So after a couple of warnings about my geocaches at Stowe being in need of some maintenance, and after a couple months of finding instead of hiding, it was about time I paid a visit and fixed a couple of things. I got up earlier than I have since giving up work before Christmas and Ami and myself headed off. We had a plan to meet Kas and Izzy in the New Inn for lunch later. Obviously there was a bit of time to find a few too, while we were there. It would be impolite not to. And anyway I needed to do a few to fill in a gap on my “days I’ve been caching” matrix.
We started round the north side to have a go at Stowe: Dead or Alive and Stowe: Field Boundary, both of which had been reported missing and both of which actually were missing. This walk drew us up through a field full of cows and over to the Wolfe Monument and Trig Point on top of the hill. The ground was absolutely soaking as a result of recent rain. Because there were cows in the field rather than sheep the grass was a quagmire. Cows are heavier. They sink in. It was hard walking, and Ami was wearing her trainers, which aren’t great for wading through ankle-deep slop.
On this little route we passed three of the other caches, all of which were fine. We also passed a Number 22 Routemaster bus to Parsons Green. Must have been something on at the school that required a bus.
A Bit of a Safari
After this we drove out on the road traveling away from the old access road (now the access to Stowe School but to nowhere else). The Stowe Safari series are all inside toy animal containers. They are hidden in traditional ways rather than being hidden by the container itself, if that makes sense.
Aside from the fact that there’s nowhere to park down there, they were quite easy. When I got home in the evening, I discovered that there are now two more Stowe Safari caches. I could have done them today if I’d known they were there.
Our second circuit at Stowe started at the New Inn and required the fixing of Stowe: Roadside and Stowe: Last Post. I have given up on the second one of these because every time somebody did it, they put it back in a different place, which made it a bit unpredictable. So I decided to trash it, and will maybe replace it with a new cache on another visit.
We checked 6 others on the way. One of these was Stowe: Bridge, which was the site of an initially irritating, and then quite humorous episode in which I advised Ami not to follow me through the sludge, but she then decided to follow me and got her feet stuck in the crud on the way out. This lead her to fall over in the mud and her camera went splat.
Thankfully she had the lens cap on so no damage done there. It has been suitably cleaned up with a couple of Mr Sheen wipes. Sadly, Ami herself had no such luck. She was rather covered. We’d already asked Kas to bring a change of shoes, socks and trousers for her, as she was getting a bit cold and mucky, but that fall was the clincher. She was covered.
After this the rate of walking was even slower than it had been before. We felt the need to just get back to the cafe as soon as we could. Kas arrived just as we got there. Ami changed in the car and we dived into the cafe for some lunch.
For my afternoon, I decided to try a few caches in Buckingham. I have to say they weren’t that inspiring. When it started getting dark and I had my first DNF I just decided to give up and go home. It gets my year of caching off to a start anyway, so not too bothered. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to finish the series in Buckingham though.
During the day I found the following caches. Ami was with me for the first 4, which are close to Stowe. The others are in Buckingham and I did them on my own :
- Stowe Safari 2 – Another plastic animal in a tree
- Stowe Safari 1 – And another plastic animal in a tree
- BC1 – The Ford – Buckingham Crossing – Which took me a little while and required a PAF
- Saza 5 – In a churchyard where a baby saint was buried. How do you become a saint when you’re a baby?
- saza 6 – Alongside the river
- BC2 – The Station – Buckingham Crossing – A difficult one that required another PAF
- BC3 – The Green Man – Buckingham Crossing – Alongside the old railway, and requiring a bit of a dodgy crossing on a rickety little bridge
- Saza 3 – A decent sized cache in a bit of roadside vegetation