30. Aug, 2018

Needham? I Certainly Do!

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks and this has affected my Geocaching plans badly. It’s got to the stage where I ideally need to find 46 caches today to keep up with a monthly challenge. I looked in my lists and I had prepared a Needham Market day up in Suffolk which took in the Gipping Trail (25) and the Creeting Circular (16) so that would give me 41. All I had to do is work in a few CMs and VSs and I should be alright.

I started off really early in Sproughton picking off the CM and the moved on to the CM in Bramford. Next up was the mystery VS in Great Blakenham which amazingly has been set by Jazzyjessups from Kent. Leaving here, I parked up by the church in Great Blakenham to start on the Gipping Trail. Unfortunately the CM that was here has been archived.🙁

The Gipping Trail follows part of the route of the former River Gipping Navigation up to Needham Market. This is a distance of about four miles. The Navigation was opened in 1793 to form a canal link between the docks in Ipswich to Stowmarket. It ceased operation in 1929.

Once I had found the start of the footpath 🤔 I walked up to the start of the Trail but DNFed the Morgul Collis. This magnetic trad was on a bridge over the river. I gave it ten minutes but I was really aware of the time factor and my main task for the day. 

The weather was cool but bright and I had a splendid walk along the river. I heard a Kingfisher but unfortunately never spotted it. The series is unashamedly based on the sadly archived CBN series, a power trail from Heybridge Basin to Chelmsford so I knew that I wasn’t going to have any real problems. As it turned out #23 was a sod.🙁 I got stung by nettles trying to retreive the 2.5/2 cache. I completed the series in one hour and 32 minutes arriving in Needham Market at 1032.

As a way of relaxation, I had a go at the Gipping Valley - Needham Lakes earthcache. This one was based on glacial activity in the area in prehistoric times. I had a pleasant walk around the lake gathering all the information needed to claim the cache.

From here I walked up the High Street picking up four CMs on the way. At the last one, the Old Methodist, I had a close encounter.👽 In a building nearby, there was some work being done probably asbestos removal. There was a chap standing near the cache dressed in protective clothing watching me hunt for the cache and asked me what I was doing.

He was Polish or from another Eastern European country but spoke good English through his mask. I explained what Geocaching was and he was the one who spotted the cache. I showed him the log signing procedure and putting the info up on the app. I couldn’t resist asking him for a photo and you can draw your own conclusions what this must all have looked like to the casual passerby.🤔

I had just enough time to find the nearby Hawks Mill trad before I caught the bus back to Great Blakenham. These free Senior bus passes are a great idea.😀 Back at the car, I set off back into Needham Market and out towards the Creeting villages. I couldn’t find the VS Creeting St Mary but later learned that this one was missing in action. I drove around the lanes to get to the trad at the local CM and was surprised to find two mystery CMs attached to this one. I was given the coords to the Lost Churches of St Olave’s and All Saints. I found these two as well which was a totally unexpected bonus as I had missed them in the preparation for the day.

I drove up to the CM at Creeting St Peter and had my lunch here. After I had sated my hunger, I set off from here on a walk around the village to find the 16 caches of the Creeting Circular. This cache series consisted of trads, letterboxes, multis and a Mystery. There was also a mystery added as a bonus to the CM as well.

After finding the CM bonus, I started on the circular. The temperature was rising and after completing the circular, except for the MIA #9, in an hour and fifty minutes, I was cream crackered.☹️ I had to rest for a while on the nearby bench and summon up the strength to walk the mile back to the church for the motor. 😅

I started on the way back home but remembered that there was another cache at the entrance to the drive up to the church. With Close To Creeting- Entrance in the bag, I finally set off for home. I needed 46 caches to meet my target but remarkably acheived a total of 56, I’ll make that do.😀

1 Earthcache 1 Multi 3 Letterbox 5 Mystery 46 Traditional