Another rainy start to the day meant we stayed indoors until it had cleared up a bit. But the temporary dog needed a walk and once the precipitation had ceased, we all headed out along the seafront for a stroll.
It was rather blustery but pleasant enough. The old Regent cinema is always worth a photo or two – and then I remembered there was a cache next door, Hello, Sailor!
I’m staying in Deal with a friend for a few days, and once the overnight storms had passed we headed to St. Margaret’s Bay for a nice lunch in the Pines Café. My friend was dog-sitting for another friend, so after our lunch we took the hound for a walk on the cliffs.
We just happened to be passing the hide at the Lighthouse, Get To The Point, so it would have been rude not to stop and find it!
I went to stay with a semi-muggle friend in Deal today, but first I had a client meeting in Birchington this afternoon. You never know what the traffic will be like, so I left plenty of time for my journey and arrived with a couple of hours to spare. What to do? Well, find a few caches, of course!
The chalk cliffs are quite impressive around here, and one or two caches had a great view from their GZ.
Birchington Bay has a good view across the water to Westgate-on-Sea, too.
With my caching done, and my meeting finished, I headed to Deal to my overnight destination.
I was back to Kent today to pick up at least 24 Leterboxes, 4 Multis and two Puzzles, so I could qualify for a couple of Challenges elsewhere. There were a couple of suitable circuits around East Peckham and Beltring, so I headed south of the river.
The first circuit offered a good parking spot at St. Michael’s church, East Peckham. So it would have been rude not to pick up the trad and CM nearby before setting off on my letterbox quest.
My usual trick with letterboxes is to forget to bring my personal stamp along, but I remembered this time! All logs got a nice fat imprint.
Of course, most of the letterboxes contained their own stamps (a couple were missing), so by the time I had finished, I had a nice collection in my own notebook.
Well that’s job done and another two Challenge caches can be moved onto the “qualified for” pile.
I enjoyed a trip into Kent today to pick up a couple of Challenge caches and some higher DT boxes to get my Grid Loop 2 filled a bit more. One of the first was (Un)lucky Dip near Ashford. I had to park next to a field of pumpkins!
The cache itself was under a little road bridge, so I donned my waders and off I went. Nothing unlucky about it today, I found the pot no problem.
The Village Sign in Wye is a rather snazzy modern thing, but it gave me the info to find the VS cache nearby.
The last port of call were some higher T caches around the Downes to the north east of Ashford. Thankfully, a few of them could be done with a modest walk or as cache and dash.
The nights are drawing in now, so although I wasn’t out that late, the sun had begun to set by the time I was close to finishing. A nice end to the day.
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!
I’m heading to Imber Village in Wiltshire this weekend (more of that tomorrow), but first I had to drive to Margate in Kent for meeting this afternoon. You never know what the motorways are going to do, so I set off super early and had time for a few finds in Kent before the meeting. Since I was passing, I stopped off briefly for the 13th Day Of Every Month Challenge just south of Whitstable. Then the T3.5 Earthcache near Reculver was high on the agenda.
I had lunch next to the pretty little Church at Reculver before doing the Church Micro.
Once my meeting was done, it was back on the motorways, but I had time for one or two on my way to my hotel in Berkshire this evening – the payoff for travelling on the M25 on a Friday night!
The CM at Eversley was hardly a Micro! Little Quacker met a blue friend in the big ammo box we found. Why Eversley? Well I needed just one CM in the CM44xx range to finally qualify for The Mega Church Micro (CM) Challenge Cache and this wasn’t too far off my planned route. Job done!
The last stop of the day was to Burghclere Memorial Chapel for the CM there, before turning in for the night and settling down to log the day’s finds.
At the start of this year, I set myself the challenge of completing my DT grid. Here’s how it looked back then (the yellow squares were the targets for my outing on Day #166) – 26 empty holes.
Since then I have been chipping away at the empty squares, looking for specific caches to fill the gaps. As of today I have just one left! The tricksy D5/T4.5:
Together with geobuddy Infinson, who only had 3 empty squares to fill, and his son fincache, we headed off to Kent today to make sure we finished off the task!
The first was The Nest, a D5/T4.5 which both Ian and I needed. We chickened out and sent Ryan up the tree. He is a climbing instructor, so he knows what he’s doing!
While that technically meant we had done the job, I wasn’t happy until I’d actually got my hands on a D5/T4.5 under my own steam. So we headed to our backup cache, North Downs Adventure #10 (4×4 Cache & dash MkII) with my new telescopic ladder! There we go, cache in hand. Who needs to climb? 😉
I had anticipated I might finish off the grid today, so I brought along my 81 Star Geo-Achievement coin to pose with once I had done it.
We stopped off at several other high DT caches around Walderslade and then headed for OMG – which is a jaw-dropping D3.5/T5 along a pipe over the River Medway. I wanted nothing to do with this one! But Ian gamely sent his first-born son up there to do the deed. That was his penultimate square ticked off.
Infinson’s one remaining empty square was the elusive D1.5/T5 at Damp Ankles near Dartford. It was pretty dry today, and we made short work of it!
So there we go – two of us finishing off our DT grids today and Ryan having a lot of fun too. Here’s to adventures!
And once I had come home and logged the finds, my grid now looks very satisfying indeed:
Julian and I had more muggle business to attend to in Margate this afternoon, but I was told I could escape for a walk if I wanted to. So I set off in blustery conditions, which of course got worse and worse the further away I was from the house. Grrr.
Eventually I returned, quite damp from the rain, having found a trio along the cilff tops of Walpole Bay, with a couple of DNF’s thrown in too. Julian looked at me rather smugly as he’d been very sensible and stayed dry indoors!
Still in Kent staying with Julian today, we had some muggle-related business in Margate at lunch time but took the opportunity on the way back to Deal to stop off in Cliffsend, Pegwell Bay to have a little geowalk.
The first find was a Multi, The Vikings Are Coming, themed around the replica Viking lonship, Hugin, which is on permanent display on the cliff top. I collected the numbers while Julian went for a wander around the now-disused hoverport below, which he remembers well from his childhood growing up in the area. He and his friends used to take day trips on the Hovercraft to France like they were getting the bus to Canterbury! And his parents used to do their weekly shopping in Cité Europe as it was quicker, cheaper and easier to pop over there than going to the local big town. How times have changed!
After finding the multi, we went for a little potter to pick up some other nearby trads, including one overlooking a duck pond. I do like a nice duck – and this one was particularly pretty!
Then I persuaded him to drive us past the “Ham Sandwich” sign, which I’ve seen before, but wanted to take a better photograph of. We retired to the nearby pub in Finglesham for a quiet pint. I was idly flicking through nearby caches on my phone when I noticed there was one at the sign which we had missed! (I hadn’t loaded up every cache in Kent onto my GPS, despite what you may assume).
So we detoured again on the way back to Deal to have a root around. It was a tricky blighter, but eventually I spotted it safely lurking in the undergrowth.
I nearly forgot to mention that I’ve now reached the Day 300 milestone – so only 66 days to go for my full year geostreak! How time flies…