Saturday, 26 May 2012

Cyclo- caching again.

'Winged Seat' by Angus Ross

Geolympix Cyclerama

Our original plan for today involved climbing a mountain but the Met office forecast was for 50mph gale force winds so we had to shelve those plans and decided to stay on lower ground.  This series was recommended to us by Ginkgo, a cacher we met whilst out caching a few weeks ago, as soon as we heard about it we decided we'd put it to the top of the must-do list as we love caching by bike.

The Geolympix Cyclerama is a series of caches by Simply Paul set along the Phoenix Trail, a 7 mile footpath/cycleway.

The trail largely follows the route of a disused railway line, which connected Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire and Thame in South Oxfordshire with the city of Oxford. The line through Thame remained open until 1991 to serve an oil depot based in the town. It was subsequently purchased by Sustrans and converted into a cycle/pedestrian route.  The route is flat and mostly tarmac with just a short section  limestone dust.  The entire route is off-road apart from 2 places where you need to cross a road, one quite busy but has a toucan crossing and the other just a quiet lane.

These three copper figures were our favourite

As well as being an excellent cycle ride there were some really interesting pieces of artwork dotted along the route, this really added to the fun of the series.

Cute creature

One of the cache listings mentioned we'd pass Jay Kay from Jamiroquai's house so we looked out for it on the way, would've been nice if we could've popped in to look at his car collection but maybe another day

Jay Kay's House

The caches were all well hidden and a couple a little too well hidden   We stopped to find all the caches on the way which meant we could just cycle the whole way back, only stopping for the bonuses on the way back.
The Phoenix Trail

Whilst searching for the bonus cache we came across another cache that had been hidden nearby and were very surprised to be FTF on it, doesn't look like it will ever get published as it's very close to another cache but we signed the log just in case and moved the trackable on.  We went off to find the Bonus Bonus and met another cacher WarriorMonk105 who was already searching for the cache enjoyiing a chat before going our separate ways.

We thoroughly enjoyed the series and were very lucky with the weather as the sun shone all day.

Finding Old Caches

We are very keen on finding old caches and we're gradually working our way through the UK's oldest ones.  The next oldest we needed to find was Entology (Herts) GC164F the UK's 12th oldest active cache so while in the area we took the opportunity to find this one and two other caches set in 2001.

A really great day out, shame it had to come to an end, the sun shone all day, just hope we get a few more days like this over the summer.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Friday Night Caching

Vehicle Letterbox Series

Caches - 12
Length of Walk - 3.7 miles

A series of 11 caches plus a multi to complete on the way round.  Set on a 3.7 mile circular walk near the village of Shelfield in Warwickshire.

This series came up when I was at work today so as it was such a lovely evening we decided we'd go for a stroll after tea as it's only a couple of miles from home.

Parked up on the verge at the suggested parking just after 7pm and off we went.  On the way to #1 we could hear a stampede of sheep the other side of the hedge, they ran to the gap in the hedge and stood at the fence baaaa-ing away at us, then proceeded to follow us along the fence until we were out of sight.

The noisiest sheep we've ever heard!

On the way round we found the stages of the Round Trig multi, this reminded us a little of a couple of multis we did some years ago called Round the Old Mill and A Play on Words, at the time Round the Old Mill was a stand alone multi and extremely enjoyable completing all the puzzles along the route, we really like this sort of thing and appreciate the effort that has gone into setting it up.

Between #6 and #7 there were cows, they were very inquisitive and came running over when we entered the field, they were young bullocks so we weren't overly concerned, we just kept on walking and Mark did a brilliant job of shooing them away


All the caches were easy to find with good hints and a really good variety of hides and sizes. Apart from the cows the walk seemed completely dog friendly and all the paths were well marked, some very muddy in places but nothing too serious.  The walk took us just over 1¾ hours but we took our time and it would probably be possible to do it much quicker.

Well marked path

The walk was extremely peaceful and a fantastic way to wind down at the end of a busy day, could do with this every evening

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Mercian Way
Chelmarsh Reservoir

Caches - 18 + 2
Distance - 4.6 miles

A series of 18 caches plus 2 others en route around the Chelmarsh Reservoir.

This series has been on our to-do list since it was published a year ago, the forecast looked dry for today so we thought we'd have a drive out here to do it.

Parked near the church and did the Shropshire Church Gems cache first before continuing on to the series.

At the first cache we realised we were following another caching team, Pindemonium, and wondered if we'd catch up with them.  They weren't very far ahead and we caught up with them at #4.  Enjoyed a chat before continuing on the walk.

Chelmarsh Church

Really enjoyed the series with a good mix of hides and sizes which we completed in a little over 2½ hours which included a lunch stop

We noticed there was a trigpoint nearby so at the end of the series we went off to bag it.  The first field was quite muddy as it looks like there are normally cows in it, luckily they were safely in the cow shed .  The path into the field with the trigpoint was dry and as we approached it  we could see what we thought was a large bird sitting on top of it, but it didn't fly off and as we got closer we realised it was a statue of a GNOME.  Definitely a first for us, have never seen one like this before.  The gnome is mentioned on the trigpointingUK site as far back as 2006, would be interesting to know why it was put there and by whom.


On our way home we parked up and crossed the road to SVR Permissive Path and Field and there was a photographer waiting to film the steam train, so we stood about with our camera so he'd think we were doing the same thing , we were able to retrieve the cache whilst he was fiddling with his equipment, then as soon as the train had passed through we continued down to SVR Stand and Wave.  How lucky that we timed it just right to see the train!

Stand and Wave

Then it was time to head home, what a beautiful day it turned out to be.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Middleton Cheney

All Saints Parish Church
 TCR Series

Caches - 17
Length of walk - 3.5 miles

The series starts in Middleton Cheney, a village just East of Banbury and takes you on a circular walk along footpaths to Chacombe and back again.  A very pleasant walk with a variety of caches sizes to find.  All were straightforward finds with very useful hints.

A couple of the fields had cattle in them but this wasn't a problem for us, although some people had reported on previous logs that they'd had problems with bovine beasts at #10 but we were lucky here as they were all at the other end of the field and didn't seem to notice us so we just strode briskly across until we got to the other side of the field.  We didn't have our dogs with us today so can't really comment on the dog friendliness of the walk but there were a number of stiles to negotiate on the way round and as mentioned already, the cows!

We completed the walk in a little over 1½ hours.  Then it was back to the car for our lunch.

A few days ago Mark had noticed that there was a cache not too far from here that hadn't been found for over a year and had no DNFs or anything to suggest there might be a problem with it so we decided to go and resuscitate it in order to qualify for another Resuscitator challenge cache.  We parked in the pretty village of  Byfield and made the brisk walk to the cache, just under 3 miles in total there and back.  Then after finding a couple of Just Northamptonshire caches (we're gradually getting through them) we headed home.

Cache successfully resuscitated