Open the photo gallery >>

The Sketch

Ami is going through a phase of being a little more accommodating. She’s been a little more willing to accompany me when it comes to caching days. In fact, she said on more than one occasion on this day that she should come with me more often. We were off for a series called the Keyston Kaper, up on the border between Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire.

The day concerned started early. It was still dark when we left home because I wanted to get a nice early start to ensure we had a good run at today’s target. The target in question was a series of fifty-something caches near the village of Keyston on the western edge of Cambridgeshire. It’s one of those places where you’re never quite sure what county you’re in, as it’s close to the boundary with Northamptonshire but also only a couple of miles from a tri-point with Bedfordshire.

We set off early without having had any breakfast. I’d promised Ami we’d stop for McDonalds nearby, and so we did. The pancakes were nice. The sausage I had with mine was a bit limp and didn’t really add to the experience though.

Some Caching

Back at the plot, we parked up in our target village after a bit of a diversion on the driving. We were outside looking for caches by just after 9 am. That’s probably as early as we can manage really. We’d driven up from Milton Keynes through Olney, which is quite a slow route, and it had taken nearly an hour to get there, despite it only being 35 miles as the crow flies.

The caching series is shaped somewhat like a massive triangle with a small rectangle sticking out at the western tip. There’s not a lot to say about the actual caching, as all the finds were pretty straightforward.

The weather was bright and sunny, which was good, and we both took the decision to wear a shirt and coat but no jumper, despite the early frost, because it was SO sunny. It was looking like the middle of the day would be warm, and so it proved.

My GPS measured our walking track at 18km (or 11 and a bit miles, if you’re that way inclined). That seems like quite a long walk for the number of caches involved. It’s only about 3 per kilometre, when some tight packing should be able to achieve 5 per kilometre, Or at least 4.

Keep Your Head Down

The highlight of the afternoon was most definitely the fact that we found ourselves at one point walking up a very wide strip of grass running down the edge of a field whilst listening to a tractor doing something or other just out of sight. I commented to Ami that the grass strip would be wide enough to land light aircraft, and as we were walking up the grass strip watching a couple of girls mucking about doing floor gymnastics in the grass we were suddenly aware that the tractor we thought we were hearing was, in fact, a small aeroplane. It was moving towards us at an alarming rate.

Thankfully we were able to reach safety by reversing ourselves right up against the hedge. The plane was already in the air when it passed us, but I have definitely never been that close to an aeroplane taking off without actually being inside it. It turns out that it’s a “proper” airfield. I guess it would be. I mean, you can’t go around landing and taking planes off from just anywhere. It’s known as Manor Farm, or Keyston Airfield.

By the time we got back to the car, we were getting tired. I persuaded Ami to walk to do the church micro and one other cache in the village before we set off home. Speaking of setting off, we squeezed in a couple of drive-bys on our way out of the village and then headed back the same way we’d come, including the confusing roads in Raunds.

The caches we found on the Keyston Kaper were: