With the Wild Camping adventure over my first priority was sleep. However plans had already been made for our next walk training session and we were setting off again bright and early. eurgh!
Luckily I was able to catch up a bit, a rare early night and some decent sleep.
Mr muddy telling me in the morning how I was mumbling on about logs all night.
I’m not sure if that was some knock on effect of a freezing cold night under the stars or geocaching dreams but either way I slept like one.
Sunday morning – 6am – ouch, I was up and ready to go. Well ok, I was up anyway.
The plan was to walk The Bishop’s way, a nine mile loop between Ely and Little Downham.
More fenland walking, this time on medieval tracks taking you on a historic route once used by the Bishops of Ely, although I’m sure they were sensible and would have used a horse.
Once out of the city the route mostly follows grass tracks, past farmland and meadows before looping back round to Ely and the rather inspiring sights of Oliver Cromwell’s house and the impressive Cathedral.
Even better for us, somebody has helpfully laid geocaches along it. Not training for speed today then!
We were however hoping to push the milage up with a double circuit. Sadly we looked to be thwarted by the weather. Whilst getting wet isn’t too big a deal, grassy tracks however have a tendency to turn to muddy tracks in heavy rain, ok I’m muddy mum but I’m not a glutton for punishment.
We set off making our way out of the city and it was time for our first cache stop, a tricky little number on a signpost.
I was still in a sleepy daze at this point but luckily my friend was more on the ball and soon had the cache located and signed.
I had been here recently, having parked up on the very spot when a new cache notification had landed in my inbox. Spotting that the new cache was local and sizing up the quite tall signpost, well…. I’m not daft! 😉
The next few caches on the trail I had found before, some we stopped for my friend to grab, others we walked straight past oblivious – they can’t have been memorable finds.
Combining walking with caching we soon covered ground, we reached the village of Chettisham and a sneaky cache there which resides on a gate.
I’ve found this one before so gave an extra hint to my friend about the type of camouflage before mooching nearby with a cup of coffee – ahh!
My friend looked whilst I told her about the last time I was here. The husband of the CO having spotted us, hastily pulling up to see if we had found it, telling us how tricky it was and all about the trouble they were having with a throwdown logbook having been left. The grin on his face suggesting he thought we couldn’t find it.
The grin on my face much bigger as I plucked the cache once more from its hiding place. 😉
My friend wasn’t having much luck so I went over to help.
Hmm trickier than I remember ….
Checking her phone my friend starts to check previous logs for further help
‘Well, according to you it’s a ….’
Yep! That gem.
Amused by the irony but not wanting to waste time, we abandoned the search and went on our way.
The next part of the route saw caches in quick succession and we had better luck here, some varied hides and the satisfaction of finding a rather sneaky cache in a spot which had again been the target of a rogue logbook, I took some nasty stings retrieving this one but it was
almost worth it for the satisfaction of the find.
Whilst not overly helpful for our training the caching certainly makes all those miles more fun.
We are however going to have to learn to resist them as the shotley peninsula which we will be walking for our challenge is covered in caches.
Maybe it won’t be blisters that are our downfall after all.
The next cache turned out to be hidden in a tree over the other side of a ditch. My friend heroically made the leap and the find whilst I squeezed in another cheeky coffee break. Ok, so not my finest caching effort but I did launch a pen over and help her back. Super important that pen! 😉
A surprising feature of the walk was the sheer number of people who live along the route, who own classic red telephone boxes. Displayed in front gardens much like some oversized gnome. Seriously, loads of them.
One particular example had been lovingly restored and was now home to a selection of hanging baskets.
Clearly they are missing a trick, we already know they should be used for housing books and geocaches! 😉
By now the rain was setting in for the day and as we approached Little Downham we could see the Cathedral (where we had parked) far off in the distance.
With murmurs of ‘Sod the second lap.’ it was time to get our heads down and some ground covered.
The final caches of the walk disregarded.
A trudge back to Ely through heavy rain and muddy tracks. This is definitely a fair weather trail.
Without the caching and with the motivation of getting out of the rain, our walk back was a quick one.
Maybe not such a wasted training exercise after all.