The Sketch

A few days previously I heard some chatter on Facebook about a massive new series that ran pretty much covered all of the distance in between Biggleswade and Cambridge. That’s a long way, and as a result, it’s a lot of new caches. The series is called the Hatley Heart Attack. Over the subsequent few months it was to become a bit of an epic.

The first time I took a look at the map after they’d been released I was somewhat aghast, to be honest. Count them all up – there’s nearly 500 of them.

So for a first attempt, I managed to persuade Ami to come with me so we could pick off a few of the loops near to Biggleswade. I wasn’t quite sure how many we’d get done because it was the end of October. The weather can be variable, and the distance Ami is prepared to cover can also be a bit variable. But we set off in good heart.

Off We Go

We parked up in a little retail area on the edge of Biggleswade. The caching series here runs right alongside the roadway and alongside the “bleeding edge” of Biggleswade’s urban expansion. We dashed inside for some “provisions” before setting off with any walking.

Because it’s a big series with multiple, overlapping loops, we set the precedent that on any stretch that formed part of two loops we’d only do every second cache. That way, we would leave something to come back to on a different day and whilst doing the other loops. That cost us about 8 perfectly reasonable finds on this day. It proved a good strategy on later days though. Without it, some of the loops would have looked very unappealing for a visit if we’d left a 2-3km barren zone down one side.

The loops on this day took us north and east out of Biggleswade and eventually round to Dunton, before turning back to Biggleswade again.

As with most of the series, there were lots of caches, none of which was particularly worthy of note. We did have one mishap (towards the end). We made the mistake of trusting the map on the GPS and assuming there was a bridge in the corner between two particular fields. There was no bridge and no way through the hedge. We ended up walking about 500m along the edge of a field through long grass to get to a road. And then walking about 30m along the road to find another path so we could follow it 500m back again to a point that was visible from where we’d started. I wouldn’t have minded, but it was close to the end of the day. The light was beginning to close in a bit.

75 caches found in total though, which is a good old bash for me and Ami. We walked about 18km. The caches found on this first attempt at the Hatley Heart Attack were: