Bordering On Suffolk - 20th July
It's Thursday, so it's geocaching for most of the day. 😎 I'm still drawn to the Essex and Suffolk border and its rich pickings but there are still pockets of caches around North West Colchester deserving my attention. So my plan is to pick off a few around Eight Ash Green and then head north.
I park up near to the Holiday Inn and walk down a footpath in a field squeezed between the noisy A12 and the main London to East Anglia railway line. I'm looking for Julia's First Cache, a trad near the railway bridge. I spot what I'm looking for surrounded by nettles and one of them catches me as I return the cache to its nesting place.
About a mile away is a series of six trad caches set around the Iron Latch Woods nature reserve plus a bonus. However one of the bonus numbers is missing from a feeder cache so I've already done a PAF in anticipation. 😉 Another cache has had a number of recent DNFs by some good cachers so I'm not too confident on that.
The first is soon in the bag. The second is the cache that everyone is failing at. Guess what I put my hand straight on the well tucked away cache! I found a few more and had enough to get coords for the bonus. This is a large cache set in woods but the GPS sends me round and round in ever decreasing circles until I spot a mound of logs. Some poking and delving around uncovered a very large tub of goodies.
Walking further into the reserve, I quickly find the penultimate and then the Geocaching gods start to wreak their revenge for the final cache in the series.😫 The hint is not great and there is news in the log that there are some rare breeding birds here. This is borne out by the discovery of a copy of Collins Birds of Britain and Ireland laying on the ground absolutely soaked by last night's thunderstorm. I spent a good thirty minutes looking for the cache nestling in a tree, low down. It might as well have been a BeeEater for all the luck I had. Then I venture over the over side of the path, well outside the zone and find the cache in ten seconds, grrrr. 😡
My next set of caches was around the heathland near the cricket ground. The targets were trads, a multi and a puzzle. The first trad, Two Pianos, was a quick find but the Stumped - Eight Ash Green multi caused some head scratching until the doh moment and this was then a quick find. Iron Latch Lane Essex Meet was a very quick find and then I had a bit of a walk.
There was a mini series of three but one had been archived or disabled so it was just Colne Valley Walk #1 and #3 up for grabs. The scenery was spectacular and the hirundines were soaring and diving everywhere and soon I was making my way back having opened up two sodden caches. I was left with the puzzle, What's In Your Jeans but when I got to my GZ, it was obvious that I'd messed up. So this wasn't a DNF as I hadn't got to even look for the cache.
It was time to head up to border country but SEBC #65 in Little Horksley, a puzzle, is on the way! This took some finding but with storm clouds looming, I moved onto the appropriately named Valley View but as I arrived the heavens opened. This turned into a real dash. I retrieved the cache and dashed back to the car. I signed the log and dashed back to replace the cache.
The rain was torrential but my next cache was further on down the lane. I drove down to I Did It Byway where I sat in the car eating my lunch, listening to Travis Tritt on the CD until the rain stopped and the sun came out. Luckily within 20 mins, I was able to get the well hidden cache and get on my way. 😎
I was going to the scene of one of my recent DNFs, 063 - SEBC. Basically the hint was that the cache was on the left! 😬 As there was a row of ivy covered trees on the left of the bridleway, I still didn't hold out much hope. However I had a sudden stroke of luck, turning and spotting the cache right in front of my nose. 😇
I'd noticed a series following on down this bridleway. This is the Nayland & Wissington Trail which has seven trads. I only had time for a couple and had a cracking walk down the river for an hour or so. The trouble with doing a couple of a circular series is that the walk back is similar to the walk out! 😉 Not far from the car was a couple more of the SEBC series so when I could get some signal for the hints, I had two quick finds.
I was now firmly in Suffolk and found a few more SEBCs, a Stumped and a VS in Nayland and Leavenheath. I had a real stroke of luck with a 4.5/2 trad at Mr Bus & Miss Communication. No clues and a magnetic nano but I soon spotted the sneakily hidden cache.
Now I was off for a non caching part of the day. I had to survey some letter boxes in Assington. Basically the old Post Office had closed and postal facilities set up in the Village Hall but no-one in the Letter Box Study Group knew the situation with the letter boxes! In essence, the GVR lamp box had been replaced with a modern lamp box and there was now another E2R lamp box near the Village Hall. So that's all sorted then onto the next problem. 📮
I had another look for the Assington CM and had to go back to basics as I hadn't written the coords for the multi in my book. ☹️ Quickly re-working the coords, I go to GZ and blow me, how sneaky is that cache! I just had the enough time to find two more of the SEBC series before setting off for home.
Checking the day's spoil, I found 30 caches including puzzles, multis and trads, adding VSs, a CM, a couple of Stumped. There was also some lovely scenery whilst walking along the river.