It was the first day after putting the clocks back, and therefore we’d had an extra hour in bed, but now, of course, it’s completely dark before 5 pm. If only we could have been bothered to get up earlier!
Anyway, BingBongLong suggested the night before that we could go and do the newer part of the PAT series, just to the south of Thornborough. I’d originally planned to start my day with Izzy over at the RAG series at Godington, but if I’m being honest it’s likely that Izzy wouldn’t have wanted to do the shorter loop at Thornborough second, after doing a longer loop in the morning, so I agreed to meet up with BBL in Thornborough at 9am and to do the shorter loop first.
It was quite easy going, albeit very warm for the time of year. I’d dressed in my big caching jacket (a ski jacket) and was ridiculously warm. I could easily have walked around in just a t-shirt.
We found all of the caches on this circuit apart from one. An undoubted highlight of the loop was the bridge to nowhere. A wonderfully crafted little bridge with styles at each end which, from a distance, appeared to cross nothing at all. It was only when you got quite close that you realised there was actually a stream with very steep and slippery banks.
About three-quarters of the way round we bumped into two other cachers we knew coming the other way. They appraised us of the relatively easy state of all the caches we’d got left, and we told them about the one we’d missed. Later on in the day, we had to beg their help for the last one of the series – we had a facepalm moment when they explained. They embarrassed us further by finding the one we’d missed. Hmmm!
We parked up at Godington church at around 12:30, which gave us around 4 hours to walk 11km and find (supposedly) 40 caches. This meant we had to set a time limit, but thankfully pretty much all of them were straightforward finds. Several things that got in our way and attempted to slow us down, including one cache supposedly in a big rotten tree, where we couldn’t see anything sensible at all; a field with a herd of cows in, which we had to try to avoid, and then shoo away, and finally make a dash across the field hoping they wouldn’t follow us; one cache that had been disabled when I uploaded to my GPS, but which I discovered when we got back to the car had been re-enabled, only about 30 yards away from the original. OK, this didn’t slow us down, but we could have done it if my GPS had been up to date.
Generally though, it was a good walk.
When we got back to the car I had just enough time to take a photo of the church while it was still light. While I was taking a photo of the church I was approached by a local woman (the owner of a nearby farm) and we had a long chat about caching. She’s noticed a few people parking up for long periods outside the church and was a bit curious as to what it was all about. She seemed fine with the idea that all the caches are placed in unobtrusive places next to the footpaths, and she seemed mainly concerned about the fact that my car had been parked there for nearly 5 hours, which is rare in Godington. She was wondering if it had been nicked and dumped there, or if I’d had an accident while walking. It was pleasant to meet a local agricultural type who seemed friendly and welcoming. I have to say that my experiences with agricultural types over to the north and east of home have generally not been so welcoming.
After we left we had time to do a couple of drive-bys in the vicinity before total darkness descended.
Anyway, over the course of the day, Izzy and me walked about 19km and logged 59 finds, which is about as much as it’s possible to manage at the moment, what with the short hours of daylight and the fact that there aren’t many big stashes of caches close to home any more.
The caches we found on the day were :
- #02 PATrick Wisdom
- #03 PATrick Troughton
- #04 PAT Cash
- #05 Father PAT Noise
- #07 PAT Nevin
- #08 PATricia Tree
- #09 PATvinsuo
- #10 PATpong
- #11 Saint PATrick
- #12 PATterdale
- #13 PATrick Head
- #14 PAT Archer
- #15 PATrick Branch
- #16 PATrick Stewart
- #17 PATricia Field
- #18 PATrick Kielty
- #19 PATricia Routledge
- #20 PATty Sheehan
- PAT 22
- PAT 42