Tag Archives: virtual

Dorset Dally

Trad: 5 Challenge: 6 Virtual: 3
Walked: 11 miles

It was my last day in Hampshire and Dorset today, so I made the most of it by running round like a mad thing picking up the last caches which were on my list – a mixture of virtuals, challenges and a few others as I was passing. I started off heading further south west, to pick up a D1/T4 Loop 2 grid filler, The Bear Necessities Of Life. There were even bears inside! Awesome.

Bear Necessities!
Bear Necessities!

Next I headed to Minstead Church, situated in a quiet village just off the busy A31.

Minstead Church
Minstead Church

I was looking for a Virtual cache dedicated to the author of a famous Detective. Can you guess who?

Elementary, My Dears
Elementary, My Dears

Next I headed for another Virtual, this time on Hengistbury Head, an outcrop of rock overlooking Christchurch Harbour. Just as I got out of the car, it started raining! Drat.

Hengistbury Head
Hengistbury Head

The rain continued, on and off, for much of the day. I also enjoyed locating several trads and Challenge Caches along the route of the old railway between Upton and Broadstone, north east of Poole. I was particularly pleased so spot The Fat Controller – or perhaps he is a frustrated commuter – in one of the caches.

The Fat Controller?
The Fat Controller?

Other wildlife spotted included this huge red beetle! Thankfully, it was just plastic.

Big Bug!
Big Bug!

The irony of walking past a solar farm in the pouring rain is not lost on me! By this time I was east of Ferndown looking for a trio of Challenges by DizzyPair. There are one or two more in the area which I don’t yet qualify for, so perhaps I will be back on a sunny day sometime!

Not Generating Much Today!
Not Generating Much Today!

My final find, as it turned out, was another Virtual at Florence Nightingale’s Grave. Here I am, posing under a brolly!

With Florence, In The Rain
With Florence, In The Rain

As if I wasn’t already wet enough, I decided to attempt another grid filler – this time a D2.5/T4.5. I even donned my waders, but the cache was out of reach and I didn’t feel it was safe to go climbing on my own, so I left it be – it’s only a cache!

It was a rather soggy drive back home, but I had a great 4 days finding some unusual stuff in an area I don’t get to very often. A grand road trip!

Sweet Fanny Adams

Trad: 5 Challenge: 4 Virtual: 1
Walked: 6 miles

I have been staying in Alton over the past couple of nights, and had noticed there was a Virtual Cache in the cemetery nearby. So this morning, it was the first cache on my list. Sweet Fanny Adams was found quickly in her resting place – it took longer to park the car!

With Sweet FA
With Sweet FA

I then headed off to pick up some more Challenge caches around East Tisted and East Meon. The countryside is quite bumpy around here!

Rolling Hills Near East Meon
Rolling Hills Near East Meon

Having done that, I headed to Liphook to meet my muggle friends for the birthday event during the afternoon, at the Hollycombe Steam Collection, followed by a curry in the town. It wasn’t really dark when we wrapped up, so I took a little wander around Liphook itself to find a handful more, before finally heading back to my hotel for the night.

Day #392 – Wiltshire Wanderings

Trad: 6 Challenge: 3 Letterbox: 1 Virtual: 3
Walked: 8 miles

Today was the last day of my road trip to the Berkshire/Wilstshire borders. First on the menu were a couple of Challenge caches, which I’ve already qualified to find. I realise I put the wrong date on the 100 Days Challenge logbook. Oops.

100 Days Challenge
100 Days Challenge

The 200 Days Challenge was a nice ammo can found in the woods.

200 Days Challenge
200 Days Challenge

After those two, and a few more nearby trads along the way, I headed back to Silbury Hill and Avebury to pick up two more Virtuals and a couple of trads on my route. My walk started off sunny as I climbed Waden Hill, overlooking Silbury’s mound.

Sunny Silbury Hill Today
Sunny Silbury Hill Today

Having gone over the top and back down the other side, I was at Avebury Stone Circle and found the info for the Virtual quickly. Then I set off south for West Kennet Long Barrwo…

Avebury Stone Circle
Avebury Stone Circle

… just as the heavens opened. It was a long walk to the barrow and after stopping for a nearby trad, I eventually got to the top, rather soggy. Info collected and soggy selfie completed, I trudged back to the car and had to endure a damp drive home! All good fun in the end.

Soggy At West Kennet Long Barrow
Soggy At West Kennet Long Barrow

Day #388 – London Summer Evening

Trad: 3 Multi: 1 Puzzle: 1 Challenge: 1 Virtual: 1
Walked: 7 miles

One good thing about having to work in London on a Summer’s day, is that you get a nice Summer’s evening for a geo-walk afterwards. I did  about 7 miles in two hours after finishing at the office, and picked up some great caches around Kensington, Hyde Park and up to Edgware Road.

Little Quacker Meets Sherlock
Little Quacker Meets Sherlock

The main targets were Sherlock 7 – The Booty!, which I had finally collected enough information to find, Central London Team Quest 1 – another Virtual ticked off the list and, having recently qualified, the 366 Days Challenge cache. I also managed a couple of CMs and a SideTracked or two.

Day #387 – Monumental Heights

Trad: 5 Earth: 5 Virtual: 1
Walked: 9 miles

Today I set myself the challenge of climbing The Monument in London, to finally log the Virtual cache which is at the top. I haven’t been up the thing in several years, but today looked perfect – lovely weather was promised.

But first, I started my walk from Liverpool Street and picked up information for a Multi I’ve been meaning to do for ages (sadly a DNF today) plus bagging a trio of Earthcaches before I began my climb,

EC Gilt Of Cain
EC Gilt Of Cain

At the bottom, it looks like a long way up!

Preparing For The Climb!
Preparing For The Climb!

Finally at the top of the Monument, Virtual Cache in the bag.

Virtually Conquered It
Virtually Conquered It

That wasn’t it for Earthcaches though, I did another couple after my climb, and also picked up five trads as I was pottering about.

Another EC Selfie
Another EC Selfie

All in all, a tiring but fun day in the Capital.

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 #375 – Summit Up Snowdon

Trad: 17 Earth: 1 Virtual: 1 Event: 2 Webcam: 1
Walked: 6.2 miles

Today was time for a road trip to Llanberis to go up Snowdon. I wanted to get there quickly, so only stopped off for a couple of hides along the way. LQ liked the view at this cache in the Llanberis Pass.

LQ In Llanberis Pass
LQ In Llanberis Pass

The next thing was to sign the ducks into the event at the car park in Llanberis – Summit Up Snowdon. They were happy to meet the folks there. Shifty decided he didn’t want to come all the way to the top (I think he’s secretly afraid of heights) but sent Little Quacker with me to report back how it was.

Shifty & Little Quacker At The Event
Shifty & Little Quacker At The Event

But first – we wanted to log the webcam at Llanberis – Mole says “Stick ’em up” 2 – Shifty was happy enough to be in that, he had his wings up too!

Stick 'Em Up!
Stick ‘Em Up!

We enjoyed the trip up to the top on the diesel train. I had booked ages ago as I knew it would be busy. You only get 30-40 minutes at the top, and have to go back on the same train you came up on – but there were 3 caches to log! Would I be able to grab them  all? One was a trad, one a virtual and one an Earthcache.

My original plan was to try for all three and if I didn’t have enough time, I would perhaps walk down from the summit. But we got half way up and entered the cloudbase. It turned very cold and extremely windy. The view from the summit was about 3 feet! But still, there was a big group of folks gathering the info for the virtual and Earthcache.

Foggy At The Top
Foggy At The Top

Little Quacker helped me out with gathering the information too. Thankfully we didn’t have to search hard for the trad – I saw it i the hands of other cachers!

Little Quacker Checks The Trig Point
Little Quacker Checks The Trig Point

Thankfully, I managed to get all three in the time, and took the train back down in comfort! But seeing little trains wasn’t over yet – I looked for the SideTracked – Llanberis hide which is sited along the lovely Llanberis Lake Railway.

Little Red Engine!
Little Red Engine!

Dolbarn Castle was the venue for another great little cache, the view was lovely. The cache had quite high terrain rating, but it didn’t pose too many problems.

Hide & Keep - Dolbarn Castle
Hide & Keep – Dolbarn Castle

Little Quacker found the cache easily! Well done LQ.

LQ Wins Hide & Seek!
LQ Wins Hide & Seek!

On the way back to the Carrog Campsite (for another event in the evening), I went from cache to cache along the A5, stopping for quick finds and no DNFs, ticking off another few counties today.

Lovely Little Church
Lovely Little Church

The evening festivities carried on well into the night at the Sombreros After Sunset event – Shifty disgraced himself by drinking too much Tequila and somehow came away with a rather bushy Mexican moustache! He’s been wearing it proudly ever since.

Shifty Acquires A Mexican 'Tache!
Shifty Acquires A Mexican ‘Tache!

Day #373 – Welsh Wanderings

Trad: 15 Challenge: 1 Virtual: 1
Walked: 8.6 miles

Today I moved on from my hotel overlooking the Bristol Channel to Oswestry. I took anything but the shortest route! I had planned a day of drive bys to pick up three specific caches and seven new counties. Here’s what my Counties Map looked like first thing this morning:

Counties Map This Morning
Counties Map This Morning

Severn View was right by the hotel, and together with another nearby, it ticked off Gloucestershire first thing.

Little Quacker At Severn View
Little Quacker At Severn View

The next find was another Gloucestershire hide, this time a Challenge. Then I moved on to City of Bristol for two caches – Blaise Hamlet Virtual was the first, followed by one close to some wind turbines which filled in a distance band for another Challenge cache I’ve been working on.

Blaise Hamlet Virtual
Blaise Hamlet Virtual

Next on the agenda, I crossed into South Wales to pick up several new counties there, including Monmouthshire, Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent. The box at Aberbeeg Pack Horse Bridge was looking rather sorry for itself, but the others were found reasonably quickly – although I did target at least two in each county in case of DNFs.

Soggy Aberbeeg Pack Horse Bridge
Soggy Aberbeeg Pack Horse Bridge

Once they were ticked off, the main reason for being in that part of the country was to visit the venerable old Ammo can, The First In Wales, near Abergavenny, which has been out in the wild since February 2001!

The walk to the summit was pleasant enough and not too strenuous – it was about a mile from the car park.

The Walk To The Summit
The Walk To The Summit

The view from the top was a little cloudy, but there was a Trig Point to admire as well.

Summit View & Trig Point
Summit View & Trig Point

The cache itself was a bit further on, effectively buried in a boulder field. I spent almost an hour clambering about, trying not to break my ankle while turning countless stones over to see if the box was there.

The best advise from the cache listing was to look at the spoiler photos – which I thought I had already downloaded to my phone. But no. Attempting to pull them up offline just showed me a blank box with the caption “null”  – argh!

Eventually, I found one rock which had 3G phone reception if I stood stock still – so I hastily downloaded some photos and found one which showed several prominent rocks lined up in a certain order. Sure enough, once I got myself into that position, I spied the corner of the ammo box hiding under a pile of rubble! Phew. Never been so glad to find a cache in my life! Can you tell by my stupid grin?

First In Wales - Eventually!
First In Wales – Eventually!

Little Quacker was pleased to have his photo taken with the box too.

Little Quacker At First In Wales
Little Quacker At First In Wales

I made my way back to the car, very pleased with job done, even though it had taken much longer than it should have. I arrived back at the car park just as it started to rain heavily!

The drive to Oswestry was long and rather tedious, but I stopped off to photograph the lovely sunset along the way:

Amazing Sunset!
Amazing Sunset!

Here you are – a few more counties ticked off the map! (I think I did this screenshot from a day or so later, so Powys, Shropshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire are also filled in:

7 New Counties Today!
7 New Counties Today!

Day #340 – Sussex Smörgåsbord

Trad: 3 Multi: 5 Letterbox: 2 Earth: 1 Virtual: 3 Whereigo: 1
Walked: 11.9 miles

I was going to stay with muggle friends near Shoreham this evening, but having spent overnight in Chichester, that meant I had all day to have a potter around West Sussex, looking for several different tasty cache types.

My first was a Virtual inside the famous Goodwood Aerodrome (used for flying and racing) – at the statue of an iconic WWII pilot.

Virtual In Goodwood
Virtual In Goodwood

The next stop was Worthing, for a lovely walk around the town following a Whereigo:

Worthing Whereigo
Worthing Whereigo

Nearby were a couple of Letterbox hides which were easy finds after a nice little walk. I wasn’t so sure about the dude guarding this one!

Letterbox Hide
Letterbox Hide

The final location of the day was Shoreham-by-Sea, where I picked up another Virtual at the old lighthouse, and took a longer walk for some other types of cache.

Another Virtual In Shoreham
Another Virtual In Shoreham

Of course, there were a few Church Micro multis in the mix!

Church Micro Multi
Church Micro Multi

Then I relocated to Shoreham Beach to complete the Earthcache on the shingle. It wasn’t very cold but it was extremely windy out there!

Shoreham Beach Earth Cache
Shoreham Beach Earth Cache

Finally, I had a rest on a bench and found its secret hiding underneath. Ella was the view.

Seat With A View
Seat With A View

Originally, my reason for being in Shoreham this evening was to attend a Boat Only event, to christen my newly-acquired inflatable kayak, Boaty McBoat Face. But as the event time drew nearer (7:30pm) the weather got worse – threatening with rain and very cold and windy. I scouted the location and decided that, as a novice, I wasn’t really up to launching at any of the given points, so decided to bow out gracefully and go to meet my muggle friends a bit earlier. They were delighted to see me, and I was delighted to get warm again!

Day #339 – West Sussex Trio

Trad: 1 Challenge: 1 Virtual: 1
Walked: 3.6 miles

After attending a funeral of a local geocacher early this afternoon, I headed off to West Sussex for my planned trip away. On the way to Chichester, I stopped off to look for three Challenge caches, the Well-Rounded Cacher Challenge Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Unfortunately, I bombed out on Bronze (now proven missing and subsequently replaced) and Silver (just too much vegetation to search in the pouring rain). But I finally struck GOLD – wasn’t sure how, but there it was! Phew.

Well-Rounded Cacher Challenge - Gold
Well-Rounded Cacher Challenge – Gold

Nearer where I was staying, I climbed up Trundle Hill to bag a brace – an old Virtual and Trad. I got there to find the cloud base was almost the same height as the hill, and the wind was howling, but both caches were in the bag.

Trundle One (West Sussex)
Trundle One (West Sussex) – There’s The Trig Point!
Trundle Tots (West Sussex)
Trundle Tots (West Sussex) – Windswept Up Here!

Satisfied with today’s finds, I headed off to my hotel to warm up and have some dinner.