If you have ever looked at the Hampshire section of Geocaching map you will no doubt have seen several adjoining series set out by Dinglefoot and GeoPTO all on varying themes. I’ve had them in my sights for quite some time and this weekend I decided to walk as many of them as I could, I did not complete them all!
Although I live under a couple of hours away from Hampshire, I booked a room at The Three Horseshoes pub at East Worldham for Friday night so that I could cram in as much caching in two days as possible. A single room with continental breakfast was only £40 per night and a comfortable stay. After plotting a few of the routes I discovered that the Hamlet of Wyck was a good starting point for several of the series and so that’s where the weekend of caches began that in all would net just shy of 100 caches.
As I approached the weekend the forecast was looking decidedly dodgy, rain, rain & more rain, but rather than abandon the weekend, I went prepared with waterproof leggings and coats, several of them in fact, just to be safe!
I chose the Fruit & Veg Round as the first series, which consists of 20 caches over 10 miles! However, due to the way that several series overlap each other I actually found 28 along the route including a few from the Milk Round, Paper Round and Butcher’s round.
Because of where I started, the first two caches were from the Butcher’s Round before I picked up the Fruit & Veg round from cache 19 and then walked the rest of the series in reverse order. It doesn’t actually matter where you pick up the series as there is no bonus and therefore no clues to collect.
I was only about five caches into the walk when disaster struck, the path between cache17 & 16 was completely blocked by rape seed crop, I tried bushwhacking through where the path should have been, but it was so dense I got no where fast and had to double back. I eventually found a way through to GZ by walking around the edge of the field. It was almost as bad from cache 16 to 15 but at least this time I was able to find my way through via a track left for the tractors. Some farmers do not meet their obligations of maintaining pathways and I usually find Rape seed crops the worst of all!
From cache 15 to cache 9 the summer vegetation was in full growth making the edges of the field very difficult to navigate and although it wasn’t raining the whole time, I did keep my waterproof leggings on to help stay a bit dryer through the wet grass.
On the way to cache 12 I passed an MOD sign “Warning do not pick up any suspicious objects” does this apply to Geocaches I wondered as I read it? The next cache was under a planter near a church in sight of the village stores. I dealt with this one with stealth as I had recollections of the recent incident in West Yorkshire where the bomb squad blew up a similar cache and the cacher who found it received a police caution!
The terrain improved greatly along the latter stages of the walk, but the rain never really let up, which was a shame but I didn’t let it spoil the morning. Everything considered I did enjoy the series although it is fair to say it was quite hard going at the start due to the summer vegetation and in one place non existent path. The co-ordinates however were spot on and the caches well placed. I loved the Hampshire countryside and so the weather wasn’t too good, but it did mean it was nice and quiet because the muggles stayed indoors! It’s well worth doing this series if you fancy a longer than normal walk.
EveryTrail – Share your Geocache Trail and morehttp://www.everytrail.com/trip/widgetimpression?trip_id=1205149