Tag Archives: little quacker

Day #391 – Imber Ghost Village

Trad: 4 Multi: 2 Puzzle: 3 Challenge: 5
Letterbox: 1 Earth: 1 Virtual: 4 Event: 1
Walked: 6 miles

I enjoyed another crazy day today, on my road trip from Essex. I had originally planned to visit Imber Village (for the rare D5 Virtual) next weekend, but checking the access times again a few days ago, I noticed the MoD had decided to close it early. So it was this weekend or bust! A hastily-arranged road trip saw me finally visit the Ghost Village and fulfil an ambition at last. However there were a few caches along the way which needed my attention first!

Selfie At Woodhenge
Selfie At Woodhenge

The village of Durrington was worth a visit, for the Woodhenge Virtual, Cuckoo Stone Earthcache…

The Cuckoo Stone
The Cuckoo Stone

… and Sun Gap Cache – another Virtual to tick off the list.

Sun Gap Cache Virtual
Sun Gap Cache Virtual

Then on to the main reason for my trip, Imber Village. It’s a spooky place, even when full of summer visitors. The MoD only open it for about 4 weeks in total each year, so it was definitely worth going when the opportunity arose.

Spooky Houses In Imber Village
Spooky Houses In Imber Village

The church has two caches associated with it, one of which requires a visit inside, and with even more limited opening times than the village itself, the window to get the information was pretty small! I’m so glad my plans worked out.

Imber Church
Imber Church

Once that business was concluded, I was able to drive across some of the ranges of Salisbury Plain to pick up a few challenge caches which I had qualified for. But you must remember to give way to the Routemaster Bus from Warminster to Imber, ferrying curious muggles to the place I had just left!

Give Way To The Bus On The Ranges!
Give Way To The Bus On The Ranges!

After the challenges, I was able to find The Biggest Cache In Wiltshire too, which turned out be a true monster!

The Biggest In Wiltshire!
The Biggest In Wiltshire!

The log was equally massive, and I had a bit of trouble trying to take a selfie in the rain with the logsheets flapping about in the wind! Here’s the best you get.

Ridiculous Log!
Ridiculous Log!

From sunny in Imber, the weather was beginning to deteriorate. It was quite cold and damp by the time I arrived at Caen Flight for the multi nearby, a 2002-vintage hide and a Large as well.

Caen Flight In The Gloom
Caen Flight In The Gloom

On the way back, I stopped off at Silbury Hill to log the Virtual there, taking another selfie in the gloom. At least it had stopped raining.

Silbury Hill And Clouds
Silbury Hill And Clouds

Then it was time to head back to Lambourne in Berkshire for the nearest Finish Line event for the HQ Duck Dash. Little Quacker has had fun over the last month, but is now happy to go into retirement, having covered 1,408 miles with me! I wouldn’t normally do that many miles in a month, but it did occur during the period of my 10-day holiday in North Wales and elsewhere, to visit two Megas!

Day #390 – To Berkshire Via Kent!

Trad: 5 Multi: 1 Challenge: 1 Letterbox: 1
Earth: 1
Walked: 5 miles

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.

Looking For Sharks' Teeth
Looking For Sharks’ Teeth
Blowy Day At Reculver
Blowy Day At Reculver
Little Quacker Takes A Swim
Little Quacker Takes A Swim

I had lunch next to the pretty little Church at Reculver before doing the Church Micro.

CM3444 - Reculver
CM3444 – Reculver

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!

CM4415 - Eversley
CM4415 – Eversley

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!

It's A BIG Micro
It’s A BIG Micro

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.

CM8001 - Burghclere
CM8001 – Burghclere

Day #389 – Time For New Shoes

Trad: 5 Multi: 1
Walked: 4 miles

My current walking shoes now have holes in them (that’s what a daily caching streak can do for your footwear!). So I decided to visit GoOutdoors in Pitsea to buy a new pair.

Of course, having found some which fitted nicely, I wanted to try them out, so had a bit of a walk in Vange and Basildon to break them in, caching as I went.

Random "Art" Along The Way
Random “Art” Along The Way

Little Quacker was very helpful in finding what we were looking for here..

Little Quacker Found It!
Little Quacker Found It!

New shoes broken in, and half a dozen caches in the bag, I went home to put my feet up!

Day #388 – London Summer Evening

Trad: 3 Multi: 1 Puzzle: 1 Challenge: 1 Virtual: 1
Walked: 7 miles

One good thing about having to work in London on a Summer’s day, is that you get a nice Summer’s evening for a geo-walk afterwards. I did  about 7 miles in two hours after finishing at the office, and picked up some great caches around Kensington, Hyde Park and up to Edgware Road.

Little Quacker Meets Sherlock
Little Quacker Meets Sherlock

The main targets were Sherlock 7 – The Booty!, which I had finally collected enough information to find, Central London Team Quest 1 – another Virtual ticked off the list and, having recently qualified, the 366 Days Challenge cache. I also managed a couple of CMs and a SideTracked or two.

Day #385 – Dengie Dally

Trad: 12 Multi: 3 Puzzle: 4 Letterbox: 1
Event: 1
Walked: 6.1 miles

Another Sunday, another Beastmarsta “Meat”, this time at Bradwell Waterside. There was a good turn out again, with quite a few of the usual suspects turning up.

Another Beastie Meet
Another Beastie Meet

Shifty and Little Quacker met some other ducks who are still taking part in the HQ Duck Dash. There wasn’t much rivalry, but quite a lot of quacking going on.

Ducks Everywhere!
Ducks Everywhere!

During the meetups, infinson and I managed to extract a little nugget of information from Gilly Bean & Sprout about her D5 cache, 9 PLUS 5.  It has had us both fooled for some time, but with new intelligence, we headed off there after the event and had another go at it – and what do you know – we got in! Finally!

We're IN At Last!
We’re IN At Last!

I found a couple of other caches with Ian and then we went our separate ways. Next on the agenda was King Of The… Hill? which required a little climb on an old tanker – job done.

Scaling The Heights
Scaling The Heights

Another great themed cache was Fish Supper, which I had solved quickly a few days ago. There was a nice surprise when I eventually fished out the pot.

Fishy Business
Fishy Business

There were some more straightforward hides too, this one was an easy find and Little Quacker made a lady friend.

LQ Meets A Lady Friend
LQ Meets A Lady Friend

Another highlight of the day was finding my 100th Letterbox cache, which now qualifies me for a letterbox-based challenge cache. A good day out.

Day #383 – Don’t Go Away Again

Trad: 8 Letterbox: 1
Walked: 3.0 miles

I decided to walk another section of resurrected Essex Way today, between Cressing Church and White Notley. Plus looking for a couple of extras along the way.

Which Way? The Essex Way
Which Way? The Essex Way

We dropped off a trackable in one pot to continue along the way.

Dropping Off A Trackable
Dropping Off A Trackable

At last, I managed to locate the pesky 5, one of infinson’s evil hides. Hurrah!

Finally Found Five!!!
Finally Found Five!!!

Little Quacker was surprised to see some rare spotted piggies enjoying the dirt near their little houses.

Spotted Piggies
Spotted Piggies

Day #382 – Musical Girls’ Medley

Trad: 4 Letterbox: 1
Walked: 2.9 miles

I went for a short stroll near Billericay this afternoon, to collect a few of the replaced UK Mega caches around Barleylands. The new hides, by Musical Girls, were imaginative and fun.

LQ Takes A Bite
LQ Takes A Bite

The letterbox hide was definitely a must for today, as I was trying to maintain my Unusual types streak. Job done here!

Stamp It Up
Stamp It Up

Little Quacker was delighted to find a new place to live! Perfect fit. Although in the end, he decided to make it just a holiday place, and came home with me.

LQ Finds The Perfect Birdhouse!
LQ Finds The Perfect Birdhouse!

Day #379 – Chorley Challenges

Trad: 10 Multi: 1 Challenge: 6 Letterbox: 1
Whereigo: 1
Walked: 10.7 miles

Chorley has lots of Challenge caches in the area with tasty DT ratings. I had been planning a visit here a few months ago but it never came off in the end. But heading a little further north from the Mega in Wales seemed like a good plan, to extend my caching trip by a day.

I had selected a variety of Challenges and other interesting caches in the vicinity to target. Euxton was a pretty village with a cache at the crossroads. Just as I parked the car, the heavens opened – but I didn’t have to wait long until it had stopped to make the find.

Euxton Crossroads
Euxton Crossroads

Little Quacker wanted to help out at the Zootime Challenge, ducks especially welcome!

Little Quacker Helps Out
Little Quacker Helps Out

One of my main objectives for the day was Chorley Challenge #1 – Bring it Back, a D5/T4.5 which would add another tick to that box in the DT square. It involved grovelling under a bridge on the banks of a muddy river. The rain was back again. It wasn’t too bad, I only got slightly filthy in the process!

Found In The Rain!
Found In The Rain!

Various other challenges around about were collected, plus another Letterbox in a new county, and finally a Whereigo at Astley Hall, A Classic Conundrum. I knew exactly how to solve it as it was similar to the Whereigo I did with Gilly in Llangollen last week, but annoyingly, it involved walking most of the way around the lake to get from one zone to the other and back again. It took ages!

Astley Hall, A Classic Conundrum
Astley Hall, A Classic Conundrum

I finished caching around Chorley at about 5pm but had organised my route home from there to dip into four new counties on the way. The SatNav then took me a very silly way home and I arrived at just gone midnight, thoroughly wishing for my bed!

Anyway, here’s how my Counties map looks now – just a big fat hole that is Herefordshire, which somehow I failed to go near during my epic driving. Oh well… anyone for another trip?

Counties Map 10th August '15
Counties Map 10th August ’15

Back to work in London tomorrow, which I suspect will be a bit of a shock to the system after my geo-roaming.

Day #376 – Canalside Capers

Trad: 42 Multi: 2 Puzzle: 1 Event: 2
Whereigo: 1
Walked: 9.1 miles

Today’s first even was Ddraig’s Big Day Out at Chirk. There wasn’t a lot going on apart from a few oversized games laid out on the lawn. Shifty challenged me to a game of giant Chess, but I know how he plays, so I declined.

Shifty Challenges Me To Chess
Shifty Challenges Me To Chess

We did sign the big daffodil which was the event logbook and then headed off by gee-bike to pick up more of the Llangollen Canal Trail series. I was hoping to get as far as the ones Gilly and I found just east of Llangollen the other day.

Big Fat Daffodil
Big Fat Daffodil

There was plenty to see along the way. The industrial archaeology of the area was celebrated with this fine little sculpture – LQ enjoyed sitting in the alcove to pose for a photo.

Little Quacker Finds A Sculpture
Little Quacker Finds A Sculpture

The highlight was the part of the towpath which crosses the Pont-Cycyllte Aqueduct. Not the thing if you are afraid of heights! But thankfully they don’t bother me too much. I did of course walk across rathe than cycle as the towpath is very narrow, and if I was sitting on the saddle I would have been dangerously above the handrail – I wasn’t that daft!

Scary Pont-Cycyllte Aqueduct!
Scary Pont-Cycyllte Aqueduct!

It was quite a hot day, so I stopped at the canal basin in Trevor for a delicious ice cream and to make a few photos of the boats from the bridge.

Canal Basin At Trevor
Canal Basin At Trevor

Parts of the canal path were nice and shady which was very welcome given the temperature. There were plenty of barges on the move – at a very relaxed pace!

Lazy Days On The Canal
Lazy Days On The Canal

We made it to No. 21 which was the target – to join up the trail we had already found. LQ and I then stopped for a refuelling snack before heading back the way we had come – the geo-bike making the return journey much quicker than it would have been on foot.

LQ Eats A Pork Pie As Big As Him!
LQ Eats A Pork Pie As Big As Him!

As the ice cream was so nice, I stopped off for another at Trevor on the way back, before grabbing a few more along the canal trail by bike south of Chirk. Eventually I was feeling rather saddle-sore, so decided to head to Carrog for the evening even at the campsite.

I was also trying to keep up my unconventional streak (15 days needed for a Challenge cache) and the only cache which would satisfy that around about was the Whereigo. The actual puzzle was solved very quickly, but the climb up to the final GZ was a bit of a killer – especially given that my legs had already had plenty of exercise today! Still, job done.