It’s Just A Zebra Crossing - 6th November
I had been planning a day caching trip to London for over a year now which seems ludicrous as I only live 35 miles away. However I had a number of objectives and I wanted to get it just right. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get all the caches on my list but I was going to have a good go.😀
The plan was eight icons in a day so I had to include the Abbey Road webcam. While I was in this neck of the woods, I would sort out some CM and SideTracked caches. I would then work my way down into Central London picking up some of the London Rainbow Cache and Sherlock Holmes series. I had had some Go Team caches that I had organised a couple of years ago and wanted to put them to bed finally. I also need an Earthcache and a Wherigo so the Ye Olde Coffee Houses cache was on my list. Add to that any church micro and SideTracked caches that I came across and you can see that I had a very full day planned. Here’s how the day went.
I left home at 0610 and was walking out of St John’s Wood underground station at 0722. I found the SideTracked there, followed by the City Tourist Favourite Challenge mystery. The qualification for this one was to find 10 caches with at least 1000 faves. I then added the trads Ghost ST Lords and Marlborough Road to the list. I was glad to remove CM Abbey Road from my list after doing a bit of maintenance here. I collected the info for the London Rainbow - Violet Virtual which took me to the Abbey Road Studios. I’ve never been here before and it took a while to frame myself on the Webcam but I eventually found it.
The info source for the mystery The Beetle on Abbey Road was very cunning, who thinks of these things.😀 I had found another couple of trads on the journey as I worked my way down to the Letterbox at CM St John’s Wood. It took me a while to decide which hue one of the questions was and then I was led about a mile north through territory that I had already explored this morning to find the cunning cache. The time was 0920 so I had spent a couple of hours tramping.🤔
My bus pass was almost active so I decided to jump a bus to get down to Marylebone but it went in a different direction to the one that I wanted so I alighted and decided to stick with Shanks’ pony and walked briskly down the A41. I picked up a SideTracked at Marylebone and the Sherlock Holmes multi in Baker Street before breaking for breakfast. After eating, I walked down to the Planetarium for the A Distant Fine Pair multi, walking down via The Cemetery Gates and The Missing Link trads on my way down to the Marble Arch Earthcache.
After I had found the info for this one, I made my way down into Belgravia for the Go Team International mystery. I had taken part in the Go Team Colchester mystery cache, I think it was in January last year and this one and Go Team came to my attention not long afterwards. I assembled a team of local Essex cachers and added cachers from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Portugal and the USA. This was Deadley, a Southend cacher who had emigrated to San Francisco. 😀
So at twenty thirty on February 12th last year, we all clicked the button and were rewarded with the coords. 👏 Other local members of Team Essex had visited the cache and had offered to sign the log sheet on my behalf. However I wanted to do it myself.
With a big smile on my face, I set off in the direction of SideTracked Victoria, collecting the nearby Orange Rainbow virtual on the way. The search area was under the railway bridge which made the GPS jump around. I decided that could only be in one of two places. I searched one but no joy. I looked towards the other and there were a couple standing there so I waited until they moved off. I realised that they were cachers so I went over and introduced myself. They were Pilgrim_Eve and mz_geo from Mainz in Germany. They said the cache wasn’t where they were, so they went over to inspect where I had searched. I found the cache where they had failed.
We parted company and I carried on into the West End, finding the CM at Westminster Cathedral, another one of the London Rainbow series and a few assorted trads to my tally until I got to the start zone of the Ye Olde Coffee Houses Wherigo in Soho. I had been wanting to tackle this one for ages and had an interesting, informative walk for about an hour. I had passed many of the zones previously but obviously hadn’t realised the historical links. I was a bit footsore by the time I got to the final zone near Fleet Street.
It was time for coffee and cake. Once I was refreshed I was off again. I dropped down to the Embankment for the Go Team mystery which was a similar scenario to the one in Belgravia earlier. i then worked my way back into the Inns of Court for another one of the Sherlock Holmes series and then added the SideTracked at Chancery Lane. Next up was the CM multi at St Andrews at Holborn Circus.
This is a very special place in my family’s history. Around the start of the 19th century, the Jeffreys were Gold Beaters and Silversmiths around Hatton Garden, eventually ending living at number 40. They probably drank in the Mitre on the corner. I worked in the large building that we called the Pink Palace opposite that pub. When I was researching my family tree about thirty years ago, I knew that many of my ancestors were christened, married and buried in St Andrews Church in Middlesex but couldn’t find the right one. Imagine what a burke, I felt when I finally worked it out that “the right” church was just across the road.
The cache was an easy find but significantly for me, it was in Shoe Lane where one of my ancestors ran a Tobacconists in 1776. From here, I found the Letterbox CM near Blackfriars Bridge and the MMMonument virtual before walking up through St Paul’s Churchyard towards the final cache of the day, the Technology virtual.
When I got here, I was surprised with what I found. Without saying too much, my whole working career was spent in this particular field. I worked at two of the named person’s establishments and visited more of the others that were absorbed into the company that I worked for.
So this was the end of a great day‘s caching. I had achieved all of my targets but not all of the caches on my list. For the record, I took 34,201 steps, walked nearly 18 miles and climbed 15 floors.
1 Earthcache 1 Wherigo 1 Webcam 2 Letterbox 4 Multi 4 Mystery 5 Virtual 13 Traditonal