Trad: 15 Challenge: 1 Virtual: 1
Walked: 8.6 miles
Today I moved on from my hotel overlooking the Bristol Channel to Oswestry. I took anything but the shortest route! I had planned a day of drive bys to pick up three specific caches and seven new counties. Here’s what my Counties Map looked like first thing this morning:
Severn View was right by the hotel, and together with another nearby, it ticked off Gloucestershire first thing.
The next find was another Gloucestershire hide, this time a Challenge. Then I moved on to City of Bristol for two caches – Blaise Hamlet Virtual was the first, followed by one close to some wind turbines which filled in a distance band for another Challenge cache I’ve been working on.
Next on the agenda, I crossed into South Wales to pick up several new counties there, including Monmouthshire, Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent. The box at Aberbeeg Pack Horse Bridge was looking rather sorry for itself, but the others were found reasonably quickly – although I did target at least two in each county in case of DNFs.
Once they were ticked off, the main reason for being in that part of the country was to visit the venerable old Ammo can, The First In Wales, near Abergavenny, which has been out in the wild since February 2001!
The walk to the summit was pleasant enough and not too strenuous – it was about a mile from the car park.
The view from the top was a little cloudy, but there was a Trig Point to admire as well.
The cache itself was a bit further on, effectively buried in a boulder field. I spent almost an hour clambering about, trying not to break my ankle while turning countless stones over to see if the box was there.
The best advise from the cache listing was to look at the spoiler photos – which I thought I had already downloaded to my phone. But no. Attempting to pull them up offline just showed me a blank box with the caption “null” – argh!
Eventually, I found one rock which had 3G phone reception if I stood stock still – so I hastily downloaded some photos and found one which showed several prominent rocks lined up in a certain order. Sure enough, once I got myself into that position, I spied the corner of the ammo box hiding under a pile of rubble! Phew. Never been so glad to find a cache in my life! Can you tell by my stupid grin?
Little Quacker was pleased to have his photo taken with the box too.
I made my way back to the car, very pleased with job done, even though it had taken much longer than it should have. I arrived back at the car park just as it started to rain heavily!
The drive to Oswestry was long and rather tedious, but I stopped off to photograph the lovely sunset along the way:
Here you are – a few more counties ticked off the map! (I think I did this screenshot from a day or so later, so Powys, Shropshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire are also filled in: