After a number of weekends where I’ve been unavailable for geocaching, I have the opportunity today to get back on track. With the A13 closed at the Orsett “Cock” yet again for another weekend, an early foray into Kent is out of the question so I need to settle for something nearer to home.
The is a circular series of 13 trads around South Hanningfield called JJs Mission - Unstoppabl, all with Ds of at least 2, so I decided to give these a try. I parked up in the pub car park just after dawn. It wasn’t raining but it had been torrential overnight so it was very wet underfoot.
I failed at the first one but decided to save it for later. I made short work of some of the clever caches including the one in the photo but I knew that there was a big DNF coming up. It soon became apparent to me that there had been another series out this way that must have been archived and this was a welcome replacement.
I worked my way up to #8 which turned out to be a field puzzle. I had to google a number of facts about our only city in the county and despite there being some discrepancy when the railway reached Chelmsford, I was able to open the box.
I too failed at #8 along with a long list of others but I was able to rattle off the rest before getting back to where I started the walk. I had to be home for ten but I had one last look for #1 but alas no joy this morning.
A long, long time ago, I played a decent game of football. Like most chaps back then, you played your serious football on a Saturday and then played in a pub team or similar on the Sunday with your mates. I played in one Sunday team, sponsored by R.E.M, an electronics company in Ramsden Heath near Wickford not the American band responsible for many classic tracks including one of my all time faves - “Imitation of Life”.
We had a forward, who was a decent player, whose catch phrase was “Is It A Bird, Is It A Plane, It’s Tofty”. However Terry Toft was no Superman but he was a great character. In fact the figure on the Village Sign reminds me of him, minus the hat, of course.
I‘m reminded of all this because Toft In Cambs is the start of the Mickey’s Mystery Tour, a circular walk of about 11 miles, made up of 51 jigidi puzzles and quizzes about Mickey Mouse and his gang of reprobates.😀
Once I‘d overcome the traffic, I parked up down the road from CM Toft at around 0845, swiftly found the multi and then set off on the trail. There was one, possibly three MIA caches and one where I’d written the coords down wrong but I found all of the other caches before finishing up around 1500.
The route took in the villages of Comberton and Hardwick and I found a few VHS, VS, LB and CMs along the way. What I couldn’t find was a pub, cafe, a tea room or even a burger van lurking in a lay-by so I could get a coffee and something to eat so had to make do with a tuna baguette and a bottle of water from the Post Office in Comberton.
This isn’t a day commemorating Eric Clapton, now the only survivor of that epic Blues/Rock trio, Cream, who incidentally played at the Woodlands Youth Centre in Basildon at Easter 1966, it‘s Earthcache Day.
I had to drop my youngest daughter at Heathrow this morning so picked out an EC in Cuffley, Herts for the return journey. I chose the cache at the memorial to Captain Robinson VC, who shot down a Zeppelin over Cuffley in 1916.
Having gathered the answers to the COs questions, I set off for home taking in the clever trad at the CM at St Mary’s in Churchgate on the way to the M25.
1 Earthcache 1 Traditional
I knew that I needed to find a cache today but I also had a lunch appointment with the chaps in Billericaybboked in. Last night, I was humming and harring about a trad in Hutton or one of Caz’s mysteries up near Stock when I remembered that it was the Fine Pair Anniversary Day today so I had to revise my plans.
However, the nearest unfound FP to me was in Bishops Stortford which was a bit far in the time that I had available so I had mentally scrubbed getting the souvenir. This morning I noticed that a FP trad had been published in Wickham Bishops, only 30 mins away and doable. I knew that a FTF would be out of the question what with kareninwb living in the village but I would be happy with the find anyway.
So I was able to sign the log sheet just after noon and for good measure grabbed the VHS trad just up the road. All I had to do then was to hope for a straight run back down the A12 and cut down to Billericay. Thankfully it was a smooth drive and a fine lunch.