I was back in London for work today, so went for a walk afterwards to find a couple of caches in Vauxhall. The first was the very cheeky For The HAL of It at the British Interplanetary Society. Rather evil but I had a fun encounter of the humanoid kind with a lady that worked there – who knew exactly where the cache was!
There was just time for one more before heading home – the sun had already gone to bed!
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.
A handful of new caches have been published around Fyfield and Moreton recently, so I thought I would head over there to see if I could find any of them.
My first stop was a multi based around The Free Church. Dusk was approaching and the required information was pretty hard to read, but I manged it in the end and went on to find the pot easily enough.
I then spent ages messing about with Stumped! 56 which is a field puzzle and so far has no finders – in fact, nobody else had even attempted it, and it’s been published since 27th July!
Sadly, I was still stumped by it, and had the dubious honour of being the first to DNF. Despite knowing what to do with the numbers I found, I just could not locate the pot – I was searching by torchlight in the end.
So I gave up and went for the Church Micro in Moreton instead – where I was just in time to witness a spectacular sunset! And I found the cache. Double win.
Trad: 15 Challenge: 1 Virtual: 1 Walked: 8.6 miles
Today I moved on from my hotel overlooking the Bristol Channel to Oswestry. I took anything but the shortest route! I had planned a day of drive bys to pick up three specific caches and seven new counties. Here’s what my Counties Map looked like first thing this morning:
Severn View was right by the hotel, and together with another nearby, it ticked off Gloucestershire first thing.
The next find was another Gloucestershire hide, this time a Challenge. Then I moved on to City of Bristol for two caches – Blaise Hamlet Virtual was the first, followed by one close to some wind turbines which filled in a distance band for another Challenge cache I’ve been working on.
Next on the agenda, I crossed into South Wales to pick up several new counties there, including Monmouthshire, Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent. The box at Aberbeeg Pack Horse Bridge was looking rather sorry for itself, but the others were found reasonably quickly – although I did target at least two in each county in case of DNFs.
Once they were ticked off, the main reason for being in that part of the country was to visit the venerable old Ammo can, The First In Wales, near Abergavenny, which has been out in the wild since February 2001!
The walk to the summit was pleasant enough and not too strenuous – it was about a mile from the car park.
The view from the top was a little cloudy, but there was a Trig Point to admire as well.
The cache itself was a bit further on, effectively buried in a boulder field. I spent almost an hour clambering about, trying not to break my ankle while turning countless stones over to see if the box was there.
The best advise from the cache listing was to look at the spoiler photos – which I thought I had already downloaded to my phone. But no. Attempting to pull them up offline just showed me a blank box with the caption “null” – argh!
Eventually, I found one rock which had 3G phone reception if I stood stock still – so I hastily downloaded some photos and found one which showed several prominent rocks lined up in a certain order. Sure enough, once I got myself into that position, I spied the corner of the ammo box hiding under a pile of rubble! Phew. Never been so glad to find a cache in my life! Can you tell by my stupid grin?
Little Quacker was pleased to have his photo taken with the box too.
I made my way back to the car, very pleased with job done, even though it had taken much longer than it should have. I arrived back at the car park just as it started to rain heavily!
The drive to Oswestry was long and rather tedious, but I stopped off to photograph the lovely sunset along the way:
Here you are – a few more counties ticked off the map! (I think I did this screenshot from a day or so later, so Powys, Shropshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire are also filled in:
I’m back to work at Elstree for a few weeks now, finishing around 6pm and my plan is to go out to play after work, around various locations in Hertfordshire where there are rich unfound pickings to be had!
My first outing this evening was to the Ver Valley, to find a few nicely hidden caches. This one was guarded by a huge red ant – I was very grateful it was only plastic!
The cache at the end of my there and back walk was high in a tree, which required a natural tool to hook it down.
I’ve seen a few like this before, so it didn’t take too long to spot the right tree. And use my walking pole to aid the retrieval.
Then I walked back along the way I had already come, past these lovely horses in their field, silhouetted against the setting sun.
There were another couple of stand alone caches nearby, so I decided to pick those up as well. The last was done by torchlight – it’s not often you spot a coconut “growing” in the South East of England!
I had a great haul this evening, having finished work on time and the weather was looking good. I decided to go back to south of Aldenham (around North Watford) and finish off the last of the Moosey’s Trail caches, plus find a few of the intertwined Bernard’s Stroll series. It ended up a curious mix of urban caches and more rural hides.
Above was some appealing peeling plaster under a bridge close to one cache. Below, the sun was beginning to set as I passed this copse of trees.
There were some decent sized boxes as well as a few micros thrown in. I was able to find somewhere suitable for this trackable burger to continue its journey.
I was pleased to be able to find 14 caches this evening, this is bringing my total closer and closer to the elusive 5000 mark. I’m thinking about which cache I would like to find for the milestone. Watch this space!
Time for another spin along the revamped Essex Way today. I picked up where I last left of just north of Willingale to do caches 8-28. However, parking is tight at No. 8 so instead I went to the other end and did a there-and-back walk, picking up the even numbers one way and the odds on the way back.
I spotted attractive snowdrops growing next to the track in several places but stopped to photograph this particularly big clump.
In general, the going was pretty good, apart from one nightmare section where a farmer had been doing lots of ditch remodelling and his tractor and digger had really churned up the mud to wellie-swallowing proportions! Thankfully I made it through each way and remained upright, with both my boots!
I had left the house a bit later than originally planned, so by the time I was nearing the end of the walk, the sun was getting lazy and slowly sinking into bed.
It was still a nice stroll and good to be back picking up a few more of these, even though I’ve visited once before for the original caches.
When it was grey, grim and pouring with rain this morning, I was doubtful that I would get any sort of walk and had resigned myself to having to use up one of the nearby cache and dash hides for today’s find. But after lunch, the sun came out, and I hot-footed it over to Pleshey to have a look for four recently placed Essex Way Diversion caches.
My first stop, however, was back to the Pleshey Ring Bonus cache which I have DNF’d twice now. I’ve no idea why I made such a hash of it before. With a bit more info from the CO, today I found it quickly.
The sun was beginning to set by the time I finished, but I was pleased to put another 5 caches on the found list. Pleshey is a lovely place, but it’s a pain in the butt to get to, which is why I decided to mop up all the stragglers today.
I’ve just noticed that the final find today makes 1000 caches since I started my geo-streak on 27th July 2015. Yay!
Today’s location was Heybridge and I have my caching buddy Alistair staying for a few days, so we set off to find a few boxes in the area. The first two were ones I hadn’t found before, starting with Stumped #8 and then Draper’s Field 1. Both were easy enough hides, although one had a very soggy log.
I’m still counting down to 4000 finds on 1st January, and don’t want to peak too early, so that was my “ration” done for today.
We took a longer walk to find another three hides around the marshes which I had already picked up. The fun one was mel-ray’sFrog, Skip & Jump! which made him jump, and me – even though I was expecting it!
The light was fading but after Alistair found Punt Gunners (another mel-ray hide, and one I had retrieved back in 2010 as my 800th find!), we were treated to a lovely sunset over the Blackwater looking towards Maldon Hythe. A nice end to the day – and neither of us slid over in the mud! Result…