Tag Archives: buckinghamshire

Day #177 – The Long Way Home

Trad: 7 Multi: 1 Challenge: 7
Walked: 6.6 miles

Why go the most direct route home when you can detour to pick up some interesting caches? This was my reasoning for a 40-mile round trip in the wrong direction to start my day from Oxford. Uffington has a lovely Church Micro which I needed for a Challenge cache:

Uffington St Mary
Uffington St Mary

As well as a pretty church, it also has a grand old cache nearby, Uffington White Horse which filled my  empty June 2002 Jasmer month.

Uffington White Horse Cache
Uffington White Horse Cache

The weather was perishing cold (plenty of ice in the puddles!) but beautifully sunny. And I was wrapped up warm, so I decided to take a little walk along The Ridgeway while I was in the vicinity, and pick up the first five caches of the Uffington White Horse Trail series.

Walking The Ridgeway
Walking The Ridgeway

Business was done in Oxfordshire, but I had plans to pick up a few Challenge Caches which I’ve qualified for, around Little Brickhill, just south east of Milton Keynes. The first was Return 2 Sender which required fording a small stream but earned me the first of three new DT squares today, 1/4.5.

First DT Square Of The Day
First DT Square Of The Day

Six other caches were picked up in the area, giving me another new DT of 1/4 with What’s My Name Challenge. The one below (Reviewing The Reviewer Challenge) was a particularly difficult find in the woods, with 15m error in the co-ords, but a previous finder had thankfully provided some better ones which meant I eventually did see the wood for the trees!

What's This Pile Of Sticks?
What’s This Pile Of Sticks?

Back in September when Alistair & I had picked up the excellent Perplexity Puzzles west of St Albans on Day #64, I had failed to notice that nearby was another cache which would fill an empty DT square for me, Bedmond Ratrun 2. Well, today I wasn’t really “passing”, but it wasn’t that much of a detour either, so it was the last one on my to do list. And thankfully although the bank climb was quite steep, I made it up and down again with my dignity intact, and bagged another DT square, 1.5/4.5.

I’ve realised that since the beginning of January, I think I’ve now completed 11 DT squares with “only” 15 left to go. Quick progress, although I know the ones I have left are mainly T4.5 or T5, so it isn’t going to be easy as I don’t climb trees and don’t own a canoe!

Day #70 – Relic Hunting

Trad: 11
Walked: 9.6 miles

4th October 2015
4th October 2015

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:

Jasmer Grid Before
Jasmer Grid Before

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.

At GC6912
At GC6912
Cyril & Stan With The Cache
Cyril & Stan With The Cache

InterMissendens

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.

Me at GC2AA4
Me at GC2AA4
Slightly mouldy logbook!
Slightly mouldy logbook!

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.

At GC171 - England's Oldest!
At GC171 – England’s Oldest!
Cyril & Stan Raiding The Goodies!
Cyril & Stan Raiding The Goodies!

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…

Sewer Lock

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.

A Boat Arrives In The Lock
A Boat Arrives In The Lock

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.

GCM8QP Log
GCM8QP Log

Entology (Herts)

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.

On The Way To The Cache
On The Way To The Cache

The hide was up in a tree but a convenient sturdy branch to climb on was most welcome.

GC164F Is Up There Somewhere
GC164F Is Up There Somewhere

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).

More Lovely Trees
More Lovely Trees

After some GPS confusion, and waiting for noisy muggles to pass, I got to GZ eventually.

Gotcha! GC177, England's 2nd Oldest Cache
Gotcha! GC177, England’s 2nd Oldest Cache

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:

Spooky Bridge
Spooky Bridge

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!

GCHGMP Crumpled Log
GCHGMP Crumpled Log

Spooky trees lined the tops of the walls either side of the steep track – it rather reminded me of something from Harry Potter.

Gnarly Old Trees
Gnarly Old Trees

Garmer Spring

The penultimate find of the trip was Garmer Spring, north west of Hemel Hempstead, which completes the March 2004 square.

Berries On The Walk
Berries On The Walk

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!

Me With GCHY0E
Me With GCHY0E

Cyril & Stan dropped off a Lego buddy to travel from this cache.

Cyril & Stan Drop Off A Traveller
Cyril & Stan Drop Off A Traveller

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.

Jasmer Grid After My Trip
Jasmer Grid After My Trip

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!