Friday, 31 December 2010

Last caching trip of the year!

Burcot Eight

11 caches plus a bonus cache on a 2.8 mile circular walk.

 We were only able to go out caching for the morning so chose this series fairly close to home. 

An enjoyable walk between the villages of Burcot and Blackwell, we found 10 caches in total with 2 DNFs, they'd both had a few DNF logs on them but we still gave them both a good 10 minute search each just in case but to no avail.  It was confirmed later by the CO that the caches had actually gone missing and they have now been replaced so we need to pop back over for them some time.
In the woods
 The bonus cache was a rather novel idea, you have to collect clues from 2 waypoints then add them together to get the combination to access the cache which is hidden actually at the listed co-ordinates.

Dr Seuss tree :-)

An enjoyable walk that took us 2 hours 15 mins to complete, a lot longer than it should've done but we spent a lot of time searching for the DNFs.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Wheaton Ashton

19 caches on a circular walk of 4.8 miles.

Shropshire Union Canal

Making the most of our 2 week holiday from work over Christmas........  Set off on a very foggy Thursday morning for an enjoyable walk around the village of Wheaton Ashton.  It was nice to be back in the area after a previous visit in February to do the Wheaton Ashton Walk.

Muddy underfoot
It's really strange now all the snow has gone, it's much easier to get around but has left everywhere very muddy underfoot.  Found all caches easily (apart from #5 which was very well hidden and took us about 10 mins to find).  No cows to contend with either and only 1 field of horses and they weren't any trouble at all.

We completed the walk in 3 hours.

Whisper on the trail

Before heading home we picked up a few other caches with shorter walks, including a few caches from the SF MISSION series and War of the Worlds.

Another great day caching.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Chebsey and Eccleshall, Staffordshire

Chebsey Circular

A circular walk of  4.5 miles
20 caches

Managed to get the whole family together for a caching trip today, doesn't happen very often now so it was great to all go out together.  Parked up at the church in Chebsey at 9:20, not many mince pies left now so thought we'd bring the remaining ones left to finish off before the walk.

Mmmince Pie
We found #1 easily then carried on through the churchyard and nature reserve then out into the fields, luckily the ground was completely frozen, looks like it could be very muddy after wet weather.

Large field of stubble turnips.
 As we searched for #6 we realised we were being watched by some sheep then we spotted the tiny lamb, quite surprised to see a lamb in such bitter conditions.

You don't often see lambs in December.

We had to leave out #9 as there was a shoot in full swing in the field, it was easy enough to make a detour along the lane around it.  Hopefully we'll be able to pop back later on.

Near #11
 The section between #11 and #14 takes you alongside the busy Stafford-Crewe railway line, quite a few Virgin trains went by as we walked along.

Virgin Train
 Wonder what the history behind this unusual street name is?

Unusual street name.
The section between #16 and #20 was down a very icy lane, so we had to take it very carefully, well I did, the rest of the family didn't seem too bothered :)

Icy Road
 A really enjoyable walk completed in 2hrs 25 mins.  Quite a lot of road walking but this is preferable to fields of cows any day!
The End

Drove round to #9 after and parked in a nearby lane for the short walk to GZ, luckily the shoot had moved on elsewhere and we were able to find the cache easily.

After lunch we headed off to Eccleshall to find Gandalf: so we could ask him 'Where is Bilbo?'
but to find Gandalf we needed to first visit all 13 dwarves on the Eccleshall ring.

14 caches on a 2.75 mile circular walk.

We set off at 13:10 and the the fog was starting to get quite thick but this really added to the atmosphere of the cache theme, we all love anything to do with Hobbits and Lord of the Rings so this was great fun, a lot of thought and hard work has gone into setting this series.  We found all the dwarves apart from Fili, we looked everywhere for him but he wasn't anywhere to be found.

Is this Mirkwood?

Where is my precious?

Looking for Dori

Waiting for Mark to find Nori

Mud mud mud

Johnson Hall through the fog

Poppy is very tired

and so is Whisper :)


We were a little concerned that we might not be able to find Gandalf after all.  We had an incomplete set of co-ords as we'd been unable to get a number from Fili but we relied on cachers instinct and found him without too much trouble.  We really enjoyed this series which we completed in 2 hours and appreciate the work that went into setting it up.

Now I wonder if we can find Bilbo.  Having picked up the north co-ords from Gandalf we were on our way to do the pre-requisite caches for the West co-ords when we decided we'd have a quick look with just the information we had and luckily we found the cache easily.  That was the last cache of the day, a great day out, now off to McDs for tea on the way home.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Back in Business!

Alcester Recreation Ground

Due to all the snow we haven't been able to get out caching, in fact it's been 11 days, this has broken our previous 'consecutive days without a find' record of 10 days, so we decided no matter what the weather we would go out and find some caches today.

GC2KMRM - Cheep Cheep 

Ponies with their winter coats

We did our first Chirp cache today. We were alerted to the new cache last night but not wanting to go back out in the cold after walking the dogs decided to leave it until we were in the area today on our way to a planned caching trip just north of Bromsgrove.

We had hoped we'd able able to detect the chirp whilst driving slowly down the road but alas it was not to be and after 3 passes we had to resort to leg power and walked back up to where we'd suspected we'd detect the chirp.  We met the COs Saza36 clearing snow off their driveway, had a brief chat during which they hinted we might actually be first which was quite surprising as we thought other more local cachers may have beaten us to it. After downloading the required information we went on our way and parked somewhat closer to GZ.  It took us a few minutes to locate the well hidden cache, there were fresh footprints in the snow so we thought we had actually been beaten to it so we were very surprised to see a blank log sheet and we were FTF.  Spent ages and ages fussing the cute ponies that had come running over to greet us.

Really enjoyed our first experience of this type of cache and we hope to set something using the same technology in the near future, it opens up all kinds of possibilities...........

4 mile circular walk
8 caches plus a bonus & 1 extra 

As the roads weren't too bad we decided to head over to Romsley, a village about 5 miles north of Bromsgrove to do the 'Romsley Quest' series.

Set off in the freezing cold at 11:50 .... after coffee and chocolate biscuits.  Great to be out caching again, we've really missed it, so good to be out in the fresh air.  Great views on the way to RQ 1.  On the way to RQ2 we passed through a field of horses, we made it half way across when they all came running over to us, luckily they stopped when they reached us and we fussed them and carried on through the field with them following very close behind.

Spotty Jacket
The walk takes you along a section of the Illey Way and takes you over the underground Elan Valley pipeline that carries water from Wales to the Frankley Reservoir.  

The Illey Way

After RQ4 you pass what remains of the Dowery Dell Viaduct, which was demolished in 1964.  There's also a cache to be found here but unfortunately for us it was a DNF, a previous log mentioned that the co-ords were out by about 30ft and also the hint wasn't any help and with all the snow around we didn't really hold out much hope of finding it.  A very interesting spot though.

Picturesque path between #2 and #3
We took Poppy & Whisper with us even though the listings warned of stiles that were not dog-friendly, but we needn't have worried, at all gates and stiles we were able to find a way of getting the dogs through without too much trouble. 


We were instructed in the listing to work out the bonus co-ords as soon as the bonus numbers are discovered but we completely forgot as we were too busy talking, enjoying the walk etc so at one point we had to retrace our steps, well Mark offered to go back alone whilst I carried on slowly with Pegz, Poppy & Whisper.
Inquisitive Sheep
All the caches were found easily and one of them was even found by Poppy and Whisper, they ran ahead along the path and sat down right next to where the cache was hidden, it's taken a long time but they've finally got the idea  :)

Elaborate Tree Stump
Whisper can't get a drink

Cute Miniature Shetland
All in all an enjoyable walk which we completed in 3¼ hours.  Then back to the car for a cuppa and some more chocolate bikkies :-)

Stopped off on our way home to do this one at Bartley Reservoir, luckily a nice easy find and a great view of the frozen reservoir.

Last of the day at Frankley - Views All Round

Views of Frankley
As soon as we pulled into the layby we recognised it from a cache we'd attempted back in 2007, Austin Seven (Drive-by) but unfortunately it had gone missing and was archived soon after, we went down to see if the plaque was still there.

Stanley Howard Edge

 Enjoyed the walk through the snow and on the way back to the car we made a snowman.

Fun in the snow
 Time to go  home now as we've run out of daylight but pleased that the nights have started to draw out again and we'll soon be able to cache well into the evening!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Fame at last ;)

Latitude 47

Having read other cachers adventures on Latitude 47 - The Official Blog of, Mark emailed them and asked if they'd be interested in our 6 countries in 24 hours adventure......... and they were :D  The story was re-written a bit strangely but the it gets the general idea across.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Dragon Hunting in Tadmarton

5¾ mile circular walk
12 caches plus 1 extra

A day off work today so decided to head down to Tadmarton near Banbury. Parked up outside the village hall, had a quick coffee and cookie and off we went.  A bitterly cold wind,  some of the paths were quite muddy after all the recent rain as it wasn't cold enough to freeze the ground.

Main Road, Tadmarton
We'd read the previous logs on Dragons Teeth - Special Tree-t  and a few cachers had mentioned cows so we walked very cautiously across the field as we had our dogs with us, we didn't see any cows but a short time later we were in the next field and we looked back and we could see the cows that had been in the same field as us, they had just out of sight, over the hill so we hadn't noticed them Phew!!  We didn't see any other cows for the rest of the walk just friendly ponies.
Is this a dragon's footprint?

An enjoyable walk although there was a fair bit of road walking which was quite hard going with 2 large dogs.

Completed in 2½ hours.

Then on to the Sibford Trail a trail of 5 caches on1.8 mile circular walk around the villages of Sibford Gower and Sibford Ferris.  

Very cute Shetland Pony Between 1 & 2

A very pleasant walk around peaceful villages completed in 1 hour 5 mins.

Sibford Gower

Monday, 13 December 2010

Pig Mystery solved!

A local businessman has come forward as being the culprit of the plastic pig stunt.  Mr Jones used to sell the life-size pigs in his interior design shop near Stratford upon Avon until it went out of business and he now stocks them online.  The stunt was a bit of fun to advertise them.  I think they're great, hope they stay!

Full Story!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Where's The ale?

The Bull, Theale
A trip down to Reading had been planned for a few weeks to attend A Caching Christmas Cracker by The Cache Hoppers.  We had intended to make a very early start and do some caching in the area but a change to our son's working hours meant we were later leaving than we'd intended.

We arrived in Reading and headed to McDonalds for coffee and lucky for us there was a cache about 100ft from our car.

Cache and a coffee - Perfect!
Then off to the event, we were among the first to arrive and the pub hasn't opened so we had a stroll up the high street to find 'Welcome to Theale High Street' , usually quite a tricky to locate cache but for us it was easy peasy as it was already in the hands of Mollyjak!

A very enjoyable event, well organised, a lovely friendly atmosphere, great food, lots of geo-chat, friends new and old, what more could you ask for.

A cracking event!

Mmm yummy food!
Over lunch our daughter Pegz solved a new puzzle that was handed out, Santa's Been at The Ale, so after lunch we headed off to find it.  It was only when we passed 'Theale' Post office that the pun dawned on us, doh!!

Unfortunate Street Name

We are always intrigued by 'unfortunate' street names and spotted this on on the way to a cache just off the high street in Theale.  Liane of The Cache Hoppers mentioned the history behind it: 'There was an armed skirmish at Theale, not long after the First Battle of Newbury. Prince Rupert's cavalry attacked parliamentary troops as they made their way back to London. Many soldiers died in the fighting that ensued and their bodies were later buried in Dead Man's Lane.' (

All too soon it was time to head back to the Midlands.  A great day out!

Almost forgot to mention the strange sight on the M40 that we spotted on the way.  A circle of 70 plastic pigs on near to Junction 12 at Gaydon.

This photo was taken from the BBC website as we'd gone past before we realised what it was.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Kildane Again

A free afternoon so decided to head over to the Cotswolds to do the new Kildane series.  The old Kildane Bottom series had to be archived due to a permission issue with the estate manager, that's all sorted now so new caches have now been placed.  It's a lovely area to walk in so it was nice to return and do the walk again.  On our way back to the car we were busy searching for Kildane (9) when we heard footsteps running towards us, as they got closer we realised it was Griff Grof himself the cache owner, he'd run all the way from his house to see us as his mum and sister had driven past and noticed us searching here.  Enjoyed a good chat before going our separate ways.

Then we headed off to do the new earthcache nearby, an interesting location that we didn't realise was a disused quarry, even though we'd stopped there to eat our lunch on more than one occasion on previous caching trips.
We were hoping to do the CFTCH series as a complete walk, it's a 6 mile circular walk of 10 caches but realised when we set off that we would run out of daylight so just did 7 in the series before heading home.

Is that a cacher?

A very enjoyable afternoon in the Cotswolds our favourite place to go caching, can't wait for the nights to draw out again.