September 25 – A geocaching trail around Fen Drayton Lakes

Cambridgeshire Guided Busway

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

Today I had planned a walk around the Fen Drayton Lakes which begins not far from the house and follows the guided bus route for a while before turning and following a series of lakes. We found nine out of ten caches that we looked for and walked 8 km. It was a lovely fine day and just the right temperature for a long, flat walk.

The guided busway connects Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives in the English county of Cambridgeshire and at 16 km is the longest guided busway in the world. Most of the way is for the bus alone and only when it reached the towns does it join roads where it has to join other traffic. The busway was originally a train route which was made obsolete. The buses travel at 55 miles per hour slowing to 30 where they cross highways. The bus is guided using a guide wheel-on-concrete-kerb method and each section is made of pre-cast concrete. The busway id 6 metres wide, consisting of two 2,6 metre wide tracks. A total is 2,5000,000 trips were made in the first year of operation in 2011. It is a very convenient way of travelling to these towns and one stop is at a park and ride. We only had to walk about 400 metres from the house to be able to get onto the bus when we went to Cambridge.

The first cache that we found after turning off the follow the footpath around the lakes too us very close to a fisherman. We easily found the cache but he was not happy about us being nearby and wanted to know what we were doing. I don’t think he understood our explanation but he was more worried about someone poaching his fishing spot. Once we found all the caches we could we still had a long walk home so we played a game naming all the animals, birds and plants for each letter of the alphabet, sometimes cheating outrageously, but it did pass the time and was lots of fun. We also saw lots of different birds around the lakes including a wonderful heron posing on a post in the water. We also found bushes of fruiting plants like the Guelder rose and a lovely peacock butterfly. We were also able to see the Swavesey Windmill which was built in 1866 and is a grade 2 listed building and on the other side of the lake St John the Baptist church at Holywell. We got to within a few hundred metres of the church but there was the Great River Ouse between it and us so it will be a trip for another day.