The Start of a Long Journey
The beginning of a six-month-long journey to complete one of the biggest series of caches in the area – the Chiltern Hundred series near Chesham.
It was a cold February day and I had the day to myself, so I planned to go and have a crack at as many as possible. The Chiltern Hundred series has three loops that interlink at a couple of points to the north of the town. The total length of walking is about 20 miles and there are about 110 caches to collect. There’s also a bonus cache that has a very high Difficulty/Terrain rating. To get the bonus you have to gather bonus codes from at least 100 of the 110 caches. You then type these into a web page to reveal the coordinates. It’s a bit of an epic.
Anyway, on my first day I parked up at Chesham Tube Station. It happens to be the host for the first cache in the series, and so I began my walk there. I lose track of how many miles I walked on this day but it was a lot. Estimates made retrospectively using my favourite mapping software indicate that I walked about 13 miles. It was only just light when I started walking and it was completely dark when I got back. My walk took me on an anti-clockwise route around Chesham, followed by another to the west.
I set a new personal best for number of caches found in one day – 60 finds – although, had I found all of those on the route I walked it would have been well over 70.
There were certain stretches where I was missing caches more often than finding them, and had I been closer to home and closer to my car at the time I might well have just given up on the day, but seeing as I was miles out in the middle of nowhere I decided I might as well keep looking. I had to do the walking anyway, as I was miles from the car for most of the day.