I went for a huge walk today, around the footpaths of Copford and Heckfordbridge, covering a little over 11 miles in total. The 28 finds for today mean I’ve done another day qualifying for a Challenge cache too.
There was a great variety of hides along the route – not one from a specific series, but I connected a few footpaths to make up a bigger circular walk.
Unfortunately, Postman Pat’s puzzle was rather soggy when I arrived at GZ, but I just about managed to sign the book.
Moley was happily burrowing at the base of a tree, and soon came out to say hello when I called.
There was a good view across the gravel pit workings just north of Colchester Zoo. There were certain aromas on the air around here too!
The light was lovely as I walked around the tracks, with some drama in the sky as well.
Quite a few of the boxes were a decent size with plenty of swag inside, and I picked up a couple of trackables to move along soon. All in all, a tiring but enjoyable day out.
I went to stay with a semi-muggle friend in Deal today, but first I had a client meeting in Birchington this afternoon. You never know what the traffic will be like, so I left plenty of time for my journey and arrived with a couple of hours to spare. What to do? Well, find a few caches, of course!
The chalk cliffs are quite impressive around here, and one or two caches had a great view from their GZ.
Birchington Bay has a good view across the water to Westgate-on-Sea, too.
With my caching done, and my meeting finished, I headed to Deal to my overnight destination.
Theydon Bois is not a place I’ve explored before. There were a good few green boxes taunting me on the map, clustered around the M25/M11 junction, so I took to the back roads and ended up at this pretty church in Theydon Garnon, just up the road.
Perhaps I started in the wrong order, as I embarked on the Another Footpath Wander first, a mostly linear walk with a little loop at the end, comprising 8 caches.
There was plenty of Autumnal colour about, as I wandered along the track.
Some scenes make better pictures as mono, as I thought this section would…
But in the end, I resorted back to colour once more…
Then I moved the car to Theydon Bois proper, to embark on the Theydon Bois Footpath Wander series, with another 10 caches up for grabs. Unfortunately, I had a handful of DNFs here, but I did spot some interesting graffiti.
The last few caches were situated in quite a wild area, right next to the M25! It was rather odd, but the footpaths weren’t very well marked either. Eventually I made it back to Theydon Bois station where I was able to find the start of the series as dusk was falling – I had been unable to look on my outward walk due to muggles lurking.
I went home for some dinner, but then headed out again to round off the day at Essex Meet 42 in Little Braxted. Another great turn out for our bi-monthly meetup.
Another short day at work meant I was able to top and tail my trip to London with a bit of caching. First stop of the morning was the South Bank to finally avenge the DNF at Henry’s Lost Letter, which I failed to find a few days ago.
Another hide I was able to revisit was SideTracked – London Marylebone when, on my last visit, it was so muggle-infested I didn’t even try. Today was a different matter, and I located the prize quite quickly.
After the working day was done, I headed to Little Venice for a few more caches as dusk began to fall. My first stop was Warwick Avenue SideTracked, which didn’t pose any great problems.
I walked across to Over Troubled Water, a hide on the bridge over the Grand Union Canal. It was a little bit tricky but eventually the muggles thinned out sufficiently for me to have a proper look, and there it was. A nice spot to spend a few minutes watching the world go by.
The last port of call was the SideTracked hide at Royal Oak, which I bagged on my way to the tube station and to make my way home.
Loads more walking today, before and after work. I started close to Liverpool Street by finally locating the elusive puzzle, O Where O Where Can That Little Cache Be? It had been bugging me for ages! The log was pretty full but I managed to cram my name in.
Another puzzle which had been outstanding for too long was Beck, based around the London Underground map. The other day, I finally made some progress with the solve and was rewarded with the little devil when I searched the correct spot this morning. Very satisfying to have ticked it off, at last!
Work took up the majority of the day, but I went for a walk afterwards, firstly around Surrey Row and then to the north bank of the Thames to look for a couple of Swan to Canary series. The Shard and Tower Bridge looked impressively illuminated this evening.
My final success was the Livchurch Street multi, which I had previously DNF’d but luckily had a brainwave about this evening. Then a weary walk back to Liverpool Street to get the train home.
I had been on a night shift in London all night, so what did I do? Yes, go for a caching expedition before heading home to bed! What do you mean, I’m mad?
Strand Lane Roman Baths were my first stop. You can’t have a bath there now, but you can work out where the cache is hidden!
Next on my agenda was a trip to Brompton. I didn’t see any folding bikes, but I did spot some wonderful Autumnal colours while I was searching for CM2691 at Holy Trinity Brompton.
One of the many puzzle icons on the London map is Routemaster No. 9. For some reason, I had been putting off attempting this one for ages, probably due to how spread out the waypoints were, but a week or so in the capital had meant I could look for a few on foot each night on the way home from work. By this morning, I had enough info to head for the final destination.
I was rather hoping to spot one of the lovely old Routemaster buses, but I only saw a new “Boris Bus” variant today, as I made my way to GZ.
I do like it when the final key of a puzzle fits into place. And I was happy to have found the cache at the end point, after all that work.
The TUBE SideTracked hide in Bayswater had a very nosy neighbour which kept looking at my while I was searching for the cache! I hope his bite is not as bad as it looks!
By now I was almost dead on my feet, so I hopped on the nearest tube train back to Liverpool Street and made my way home to bed, at last.
Today I had a great roam around the outskirts of Brentwood and then Harts Wood and Thorndon Country park, finding 8 traditional caches, which were some great hides.
I started off with two caches to the north east of Brentwood. The first was called Jumbo and was a particularly on-theme container!
Next up was a little box which went by the name of DEH1 – not sure what it all meant, but it had some nice little goodies inside.
I moved the car and parked just to the north of Hartswood itself. The Autumn colours were out in full force!
My first cache attempt in the woods was a DNF, but I met a couple of cachers there while I was looking. None of us could locate the box, but we had a good chat and moved on our separate ways.
Thankfully I had more success with other hides in the wood, including this box with a travel bug which I picked up to move along. Someone’s celebrating their 10,000th find with this traveller!
I’m a bit stingy and the parking cost in Thorndon Country Park is rather steep, so instead of moving the car again, I continued walking south and carried on to a few more hides in the centre and west of the park which I haven’t visited before. This one was a riot of choice – but I did find the right pine cone in the end!
Thorndon One is an excellent hide – a nice big ammo box awaits. But what’s this? How do I get in? The answer is, you have to find the keys which have been hidden close by to unlock the log inside! A very well crafted cache which certainly deserved a favourite point.
There were more travellers to be seen in another hide nearby, this time a conventional Tupperware box.
Another well-crafted box was this fake birdbox – which looked very convincing – until you pulled the front off to reveal a pot inside!
I was aiming for a minor milestone of 6,600 today, and the birdbox took me to 6,599. So I hot-footed it over to Warley for a final find to bring up my total. Then I had a long walk back to the car! But it had been a fun day out.
Another afternoon shift in London meant another morning walk while the sun was shining. My first stop was for Ghost Tube SideTracked Lords. The view from GZ showed the pavilion roof off rather well.
Then I made my way to the final of the old Virtual/Multi series, Catastrophe, Calamity, Cataclysm – The Prize! It has been a long while coming, since I’ve been doing the feeder caches in dribs and drabs over several months. Great to finally have this one ticked off the list!
Next was a visit to Regents Canal which was a DNF, and then further along for Stephenson’s Vaults, a cheeky placement which had to have a fave. It was tricky to retrieve between muggles, there was a lot of traffic along the canal today.
After another trad find in Camden it was finally on to my last one of the day, Carreras Cigarette Factory near Mornington Crescent. This was hidden opposite the splendid Art Deco façade of the old factory, guarded by a pair of regal-looking cats!
Playtime over, I headed off to Westminster to start my shift.