The Alternates

It was an early start when I was collected by “The elves” and the four of us and “Fudge the dog” headed out to Hartley in Kent to take on The Alternatives.

The Alternates are a series of 55 caches over 8 miles, The series can also be undertaken in smaller loops with the 5 Link caches and finally there are two “Just for Coldrum” Multis which are worth picking up but they will each take you approximately 200 feet off the series.

We arrived at the GZ just before 9am and managed to luckily get the last place in the car park.

The series features some of every kind of geocache, traditional ones, premium member ones, multis, puzzles, even letterbox hybrids of which I had not done before. It also includes the longest and shortest multis I’ve ever seen. It was a bitterly cold day, and very windy at times.

It started brightly enough, and five of us soon solved the first puzzle and off we went.

We found the first half-dozen caches really quite easily and then we arrived at the seventh cache which was a puzzle cache. The co-ordinates for this were worked out prior to leaving by a member of our team from the information in the cache description and he was spot on and we found the cache with ease.

On our way round we came across Pennis Lane and Pennis House which we all thought was rather amusing it was here we took a detour and successfully collected the five link caches.

It was at cache 31 that I completed my 600th cache since February.

On arrival at cache 42 the weather took a turn for the worse but we had no choice but to push on, despite the rain getting heavier and the light fading we carried on and the last hour of our day was completed in total darkness and torrential rain with one of our member having to carry the tired and weary fudge.

Eight hours and twelve miles later we had completed sixty three caches, consisting of fifty three in “The Alternates” series, five “link” caches, The Final and The Bonus plus three random caches with no DNF’s.

This is the most caches I have completed in one day.

I would like to say a big thank you to the CO’s for a well executed thought out series.