24. Apr, 2017

5000 caches and counting - 20th April

If I can find at least 31 caches today, I will reach the magic figure of 5000 geocaches found. I'm not the type of cacher who plans meticulously to find an extraordinary cache to reach a geocaching milestone. Knowing my luck, I'd find the cache at Everest Base Camp but when the stats were crunched, the milestone will actually be the cache found afterwards at the cafe down the road!

The current plan is to work backwards from Harwich finding caches and today I will be starting in Tendring. The first cache was an easy trad at Colchester Road Stamp #2. It would have been #1 but I couldn't get across the A133 due to the heavy traffic! Next up was Poo Sticks, a 4/4 trad in a stream under a splendid brick road bridge. Once I had my wellies on and in the water, it was an easy find.

Another plan for today was to complete the Goose Green Yomp, a circular series of a dozen or so caches of varying difficulty. However as I parked up, I noted that Tendring : ROC Bunker was just down the road. The cache was a quick find but I spent some time exploring the outside of the  bunker across the road. I didn't venture down into the bunker as I was on my own.

The start of the series was interesting. #1 was a 2.5/1.5 trad which was causing people problems. It took me about 30 mins to find it and it was a barst! I wondered what I had let myself into! #2 was no better, even worse. Large tree over a stream with deep banks and from previous logs, I knew I was in the right place. I went up, I went down, I checked from both sides precariously hanging on to branches. I saw "tether" mentioned in a report so went down to stream level to see if it was tucked away. No joy and on the point of giving up and clambering out, I lost my grip and was standing in the stream up to my calves! There was still no sign of the cache.🐊

After squelching across a field, a 5/1.5 trad that causes difficulty was quickly found and then a 1.5/1.5 trad was a miserable failure. The rest of the series was still difficult and testing but I found them all without further mishaps. Just a pity that I had those two DNFs. Back at the car, I had a change of footwear and hose, a sandwich and on on the next part of the adventure.

Three quick trads, a quick find at Tendring CM, a quicker find at a nearby cache with a string of recent DNFs then a number of CnDs and a DNF, until I ended up in Weeley. I started with a quick find at Weeley Borehole, then a short series called Weeley Wander, some easy trads and a letterbox brought me to a possible candidate for #4999 but I joined the list of DNFers. A tricky retrieval from a deep bush brought up the penultimate cache. 

The next cache was CM Weeley and it was a quickish find. No fireworks, no crescendo of sound from the imaginary Kentucky Headhunters over the way, no waiter with a chilled bottle of Mythos, just the satisfaction of achievement and an idea of the direction that I had travel next!

I found a puzzle cache based on the Weeley war memorial, which was #9 of the Branston's Ramble series. This was another cunning placement by the CO responsible for the Goose Green Yomp. I picked up the supposed first cache of the day, Colchester Road Stamp #1. At least I was facing the way of the traffic this time.

So what did I achieve on the day. 31 caches found including two CMs, a Fine Pair, a puzzle, a letterbox and then trads. I had four DNFs, I've had worse days but most of all I had fun. 🤣