Caching Chronicles

27. Oct, 2019

We’d gone away for the weekend to Felbridge in Surrey as a birthday treat for my wife. I hadn’t chosen the hotel but it couldn’t have been better. I couldn’t get a cache on the Saturday which was my wife’s birthday but there were a couple of caches in the village that would do for the Sunday.😀

We had to check out at 1100 and we were ready early so I killed the 40 minutes with an easy trad CM and a clever VH multi. On the way down, we‘d noticed a British Wildlife Park, a couple of miles from the hotel so we decided to give it a whirl. It was the first time that I’d seen a Pine Marten and a Scottish Wildcat. I also spotted a little Hedgehog.🤔

1 Multi 1 Traditional 

#10226

22. Oct, 2019

After my numbers took a beating in September, recording my lowest monthly total since I started this hobby, I need to get back on track sharpish. I looked for a decent circular walk and came up with the Orwell Orbit not that far from the M11 near Cambridge.

I started off early and had breakfast just after dawn in a cafe at Wimpole and then found my first cache of the day, the mystery Congratulations fordyceteam. On my way into Orwell, I found another mystery Congratulations Lorri-Ann & Kev.

I parked up in Orwell and collected the 2 trad CMs and a multi VS before climbing on a footpath out of the village up to the Clunch Pit where I gathered the information to claim the Earthcache. I now started on the Orbit, a circular walk of 51 trads just over 8 miles in distance.

I travelled along tracks, bridleways and footpaths crossing a couple of roads. I found all of the Orbit caches up to Harlton, collecting a couple more of the Congratulations mysteries and then the multi VS and CM in the village. Something strange happened in Harlton when the postman stopped his van and asked me where the nearest post box was!!🤔 I supposed the expression on my face was the same as the gargoyle’s in the nearby church.

I carried on to #28 and then broke the series to look for a linear line of 6 trads leading up to the Trigtastic on Chapel Hill. I then retraced my steps back to #29, breaking off again at #31 for the trads, A Great View, Another Great View and the letterbox Little Bridges Barrington (3).

After walking half a mile to get back on track, I found everything up to #43 and the mystery Little Bridges Barrington (4) before having my first and only DNF of the day at #44. The hint couldn’t have been clearer but I’m sure the cache is gone.🙁 Despite this setback, I completed the series adding the trad Little Bridges Orwell to the tally. There was one more cache in town that I was after and that was the multi FYI Orwell Clunch Pit. I hadn’t come across the FYI series before but it’s based on notice boards. The final to the clever cache took me back to the Clunch Pit where I’d been earlier.🤔

After some lunch in the car, I spent the rest of the afternoon with a few drive-bys taking some more Congratulations mysteries, some CMs, a VS, a few isolated trads and finishes off in Barton with a almost full set of VS, VHS and 2 CMs. It would have a full set if there had been a ST cache. I even collected one of the Mickey’s Mystery Tour caches that had been replaced.😀

1 Earthcache 1 Letterbox 4 Multi 9 Mystery 70 Traditional 

#10224

19. Oct, 2019

After a number of weekends where I’ve been unavailable for geocaching, I have the opportunity today to get back on track. With the A13 closed at the Orsett “Cock” yet again for another weekend, an early foray into Kent is out of the question so I need to settle for something nearer to home.

The is a circular series of 13 trads around South Hanningfield called JJs Mission - Unstoppabl, all with Ds of at least 2, so I decided to give these a try. I parked up in the pub car park just after dawn. It wasn’t raining but it had been torrential overnight so it was very wet underfoot.

I failed at the first one but decided to save it for later. I made short work of some of the clever caches including the one in the photo but I knew that there was a big DNF coming up. It soon became apparent to me that there had been another series out this way that must have been archived and this was a welcome replacement.

 I worked my way up to #8 which turned out to be a field puzzle. I had to google a number of facts about our only city in the county and despite there being some discrepancy when the railway reached Chelmsford, I was able to open the box.

I too failed at #8 along with a long list of others but I was able to rattle off the rest before getting back to where I started the walk. I had to be home for ten but I had one last look for #1 but alas no joy this morning.

11 Traditional

#10139

15. Oct, 2019

A long, long time ago, I played a decent game of football. Like most chaps back then, you played your serious football on a Saturday and then played in a pub team or similar on the Sunday with your mates. I played in one Sunday team, sponsored by R.E.M, an electronics company in Ramsden Heath near Wickford not the American band responsible for many classic tracks including one of my all time faves - “Imitation of Life”.

We had a forward, who was a decent player, whose catch phrase was “Is It A Bird, Is It A Plane, It’s Tofty”. However Terry Toft was no Superman but he was a great character. In fact the figure on the Village Sign reminds me of him, minus the hat, of course.

I‘m reminded of all this because Toft In Cambs is the start of the Mickey’s Mystery Tour, a circular walk of about 11 miles, made up of 51 jigidi puzzles and quizzes about Mickey Mouse and his gang of reprobates.😀

Once I‘d overcome the traffic, I parked up down the road from CM Toft at around 0845, swiftly found the multi and then set off on the trail. There was one, possibly three MIA caches and one where I’d written the coords down wrong but I found all of the other caches before finishing up around 1500.

The route took in the villages of Comberton and Hardwick and I found a few VHS, VS, LB and CMs along the way. What I couldn’t find was a pub, cafe, a tea room or even a burger van lurking in a lay-by so I could get a coffee and something to eat so had to make do with a tuna baguette and a bottle of water from the Post Office in Comberton. 

2 Multi 10 Traditional 51 Mystery

10128

12. Oct, 2019

This isn’t a day commemorating Eric Clapton, now the only survivor of that epic Blues/Rock trio, Cream, who incidentally played at the Woodlands Youth Centre in Basildon at Easter 1966, it‘s Earthcache Day.

I had to drop my youngest daughter at Heathrow this morning so picked out an EC in Cuffley, Herts for the return journey. I chose the cache at the memorial to Captain Robinson VC, who shot down a Zeppelin over Cuffley in 1916. 

Having gathered the answers to the COs questions, I set off for home taking in the clever trad at the CM at St Mary’s in Churchgate on the way to the M25.

1 Earthcache 1 Traditional 

#10064