The Sketch

A day of wandering around the woods near West Harling, out in the wilds of Norfolk. Well, not that wild, but not exactly urban either. Anyway, I digress. Regularly.

As for most of the epic days this year I was in the company of Candleford, and also this time with Archer Phoenix for the main part of the day.

Safari Smilies

We weren’t due to meet Archer Phoenix until mid-morning, which is obviously a bit late for me at this time of year, so Candleford and me met early and had a hack around the Safari Smiley series first. These are in the same set of woods, so not much of an issue.

We managed to get around 15 of those before meeting Archer Phoenix, so that was a good start.

West Harling Walk

The main event for the day was Rilks’ West Harling Walk – a loop of 50 traditional caches set in the woods. The series began and ended in a good-quality parking location. By this I mean, open, spacious, not full of potholes, and quiet enough that the car wouldn’t be a risk. All of those are good things.

Neither Candleford nor me had met Archer Phoenix before, so there was obviously a bit of furtive “what do you think, him maybe?” discussion before wandering over to some random individual to say hello. Thankfully we got the right guy.

So off we set, armed with bags full of caching bits and bobs, chocolate-based snacks, sandwiches and suncream. Oh yes. It was only the beginning of September, and the weather could best be described as “warm” again.

The walk initially took us north. The circuit makes a shape that’s difficult to describe. Possibly like a sombrero. So using that description, the walk started by going up and over the crown, before walking out to both ends of the brim. I should work on my descriptive techniques, maybe.

The cache-finding was quite straightforward despite the trees. Most had very good coordinates and good hints, which meant very few misfires. There was also a mix of container types and hide types, which kept it interesting.

I think the walk around took us five hours. Some of the caches were quite spread out, plus we added a few more from the Safari Smilies and a couple of other things, so there were 60 caches in this walk.


It was still early enough in the day to do a few more. Over at Burwell there were a group of Adventures Labs interspersed with traditionals and a few other bits. They were all close enough together to make it a worthwhile end of day.

Burwell is about half an hour or so from West Harling, but at this time of year there’s still plenty of light.

We did most of the caches around here as drive-bys. Although a busy village, there were plenty of places to stop. Driving meant also that we were inside for the short period when it rained. It rained a lot. Stair-rods kind of stuff.

All was good except for trying to get in and out of the village hall. There was a bit of a sharp slope between their off-ramp and the road, so I was treated to the horrible sound of a scrape on the tarmac as I pulled out. So that left me grumpy all the way home. Ultimately the car was OK though.

The day resulted in 106 total finds. Another ton-up to add to the list, and another big series done. Can’t be bad.