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.
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.
Some of the other Boo hides were guarded by interesting characters! I spotted this duck…
… and also this bunny, which was quite difficult to spot. I persevered and eventually found him tucked in a hole.
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.
I had a great day wandering around picking up some new Village Signs set by Fenners1984. I knew four of them had already had finds, but there were still some FTFs up for grabs. In the end I had success at Great Baddow, Sandon and Little Waltham, all multis.
Having also found the others which had already fallen, I now had all the numbers I needed to go for the puzzle of VS Writtle. I was delighted to find FTF No. 47 there.
That lead to the final location for VS Chelmsford – again, another FTF, No. 48. A nice little linked series and five FTFs in the bag, a fun outing.
I was poking around the map this morning wondering where to go for a walk when I noticed five new boxes had popped up in the Stondon area. They were also close to a couple of orphans which I had been meaning to pick up for ages. So the decision was made.
I’m not usually one to rush out for a FTF, and I didn’t exactly rush today, but luck was on my side and I bagged four in a row on the Geocashe (sic) trail. Yay!
After my little walk, I relocated for a cache and dash nearby – and was surprised to find another blank log sheet here too. Five in one day is my best haul for as long as I can remember. Hooray.
Today’s trip was a drive to the East Peckham area in Kent to pick up some specific Challenge Caches with some high DTs. One location was a rather well-laden orchard with some tasty looking apples clustered on the trees.
I headed for a Letterbox cache which was clearly near the site of an old pub – all that remained was an empty sign!
Of course, Kent is famed for its Oast Houses and there was a particularly fine example on one part of my walk.
Last night I had a notification that yet another cache in the excellent Common Genius series on Danbury Common had been published. While I was out in Kent, I checked the phone to see if any finds had been logged yet. Nope. But I was reasonably convinced that someone would have had a go at it by now. However, I thought I would give it a punt on the way home anyway.
I arrived at the car park and it was already dark. Previously, I would not have attempted it, but having found 20 in the dark the other day, I wasn’t phased. Arrived at GZ with head torch and hand torch. Aha! Another field puzzle, which thankfully I quickly sorted out. OOOOh! And a lovely blank log sheet. FTF No. 38 – don’t mind if I do!
Another busy day today, for starters, I decided to head back to Fyfield to see if I could finally find Stumped 56 which I had bombed out on back on Day #386. It has been live for over a month with nobody but me even attempting it!
I arrived around GZ once more and had another look in the same places as last time, when it was virtually dark. Still nothing. But then I realised there was somewhere else which I should have taken more notice of the first time. And voilà! Very pleased to finally crack this tough nut, making it FTF No. 34.
After that success, I headed off to Matching to walk a nice little loop around the village and surrounding fields. The Bonus cache was based around the charming Medieval Marriage Feasting Hall, which looked rather splendid in front of the church, despite the slightly overcast weather.
All in all a tiring walk, but with 15 finds today, I was rapidly working my way towards my 6,000 finds milestone, which is now just 13 caches away!
Last night I noticed a bunch of new traditional caches had appeared on the map, scattered around Danbury Common, the Common Genius’ series by ThorntonGenius. I wasn’t in a hurry, and set off just before noon. The first cache had already been found late last night, and I was fully expecting the rest to have signatures on the logs too. But I got to the second one on my list and was surprised to see a lovely blank sheet, once I had figured out the field puzzle to get me into the pot. Great, FTF No. 29.
A little walk later, and FTF No. 30 was also mine, with another fun field puzzle, easier than the last, but still tricky to get into the box. I think they are Quirky Caches, which are always fun to do.
As I made my way around the footpaths on the common, I picked up another three FTF’s, giving me five in total today, more than I’ve ever found in one day in 8 years of caching. And all of them, largely a surprise! A good day out.
I’m not really a FTF junkie, but I was rather pleased to have picked up so many today. Wheeee!
I had a meeting in Colchester this afternoon, but had time to pick up a couple of trads nearby beforehand. They were easy enough finds. Then I headed to a muggle friend’s in Ingatestone for dinner and a chat. I thought my caching was done for the day.
About 8pm my phone pinged with a notification that a new cache had been published very close to home, Beano In Essex 3. Drat. I bet the FTF-hounds will be on it like a shot, I thought. Never mind.
I didn’t hurry my dinner engagement (and I wasn’t about to forgo pudding!) But once I had left, I did a quick check online and noticed nobody else had logged it yet. I would be driving right past the thing, so I thought I might as well stop off for a quick look-see.
It was now dark, and I’m a bit rubbish at night caching, but I had a torch and blundered about for a few minutes before spotting the bison! Yay! And a blank log sheet too, that’s FTF No. 28.
More and more of the archived Essex Way series are being resurrected by various cachers along the route. Recently a new section between Fairstead and White Notley has come back online, placed by Potternut. So today I took Alistair along for the walk – it’s great to have him visiting again for a week.
Here he is, doing his best impression of a Munchkin, due to an unfortunate camera angle and a wide-angle lens! Made me laugh…
We also visited the new Earthcache in White Notley – all about the Puddingstone – yum yum.
Our last find was due to be at the little bridge over the Brain. But then a funny thing happened…
I had the GPS but had forgotten to tell Alistair we had finished all the batch of caches along this stretch. But he carried on to the next likely spot and found another pot! What? We guessed we had found the unpublished No. 16! So he’s claiming FTF for that one.
We walked on a little further and I then claimed FTF on No. 17 – again unpublished. I contacted the CO when we got home, and the cache pots had only been put out that morning! It took the reviewer another 3 days to agree the publication.
So a very welcome, but certainly unexpected, FTF – No. 27 for me. 😀
I slightly twisted my ankle yesterday after my caching walk, so decided to do some Dengie peninisula drive-bys today to give it bit of a rest.
I didn’t get going until nearly 6pm, just as a notification for a new Village Sign in Bicknacre dropped into my inbox. Oooh, you never know – might be on for FTF. I’m not normally one to chase them, but as I was going that way anyway, it would seem rude not to give it a shot.
It was a simple nano on a park bench, but yes, the log was blank when I arrived. Yay! FTF No. 26 in the bag.
There were a few Church Micros on the list, two in Latchingdon and one in Althorne, all picked up with ease.
I also found a couple of puzzles this evening – another new Really SideTracked, Cold Norton and the final Mr Mercator hide I hadn’t yet found, Lucky Eight.
There was also a lovely Letterbox hide in Althorne, Cheats Never Prosper. The cache title didn’t make much sense until I saw the great big stamp in the box! Bean & Sprout’s letterboxes always have the best stamps I’ve seen. I left a trackable for the mice to look after too.