Beam Me Up Parky!
The alarm goes off at 0550 and I lay there for a bit pondering, shall I go or shall I stay? I get up still unsure saying to myself, "If it's raining, I'm not going." It was dry so I'm going. My plan is to visit some uncharted territory around Dagenham way as there won't be much traffic on the A13. Now this would be almost an impossible journey on a weekday!
I have a list of caches to look for but as usual the number is highly optimistic and if I get 25% of them, I'll have done well. First stop is Beam Parklands on the border of Hornchurch and Dagenham. I park up in a residential street and set off. There are 15 caches around here, 14 trads and a letterbox up for grabs allegedly as there have been some DNFs. I think that they have all been set by the same CO and I have no idea of his/her MO so it's going to be interesting.
I make a great start with A Rose By Any Other Name. I can't find it but a previous log entry says it is similar to Foraging For Vitamin C, should I find that one.😉 The trouble with a park that you've never been to before, is you don't know the terrain, where the paths are or any short cuts. I finally get the Little Oaks and make a quick find of a plastic acorn hiding a micro that's cable-tied to a branch.
Now the fun starts. I'm off to Vitamin C but there are bushes, a damp riverbed and no apparent route to it. I head north hoping for a gap though hedges but no joy. After 500 yards, I decide to backtrack, going past Little Oaks to meet a path, cut left and then travel 800 yards north to GZ. Now this cache was cunning. 🙁 The text mentioned a source of Vitamin C used during WW2. Now I was expecting an orange but now having been around just after the war, I knew what the source was. Trouble was that there was a load of source here. After being spiked a few times, I spotted the tricky cache. I'm getting to know the COs MO and have an idea of what's back at the Rose.
I now have to go south again to the next cache, Its A Retro World. I end up across the river at some logs carved into seats. Is this the retro world? No, as GZ is still a way off. I find a miniature space hopper guarding a micro attached to a branch, lovely jubbly.😀 As I turn and walk back to the bridge, I notice a nearby building. Look at the photo and guess what I thinking.☹️
Next was a letterbox, Hey Mr Postman, which was well worthy of a fave just for the container. 😀 I walk on down the river to A Common Sight and I have my first DNF of the day.😢 My search at the railings of the compound for a snail or similar mollusc proves fruitless so I carry on to the most southerly part of the park for The Plague. After reading the blurb, I guess that I'm looking for a plastic rat but luckily the cache is only the size of a Pygmy Shrew.😀
I backtrack past the missing mollusc and move on to A Little Bit Of History. It took longer to read about the heavy bombing raids near here in September 1940 than to find the bolt underneath a bridge. I move on to my next DNF, Facing Your Fears. This is a wooden sculpture of a huge spider. I have a long search armed with an unfathomable hint but no joy here for me. There are more tears but not about fears.😢
Crossing the river, I head for a trad, By The Pond and quickly find the cache guardian, a large frog. I've been looking forward to the next one, Old Dagenham Hospital. There is no evidence now of a hospital that opened in 1899 to treat smallpox. As this disease was eradicated, the site became a TB sanatorium and later a specialist centre for chest diseases and finally a geriatric centre until its closure. The cache was cunningly hidden away in a hole in a fallen tree.
Time was moving on and I'd lost a lot at the DNFs. I now knew that I couldn't do all the caches in the parklands but still had a chance of a possible three more. Regeneration was a quick find of a tub under a brick so I quickly whizzed up to A Snake In The Grass. The last cacher had a DNF but I had a quick find of, guess what but it was a good one, worth a fave.👏
So it was back to the car time but I had to pass the Rose. I had found Vitamin C and now thoroughly immersed in the COs MO, I had a quick find. So I had found 11 caches on the day, so I was well pleased.👍🏻