All posts by Caz

Backs Against The (Braxted) Wall

Trad: 4 Puzzle: 7
Walked: 10.5 miles

I’ve been meaning to tackle Mr Crow’s Great Braxted Wall series for literally years. But there always seemed to be other caches which moved higher up the to do list. Today I remedied that situation and had the company of the Corvine CO himself, who wanted to do some maintenance while we were out. A grand walk of just over 10 miles. Tiring at Crow’s pace but rewarding to finally get these turned into smilies.

Another Brick In The Wall
Another Brick In The Wall

The walk out was fine, but we met a few obstructions along the way which had to be negotiated carefully!

Tree Obstruction
Tree Obstruction

Did I mention Mr Crow’s frenetic pace? I think he slowed up a bit for me, but this was usually the view I had!

Mr Crow Strides Ahead
Mr Crow Strides Ahead

Once the wall itself was completed, we added a few more on the loop back, which were also orphans on my map.

E VII R Postbox
E VII R Postbox

As well as a rare Edward VII Postbox, we also saw a crowd of bemused looking sheep who just stared at us as we went past. Silly creatures!

Bemused Sheep
Bemused Sheep

A grand walk and good company too. Apart from the sheep!

Corvine Trio

Puzzle: 3
Walked: 1.8 miles

I’ve been banging my head against a few more of Mr Crow‘s evil Rally Round puzzles recently. I finally had two more cracked, and was pretty sure of a third, so I set off for Tiptree today to see what I could find.

The first was RR212 – Unproven Conjcture which I had sorted out rather quicker than anticipated. No trouble with the find. Next on my list was RR218 – Disdyakis Triacontahedron. Yes, that’s a mouthful.

The “solve” entailed playing an online betting game enough times that you eventually came out “on top”. Well, thankfully no money was changing hands, or I might have been bankrupt! But eventually I beat the odds and was taken to a most intriguing location. I won’t say much more, but it’s a wonder how Mr Crow finds these hidden gems! A bit of poking about soon produced the goods.

Disdyakis Triacontahedron!
Disdyakis Triacontahedron!

After my two certs, there was just RR213 – Brouwer left. This intriguing geo-spacial puzzle can be solved mathematically, but stuff that for a game of soldiers! I used some Ninja Photoshop skills which produced a loose plot worth looking at. Thankfully, it wasn’t too long before I had this delightful little duckie in hand!

Brouwer Duck
Brouwer Duck

Eastbourne By Bike

Trad: 6 Multi: 6 Puzzle: 4
Walked: 7.2 miles

Local caching buddy Kitty!! has family down in Eastbourne. She hates the drive there and back when it has to be done in a day, and was glad of some company. So I was able to hitch a ride, go and play on the seafront on my geo-bike while she went to do the family business.

I found plenty of caches along the way, including SideTracked, Church Micros and some solved puzzles which I had prepared for the trip.

SideTracked Eastbourne
SideTracked Eastbourne

Moving inland from the seafront to find some CMs…

CM8354
CM8354

The bike made life a lot easier and I was able to cover much more ground than if I had just been on foot.

CM4435
CM4435

We wrapped up with a quick find on the Downs under a great sunset, before heading back to Essex in Kitty’s car.

Last Light On The Downs
Last Light On The Downs

McWombling On The Dengie

Trad: 1 Puzzle: 5
Walked: 4.1 miles

It’s been about 7 years since I started on McWomble‘s linked Church Micro series, scattered about on the Dengie peninsula. I’ve had a few of the numbers safely written down for ages, but made a concerted effort to gather a few more a couple of months ago. Then I promptly forgot about them again.

Today I decided to see if I could finally put the series to bed. Several Bonus churches needed collecting, and the Bonus Bonus! (McWomble doesn’t do things by halves). Actually, most of these have now been adopted by Bean & Sprout, but they remain evil and pretty much in their original locations.

The first target was CM541 Mayland which I found eventually after barking up the wrong place for several minutes. It’s a nice neat little church quite a way from the village centre.

CM541 Mayland
CM541 Mayland

I stopped for another puzzle by Bean & Sprout next, Joker – which required a bit of bog snorkelling, but I had come prepared! It’s not a T4 for nothing… Then a quick trad on the way to CM538 Asheldham. Thankfully this was a quick find.

CM538 Asheldham
CM538 Asheldham

CM536 Tillingham was next, which led me a bit of a merry dance. Eventually I spotted it somewhere where I should have noticed it before.

CM536 Tillingham
CM536 Tillingham

One more bonus church to go – CM545 Bradwell St. Thomas. It’s a notoriously difficult one to find, even though it only gets a D2 rating. I’m sure the older ones are harder than some now! Anyway, after much grovelling all I came away with were damp knees and stung hands. Drat.

However, undeterred, I was only missing one bonus number, so I headed off to CM546 Bradwell St. Peter and sat in the car park to think about where it might be. Luck was on my side – the number I was missing was only going to be one of a couple of values, since it would be in the sea otherwise! So I made a guess and headed off to my GZ.

Silent Spinners - Near CM546
Silent Spinners – Near CM546

I was delighted to find the pot, exactly where it should be. Hurrah! So, just the one cache in the series still to find, but I’ll come back for that another day.

A Walk With St. Lawrence

Trad: 7
Walked: 3.2 miles

I headed over to St. Lawrence Bay today to look for a series of hides along the sea wall. The afternoon started off sunny, although the wind was rather keen in places!

Boats In The Bay
Boats In The Bay

Being close to the Winter Solstice, the light didn’t last very long. The golden grasses were soon illuminated by orange light from the fading sun.

Golden Light On Grasses
Golden Light On Grasses

The sunset happened at about the time I had just turned from the furthest point from the car, heading back. The clouds were rather good too.

Spectacular Sunset
Spectacular Sunset

Having had a DNF on a tricky D4 hide on the way out (think tupperware box under a pile of rocks), I finally bagged the tricky blighter by torchlight on the return leg. Hurrah!

Tricky Little Blighter
Tricky Little Blighter

Another enjoyable Winter walk.

Rayleigh & Hullbridge

Trad: 5 Puzzle: 1
Walked: 3.6 miles

I have been looking at the map and noticed several orphans around Rayleigh and Hullbridge, so today I set out to turn them into smileys. I had mixed success. This sad little box was found, out in the open, but no log or other bits. I re-hid it with some more camo, but I fear GZ may have been irrevocably compromised, since there was lots of rubbish strewn around the area.

A Sorry Little Box
A Sorry Little Box

The next target was a DNF – I’m pretty sure I found the right place but no cache. The only evidence was this bit of camo ribbon wrapped around a branch.

Vanished
Vanished

Oh well, Hullbridge was a bit more productive, and I saw a lovely sunset as well, so worth staying out for!

At Least There Was A Nice Sunset!
At Least There Was A Nice Sunset!

Wheatley Wood Wander

Trad: 3
Walked: 5.2 miles

Today’s little outing was to Wheatley Wood, a patch of land just to the west of Rayleigh. It’s a bit of a noman’s land, but there are public footpaths which crisscross the area.

Under The Pylon
Under The Pylon

One section is dominated by a huge pylon – but that was rather convenient for finding the cache, since it was at the bottom!

Autumn Colours
Autumn Colours

There were some lovely Autumnal colours on show today, as well as a few windfall apples on the ground. I must admit they didn’t look too appetising – so I left them where they were!

Windfalls
Windfallswhea

Fyfield Frolic

Multi: 2
Walked: 3.2 miles

I noticed a couple of new multis have sprung up in Fyfield recently, so this afternoon I decided to head over the for a little walk.

The first was along a track to the north west of the village which I hadn’t really explored before. The cache was soon in hand once I had done the number-crunching.

Oak Leaf On The Path
Oak Leaf On The Path

The second was a multi starting at Canon’s Green. It was a bit tricky to spot the info I needed (the hint as to what I was looking for was pretty cryptic). But eventually the penny dropped and I headed off up a short section of The Essex Way – familiar territory here from a previous visit a while ago. The Viking Treasure was soon located!

Along The Essex Way
Along The Essex Way

While I was in the area, I also scouted out resetting a section of The Essex Way between a stretch starting just south of Canon’s Green along to Willingale, to meet up with PeCeH‘s section there. All the pots were still in place from when they were originally archived, so I replaced the logs with fresh ones and went home to publish 15 caches under the title of Essex Way Redux. All in all a good day’s work.

Billericay & Boo!

Trad: 5 Puzzle: 1
Walked: 6.6 miles

Around lunchtime today I noticed a few new caches had been published in Billericay, so I had something to eat and then headed out on the hunt for FTF. I bombed out on one, but managed to locate Caching Crew #5 by ljgeofinder935, which I discovered had a nice blank log sheet on arrival. Hurrah, FTF No. 49.

FTF No. 49
FTF No. 49

Then I headed over to Colchester to explore Westlands Country Park – not an area I have ever visited before. There is a series of caches locally by Boo!!!, which I thought I would look for, and grab any others which were on my way. One such was The Gates Of Eden by foxscout, which was a bit of a pain to find, but I got there in the end.

The Gates Of Eden
The Gates Of Eden

Some of the other Boo hides were guarded by interesting characters! I spotted this duck…

Quacking Good Cache
Quacking Good Cache

… and also this bunny, which was quite difficult to spot. I persevered and eventually found him tucked in a hole.

Bunny Hops!
Bunny Hops!

The evenings are drawing in now, so the sun had set by the time I had finished my searches. I also ended up with a few DNFs – but I suspect that was more to do with my incompetence rather than the fading light.

Sunset Over Westlands Country Park
Sunset Over Westlands Country Park

It’s All Greek To Me

Trad: 5 Puzzle: 1
Walked: 3.5 miles

It was another crisp Autumnal day, but the sun was out so Alistair and I decided to have a walk to find some caches around Gosfield. We settled on the Greek Myths series by itandat, giving us a nice circular route.

Of course, no caching expedition is complete without at Church Micro – so we stopped off for CM370 in Gosfield before starting the main walk.

CM720 Gosfield
CM720 Gosfield

Part of the route took us past some of the holes of the local Golf club. Look out for low-flying balls!

Low Sun On Our Walk
Low Sun On Our Walk

Some of the signs were a bit the worse for wear, but we spotted them all in the end.

Alistair Shows The Way
Alistair Shows The Way

There were loads of lovely colours in the trees, and plenty of golden light to show it off at its best.

Golden Trees
Golden Trees

As the afternoon progressed, our shadows got longer and longer. I’ve never had such long legs!

Longest Legs I've Ever Had
Longest Legs I’ve Ever Had

Even towards the end of the day, there was still pockets of frost on the ground in the shadows. Some places hadn’t seen the sun all day.

Still Some Frost In The Shadows
Still Some Frost In The Shadows

As the last of the daylight was fading, we made the last of our finds – the bonus for the series, and then headed back to the car and home for tea and cake.

Last Light At Last Find
Last Light At Last Find