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Thursday, 12 June 2014

A long circuit

Today I went north again, to do "Uffingdon and back", which is a circuit of 56 caches; I did an extra four along the way, a total of 61.

I couldn't see an easy way to divide it into two segments; I'd have to do the whole big circuit in one bite. That meant a bit of planning. I prefer to have only one bike pannier, because it means that I can lay the bike down on the side that's pannier-less; it also makes it slightly easier to get over obstacles (only one bag to carry).

So I packed four of my usual 5AH batteries, but I thought that might not be enough, so I also packed two of my new 4AH batteries. And I took two bottles of water, because on a hot day like this, I'll need it.

So I set off. The track was dry mostly, which is good for biking over. Soon after I started, I encountered two nano caches (hint: behind lamppost) that had been DNFed by previous cachers, and it looked like the cache had gone (there's only one place you can hide a cache behind a lamppost), so I replaced those.

The circuit route then took me down a track that wasn't a public right of way, according to my map. That made me a bit uncomfortable, but I didn't encounter any angry farmers. Then I was back on mapped tracks, I carried on to Barholm, then Greatford, where I did a minor diversion to pick up a phone box cache ... except that Anglian Water had the road up, and no vehicles could get through. Except bikes. And on the way back, the workmen stopped their activities so I could pass through safely.

Then on to an ancient multi "Definitely borderline 1". I'd had a look at this on the web site, because I do like doing ancient caches, and it looked like I wouldn't be able to do it. The previous cacher had failed to find the micro that starts you off, and the cacher before that had been unable to find the info for the northing. But the track was a good one, and I was on the bike, so I thought, wotthehell, and biked the 400 yards to the micro. I was surprised at how easily I found it. It wasn't under the first tree I checked, but it was very obvious under the second tree. So then on to pick up the information. I got to the railway bridge, and it tells you to count the 30mm bolts. I had a look at that bridge, and there seemed to be hundreds of them! Then I realised that most of what I was looking at, were rivets. That still left an awful lot, but then I realised that most of the bolts were much smaller than 30mm. So I got the info that gave me the westings, but I need the northings. I remembered something I'd seen on the way to the bridge, and I went back and had a more careful look, and there it was! So now I had the coordinates, it was just a matter of cycling about a kilometer, which I did, and then the cache was an easy find. It hasn't been found for a year; maybe people will go look for it now that I've shown that it's still viable.

65 caches done today, and I only used three of the 5AH batteries.

And quite a bit of sneezing. It's that time of year.

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