Witham Wipeout (almost)!
Due to a couple of things, my caching day was going to be curtailed. I left Basildon Station at 0830 and was off to pick off a few stragglers around Hatfield Peverel and Witham. I was less than pleased to hit a ten mile tailback just past the Rettendon Turnpike on the A130. Forty five minutes later, I pass a solitary water board van broken down just before the A12, accompanied two fire tenders. Was there a hazard here? 🤔
Anyway, I whizzed up the quiet A12 and park up in Hatfield Peverel. There was a free carpark but I had to get a ticket for the dashboard! My first target was Life can be a ditch, a trad hidden, guess where. After a quick find, I set off to the north of town to the railway line for another cache, Another Bridge Too Far. After a quick find of a well hidden trad, I was walking back to the car.😎
I was soon heading for Witham. I've cached in in this old town on a number of occasions. I had a number of DNFs here plus some others that needed finding. So my main aim of the day was to turn green dots into smiley faces.🌝
First up was Spice it up : 3. Rock Salt, a 3/1.5 trad that had its fair share of DNFs. I was almost joining that list!😬 I reckoned that I was in the right place but the coords must be out. A text to Caz, confirmed that I was in the right place but as I asked for further help, I found the cunningly placed cache, well tucked away.
Just around the corner was Howbridge Shuffle, another trad hidden away cleverly but I struck lucky here. Now I was after a previous DNF, River Walk #1. This time, I went straight to the cache, hidden amongst ivy in a tree. I wasn't too far away from Witham's First Supermarket Cache. I'm getting quite good at supermarket sweeps but there was a shoppers meeting going on where I wanted to be so I went to the nearby Costa - small Americano, cold milk on the side, drink in, please.☕️ Suitably refreshed, I went back to GZ, where the dispersed crowd gave me scope for a very quick find of a cunningly placed cache.😎
I was off for OldChippingHill1 set close to the river in one of the oldest parts of town. This was the original market and town in Saxon times. The nearby trad took some head scratching but I finally had the brainwave, which gave me the prize!👍🏻 I could walk to my next target, Moat Farm Chase Farm, another previous failure. Once my GPSr settled on the right tree, my hand was drawn straight to the cache as if by magic. Just like that! I was so pleased to take this one off my "wants" list!😎
Now I was after the last trad left unfound by me in Witham. This was the #1-Escape Adversity, yet another previous failure.🙁 This had recently caused fellow cachers grief and I almost joined that list too. Scanning previous logs gave me a glimmer of hope. I revisited somewhere I had searched before and there it was staring me in the face.
Now the only caches that I haven't found in Witham are two puzzles. One is based on a coffee shop that I can't fathom!🤔 The other just needs one to find a cache in ten countries in 24 hours!!!!! I can't see me qualifying for this one, any time soon, can you?☹️
So with time running out, I drive towards Rivenhall. I walked a good couple of miles out to Twit Twoo, a well positioned cache that probably won't be muggled.😀 I had time to get out to White Notley to pick off the last one of the John Ray Way series that was unfound #6: Silver Fish. This was another route march but it was a quick find at GZ followed by a trudge back though the farm. Unfortunately there weren't any old relics for me to look at, so the walk became a trudge.
I always like to include at least one CM on a day's caching and CM White Notley wasn't too far away. Now I reckon that I have found a cache at this particular church on three occasions.🤔 The previous one couldn't have been muggled as this new one was in the same place. Strange but true!
So this was not a numbers day. I found 12 caches on the day, all trads. However, the main priority of the day had been met. Witham has been wiped out, trad cache wise. I need to work out this coffee shop puzzle and plan a lightning trip around the continent.🏁