The Sketch

A sunny Sunday afternoon in July, and I over went to Eltisley and Caxton, to the west of Cambridge for a bit of geocaching.

I’d fiddled with this year’s Groundspeak souvenir hunting exercise. They do one every year, They publish souvenirs to cachers who meet certain criteria for finds over the summer period. This year’s one includes some massive complexity in the setup. Caches were arbitrarily identified as being various parts of some crime detection game. You had to first find a policeman, or something. Next you had to find a handful of different clues and finally you had to locate five different jewels. On the previous day I didn’t really understand how it worked. I ended up making a couple of finds that didn’t contribute towards my progress. A friend told me it was best to just go out and find lots of caches, and see what happened. So that’s what I tried.

The village of Eltisley has a couple of relatively new series stretching towards Caxton. One series between the two villages was mainly over agricultural land, and the second, running east from Caxton, skirted the edge of the nearby town of Cambourne.

On with the walking

I parked up in Caxton, which meant the series formed a kind of figure-of-eight shape from where I parked. I decided to head west first mainly because it was the larger of the two loops.

It turned into a very warm day, and like a complete numpty I wasn’t carrying enough drinks. I’d got some, but only put one bottle in my bag. That was barely enough to sustain me around the first loop. This being the countryside, there’s not exactly a plethora of corner shops en route. At least I was able to pick up another bottle when I got back to the car.

By the time I started the second loop from Caxton my legs were starting to ache a bit. This part took me over a stretch of what I would call fields, but maybe more accurately scrubland. No real agriculture, as such. It took me to the edge of a new housing development in Cambourne where the builder had obviously been forced to construct a small linear park along the edge, ideal for walking dogs, screening off noise, and hiding tupperware.

A Change of Scenery

When I got back to the car it was still quite early in the afternoon. I’d sort of run out of enthusiasm for a while, so I decided to drive back towards home. On the way back I made a quick stop at Caxton Gibbet services to grab a McDonalds milkshake do a couple more caches. When I got nearer to home I elected to have a pop at a few new caches in Milton Keynes.

Pesh had planted a few new ones for his summer geocoin fair, and I hadn’t been to get them. I thought I’d be able to do them as a series of short walks, but once I started walking to the first one I concluded I’d be best off just walking around.

They were in a housing estate where parking opportunities are limited. Leaving my car in the only large car park in the village seemed best. It did make for a slightly longer walk than I could have done with. There was a cricket and jerk festival organised by the Friends of the Caribbean on one of the playing fields which involved lots of music and cooking, and also an ice cream van. I’m not sure how authentically Caribbean a 99 with flake is. After a long day out caching I wasn’t in the mood for food, even though it smelled fantastic. Maybe if I’d gone back in the evening.

The Finds

I found 79 caches on the day. Most were near Eltisley and Caxton, as shown here.