Too Hot for Autumn

Too Hot for Autumn

Another day of trying to rediscover the elusive caching mojo. This time I walked two series near to home with Daughterus Minimus. In the morning, we were also joined by BingBongLong.

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!

Anyway, on to the second circuit, with BingBongLong having scuttled off to do something else for the afternoon.

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 :

Finbarr Saunders

Finbarr Saunders

I am truly sorry, but every time I go caching anywhere near Cockayne Hatley I am immediately reminded of the Viz character Finbarr Saunders and his double entendres. Fnarr fnarr, gnumph, snortle !

I’m glad I’ve got that out of my system. I just had to get it off my chest.

Sorry, I’ll stop.

I’ve been suffering from what can only be described as a loss of mojo recently. I think I may have dropped it one day whilst walking around the Hatley Heart Attack series. So generally over the summer I’ve been rather half-hearted about going out caching at all, and have only really done any serious amount on days (or weekends) when I was able to share it with someone else, such as the Valenciennes Mega, the Geolympix and the North Wales Mega. I’ve had a number of weekends where I just couldn’t be bothered with it. This was starting to grate a bit, so I decided this weekend that I’d take advantage of the ladies of the house being away to see whether I could get my mojo back.

It wasn’t there on Saturday, and it looked like Sunday would also be a no-no until after 11 am, when the sky suddenly started to brighten up a bit, and I decided that if I wasn’t going out this afternoon I might as well jack it in altogether. So I decided to go and give it a go, having already lost a third of the available daylight, but hey, never mind. Me and Dr Evil headed off in a generally eastward direction, destined for a couple of newish series over in Hatley-Heart-Attack-land. My original plan had been to attempt four series here, but there was no way I was going to fit in that many, what with me not leaving home until 11:30.

The first series was at Cockayne Hatley, although it’s actually named after nearby Wrestlingworth. This is a circuit I have definitely done before, on May 30th, 2015. On that day I had Izzy with me. Obviously the owner got bored of that previous series and archived them, and they were replaced in short order by someone else.

The new circuit is a roughly square series of 26 caches, with a couple of extras on a little offshoot at the north-west corner. It took me just over two hours to do them, so you can tell it was fairly easy going. I was wearing a ski jacket over a t-shirt and this proved to be far too warm, but I survived and was soon back at the car.

It had turned into a very nice day for taking photos.

After this my next move was to head towards a series in Steeple Morden, taking a stop off at Guilden Morden on the way to deal with a bit of unfinished business. On a previous day around the Heart Attack I’d ended up here with Ami after our day’s walk, and we did the church micro there, but Ami really needed the toilet, and there was nowhere to go, so we just went home instead, despite it being quite early in the day. It was three days before Christmas though, and we’d been out all day. It meant we’d left a perfectly good Village Sign and another Church Micro though, and they’ve been burning (well, smouldering) on the map ever since. Both were easy.

After taking totally the wrong road out of there I eventually ended up making my way around to the Steeple Morden Mosey series – another quick couple-of-hours kind of a series of 21 caches with a random church micro thrown in for good measure. These took me about a hundred minutes to do, and I was happy with that because it left me just enough time to do a couple of multis in the village of Steeple Morden too. I could have walked to these from the loop but decide not to for some reason. Anyway, I moved the car down into the village. I was expecting to have to do the research for the multis before finding them, but it turns out I’d previously managed to google the solutions to both, so I already had the final coordinates in the GPS, and both were quick finds, which was a bonus.

By the time I’d done all that it was past 5 pm and I had an appointment back home with the rest of the family and some dinner.

On the way home there was time for a photo of a rather lovely double rainbow, although the photo I took doesn’t really do it justice.

I would count finding 54 caches in under 5 hours as recovering the mojo somewhat, so I was happy with it.

The caches I found were :