12. Nov, 2019

Sloths and Snakes In Sandon

As you know, I’m playing the numbers game this month but I’d spotted another challenge where the qualification is to amass 1000 caches from just two COs. I looked at my stats and saw that I was close to that using ryo62 and jazzyjessups as my sources. So I had another look at ryo62’s list and saw that there was a juicy series of 36 trads in Sandon north of Hertford that would do quite nicely, thank you.

Now there’s one of my favourite coffe shops in Hertford so I helped them open the doors at 7am. That reminded me of my Dad, who used to help the landlord of the Long Riding pub, near where we lived, open his doors at 7pm on a Sunday night. The pub is long gone but at least I have put a cache nearby for the Lost Pubs series.

Having breakfasted, I drove up the road and found the CM in Bengeo, one that I had previously DNFed but I now know it was MIA. I then drove up to Sandon and parked up in the parking area near the green.

After donnino my boots, I set off for a quick find of the trad CM and then the first of the series near the road. There was a bit of road walking picking up caches until it was time to turn off on to the footpaths. Now I had negotiated some big puddles on the road but as I was walking down the track, puddles becomes quagmires and at one cache, the water was flooding off the fields. When I got to a crossroads of tracks, there was a Water Board van blocking the road and he had to reverse a little bit so I had a a dryish bit of ground to cross the track. 

I found myself walking down a dry section for a while, collecting caches but every time I noted opinion the log page that it was getting drier, I encountered some puddles.🤔 I was having a clear run until I got to the Letterbox cache at LB. It got a bit confusing here. I had to work out coords using info from a footpath sign with a white top. Now the sign adjacent to the LB didn’t have a white top. However, I could see another sign about 200 yards up the track that had a silver top. In the end I worked out coords using both but still couldn’t find the cache. This was my only DNF of the day.

I was coming across a variety of clever caches, including one guarded by a cobra and one guarded by a piece of broccoli. However, the latter had a section of WW2 tank track metalwork nearby which was a welcome sight. I got to #36 just as the rain started to fall and I noted that the circuit had taken me 3 hours and ten minutes to complete.

On the way back to the car, I picked up the trad VS and then worked out the coords for the FP and then drove down there for a quick find. A few minutes north of Sandon is the village of Kelshall. The CM here was a quick find as was the nearby multi WM and then I drove down to the Village Hall. This was the base for the multi VH and the trad FP.

The next village north was Therfield and this was rich in caches. I had sorted out the VH mystery jigsaw puzzle at home so this was my first find, followed up by the trad CM. I walked up to find the Trigtastic trad but felt that this would have been better suited to be one of the Water Tower series. If I lived nearer, I’d place a multi cache here for that. I continued my walk around the town and found the mystery CM. This was a new one for me as I had to use Streetview to work out the coords and to my amazement, I found the well placed cache. I worked my way back to the Fox & Duck pub and carried on up the adjacent footpath to the LB trad. A quick find here and it was back to the pub for a cordon bleu coffee and sandwich.

I had worked out that I needed more 1/2.5 caches for another challenge cache near Swanley in Kent and there were a couple down near Wadesmill on the A10 that would come in handy. I picked up a couple of Lay-By trads on the way and picked up Jacob’s Ladder and Gorge-ous, which was a bit of a route march. I was running out of time and there were more 1/2.5s nearby which would have to wait for another time. So I quickly found another couple of trads nearby to get the lie of the land for later. Now it was time to hit the road, Jack.😀

2 Mystery 3 Multi 50 Traditional