Walked: 9.6 miles
I’m not sure I will ever get to find a Jasmer Challenge Cache, but it’s still fun to try and fill up my finds-by-month-placed grid. Before today, it looked like this:
I’ve been doing some research and found quite a few caches which would help fill in the gaps clustered around the Buckinghamshire/Hertfordshire border around Berkhampstead. So I planned a little road trip to pick them up.
Hellfire’s Globe (Bucks)
The first stop was Hellfire’s Globe (Bucks), situated high above West Wycombe just below the impressive mausoleum at St. Lawrence’s Church. A quick find to kick off, filling in June 2002.
Next up was a cache placed in November 2001 in the woods on a hillside above Great Missenden called InterMissendens. The woods were lovely but the cache was quickly located.
England’s Oldest Geocache!
The real prize on my list for today was England’s oldest cache, View From Coombe Hill just south west of Wendover. It was placed in January 2001 and is still a grand old ammo can.
It was such a beautiful spot that I sat on the hill nearby and had my picnic lunch overlooking the spectacular view. But I had more to find – so I didn’t stay very long…
This cache might not have a very attractive name, but Sewer Lock is a pleasant location on the Grand Union Canal, placed in December 2004.
It took ages to find because I had to wait for the good ship Muggle to pass through the lock before I could have a proper search. Once they had chugged off, the find was swift.
Next up were two caches in the Ashridge Estate, the first being Entology (Herts), placed in August 2001. The forest was looking great in the sunshine.
The hide was up in a tree but a convenient sturdy branch to climb on was most welcome.
Tim & Jon’s 1st Re-Stashed
Still in the woods was my next target, Tim & Jon’s 1st Re-Stashed, hidden in January 2001 (England’s 2nd oldest cache).
After some GPS confusion, and waiting for noisy muggles to pass, I got to GZ eventually.
Instructions were in the cache to find a second bonus (without co-ords, it required careful pacing). Unfortunately I didn’t have time to look for that one today, perhaps another time… Moving on to…
Devil’s Bridge (Herts)
The next stop was in the little village of Nettleden to find Devil’s Bridge (Herts), which has been in situ since January 2004. The bridge is a spooky proposition, even in daylight:
The cache was a quick find – the poor old log is rather stuffed into the pot, but I just about got it back in after signing!
Spooky trees lined the tops of the walls either side of the steep track – it rather reminded me of something from Harry Potter.
The penultimate find of the trip was Garmer Spring, north west of Hemel Hempstead, which completes the March 2004 square.
I parked in a nearby pub and walked up the rolling hill past two regular (and relatively recent caches, which were also found quickly) before arriving at the Spring itself. I didn’t find any water, but I did find some tupperware!
Cyril & Stan dropped off a Lego buddy to travel from this cache.
View The Puddingstone
There’s always time for One More Cache, right? So my final location was View The Puddingstone on the outskirts of Redbourne, to fill in the November 2006 gap. It was getting dark by the time I picked up the cache, but it was a quick find. Now my grid looks like this, still a few gaps but I will work on them soon.
Unfortunately, that’s where my grand day out went south – I got in the car to drive home and discovered that it had broken down and would not start. I had a very boring 4-hour wait for the recovery truck – they got me started again and I eventually arrived home just before midnight. What a day!