The flu lurgy has taken a strong hold. I really didn’t want to go out for a cache today, but with a system full of Ibuprofen I found vaguely human and set out for a trio of cache ‘n’ dash hides, including two Church Micros.
The first find was WANDER AROUND WICKHAM BISHOPS which I managed to find quickly today, even in my befuddled state. Good job too, since I had DNF’d it twice already in the past few weeks!
Next up was Church Micro 3175…Great Totham-United Reformed, since I was passing. Thankfully a quick find here.
My main target for the day was Church Micro 7805…Tollesbury – Congregational, one of the few Puzzle cache Church Micro’s which I haven’t found. And another type for my 7-day Church Micro mini-streak.
I had convinced myself that it was on a bench with a memorial plaque but there was no such thing at the final GZ. An obscure hint had me chasing my tail but eventually the penny dropped.
And with that, I’ve completed the Dark Month Challenge qualification and had my best month caching since I started, with 277 finds in January. I was surprised to beat my previous best month – August 2015 with 272 – which is pretty much what kick started my ongoing geostreak.
And 15th-17th of January also saw my fastest 100 finds, largely fuelled by the Cool Cuban Spirit series in Kent, closely followed by Finchampstead Undulations while I was on the way to Oxford.
My previous best cache-types-in-a-day was 5, a few years ago. But there are a few Challenge Caches which like you to have found 8 in one day, so I had been planning a trip to Greenwich, Lewisham and Central London for today, to coincide with an Event by a visiting Polish cacher and his daughter. Perfect! Sadly, I can’t go for 9 types in London as I’ve already found the only webcam cache at Abbey Road. I’ve also been saving London’s only Letterbox cache for such an outing. Here’s how my day panned out:
The first Virtual of the day was in Greenwich Foot Tunnel, SUBTERRANEAN SUB-AQUA (Isle of Dogs/Greenwich).
The event was next, organised by krogulec, (+Amelka), First Caching In London. It was a nice little international gathering with visitors from Poland, Czech Republic, Germand and Italy, as well as a few locals.
The Whereigo, Church Micro 3690…Greenwich-St Alfege, was a bit of a challenge as the cartridge should have been updated with a slightly different location hint, but thankfully the CO was quick to reply to my message and I found it soon after that. The Whereigo was also an excellent third type of CM for my mini 7-day streak.
I found a couple of trads too, the first was in a murky Isle of Dogs. By the time I got to Blackheath, the sun had come out as I found Ranger’s House.
I picked up three Puzzle caches in Blackheath, this lovely square was the location of Icons Golden Oldies Challenge.
The Earth Cache I had targeted was on Point Hill, overlooking the city, one of the Battle of Britain Earthcaches.
Next stop was the Multi at Church Micro 8128…Blackheath – Ascension, with a surprising final GZ guarded by a fake crow!
The final type on my list was the Letterbox Church Micro 7456. .. Blackfriars-St Andrew near St. Paul’s. Another surprising final GZ, but I won’t give that away, it would spoil the surprise.
Having completed that challenge, I also wanted to make it 5 virtual finds today, for another challenge cache. I’d found two in Greenwich, two around Tower Bridge and then struck out at my final target – at 4:30pm on a Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t get anywhere near the location!
So, despite the distance, I decided Plan B was in order – I got on the Circle Line from Tower Hill to Paddington and quickly found Paddington Dare. Phew! 5 in the bag.
However, the day wasn’t without cost – I felt like I was coming down with a fluey lurgy by the time I got to Paddington, so some hastily purchased drugs from Boots on the platform gave me the strength to get home, where I collapsed on the sofa!
Tomorrow I plan a caching trip to Greenwich, where there are three Challenge Caches I want to pick up – about Golden Oldies. I realised late yesterday that I still need to find a 2007-hidden Letterbox cache before I’m able to pick one of them up. So today was a hastily arranged outing to a little 4-cache series just to the south of North Weald, which includes one such old Letterbox (they are rather thin on the ground around here).
Numbers 1 and 3 in the circuit were found quickly (both trads). No. 4 was the old Letterbox, which again was a straightforward retrieval. Of course, I signed the log and stamped it up with my smiley stamp.
No. 2 has been archived for some time, but with a bit of educated guesswork, I generated some likely co-ordinates to see if I could find the bonus. On arrival at GZ, this is what I found… Interesting!
I relocated to Chipping Ongar for another brief foray for a Church Micro for my 7-day streak – this time a Multi. After that, it was time to head home again, satisfied with a job well done, all ready for tomorrow’s Challenge Cache pickup.
I had another long walkabout today, this time in London. After a meeting near Aldwych which finished at noon, I had the whole afternoon to kill before another meeting near Angel at 6:30pm. So of course I set to work finding lots of caches!
The first was Church Micro 7125…Westminster – Queens Chapel, which is the start of my 7-day mini streak-within-a-streak, again for a Challenge Cache. I need at least one per day with at least 4 different types for a week, but I can only use one type per day. So this was my Trad.
The NT Cache was quite a tricky find, as it wasn’t at ground level, but once I was at the right elevation I had a great view across the river (and the cache was soon in hand).
I criss-crossed the River Thames several times, venturing into SE1 for the first time looking for tupperware. Bernie Spain Gardens was a delightful location where I sat in the sun and enjoyed my packed lunch.
I was also surprised by the size of the cache near the Wobbly Bridge – and even more surprised to see local cachers’ name PeCeH in the log just yesterday!
This view was taken from GZ of R.E. HEDGES 1973 (Near Millenium Bridge) which have a great panorama of the river from the northern bank.
With a 14-cache haul today, and 12.5 miles walked, I was pretty tired by the time I had finished, but pleased with the totals.
I managed a couple of finds along the Embankment this morning on my way to work. The first was a nice little multi, Carry On Follow That Camel, which started in the Victoria Embankment Gardens at the Imperial Camel Corps War Memorial. The final GZ wasn’t too far away once I had crunched the numbers, and a quick find.
Of course, I’m very familiar with Cleopatra’s Needle but it’s only recently that I’ve realised there is an EarthCache there – all about the damage which was sustained to the plinths during London’s first air raid in WWI.
I took the obligatory selfie with my GPS as well as sending all the info to the CO.
Then it was off to work with the caching business completed.
I had planned to go out for a quick single find today, another of the Bolting Round Ulting loop. But I changed my mind when I was half way there and detoured to Maldon to try my hand at another few of the No Mud hides. Success at three (including one I had previously DNF’d a few months ago) and no luck with two more.
Originally I was going to call it a day after that, but addiction got the better of me and I headed off to Mundon to search for a lovely little Letterbox by Bean & Sprout instead. Just for once, I remembered I had my Smiley stamp in the bag with me, so I was able to stamp up the cache’s logbook with mine, as well as my own with the Daffodil stamp which was in the box.
After another detour to Latchingdon for a Village Sign multi (and a trad DNF), it was back towards home via Cold Norton – to finally pick up CrazyHedgehogs‘ Mr Crabby’s Cold Bridge Cache – another which has been bugging me for months since my last DNF there. Hooray! Job done. 🙂
I was working in London today and hadn’t had time to find anything during daylight, so thought I would try a couple of caches close to Liverpool Street on the way home. Since I arrived having just missed a train, I also had some time to kill.
The first one on the list was erauqS erihsnoveD, which was a quick find despite the fact I’m not usually any good at night caching. There was lovely old Georgian architecture around several sides of the square.
I still had a while before my train was due, so moved along to Spitalfields Market to pick up Sherlock 1 – The game is afoot! It’s one in a series of six old mulit/virtuals which eventually lead to a physical hide. I had found one of them ages ago, so thought it was time I went for another. The information was quickly found, and photo taken, job done.
And that brings up my 183rd day-in-a-row geostreak. Half a year – will I make it to 366 days? We’ll see – my next milestone is 200 which which should occur on 11th Feb, all being well. Here’s to the next half year!
I had a rather sticky experience this morning, trying to find Peachick’s Puzzle in Mill Meadows Nature Reserve in Billericay. It’s been several years since I was last there for a previous cache, which took several fruitless visits before finally locating the prize. But that cache got archived ages ago.
Today I made the mistake of heading into the reserve from the nearest footpath to where I had parked. This turned out to be at the bottom of a very steep, muddy hill. It was a quagmire of boot-sucking mud which, at times, I wasn’t sure if I would get out of with both Wellies still on my feet!
Eventually made my way up the hill but found myself obstructed by a fence running around the little patch of woods, with 190-odd feet still to go. Argh!
So I had to backtrack through some more evil mud, and finally made it to a much firmer (but still muddy) path. Once at GZ I was most relieved to find the cache quite quickly. Phew!
The way back was much more obvious (I wasn’t going back the way I came in!) and the path led out to the main road without much mud at all. Now why hadn’t I found that in the first place?
I decided to kill two birds with one stone today – I needed to visit Purfleet to find the SideTracked cache and also pick up a Church Micro somewhere along the way, both helping me towards Challenge cache qualifications.
My first stop was Purfleet where I managed to find three caches in the end, including the SideTracked hide. Knights Of The Round Table, was at a very curious spot!
On to Pitsea, where St Gabriel’s Church has a new CM by Cettis12. This was an easy find. The church is a modern design, quite pleasant in its own way.
I noticed that In Memoriam, Pitsea War Memorial by Grimmer Scotting was also close by. Since I’m on a long term mission to find more multis (again with the aim of Challenge Cache qualification), I thought I would give it a go. The memorial looked lovely in the contre jour lighting this morning. I found the numbers quickly and the cache was also a swift locate once in the right place.
I had allowed myself the morning to “play”, and since there was still some time left, I did a few more drive bys and cache & dash in east Basildon as I worked my way home.
I was going to look for another of Cettis12’s new Church Micros but as I approached I saw a guy loitering around outside the church, trying to give out leaflets about Jesus to anyone who would take them. Having politely declined, I was told “God loves you” and I made a swift exit. Frustrating, as I could easily see the bison tube in its hiding place, but feared trying to retrieve it would attract too much attention from the zealot… So I decided to leave it for another day.
Time to cache in another of my Chignal Chase chips to keep the streak going today. No. 4 seemed like the perfect candidate for a swift drive by in the pouring rain. No. 1 & 2 are still outstanding, but I’m saving those for another day.