Bish Bash Birling
I was looking through my list of Lists on the official site and I saw the North Downs Series which had been sitting there far to long. This series is made up of three interconnecting series, the Ryarsh Ramble, the Trosley Trek and the Birling Bash, most of which were 3.5T😀 trads with occasiona Unknown and Letterbox caches thrown in. Some of the caches were disabled and in need of attention so I decided to have a go and see what happened.
I decided on the Birling Bash and pulled into the spacious church car park just as dawn broke. I was off to a quick start with BB01 but I joined the list of DNFs at BB02. I was back on track at the BB03 Unknown and there were few problems with the trads up to BB09 where I broke the series with the CM ~ Paddlesworth. I continued down the Paddlesworth Road picking up more trads to BB11 before I started walking north gaining height.
There were no problems collecting more trads up to the Unknown BB15. I started walking westward but not gaining anymore height until I reached BB19. I deviated north up Birling Hill to try the 4/5 Pilgrim‘s Way Up - the Third. However as I read the synopsis, I decided that this was not a solo cache so thought better of it.😀
So the Duke Of York marched back down the hill to the Unknown BB20. This was an “x” metres on a “y” bearing type cache which was easily found. I moved on the the trad BB21 and was halfway down the track to the next one when I realised that some of the caches were out of sequence. I had missed the trad BB23 so I trekked all the way back for a quick find and then retraced my steps. I had to make some serious height to the multi RR22 so I paused for breath at the bottom of the hill and picked up one of the Ryarsh Ramble series, the trad RR10.
It was a real creaser getting up that hill and I worked out the coords to get to the search area. There was another trad, the 2/2.5 holly hill nice view, but placed in 2008, near the road at Birling Hill and that was a quick find luckily.
I walked down the hill searching for the footpath to get down to BB22. I dropped down and came across a memorial to Squadron Leader “Tommy“ Pinkham of 19 Squadron RAF who crashed here in his Spitfire on September 5th 1940 during the Battle of Britain. I paid my respects to “Tommy” and moved on.
I quickly found the well hidden BB22 and carried on south past BB23 down to the trads at BB24 and BB25 before heading west again to the multi BB26. This was a clever idea and I only realised the subtlety of the hint when I found the cache. There were a couple of caches of the RR series here so I quickly added the RR11 Unknown and the trad RR12 to the tally.
I got back on the Birling Bash heading south into the village picking up trads until I got to the final one of this series, the BB31 Unknown. Luckily this was a quick find and I was back in the village. Before going back to the car park for elevenses, well it was 1055, I gathered the info for the multi CM and the VS.
Suitably refreshed, I worked out the coords for the multis and had a quick wander around the village, mopping up the caches. After this, I headed on down to Ryarsh. I quickly noted that the trad sign was missing so I moved on to the multi CM Ryarsh ~ Baptist. I had a pleasant walk down to this well placed cache near a babbling brook. I moved on to the multi VS and my coords went through the check sum. However I couldn’t find the cache but the CO has been to check and it’s still there so it’s one for another day.😀
1 Letterbox 5 Unknown 6 Multi 26 Traditional