The Sketch

Having done the top half of the Minions a couple of weeks ago I thought I better go do the rest. After my first trip to the Minions around I had 38 left to do. That’s not really enough to last all day, so I supplemented Minions Part 2 with a couple of extra circuits. There are a couple of series of Traditionals near to Ashwell that I noticed. These plus a few more made a possible 90-95, which is definitely a good day out.

I set off fairly early as I knew it might be a long day. When I head in this direction I normally stop at a garage on the way out of Milton Keynes to grab a mobile breakfast and some provisions for the day. Today was no different, and I added a fill-up of the fuel tank for good measure.

I tried to park in the same place in Dunton as a fortnight previously, but there were no spaces. There aren’t any other car parks in the village, so I needed to find a suitable roadside. I needed a couple of attempts to find somewhere I was happy with. It’s not good to park on main roads and I also don’t like parking in residential streets unless there’s loads of room. Dunton doesn’t have many streets like that, but I found one eventually. Even then I had several goes at parking before I was happy.

The Morning Walk

The start of my route went north out of the village in a vaguely clockwise circuit. All the caches were, as ever, quite easy to find and in decent condition. The walk was pretty quick and quite pleasant apart from one section where I didn’t read the map. Well, I had the map, but I assumed the ditch would have a bridge but it didn’t. That resulted in a lot of messing around. Eventually I found a very well hidden railway sleeper that I could use to get over the problem ditch, which was good.

Not long after that I was on a stretch of road and made some fantastic progress until I was level with Dunton again. There were a few more heading south, including one by JazzyJessups as a tribute to ryo62. That one was hanging from the bottom of a bridge in the middle of a stream. I was really quite surprised I reached it without getting wet.

After that one though, I slowed down quite a lot. It was warm and I hadn’t taken enough drinks, and the caches seemed a bit more awkward to find. In total this first loop was 11.5km long and took me 31/2 hours.

The Afternoon Walk

I eventually made it back to my car and grabbed a drink to see me on the not-so-long journey down to Ashwell. Once there I again had trouble finding anywhere to park. It was a nice late summer afternoon and loads of people were out. It’s a small village with a narrow main street that doesn’t really suit parking a big car, but I got lucky at the cricket green.

The walk from here involved two series of traditionals called the Steeple Morden Shuffle and the Ashwell Agadoo. They meet up close to Ashwell, allowing a single big loop. I’d promised ryo62 I’d do some maintenance on the way round. These two loops needed more maintenance than the Minions did.

This second part of the walk was a couple of kilometres further and took me 4 hours. By the time I got back into Ashwell village I was very tired and I wanted to stop. I had intended to do a couple of drive-bys on the way home but when I got to it, I couldn’t face it. I just drove home for some beer and relaxation.

The Finds

A total of 90 finds over the day.