Canal Route

Ahem…sorry about that, but I was a bit tired by the time I got home last night :-) . I collected Rob and Miche (who gave me some very nice diabetic chocs…and no, I haven’t scoffed the lot yet), and we headed up to Hungerford. Those of you with long memories…or who click on this link…will remember that last year on Easter Saturday we walked eight miles of the Kennet and Avon Canal, logging eight geocaches on the way. That was the middle section of a 33-cache “power trail”, and we’d decided that this year we’d do the western end.

From Hungerford to Crofton Beam Engines, and back to Great Bedwyn for the rail-replacement bus back to the start, is 12 miles, and in that distance we found:
Marsh Lock (Berks), where I dropped off the travel bug “Spideroo” (and Rob and Miche immediately picked him up!);
Cobblers Lock (Berks);
Picketfield Lock (Berks), which took some finding – both our GPSs were pointing right at the centre of the canal;
Between;
Froxfield Lock (Wilts)
Something for Everyone!
Fore Bridge (Wilts): This one’s a multi, you take some information from signposts and use it to calculate the final cache location. As we were doing the maths, four walkers appeared from a side path and shouted “it’s up there!” – turned out they were Bekandian, and Andybug and Ladybird, who were doing the whole power trail – 33 caches in 19 miles – in one day! They were dead right, it was “up there”, and having found it we returned to the canal towpath and moved on.

Next was Little Bedwyn Lock (Wilts), a very cunningly-concealed micro cache: While we were rooting around for this one and trying not to be spotted, two canoeists went past, one shouting “Hey Paul, alright mate?” as he went – I think I know who it was, but he was a bit of a blur where they were going so fast.

After this one should have been a pub lunch, but the pub marked on the map is now a posh restaurant, so we moved on. In the end we were glad we had.

Potters Lock (Wilts) was next, and then on to
Great Bedwyn Lock (Wilts), which we failed to find – in spite of some enthusiastic pokey-stick work by Rob
.

Then we headed into the village for our delayed lunch, at The Cross Keys – not cheap, but excellent food and good value really – especially as there’s an unsecured wireless network somewhere nearby which enabled Rob and Miche to check out their favourite website.
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Onward, ever onward, and the first after lunch was
Church Lock (Wilts), placed next to a lock alongside a church – well duh! Then on to another multi with clues from a bridge, this time
Mill Bridge (Wilts). Once again we were accosted, this time by motorists looking for directions to a particular point on the canal – we think we sent them to the right place :-) . Then two fairly easy finds in quick succession,
Beech Grove Lock (Wilts), and
Wilton Brail Lock (Wilts), before moving on to the last for the day – another multi based on the museum at Crofton Beam Engines, unsurprisingly called
Crofton Beam Engines (Wilts). One of the bits of information you need here is the year the boiler was made – we rather cheekily asked the chap who told us the boiler house had just closed – he told us the year – and the place – and the manufacturer’s name – he was still rabbiting on when we wandered off to get out before they locked the gates! And then on to find the cache itself.

After which we walked back to Great Bedwyn, caught the rail-replacement bus back to where we’d left the car, and went home.

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