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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Marathon from Knotting

Today to Knotting, to do a circuit of 70 caches, with SimplyPaul.

But first, we went to somewhere completely different, about an hour from there. This was because some fool put in E instead of W on the satnav. I apologised, and Paul was very gracious about it. But it meant that we didn't get started until 12 noon, about 90 minutes later than we should have.

I packed a rucksack with two bottles of water, spare GPS, head torch, spare head torch, sandwich, mittens; Paul put a few items of food and drink in his pockets. In his long black coat, he looked very Hasidic.

We set off. First we tried to find the bonus of another series, that I had calculated was probably on the route. We couldn't find it, so after 20 minutes we gave up, and buckled down to the series "Seven's 70th birthday."

There's not much to say. The cache pages say that it's 12 miles, which is just on the limit of what I can handle. At 2 mph, that would take 6 hours; it took us 8 hours - I'm not a fast walker.

Most of the caches were easy, which is necessary on a long circuit like this. But there was one on a big tractor tire, where I had my hand (and was looking) within a quarter of an inch of the cache, yet still failed to see it. Fortunately, Paul found it.

It got dark at about 4:30; we had 25 caches still to do. We both had head torches, but Paul's batteries were running out. Also, my energy was running out - we hadn't found a good place to sit for lunch, so I didn't get my lunch until 8pm.

The last few caches were gruelling. My back hurt, my thighs hurt and my feet were starting to hurt. The ground was soft, cloggy mud that built up on the boots, and it was uneven. But eventually we got to the road, and after that it was plain sailing.

We did 72 caches today; not bad for a day on foot!

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