Going Down To The Mega - 4th August
Although a Mega usually lasts for a week, I normally go for an overnight nearby. This Mega was being held in Bicton College near East Budleigh in Devon and decided to travel down on the Friday grabbing a few caches on the way.😀
With so many caches between here and there, I hadvto be selective. The plan was to find caches in new counties and gather some new Jasmers too. A few Church micros on the way that would be a bonus. I had worked out a route to take in Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the City of Bristol on my way to Devon.
First on the list was The Queens Oak, a June 2001 trad in Berkshire. Amazingly all the original logs were still in the ammo can. I worked my way back to the M4 picking off a few more caches until I got to the Motorway Madness M4 J14 trad which filled the November 2007 grid on my Jasmer list.
I came off the M4 to pick off some CMs whilst working my way towards to Castle Combe in Wiltshire. The target here was the old timer Castle Combe (Wiltshire) trad that had been placed in November 2001. Unfortunately I lost signal here and had no hint to work with but I eventually got there.😀
The next county that I was after was Gloucestershire and I had a few caches around Almondsbury sorted. However there were a couple of CMs left in Wiltshire on the way. 😀 As I walked away from signing the logsheet of the trad at CM Marshfield Chapel, I spotted a sign that said that I was in South Gloucestershire.😀 Result👏👏 I can give Almondsbury a swerve and head straight to the City of Bristol.
I picked off the CMs at Avonmouth and Shirehampton and that was enough to add Bristol to my list of UK counties cached in. Only about 90 more to go. Now I had to fight my way back through the traffic that I'd seen amassing to get on the southbound M5. I was really pleased to find a quick way south towards Somerset. I've forgotten to mention that I was on the road at 0430. ☹️ It was now 1300 so some more of those caches on the list would have to be sacrificed to get to my digs near Honiton at a reasonable time.
I stopped off in one of my old stamping grounds of Burnham-on-Sea For lunch. We had a radio station in nearby Highbridge and I spent a lot of time there during my career. I added seven more CMs on my way down the A38 and onto the A39. I was heading towards S&D Special on the former track of the old Somerset & Dorset railway. This was a September 2005 trad and I eventually added it to my Jasmer grid.
It was now 1554 and I still hadn't found my main target for the day. I decided to head straight for Glastonbury Tor, a September 2001 trad, which looked like it was going to take me a while To get to. However by following the mapping facility on the official app, I was able to park down a road that was approximately 450 yards from the cache.👍🏻 Jeez, what a climb that distance was, I was cream-crackered when I found the well hidden cache among the roots of an Ash tree. A Mountain Ash or Rowan tree would have been more appropriate! 🌳 Unfortunately the four TBs registered to the cache were missing so I wouldn't be dropping them off in Devon.☹️
It was time to call it a day as I needed to get to the White Hart in Wilmington, east of Honiton. My plan was to attend the Ukelele night at the Mega so I needed to arrive, get showered, eat and be at the event by 1900.
I actually arrived at 1925 to find that the main act, the Salterton Strummers or something like that had cried off at the last minute. So all those that had brought an instrument were invited to play. As I had my ukelele with me, I joined the "orchestra" and had a great time.
However there was still an opportunity to cache and I picked up four more caches in East Budleigh including two CMs. I decided to call it a day and drove back to the White Hart to check out the day's progress at the bar.
I calculated that I'd found 33 caches on the day including 19 CMs.🤗 I had to check it a few times as I had a couple of pints of one of the most superb bitters that I'd ever tasted. If you get a chance to drink Otter bitter, a 3.6 OG, brewed in Honiton by the Otter Brewery, do not pass on it!🍺