Headed up to see my friend G in Woburn Sands at the end of October and, naturally, along with the usual chatting and putting the world to right, it involved so geocaching. She had found some caches for us to do which involved us driving to the starting point and then walking back to her house to collect her car to collect the first car. Hope you followed that. Off we went and parked up in an area called Great Brickhill. Funnily enough, I’d parked very close to the first cache of the line without even meaning too. Super!
Fluffy boots changed for walking boots and off we went, heading out about 11am. Our first of the day was Red 09 – Fallen Tree. A nice easy spot for us both. G was collecting the bonus letters and numbers as these caches formed part of the Milton Keynes Boundary Walk which is approximately 65 miles long and contains some 300 caches, split up into sections. She’s working her way around it.
Red 08 – Kissing Gate (hey that rhymes) was next. The cache was laying on the ground right in front of us. Reading the clue we suspected it had fallen down so tried to put it back where we suspected it should have been.
Red 07 – Even Better Tree took us a few minutes to discover. There were quite a few possible options but finally G had her hand on the prize. There were two big rams on the footpath we were to continue on. Now, cows are something I will avoid like the plague and would rather turn back than cross a cow field any more. Rams…umm….not sure what to make of this. G and I did a minor risk assessment and decided we could jump the low fence very quickly if required but hoped we didn’t have to put that to the test! In we went. They were less than interested to be honest but while she snapped some photos, I hurried past. Well, I could always phone for help if he was stuck on the barbed wire jumping the fence right? It was at this point also that we remembered that G hadn’t got the bonus letter for Red 08. No way were we walking back so she said she’d email the CO and ask for it and hope they let her have it (she did sign the log after all).
Red 06 – Round the Bend confused us for a moment. G went into the “Private Land” gate…tsk…to check from that angle. I was busy picking prickles out of my head as I’d not ducked down quite enough. Lots of animal burrows around so surely it’s not there? Finally found the right area and the cache was quickly in hand. I was still picking out prickles.
Red 05 – On the Corner was an easy spot for us but probably not obvious enough for muggles.
Red 04 – Gap in the Hedge was another easy spot for us. I have to say this isn’t a challenging set of finds by any stretch of the imagination but the countryside is lovely.
Red 03 – By the Steps was another cache container just laying in the grass. We signed the log then read the clue to see where it should be. Absolutely no idea what the clue meant so we just had to put it back where it was as, quite frankly, there was nowhere at all to hide it which seemed rather odd.
We headed down the steps and into another gorgeous wood. Chatting away as we went we suddenly realised that we were walking in the wrong direction. Oh dear, back we went and spotted another path. Up the hill we wandered still chatting. Good, the countdown to the next cache was decreasing so we were going the right way now. Then we got to a gate that was chained and padlocked. Apparently we needed to go through this. Bugger. G decided to download another app onto her phone that would give footpath lines for us to follow. Once we had that, we saw that we had to head back to the steps and cross the field that way. Off we went, across the field finally and into what seemed to be a farmyard. Yes, we were chatting again and had missed the footpath sign. Back we went yet again and finally spotted it (some of them really aren’t very obvious at all). Finally back on the correct footpath, we carried on. My feet were beginning to ache just a touch.
Red 01 – In the Deep Dark Wood was now at the point that G had done before so it was just me to find this next lot as we headed back to hers. It took a bit of reaching but was soon in hand.
We crossed over the A5 and headed towards the Orange section of caches. First for me to find was Orange 28 – The Bridge. Gave me the opportunity to sit down for a second. My boots had filled with mud/clay from walking across the field so I got a stick and poked it off. It was like wearing platform shoes by the time I’d crossed the field. G faired a little better. Clearly her proper walking boots were a bit better at not collecting everything. She checked the distance to home and her phone informed her it would take us 1.5 hours. What? When we set out she had checked the route and it was about 1.5-2 hours then. How was this possible? Apparently the app wanted us to walk along the A5. No thanks. Surely it couldn’t be that far across country. Oh well, we’ll soon find out.
Orange 27 – The Greensand Ridge involved me climbing onto a rather wobbly fence. I had to give G my stuff as I needed to hold on to a post too. Fortunately the cache was a simple spot and I did the retrieve, signed and climbed back onto the wobbly fence to return it.
It was at this point that we both noticed our phones were running very low on battery. No problem, we both have portable chargers! I plugged mine in. Nothing. G plugged hers in and it began to charge. She was just telling me how she’d exchanged one of her style chargers before as it kept switching itself off and not charging as…yep, you guessed it…it switched itself off. It seems my PowerMonkey had been left accidentally knocked on and so it was flat. Bugger. G persevered with hers and it did start to charge her phone. Mine was low so she turned hers off and we planned to use mine until it died and then use hers.
Orange 26 – The Quercus was next. Went to the wrong one a few times before the compass settled and I found it. We were moving at a bit of a pace now. My feet were seriously aching.
Orange 25 – Smileys did make me smile. Unfortunately my phone would no longer take photos so I couldn’t get one of this. Easy find though. My feet!
Orange 24 – Under Buttermilk Wood. My phone died after I got this one so back to G’s to get us home. My feet…did I mention they ache?
Orange 23 – Black Squirrel was a quick find. Bag very soggy but cache ok inside. One more to get and we were heading back to G’s as my tummy was also rumbling now. It was around 2pm and we hadn’t had any lunch of course.
We missed Orange 22 as we had walked past it and by the time G noticed, I really didn’t fancy doing any back-tracking. What with my aching feet and rumbly rummy, it was time to go home. Agreed and off we went.
We finally arrived back at G’s house at 2.30pm. My feet! I realised today that I missed a few caches we could have got en-route but, quite frankly, we were (a) low on battery and (b) normally nattering too much and walking past these things so saving them for another day was just fine. I wonder how far we actually walked?