Category Archives: puzzles

Kensington Stroll

Trad: 2 Puzzle: 2
Walked: 7.6 miles

It’s getting dark early now that the clocks have gone back. That didn’t stop me going for a nice 4-cache walk from Westminster to Kensington this evening after work. It’s funny how different London’s streets look after dark – but it also provides some cover from muggles who tend to ignore what you are doing.

The End Of The Road
The End Of The Road

A Trip To Gillywig Territory

Trad: 6 Multi: 2 Puzzle: 9
Walked: 8.1 miles

I had a bunch of gillywig puzzles sitting on the solved-not-found pile, so thought today would be a good opportunity to go and pick them up.

On a whim, I contacted Grahame who happened to be free, so we met up and he was a great guide to the area. One of the best of his we looked for was the hilarious If I Can You Can. Seeing the CO unable to get the log out was worth the FP in itself.

Doing The Can-Can
Doing The Can-Can

Tri-Via-L Pursuit was also on the agenda. A most ingenious puzzle which it was great to tick off the list.

Tri-Via? But Which Way First?
Tri-Via? But Which Way First?

A non-gillywig hide was eventually spotted under this pile of crumbling bark – where I had a DNF last summer. GZ had changed significantly, but at least I located it this time.

Remains Of A Tree
Remains Of A Tree

There was some odd swag in one cache but the tie looked a tad mouldy. I left it be!

Mouldy Swag!
Mouldy Swag!

All in all a great day out with great company.

Not So Stumped For Another FTF

Trad: 13 Multi: 1 Puzzle: 1
Walked: 9 miles

Another busy day today, for starters, I decided to head back to Fyfield to see if I could finally find Stumped 56 which I had bombed out on back on Day #386. It has been live for over a month with nobody but me even attempting it!

I arrived around GZ once more and had another look in the same places as last time, when it was virtually dark. Still nothing. But then I realised there was somewhere else which I should have taken more notice of the first time. And voilà! Very pleased to finally crack this tough nut, making it FTF No. 34.

FTF No. 34
FTF No. 34

After that success, I headed off to Matching to walk a nice little loop around the village and surrounding fields. The Bonus cache was based around the charming Medieval Marriage Feasting Hall, which looked rather splendid in front of the church, despite the slightly overcast weather.

Matching Marriage Feasting Hall
Matching Marriage Feasting Hall

All in all a tiring walk, but with 15 finds today, I was rapidly working my way towards my 6,000 finds milestone, which is now just 13 caches away!

Day #385 – Dengie Dally

Trad: 12 Multi: 3 Puzzle: 4 Letterbox: 1
Event: 1
Walked: 6.1 miles

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.

Another Beastie Meet
Another Beastie Meet

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.

Ducks Everywhere!
Ducks Everywhere!

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!

We're IN At Last!
We’re IN At Last!

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.

Scaling The Heights
Scaling The Heights

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.

Fishy Business
Fishy Business

There were some more straightforward hides too, this one was an easy find and Little Quacker made a lady friend.

LQ Meets A Lady Friend
LQ Meets 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.

Day #380 – Tower Hill Trio

Trad: 1 Puzzle: 1 Virtual: 1
Walked: 4.5 miles

I was in London for meetings today but went for a little geo-walk afterwards. I started off around Tower Bridge to pick up the Virtual, Catastrophe, Calamity, Cataclysm Part 1.

Virtual Calamity
Virtual Calamity
Lovely Little Garden
Lovely Little Garden

Next up was King George’s Field near Tower Hill station, a delightful green oasis in the heart of the city. A swift find here.

My last stop was nearer Aldgate to log the old Puzzle (actually more like a Virtual in reality) Jack the Ripper 4 – Catherine Eddowes. There are several more to pick up and then a phyiscal bonus cache at the end, but the rest will have to wait for another day.

Day #377 – North Wales Mega 2016

Trad: 13 Puzzle: 1 Mega: 1
Walked: 10.8 miles

Mega Day! I made my way to Llangollen to attend my second Mega in a week. Me and Shifty found the logbook quickly enough:

Shifty Signs In A The MEGA
Shifty Signs In A The MEGA

He does look particularly shifty now with his new ‘tache. See below!

Me And A Shifty Dude
Me And A Shifty Dude

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.

Shifty Meets A Hairy Friend
Shifty Meets A Hairy Friend

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.

Des Res By The Canal
Des Res By The Canal

More lovely boats along the canal…

Lovely Canal Boat
Lovely Canal Boat

This attractive bridge was one highlight as we walked along.

Bascule Bridge
Bascule Bridge

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.

Day #358 – Professor Provolone’s Picto-Puzzle

Puzzle: 1
Walked: 0.7 miles

I’ve been appallingly lazy today. Not even walked a mile! Basically, because I’ve been sat on my bum all day conjuring up evil puzzles for my Brains Not Brawn series. By this evening, I was going stir-crazy and needed to get out to find something – so it was a cash and dash from the car to find nathanjhunt’s Futurama-themed puzzle near Mundon. I had solved it a few weeks ago, but not really been in the area since.

View From GZ
View From GZ

Day #357 – Maldon Mooch

Trad: 5 Puzzle: 2 Event: 1
Walked: 7.6 miles

This lunchtime saw another of BEASTMARSTA’s Flash Mobs, this time at Heybridge Basin. There was a good turn out in the hot weather.

Flashing At Heybridge
Flashing At Heybridge

Shifty met a couple of geohounds which Rachel’n’Redd had brought along. We teamed up to find a couple of hides along the canal before I headed back into Maldon to find some lunch at Tesco’s.

Shifty Meets Some Pooches
Shifty Meets Some Pooches

After eating my picnic by the river, I took a walk to find a few more hides along the water. Some folks were kayaking today – which made me wish I could have brought Boaty McBoat Face out to play today!

Lovely Day For A Paddle
Lovely Day For A Paddle

West Walk has been on my to do list for ages and ages – it was just that little bit far out of the way that I had never bothered stopping for it until today. But I made a lovely little circular walk of it, eventually heading back into Maldon to make my last couple of finds.

West Walk Treasure
West Walk Treasure

Fullbridge was looking particularly attractive today, despite it being low tide. The fluffy clouds certainly helped!

Fullbridge Moorings
Fullbridge Moorings

Day #353 – Magic Wanderings

Trad: 12 Multi: 3 Puzzle: 2 Letterbox: 1
Event: 1
Walked: 8.8 miles

Alistair needed to head back to Newcastle this afternoon, so we both drove to Shalford, north of Braintree, to do a couple of caches before going our separate ways. Our first location was to visit Infinson’s Magic Wand. I had heard great things about this clever field puzzle, and knew Alistair would enjoy having a go. I got about half way before getting stuck, then handed it to him. A bit of twiddling later and we had the log in our hands in about 5 minutes! Pretty good going if you read some of the previous logs 🙂

Magic Wand Magically Open!
Magic Wand Magically Open!

We had picnicked on benches around the village green, looking for clues to another cache which we soon polished off after faffing with some numbers (despite being one short).

View From A Bench
View From A Bench

After Alistair had gone, I headed to Gainsford End to pick up a new VS and Fine Pair which Infinson had set to coincide with today’s meetup in nearby Toppesfield. I bumped into Vanguard3, Happileigh and Starguider (TeamSOS) for the first time today, on my way back from one hide. I would see them again later.

VS Gainsford End
VS Gainsford End

The CM at Stambourne has been on my to do list for ages, as it helps me qualify for a Church Micro Challenge cache. Having found that, I have just one more specific CM to collect, but not today.

CM4644 Stambourne
CM4644 Stambourne

Next I found a parking spot in the tiny village of Toppesfield itself, which was already getting tricky as other Essex geocachers had begun to arrive early for the meetup.

I teamed up with TeamSOS to find the Church Micro and a few other new ones. We parted briefly again as we had done different bits of the circuit already. I almost didn’t get to look for VS Toppesfield as a muggle was right at GZ trimming her bush! (Ooh-er!) But she eventually pushed off and I made a quick find.

VS Toppesfield
VS Toppesfield

I also bumped into Goldpot again this evening (having seen him at yesterday’s meetup in London), and we searched for a couple of hides together before I headed to the pub for my pre-ordered dinner. Being hard core, he headed off for Hard, Harder and Hardest instead.

CM1332 Toppesfield
CM1332 Toppesfield

Shifty The Mega Duck had been patiently guarding the car all day but he was allowed in the pub provided he behaved himself. Which was barely – I saw him eyeing up other people’s pints and dinners all night! Pesky duck!

Shifty Contemplates Ryan's Dinner!
Shifty Contemplates Ryan’s Dinner!

Day #349 – Alistair’s Maiden Voyage

Trad: 9 Puzzle: 4 Event: 1
Walked: 2.9 miles

What a grand day out! Having bombed on floating Boaty for the first time a few days ago in Sussex, I spotted another Boat Only event at Fotheringhay, near Peterborough, slated for today. Hasty plans were hatched, encouragement offered to Infinson to finally pull his finger out and buy a kayak, and it was agreed that Team Essex would convene for the do at the Event waypoint.

Alistair and I arrived at about 10:30 to lashing rain. We sat in the car for half an hour to let it pass, which it did eventually. While we were there, another car pulled up and we noticed a huge blue chum for Shifty sitting on the back shelf! They made friends quickly.

Shifty Makes A Friend
Shifty Makes A Friend

Infinson and Fincache had parked some way off and arrived in their shiny new Challenger K2, with Ian sitting in State at the back while Ryan did all the work!

Infinson & Fincache
Infinson & Fincache

Once Boaty was inflated, Shifty took the back seat, I got into the middle and Alistair was Stroke at the front. We set off with the others to find the boat only caches and sign the boat only log.

Boaty McBoat Face Afloat!
Boaty McBoat Face Afloat!

It was great fun paddling along the river, with a few stops from time to time, to frisk the overhanging trees.

Where Is It?
Where Is It?

Ryan got this one!

Got It!
Got It!

Alistair took hold of the GoPro for a while, just to prove that I was working hard at the back!

Making Progress
Making Progress

There was a soggy log at one or two, but a photo log would suffice here.

Alistair Shows Off The Cache
Alistair Shows Off The Cache

There were several puzzle caches which we had solved – this one was technically missing a log book, but the CO was kind enough to let us claim the find as we were in the right place.

Ramming Speed?
Ramming Speed?

A few of the locations were a bit overgrown! Got this one in the end, having shoved the kayak as far in as we dared.

Up The Creek Without A Paddle
Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Ian and Ryan had no trouble finding this one, but it took ages to put it back again.

Almost Run Aground
Almost Run Aground

Half of Team Essex went back to their car past the lock, but we paddled back to the event location to dry out the kayak and have our picnic. It was a great gathering on the banks.

Post Paddle Picnic
Post Paddle Picnic

We met up with Ian and Ryan again in Elton to bag a few more in the village. Shifty and Mr Duck spotted a very appropriately named street – I think they want to move here!

The Perfect Place
The Perfect Place