Today I had the day off. Not a great reason for a day off as I had the funeral of a local 23 year old lad whose parents I know and I was on duty to verge/usher.
It did, however, give me the opportunity to pop out in the morning and walk another one of Izaak's archived walks and remove all the geo-litter for him (with his permission I hasten to add).
I started off by picking up a few more of the Thorpe Waterville caches that I didn't grab back at the start of December and then realised I was already running out of time.
I had worked out that I needed to be home by 12:30 so had to leave the area at 12:10 at the latest and it was already 10:45.
So a quick dash to the suggested parking spot via VS #125 Thorpe Waterville (as Paul had confirmed I was in the right place) and I was at the suggested parking spot in ten minutes, close to #1 Alwinkle and Back, although there was a 2.0m height restriction and I was in the MPV cache-wagon with a roof box so I had to inch forward and keep checking the clearance!
Once decamped I was off. I started at #1 and followed the route anticlockwise and in numerical order which followed the red path as per the map above.
I was at number 1 at 10:58 and that is where it started raining and it didn't stop till around #10 which is where the mud started.
I was live-logging my finds on c:geo, with the number and date adding functions and speech recognition which made it very easy to complete a detailed accurate log before reaching each subsequent cache. But like with Thorpe Waterville #3 number 3 on this route went wrong as well. When I came to checking all the logs later it was missing. #2 and #4 had sequential find numbers; so either I had walked right past #3 with my head down and not paying attention to the GPSr or I had cancelled the log without sending it. I'm sure I found it but not 100% so will double check when next in the area. It's not far from the car park. I can log it either way then.
So, all the hides were nice and easy, even the 'hangars' and 'squeezed' which I normally dread. My first and only failure (barring #3) was at #9 which had had a couple of DNFs and then a find. I spent too long looking there as I was trying to get round in an hour, but eventually moved on.
Once I turned left and started walking alongside the Nene the path started to get very muddy in places, this is when I realised I had make the right decision to CITO rather then re-log and publish the series. Izaak likes his mud, I am not so keen. It is a nice walk, but best kept for the summer!
On through the mud and I was approaching #12, it had 6 or so previous DNFs so this was only going to have a cursory glance as I walked past. I checked the hint location and nada, then I decided to have a quick look around just in case it had migrated, within seconds I spotted something suspicious mostly hidden in the remaining grass and realised it was the cache - how's that for luck? Makes up for #9!
Up to #17 it was now very muddy and going was slow but I was still making time to complete in under an hour. As I approached #19 I could see a chap standing right at ground zero. I decided that, as I was not going to be re-hiding, I was just going to brazenly grab the cache and walk off, luckily he decided to head off into some bushes as I approached!!! A good job too as it was a rather large cache and he may have questioned what I was doing, it could have been a scientific instrument or something!
I then arrived at #20 at 11:56 - less than an hour after starting and I clocked the route at 4.66km (including the walk to and from the car which rounded the time up to an hour!)
I was quite pleased with the time and now I wouldn't have to rush back to get showered and changed before the funeral. I even managed to stop and leave another Hello Hunts cache on the way home utilising one of my newly rescued cache pots!!