19. May, 2022

BP

To me, BP brings to mind only one name and that‘s Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout movement. So when I spotted the BP Stroll series of trads near Potters Bar in Herts, I wondered what the connection to the Defender of Mafeking was?🤔 It turned out that there was no connection, BP meant Brookmans Park. Now I always thought that this was an actual park but actually it’s a village. 

The BP Stroll was a circular walk with extensions and there was a nearby linear walk of 11 trads but they would all boost my Herts total. So I pulled into the designated parking spot just before dawn and walked down into the village in anticipation. 

It was a great start.🥴 After about 20 minutes, I still couldn’t find 1 BP Stroll so I reluctantly gave up and moved on to #2. This was another long search but I eventually found this clever hide. The hint and coords were spot on. In any new series, it takes a while to tune into the COs wavelength and I was beginning to understand.

I carried on with the series but I knew that I was going to deviate a lot to fit everything in. I worked my way up the side of the railway track up to #4 and then on to #13 which was near Brookmans Park Station but alas no ST. I knew that this one would be tricky due to all the recent DNFs. I couldn’t find it but the CO assured me that it was. I carried on to #14, then 15, 22 and then 17. I could now see that the CO had put out a lot of cunning caches and I was enjoying the series.

I now took off in another direction and along the route of the There and Back series of trads. I completed all the caches and then broke off for something to eat at the nearby Dutch Village. For the first time ever, I had finished my bacon sandwich before my coffee turned up. In fact I waited another ten minutes after the last bite. I won’t be going back there again.🥴

It was a 2.5Km walk from the cafe down to 18 BP Stroll and luckily I had a quick find here. I was back on route (for a while) and picked up nos 19 and 21 before stumbling onto The Mimmshall Mystery EC. This was based on the principle of Swallow Holes which I had never encountered before.

I made a fundamental error here which I hope I never repeat. Part of the EC was to visit the Warrengate Lane flood defences to take some measurements but this was 1.2Km away. So I set off without checking the route of the next caches on my list. Anyway let’s just say that I walked 2.4Km more than I had to.🤬🤬🤬

I completed the EC and then carried on with the Stroll. I found #20 and then BP Stroll extension 5. Back near the flood defences, I found the COAL POST 32 trad and then carried on with the extension series. The sun was out and I was getting weary but I had to pass(ish) all the remaining caches to get back to the car.

I latched onto the BP Stroll again and worked my way in reverse from #11 down to #6 but unfortunately I couldn’t find #7. I was getting close to the end of the walk and found the last cache #12 next to the car. All the way around #1 had been bugging me so I was determined to find this one. To tell the truth, I had received an unexpected further hint from the CO and I eventually felt this well positioned cache for a positive end to the day.👏👏 

1 Earthcache 35 Traditional 

#15121