Back on 2nd Jan (before my daily streak began) we had completed the section 160-177 around Great Waltham. So the obvious place to start this time was 178 and work our way to 208 – Chatham Green, south of Great Leighs and onto Fuller Street and Gamble’s Green.
Most of the caches were straightforward but it was nice to have the occasional puzzle or letterbox to add some variety. I sent Alistair into the bushes to find one:
He loves to climb any Pointless Stiles we find on the way. It was a long walk so we enjoyed a pint in the pub at Fuller Street before completing the section and heading back to the car at Chatham Green. A very pleasant walk.
A few tears today from the hard-working UK Essex Mega committee – it was time to say goodbye to all the travellers from near and far at the Goodbye To Essex event at Barleylands.
Whoever is last to leave, remember to put the cat out!
Alistair has one last go in the Mega Logbook Deckchair!
Once the event was done, Alistair and I decided to have a walk and find a few more of the caches local to Barleylands which we hadn’t had time to find until now. There were the three Flitch Trials themed caches, which required a bit of brainpower to get the logs out.
My favourite of the day was this brilliant little box, 911 Emergency. It must have taken a lot of time to prepare!
We have had mega weather for Mega Week – and the blue sky continued to smile on us today.
The final bit of fun was the Flash Flood cache which is hidden the other side of a stream under a road bridge. We came fore-warned so I was sent across the treacherous waters in my wellies. Alistair was ready with his camera in case disaster struck – thankfully I remained upright, much to his disappointment!
After another night under canvas at Barleylands, we woke up and headed over to the first event of the day, The Big Breakfast. The queue was rather big too, but we eventually got our Full English.
It was a very hot morning but the work parties were in full swing at Langdon Plotlands for the event and subsequent CITO – some of us were put to clearing brambles – it’s good to get revenge after so many scratching incidents whilst out caching!
The final event of the day was From Gavin To Stacy, hosted by the 2016 Welsh Mega Committee in Hockley Woods.
Alistair and I were rather exhausted by this point, so while other keen cachers went racing around the woods, we found a nice shady spot to sit and have a chill out.
Mega Day has come around… and much fun was had by all. Alistair and I were camping overnight – so we had some breakfast at the tent before heading over to the festivities.
The Mega Logbook was a huge deckchair – we had to sign the cover! Caz Woz ‘Ere
We particularly enjoyed some of the Lab caches on offer. Hook a duck and find the one with a code on the bottom:
Open each locker to discover if there was a code behind the door:
I met Signal The Frog during the event.
What a friendly, happy dude! And the perfect ambassador for Geocaching. Alistair had a few moments to relax in the big deck chair too.
After the main event was done, we wandered around the Mega Amble – a series of 12 traditional caches close to the camp site, which had been published especially for the event. The 12th brought up my 3100th find (my 3000th having been found just a week before the Mega).
Another fun day of Essex Mega events today, kicking off with a trip to Mersea Island to find several trads, an unusual Virtual which moves around the country (it wasn’t actually in North Yorkshire when I found it, but at the end of Mersea Island!) and an Earth Cache. Alistair explored the cliffs along the coastline:
Boats near the Survey Monument at the end of Cudmore Grove (close to the location of the Virtual).
This evening we headed to Barleylands to enjoy Pie and Mash for dinner and pitch our camping spot.
Then it was time to attend the Flitch Trials – with a caching flavour. Three caching couples were cross-examined about the truth of their DNF logs – and the “jury” voted them Guilty or Not Guilty after hearing the evidence.
A busy day today! The first event Alistair & I attended was Glaciers & Gruffalos in Thorndon Country Park. We found a few caches on our way around the park. Alistair made friends with some fun characters:
Next up was a trip to Hadleigh Country Park for Rocky Ride Extreme. We didn’t ride bikes but had a picnic and then went for a quick look for a few caches.
The Olympic Mountain Bike course still has its medal podium in situ – so Alistair decided to pose as he know’s he’s a winner!
The final event of the day was at the Secret Nuclear Bunker in Kelvedon Hatch. We had the run of the place for our event which meant the Committee were able to dress up as ghouls and zombies and scare the bejeezus out of us all! It was fantastic!
There were too Essex Mega events to visit today, first off was the Caching & Nature walk in Hatfield Forest. Kids were taught to make fire (responsibly!) with the Rangers. I met Marley the Geodog – just about the sweetest-natured pooch you could hope to find.
I had the opportunity to find a few caches in the forest. There were plenty of other folks finding tupperware too!
The evening saw the Stargazing Picnic back at Barleylands. Alistair arrived from Newcastle in time for the interesting talk from cacher and astronomy buff, Loony Londo. Sadly the clouds closed in and it was too overcast to do any stargazing.
However, the clouds didn’t stop us being visited by Interstellar beings! This was at GZ of a great puzzle cache released that evening.
It’s finally here – the UK Essex Mega 2015 week-long festival of geocaching. The very first event was the Imp’s Meet & Greet at Birchanger Services on the M11, but the next one was my first – UKME2015 – Welcome To Essex.
The event during the evening was held at Barleylands. There was a BBQ and an opportunity to see old friends and new.
I also found a couple of the new caches placed around Barleylands – A Damp Welcome and the excellent Grand Mega Bug Hotel.