An attempt on the “Heal the World” series of 78 puzzle geocaches near Hadstock in Essex. The series forms a piece of geoart that looks much like a globe. Who could resist that, huh? I was accompanied by the Happy Hunter on a long day out.
When they appeared I solved them all fairly quickly – most were jigidi puzzles or simple “look it up” things, so they didn’t take a huge amount of time.
It’s a big enough series to deserve a day out, and also to deserve some company. I’m sort of going off spending all day on my own when there’s the chance to go with someone else. In this case, HHHP20 signed up for a joint mission, with me volunteering to drive from my house. He also created a breakfast event at a nearby fast-food outlet (whose name rhymes with Sack Ronalds). We’d be needing some sustenance before having a go at a big series like this. It turned out to be my last caching trip before the COVID lockdowns came into force.
The Happy Hunter arrived at my gaff nice and early, so we jumped into my vehicle and set off. We started really early because a) Hadstock is over an hour from home and b) we had a breakfast meeting to get to. But don’t forget c) we planned to find a few caches on the way.
Some time ago I completed the challenge of finding over 1,000 caches placed by ryo62. When someone does that, he honours the achievement by setting a simple “Congratulations” puzzle based on your caching name. My one of these is close to Duxford, so we agreed to head that way so that I could claim it for my Finds list. There’s a group of similar ones around the villages of Fowlmere and Thriplow, so we thought we might as well allow and hour on the way to get them. My one was quite easy to find.
The Happy Hunter set up an event cache at a branch of McDonalds quite close to the Heal the World series. In the preceding week a few people promised to come, and a couple said they might walk the series with us. So we were slightly surprised to sit out the duration alone. We had a hearty breakfast of McComestibles though, which is always recommended for a long day out.
A Long Walk
As nobody else had joined us we were free to approach the “big walk” however we saw fit. We saw fit to park in Hadstock and then start walking north and east. The series forms a big loop on the south side of the village, and we were walking in an anticlockwise direction. This would be bad karma for some, but it’s difficult to know what’s right when the numbered order goes anticlockwise.
The walking and the finding were both going pretty quickly. It was 10:15 when we started walking and by 1:30 we were sitting having a rest and a snack having just finished Heal the World #40. There’s not much to say about the actual caches – they were coming thick and fast and it’s all a bit of a blur. According to the track I uploaded to Garmin, the walk was 20km and took us 6 1/2 hours to complete. We found all 78 from the Heal the World series plus a couple of incidentals that we passed. We were back at the car well before darkness fell.
As a side note, I had some nervousness about my car all day. I noticed in the week that one of the tyres was losing pressure. Not quickly, but enough to notice. So I drove all the way there and back with the tyre pressures displayed on the dashboard, just in case. It was fine, and the car was driving normally, but I was concerned anyway. I had it checked a couple of days later. There was a massive screw stuck right through the sidewall. So new front tyre then.
A total of 90 finds over the day, which is a good number given the time we started the main walk.