easy to find but a bit more tricky to walk to than some of the others. There is an official footpath across the field there, but it had been harvested and ploughed, so there was nothing you could actually call easy walking. Good job I had the walking boots on.

So on to Woburn Animal Series – 12) Bison, which was in a ditch and under a rock. A number of people have marked this not found recently, and I seem to remember it took me a while, but mainly because there were a lot of rocks for it to be under. I suspect these guys have just missed it.

Woburn Animal Series – 11) Wolf  was quick to find but a weird location. It is near the remains of a rusting supermarket trolley. How the hell did that get all the way out here ? Well placed on a bridge and in good condition was Woburn Animal Series – 10) Tiger.

Woburn Animal Series – 9) Elephant  is another “proper” cache – a great big ammo can under a pile of logs. Finally on this walk was Woburn Animal Series – 8) Giraffe. This was quite tricky to reach as it was quite high up in a tree.

Whilst walking around I also noticed Maryland Cookie, which required a bit of a hike off course and actually could have been done somewhat earlier in the walk, had I noticed it. No bother. It was one of those cunning little pots hidden around a kissing gate. When I arrived it wasn’t very well hidden, so I buried it a bit deeper.

I had a little time left before needing to go home so I scooted over to the woods beneath Bow Brickhill to try to find a couple more. 16 in one afternoon just isn’t enough, so more are definitely required. Give Peas a Chance is a cheeky little puzzle which looks much harder than it actually is. Anyway, the cache was spot on at the calculated coordinates so I decided to try another a bit further into the woods. Max’s Marvellous Cache was not difficult to find. Much easier than I thought given the heavy tree cover.

And by this time it was getting on towards 5pm and it was getting a little dark, plus I was getting a bit tired after now around 7 miles of walking with a stinking cold. So I gave up and went home. Anyway, the iPhone was pretty much out of juice………..


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