The M25 is 30 years old today. Some mad cachers had arranged several events around the motorway to celebrate the event, and I decided to attend the one in Warley, being my nearest.
One of the hardest parts was finding somewhere to park and walk to the venue! But once I arrived, I saw it was a small but select gathering under a gazebo in Warley Country Park.
We were given some nice wooden coins celebrating other notable events which occurred on 29th October in other years. In this case, it was dedicated to the Ballpoint Pen. Fred the geo-dog has got his and won’ let it go…
I stopped off for another couple of nearby while I was in the area. One was in the old Lorne Cemetry where the little chapel looked a bit sorry for itself.
I was working in Westminster today so I was able to stop off in Borough for Banter No. 4 this evening. A very enjoyable event, with lots of chat, good food and plenty of TBs and geocoins to discover. This was my favourite.
After my adventures with Kitty the other day, I decided on a solo mission for a higher DT cache was in order today. My target was Don’t Fall In! near Copford Green. I arrived to find the pond was virtually dried up, but the cache was still tricky to reach.
After a bit of manoeuvring I finally got my paws on the log – and another D4/T4.5 pot was under my belt!
It took a bit longer to accomplish than I had hoped, so I was a bit late arriving for BEASTMARSTA‘s GeoCoffeeClub#15 in the Old Heath area of Colchester. Shifty quickly made a start on the crisps!
Suitably fortified, I then headed back to Birch and Layer Breton for a circular walk taking in lots of trads. A mixed bag of success – plenty of finds but a few frustrating DNFs too. This alien was a nice quick find though!
When I’m out and about I do like photographing the Village Signs – Layer Breton is clearly very posh, they have gold leaf on their sign!
They have a quaint little church in the village too.
It was getting dark by the time I had finished my loop – the sunset was rather colourful tonight.
After finding the Village Sign cache (it was quite a walk in the gloom to GZ) then finally back to the car in Birch, I was grateful for a sit down before the drive home.
This morning I finally managed to vanquish one of Mr Crow’s more annoying puzzles which has been bugging me for months. But I was glad to finally have it ticked off the list.
Then I headed along the A12 to Silver End, for a walk around some more rural caches. The farmer was busy harrowing his field as I passed.
It was very warm out in the open, but in Kelvedon I was grateful for some tree cover as I walked along this attractive boardwalk to my next find.
Finally, on to Coggeshall – to find a puzzle cache which I had first attempted in 2011 but it turned out to be AWOL. No idea why its taken me so long to have another crack at it. But the big grin proves I was successful, at long last.
Having sorted that unfinished business, I headed to the little chapel for another of geotrowel‘s Utterly Pointless events. Two horses were at GZ, both blindfolded – or are they fly hoods? Not sure!
A few other folks turned up too. A nice little gathering and a sociable way to round off my caching day.
After Friday’s epic 101 Finds, I spent Saturday hobbling about the house, when I wasn’t sitting on the sofa writing up my logs. But the sun was out today, and there was a caching meetup in Southend scheduled, so I decided to get off my butt and go to the seaside.
Having parked as close as I could without spending a fortune on a car park, I wandered over to the meeting point close to the pier. Shifty Duck insisted on coming too – he was very keen to stay cool and demanded I buy him a huge ice cream.
After an enjoyable natter at the event, a few of us went to find the puzzle to based on Southend Pier and then I said goodbye and headed back towards the car – via a cheeky Church Micro, of course!
Sunday, and that can only mean one thing – another Beastie Meet along the coast.
This time it was a Burnham-on-Crouch, and although the sun was out, it was also very windy! We nearly got blown off the sea wall. I went along with Alistair who is staying for a few days, and we took Geoffrey The Geocacher with us for a walk.
Afterwards, we found a few more around the town, but eventually we were so cold and windswept we decided to come home for tea and cake!
I enjoyed another crazy day today, on my road trip from Essex. I had originally planned to visit Imber Village (for the rare D5 Virtual) next weekend, but checking the access times again a few days ago, I noticed the MoD had decided to close it early. So it was this weekend or bust! A hastily-arranged road trip saw me finally visit the Ghost Village and fulfil an ambition at last. However there were a few caches along the way which needed my attention first!
The village of Durrington was worth a visit, for the Woodhenge Virtual, Cuckoo Stone Earthcache…
… and Sun Gap Cache – another Virtual to tick off the list.
Then on to the main reason for my trip, Imber Village. It’s a spooky place, even when full of summer visitors. The MoD only open it for about 4 weeks in total each year, so it was definitely worth going when the opportunity arose.
The church has two caches associated with it, one of which requires a visit inside, and with even more limited opening times than the village itself, the window to get the information was pretty small! I’m so glad my plans worked out.
Once that business was concluded, I was able to drive across some of the ranges of Salisbury Plain to pick up a few challenge caches which I had qualified for. But you must remember to give way to the Routemaster Bus from Warminster to Imber, ferrying curious muggles to the place I had just left!
After the challenges, I was able to find The Biggest Cache In Wiltshire too, which turned out be a true monster!
The log was equally massive, and I had a bit of trouble trying to take a selfie in the rain with the logsheets flapping about in the wind! Here’s the best you get.
From sunny in Imber, the weather was beginning to deteriorate. It was quite cold and damp by the time I arrived at Caen Flight for the multi nearby, a 2002-vintage hide and a Large as well.
On the way back, I stopped off at Silbury Hill to log the Virtual there, taking another selfie in the gloom. At least it had stopped raining.
Then it was time to head back to Lambourne in Berkshire for the nearest Finish Line event for the HQ Duck Dash. Little Quacker has had fun over the last month, but is now happy to go into retirement, having covered 1,408 miles with me! I wouldn’t normally do that many miles in a month, but it did occur during the period of my 10-day holiday in North Wales and elsewhere, to visit two Megas!
Another Sunday, another Beastmarsta “Meat”, this time at Bradwell Waterside. There was a good turn out again, with quite a few of the usual suspects turning up.
Shifty and Little Quacker met some other ducks who are still taking part in the HQ Duck Dash. There wasn’t much rivalry, but quite a lot of quacking going on.
During the meetups, infinson and I managed to extract a little nugget of information from Gilly Bean & Sprout about her D5 cache, 9 PLUS 5. It has had us both fooled for some time, but with new intelligence, we headed off there after the event and had another go at it – and what do you know – we got in! Finally!
I found a couple of other caches with Ian and then we went our separate ways. Next on the agenda was King Of The… Hill? which required a little climb on an old tanker – job done.
Another great themed cache was Fish Supper, which I had solved quickly a few days ago. There was a nice surprise when I eventually fished out the pot.
There were some more straightforward hides too, this one was an easy find and Little Quacker made a lady friend.
Another highlight of the day was finding my 100th Letterbox cache, which now qualifies me for a letterbox-based challenge cache. A good day out.
Mega Day! I made my way to Llangollen to attend my second Mega in a week. Me and Shifty found the logbook quickly enough:
He does look particularly shifty now with his new ‘tache. See below!
However, his hairiness seems to have endeared him to other trackable chums – this was at the Geolympix stand where Mr Gorilla took quite a shine to Shifty.
I looked around the exhibition hall, spent far too much money on geocoins and then bumped into Gilly (Bean & Sprout). We decided to go and collect another short stretch along the Llangollen Canal to join up with the section I had completed by bike yesterday.
More lovely boats along the canal…
This attractive bridge was one highlight as we walked along.
We decided we would have a go at a few caches on Pen-y-Coed. We weren’t intending to do such a strenuous circuit, but quite a few of the trads were on the way to a puzzle cache which we particularly wanted to pick up. It was hard going!
Exhausted after that, we decided we couldn’t be bothered to cook, so we headed back into Llangollen to enjoy a rather good curry for dinner. It was great to have some company rather than just grabbing something along the way.