Morborne Monster

Morborne Monster

After deciding not to go back to the Winter Geolympix site on the drive home the previous evening, I spent a portion of the evening deciding where to come today. I settled for returning to the area just to the west of Peterborough to have a go at two completely new series there. I’d been to this area at least twice previously ( see Yaxley to Conington and Yakkety Yaxley ), and was therefore aware of where to park and what I could expect on the way around.

As ever I parked on the roadside at Norman Cross. It’s literally just off the motorway and has plenty of room at the roadside without ever being in the way of passing traffic. On this day it also meant I was conveniently placed in the middle of two loops – one heading west towards Morborne and the other heading east towards Yaxley.

Earlier in the year I’d purchased a couple of big-wheeled scooters, expecting to be able to use these whilst doing the Val D’Oise Madness back in April. In the event, failed deliveries meant that we only ever received one of the scooters, and they wouldn’t have been useful for the planned trip anyway, as the ground was too rough on most days.

Back at the plot, I thought the scooter might be useful for this day, so I got myself ready at the car and set off up the road on the scooter. By the time I’d reached the first cache, all of 200m away, I’d already decided it was going to be much too painful to try to cover any distance on the scooter. I guess it might have been a good idea to have used it before and built up some tolerance in the various muscles used. However, I hadn’t practised at all, and it was quite painful to use. At least I realised this quickly, rather than scooting halfway round and then getting upset with it. So back I went and put the scooter back in the car before setting off on what was now going to be a long walk.

My walk initially took me on an anti-clockwise loop around “Le Tour de Haddon”, which meant north straight up the road from Norman Cross for the first 13 caches before turning east onto the road through Haddon and beyond for the next 19 finds. At this point my route turned south and then east for 12 more finds. Up to now all of it had been along roads and hence involved moving very quickly over the ground. I took a “short” detour over some agricultural bits to complete some of the “Transmitter Trail” series, but that proved rather frustrating, as half of them were missing. Back at the road, I made another 19 finds along the roadside before arriving back where I’d started. With the Transmitter Trail that made 71 finds by the time I got back to the car.

As it was fairly late in the year I was aware of the time and of what time it was likely to go dark. I had maybe 3 hours left before the light was too bad to use, so because I’d been moving quickly I decided I had plenty of time to attempt the “Yaxley Yum-Yum” series, which heads from Norman Cross to Yaxley (unsurprisingly). I walked this anti-clockwise too, because that meant the route out was over fields but the route back would be along the main road. That main road has street lights and hence was a much better place to be in failing light than halfway across a bunch of fields. The walk round the fields was fairly quick but it was getting distinctly dusky by the time I made it back into the village and onto the main road. When I got back to the main road I’d got about 2.5km and 8 more caches to find. It was pretty much dark for the last four.

It had been a typically busy and fruitful day in the area, although I miscounted rather, and finished with 99 finds rather than the 100 I thought I’d done. Sunday League Error.

The 99 caches I found on the day were:

Winter Geolympix

Winter Geolympix

Another one of these. Simply Paul does like organising events! I’d previously attended both the 2012 Geolympix and the 2016 Geolympix, so it was becoming a bit of a habit. Obviously SP doesn’t like only doing one mega event every fourth year, so he decided to stick in a winter version as well, and this was that.

The girls were away for the weekend, which gave me the opportunity to have a double-caching weekend. I hadn’t had many of those recently, so this one was quite welcome.

The event was up at the Ashridge Estate again, like the 2016 summer event. One of the issues with using Ashridge is that parking can be a little limited, so it pays to turn up relatively early. For this event I’d arranged to meet up with BingBongLong and Wallace Warrior, so we were able to spend our day being “Team BMW”, which makes a change from my normal. I parked in one of the slightly dodgy unsurfaced car parks down the main road and sat in my car for a while waiting for the others, who arrived presently.

We’d parked on the eastern edge of the site rather than trying to get right up to the event site. Parking was quite easy there and we were able to head off in double-quick time around the loop of caches set in the northern part of the Ashridge Estate. These were mainly the letterbox series SP had set just for the event, and they were mainly fairly easy finds. To be honest, a fair percentage of them were at locations I’m sure I’d been to during the 2016 event.

After walking around the north of the estate we then went down to the event site and had a hack around the Lab Caches there, as well as grabbing a coffee. We didn’t spend long here, and instead chose to go head off around the south side of the estate to do some more of the series as well as tracking down Simply Paul, who was reputedly one of the lab caches. We found him effecting a few running repairs to one of the other labs.

For the evening session, none of us had much enthusiasm, so we split up and the other two went home. I decided to walk down the road to the evening event site and at least have a go at some of the lab caches there. Well, I went to the event site and acquired some of the answers for the lab caches.

I hadn’t really planned what to do on my second day of caching for the weekend, but on my drive home I decided I wasn’t going to come back to Ashridge. There weren’t enough caches remaining to make it worth coming, because there’s not enough other series nearby to spend a day – it’s all proverbial odds-and-sods around there.

It ended up being a day of 53 finds, including the lab caches. They were:

  • Gnome Games Biathlon (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Handed to You on a Plate (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Illuminated (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • LAByrinth – Return of the Treemendous Maze (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Lost (Ark) in the Woods (Lab)
  • M (1931) (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Mottely – Berhamstead Castle (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Otherwordly (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Overheard Overhead (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Permit Holders,,, (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Pimply Saul ? (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Spooky Tree (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • The Sussex Slope (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • To Boggan or Not To Boggan (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Trail of Distraction (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • What IS That? (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)
  • Xperts in Their Field (Winter Geolympix) (Lab)