Around lunchtime today I noticed a few new caches had been published in Billericay, so I had something to eat and then headed out on the hunt for FTF. I bombed out on one, but managed to locate Caching Crew #5 by ljgeofinder935, which I discovered had a nice blank log sheet on arrival. Hurrah, FTF No. 49.
Then I headed over to Colchester to explore Westlands Country Park – not an area I have ever visited before. There is a series of caches locally by Boo!!!, which I thought I would look for, and grab any others which were on my way. One such was The Gates Of Eden by foxscout, which was a bit of a pain to find, but I got there in the end.
Some of the other Boo hides were guarded by interesting characters! I spotted this duck…
… and also this bunny, which was quite difficult to spot. I persevered and eventually found him tucked in a hole.
The evenings are drawing in now, so the sun had set by the time I had finished my searches. I also ended up with a few DNFs – but I suspect that was more to do with my incompetence rather than the fading light.
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.
I had a meeting in Colchester this afternoon, but had time to pick up a couple of trads nearby beforehand. They were easy enough finds. Then I headed to a muggle friend’s in Ingatestone for dinner and a chat. I thought my caching was done for the day.
About 8pm my phone pinged with a notification that a new cache had been published very close to home, Beano In Essex 3. Drat. I bet the FTF-hounds will be on it like a shot, I thought. Never mind.
I didn’t hurry my dinner engagement (and I wasn’t about to forgo pudding!) But once I had left, I did a quick check online and noticed nobody else had logged it yet. I would be driving right past the thing, so I thought I might as well stop off for a quick look-see.
It was now dark, and I’m a bit rubbish at night caching, but I had a torch and blundered about for a few minutes before spotting the bison! Yay! And a blank log sheet too, that’s FTF No. 28.
I had a client meeting during the morning in Colchester, so decided to stay in the area afterwards to find a few caches around the town. One of my first ports of call was at the old Roman Circus ruins near the Garrison. I liked the way the reminder of the old buildings was presented.
It was a bit drizzly for my walk, but I found a few more, including this Leap Day themed cache before heading a little bit further north into Suffolk to find a few Church Micros.
I had a pleasant stroll to find a few more of geotrowel’sGrail Quest series too.
Then it was on to Higham and Raydon to find some more Suffolk multis for a challenge I’m working on.
So it was an interesting day out, in an area I don’t get to very often.
They have a very small world view in Kelvedon and Feering! This was the GZ of the first cache I found today on my way to Colchester.
I can report that plenty lies beyond! For starters, I returned to The Bingo Challenge Cache in Copford, which I had previously DNF’d when it was missing. It’s recently been replaced so I thought I would give it another shot. Of course, for clambering up bridge slopes, I went dressed the part:
I’ve driven past Foxscout’sSarcen Stones Earthcache in Greenstead hundreds of times. But today was the day I finally got around to stopping to gather the information.
After finding another couple of trads around the Hythe on a chilly late afternoon walk, I arrived at Mum & Dad’s to thaw out!
Colchester was today’s target for caches, mainly driven by attending the early morning event which has been in my diary for some weeks as “Geotrowel’s thing in Colchester at Stupid O’Clock”. After a quick park and grab with a couple of event attendees at a nearby nano, we proceeded to the rendez-vous point, for the shenanigans to begin!
Astrotrowel had given templates to make puff-powered USS Enterprise flying machines. What chaos! But great fun despite the silliness of the hour (at 08:30 of a Sunday morning, it’s rare I’m out of bed let alone out of my PJ’s and 35 miles from home).
The spoilsport wouldn’t let me fly my Space 1999 Eagle Freighter as it was a “non-regulation” craft. Hmph!
There was a rather cool Star Trek themed TB kicking around though! Engage Warp Speed…
Geotrowel presented Hardyhaha with a big bar of Galaxy (what else?) for winning the distance race with his vessel, the USS Creme Egg.
After the prize giving, the Final Frontier Fools lined up for a photo call with the debris of their craft at their feet!
After the event I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours in the company of Kareninwb and Snoopyus as we moseyed around Colchester town centre picking up a few trad caches. Sunday mornig is a good time fora lot of them as most muggles are (very sensibly) at home.
Once my car park time had run out I relocated to Shrub End to find some more caches on my own. High on my “must find” list was Open Sesame by PuReWaRRioR69 – the biggest cache I’ve ever set eyes on, located in a lock-up garage! Brilliant. And a perfect place for dumping all those over-sized TBs if ever you need it!
I also had a couple of Geotrowel’s Earthcaches on my to do list, both involving the Iron Age defensive ditches around Lexden. They involved a lot of walking but the sun was out, I had music in my headphones and the mud wasn’t too thick.
By about 3:30pm I’d had enough. That’s a bit early for me normally, but I realised I had been at it since “stupid o’clock”, so I decided to retire home fore a cup of tea and put my feet up on the sofa. I’ve covered more than 11 miles on foot today! No wonder I’m tired.
The day started badly with a string of 3 DNF’s! I was beginning to think I should have stayed in bed. But then success at a solved puzzle by tam9433 buoyed my spirits.
Next up was the last of BEASTMARSTA‘s monthly Flash Mobs for 2015, outside the Police HQ (and at the site of Britain’s Oldest Church, now a ruin). The coppers didn’t move us on and we chatted for half an hour before dispersing without arrests!
Before the meetup I had attempted one of my must-do targets for the day, Mr Murrkin‘s Olympian Challenge which I qualified for after reaching 100 days in my ongoing geostreak. Muggle kids were at GZ and I couldn’t even search furtively, so I returned once the social do was over and it was then a quick find.
I’d been chatting to gillywig‘s Grahame at the event about one of his puzzles, Rail Network, which I had DNF’d that morning. He kindly offered to return with me to see if it was AWOL – needless to say it wasn’t, I was just rubbish before!
I also revisited another of the morning’s DNF’s (and another of tam9433‘s puzzles) which I’d had a bit more info on from the meetup. I decided to round the day off with a visit to a BEASTMARSTA puzzle, BeastNav which involved half an hour’s armchair google driving last night to work out!
The one disappointment of the day was TWO visits to the BINGO Challenge cache in Copford, which appears to be missing. A pity, as it would also have filled up the 5/2.5 hole in my DT grid. Oh well, another day, perhaps.
I was in Highwoods Country Park this morning for a quick Flash Mob organised by Mr BEASTMARSTA. It’s a while since I’ve found any caches in the park (the old ones have all been archived by now) so I stayed on afterwards to have a walk and look for some new hides.
I had also solved three puzzles around Colchester which I decided to look for too – gillywig‘s excellent Romaes eunt domus, BEASTMARSTA‘s X Marks The Spot and Murrkin‘s Sidetracked Lexden & Stanway – a location I last visited years ago before there was a cache there. The Sidetracked cache was my 3400th find, a mere fortnight after the 3300th. I mopped up a few stray trads while in Lexden as well. All in all an excellent day’s caching.
I stopped off in the St. John’s area of North East Colchester on the way home from Wivenhoe today, and had a quick geowalk to find 4 hides. Three were straightforward trads, and the fourth was a fun little field puzzle.