28. Dec, 2017

What A Day

Now that Christmas, apart from taking down all the decorations on Twelfh Night, is over, it was time to put a special plan that I’d been working on, into action. I was going down to Paddock Wood in Kent to pick up a number of high end DT challenges that I had been working on. Hopefully I’d fill two of my unfilled grid gaps.

I don’t normally go into Kent on a weekday due to the traffic on the return journey but as it is school holidays and workers on leave, I presumed that traffic would be light. It certainly was going over the bridge and I was parking up just as dawn broke on the outskirts of Paddock Wood. 

One of the next three caches would be on my list of DTs needed so I was pretty excited. The purists amongst the caching fraternity would probably turn their nose up at these as they were ”Liars” caches. I’m not sure exactly what that means but let’s say that they are easier than their DT ratings suggest. In about ten minutes, I had a 3.5/5 🎇🎆, a 2.5/5 and a 2/4.5 in the bag. Let’s say that I was really happy, and you can’t take that away from me.

I drove into the centre of the village and was immediately disappointed that the local cafe was closed. I wanted to celebrate with a bacon sandwich and a coffee.🙁 However, I made do with three multis, a VS and two CMs in order to compensate plus a trad. The trad had a missing lid, a sodden log and even grass growing out of the cache. This really deserved a Needs Maintenance tag so it got one!

A short drive away was a Mega Rare Challenge cache. The qualification for this one was finding two T5 caches in one day. Back in August when I was struggling to find a 2/5 cache, two were published on the Chelmer Canal but a canoe was needed. I put out a plea for help and the next morning, Izybuzyfingers and I were paddling down the canal picking up the two 2/5s and a 3/4.5 cache, oddly named Chub Roll Minora. So I was well qualified for the Challenge but extracting the cache was more difficult than a 1/4.5. Luckily I had something in my tool kit that helped me a lot. It was twice as difficult putting the cache back in the correct position but I managed it.😀

Now it was back to the “Liars“ series and I added a 3/5 and a 1.5/4.5 to the list. This was followed up with another challenge - Mega SideTracked, a 4/1.5. For this one, I had to find 50 caches from the SideTracked series. By the time I’d got to GZ, the hard work had been done and it was an easy find.

Again, I was back to the “Liars“ series and Committed - 5/5 and In Retrospect - 4.5/5 🎆🎇 were in the bag. The last one brought my DT tally up to 80 out of 81 with just one, 5/4.5 to get. I have a challenge cache that I’ve qualified for, that would help me but that’s in Northants so that one may have to wait.🤔

I had planned a nice circular walk near the Hop Farm at Beltring but had decided to try some of the For Ducks Sake series on the way. I had a couple of quick finds of some well hidden nanos and took off for Beltring. It was difficult to park where I wanted but I eventually found a space by the side of the road and set off on the walk. 

The walk mainly comprised of trads from the COE series with a couple of letter boxes and mysteries on the way. I started with the 148:COE Letter Box and got onto the footpath that I wanted. Next up was 149:COE, a challenge requiring 10 caches in a county in a country outside the UK. I qualified for this one after finding 10 caches in Salzburg, Austria last year. This cache took some finding but I finally dislodged it from its hiding place.

The rest of the walk was pretty uneventful but tiring. I found ten more caches in the COE series including eight trads, a letterbox and a challenge cache. I needed have found 25 caches in a day to qualify for the latter, a feat that I’d accomplished many times.😀 I also had two DNFs and hopefully I can come back for these when they have been found again.

With, perhaps another hour to go before I had to brave the queues at the tunnel, it was time to wind down. I found a trad at CM Paddock Wood, two multis, the VS and CM at Matfield and two challenges to round off the day. The first was 37.COE, a 4.5/3, where I had to have found at least one cache in 15 countries. As I’ve cached in 22 countries, I more than qualify. The last cache was easier - Five Oak Green Five Challenge as I only had to find at least five caches of seven types.

So as you’ve seen, I had a great day. No, a fantastic day, what a day.😀

12 Mystery, 12 Traditional, 3 Letterbox, 5 Multi,