After deciding not to go back to the Winter Geolympix site on the drive home the previous evening, I spent a portion of the evening deciding where to come today. I settled for returning to the area just to the west of Peterborough to have a go at a few new series there. These were called Le Tour de Haddon, the Transmitter Trail and the Yaxley Yum Yum. I’d been to this area at least twice previously ( see Yaxley to Conington and Yakkety Yaxley ). I was therefore aware of where to park and what I could expect on the way around.
It takes about an hour to drive there from home. As ever I parked on the roadside at Norman Cross. It’s literally just off the motorway and has plenty of room at the roadside without ever being in the way of passing traffic. On this day it also meant I was conveniently placed in the middle of two loops – one heading west towards Morborne and the other heading east towards Yaxley.
Earlier in the year I’d purchased a couple of big-wheeled scooters, expecting to be able to use these whilst doing the Val D’Oise Madness back in April. In the event, failed deliveries meant that we only ever received one of the scooters. They wouldn’t have been useful for the planned trip anyway, as the ground was too rough on most days.
Back at the plot, I thought the scooter might be useful for this day, so I got myself ready at the car and set off up the road on the scooter. By the time I’d reached the first cache, all of 200m away, I’d already decided it was going to be much too painful to try to cover any distance on the scooter. I guess it might have been a good idea to have used it before and built up some tolerance in the various muscles used. However, I hadn’t practised at all, and it was quite painful to use. At least I realised this quickly, rather than scooting halfway round and then getting upset with it. So back I went and put the scooter back in the car before setting off on what was now going to be a long walk.
Le Tour de Haddon
First up I walked an anti-clockwise loop around “Le Tour de Haddon”. This went north straight up the road from Norman Cross for the first 13 caches. It then turns east and crosses the A1 towards Haddon and beyond for the next 19 finds. It was fast going, because they were all at the roadside. Well, I guess he designed it to be done on a bike. At this point my route turned south and then east for 12 more finds. I took a “short” detour over some agricultural bits to complete some of the “Transmitter Trail” series. I wish I hadn’t. It proved rather frustrating, as half of them were missing. Back at the road, I made another 19 finds along the roadside before arriving back where I’d started. With the Transmitter Trail that made 71 finds by the time I got back to the car.
The Yaxley Yum Yum
As it was fairly late in the year I was aware of the time and of what time it was likely to go dark. I had maybe 3 hours left before the light was too bad to use. Because I’d been moving quickly I decided I had plenty of time to attempt the “Yaxley Yum-Yum” series. This heads from Norman Cross to Yaxley (unsurprisingly). I walked this anti-clockwise too. It meant the route out was over fields but the route back would be along the main road.
The main road has street lights and so is a much better place to be in failing light. Halfway across a bunch of fields isn’t a good place when it’s dark. The walk round the fields was fairly quick but longer than I expected. It was getting distinctly dusky by the time I made it back into the village and onto the main road. When I got back to the main road I’d got about 2.5km and 8 more caches to find. It was pretty much dark for the last four.
It had been a typically busy and fruitful day in the area, although I miscounted rather. I finished with 99 finds rather than the 100 I thought I’d done. Sunday League Error.