With the car still in for repair today, I was left with caching by public transport again. I decided to get he bus to Basildon. Since I was having to go that far, I might as well choose somewhere with more than just a couple of possible finds.
The cache at the cool glass bell tower was an easy find, and then I went to find a few more in Gloucester Park. Not a bad haul for the day, half a dozen in all.
The morning was spent organising getting my sick car to the garage. Another ride on the back of a tow truck, another expensive bill, no doubt! We shall have to wait and see what the diagnosis is.
Being without transport again, I had to resort to one of my standby caches, this time Chignal Chase #1. By the time I set off to catch the bus it was beginning to turn nasty. By the time I got off the bus to start my 1.5 mile round trip walk to the cache there was a bitter westerly wind blowing stinging rain and hail into my face!
Several times I wondered what the hell I was doing here, and the only thing which kept me trudging on was some of my favourite music piped through my headphones. Eventually I reached a very welcome sign – the target of my search.
Cache found, I had to turn around and trudge back to the bus stop, barely able to feel my legs from the bum to ankles. The things I do for this geostreak!
Leap Day is of course a one-in-four year event. Geocachers get excited about it as it enables them to fill that elusive missing day in their “finds by date calendar”. In 2012 I hosted the Essex Meet Leap Day event and had my arm twisted to do it again this year.
This morning was also the day that my pesky car decided to die again – the third time in 5 months! Argh! What to do?
I knew I wouldn’t have time to get it sorted out today, so just left it sulking on the drive and hopped on the train to Ingatestone to find a couple of Kitty!!’s new caches in her old Mamma Mia loop.
The sky was blue and the sun was shining. Thankfully it wasn’t too windy or muddy underfoot. And thanks to the generosity of a couple of caching friends, I got a lift to and from the pub in Mountnessing where the event was held this evening – it would have been very embarrassing not to turn up at my own do!
Today’s outing was a trip to Brentwood on the bus. It took some careful planning as the 351 only runs every two hours on a Sunday.
I had mixed success with the urban hides. It was finds at the bus stop hide, Next Stop Barking, and Brentwood School but sadly nothing doing at Ding Dong. (I think the battery is dead which is a shame).
Another successful find was Hope For Humphrey, inhabited by this cute horsey (who wants to stay in the cache to meet other visitors).
It was rather a grizzly day (grey + drizzle) and sadly I didn’t find Scouting Out Merrymead or the next two hides I looked for, but in the end I managed four finds for the day, could be worse.
Thankfully the bus was on time to take me home, so another successful outing.
Today’s outing was a trip to Witham by train (and bus to the station from home). I got all the clues for the long multi, Witham Perambulate but then stuffed up doing the numbers properly, so didn’t actually look for it. Having re-crunched them at home I see it’s because I can’t add up! D’oh. Anyway, geo-check has now confirmed the location, so I can find it another day.
I did manage two quick finds though, Bowled Over #2 and Church Micro #4240, so it wasn’t a fruitless trip!
Another visit to the Chignal Chase series by PeCeH was on the cards today. I decided to pick up No. 3 this time as parking at GZ isn’t so easy and I was on the bus/walking again to day. I’m getting to know this road well now! The remainder are much more easily done with the car (when I eventually get it back!)
This time to Billericay to pick up the Sun Corner Park Cache & Dash hide. Pity Sun Corner wasn’t sunny at all – it started to drizzle just as I arrived, but another quick find, thankfully. I enjoyed a panini for lunch in the town before hopping on the bus home again.
The tow truck arrived this morning to cart off the car to the garage. Once we had dropped it off, I walked into Chelmsford to run some errands which took a couple of hours.
Today’s cache had to be another of my “emergency” reserves – this time one of the Chignal Chase series recently set by PeCeH. I got the bus as far as I could and then walked out to the furthest of the five I still hadn’t found – I’d rather do it that way so they will get easier over time! No. 5 is called Nano Neigh Never, and was thankfully a very quick find.
The bus trip home again took AGES – it seems that bus timetables are a work of fiction, as is a “half-hourly service” on Route 54 🙁
I knew I needed to bag an Earth cache today to complete my 15-day streak of unusual hides for a Challenge Cache. The nearest accessible by a bus route was the other side of Basildon, at One Tree Hill. Thankfully the No. 100 bus passes the end of my road, so although it took an hour each way, there weren’t any changes to be made. And I got to ride shotgun on the way there with a great front seat view:
First on the agenda was the trickly puzzle cache, Poly Knows It All!!! by Unobtainium, which I had press-ganged Alistair into solving for me a few weeks ago.
Next up was the Earth Cache at the huge Trig Point on top of One Tree Hill (I was disappointed – it has many more than its name would suggest!).
It was a bit murky across the Thames Estuary when I was up there, but it did brighten up later when I was on lower ground looking for a dead rat!
I was hoping to revive Deceased Rodent today – which meant a hike of just over a mile from One Tree Hill via VERY muddy paths. After all that effort schlepping through the quagmire, I was a bit gutted to DNF the little critter in the end.
I made it back to the bus stop (having thoroughly cleaned my boots in some long grass) and sat for another hour on the way home. Job done for the challenge, which can now be moved from the “in progress” to the “qualified” pile. 🙂
A few days ago I noticed I would qualify for an interesting Challenge cache if I could keep up a streak of 15 days (not a problem) AND find one Puzzle, Multi, Virtual, Letterbox, Trad, Church Micro, Challenge, Whereigo and Earth cache during the streak (only one type to be used each day).
Having looked at my recent finds I realised that the period starting on 24th November had in fact already accomplished most of this – I just needed a Whereigo and an Earth to complete the requirements.
The nearest Whereigo accessible by public transport was the Mersea Island Meander, set for the UK Essex Mega week, which I had not had time to find then. So a bus, train and another bus later (nearly two hours!) and I was standing at the start point with my iPhone app fired up and started following the instructions.
I was mighty pleased that it all worked OK and I found the pot at the end, after about an hour’s stroll around West Mersea.
It’s only the second Whereigo I’ve done, but there are a few more of interest not too far away, so I may give them a go in the near future.
There was just time to bag the Multi, Watertower #21 before the bus was due to take me home again.