Tuesday, 7 August 2018

10th Anniversary UK Mega Event - Yorkshire 2018

Well it's hard to believe that the 10th Anniversary UK Mega Event has been and gone.

Back in September 2016 we attended the 'Yorkshire 2018 - The Venue is Revealed' Event.  We met up with a bunch of other cachers on The Stray in Harrogate and took part in a long 'treasure hunt' which eventually led us to Newby Hall, the venue for the 2018 UK Mega Event.

The Stray - 2016

Newby Hall - 2016

A year later in September 2017 we attended the Push the Button Event at  Newby Hall where the Mega Event was published.
Push the Button Event, Newby Hall - 2017

Those two years just flew by.

We'd originally planned to camp at the Mega Event for the whole week and attend all the side events but unfortunately we weren't both able to get that week off from work so we attended from Friday to Sunday.

10 Free Brews in the welcome pack, perfect!
42 Ribblehead Mews - Our address for the weekend
We arrived on Friday and were shown to our pitch which we thought was very professional.  The camp site was really well organised, there were plenty of toilets and hot showers and considering the site had been occupied for five days already we were amazed how spotless it was.

Hot showers

As soon as we'd set up camp, which doesn't take long in our camper van to be fair, we had a quick bite to eat and headed to the event which was an 80s themed disco.  It was a great night, we chatted to lots of friends, some we only see at the Mega Event every year.  We were so busy chatting I've realised I didn't take any video or photos of the evening ... doh.
Camp View by Antony Christian

Saturday - Mega Day!

Up bright and early and off to sign into the main event.

We started off by doing the lab caches, these were all situated around the same area on the mega site, so they were easy to get to and fun to do, and as always a great way of chatting to others as you mill around doing them.
Looking for a lab cache answer
'Ask a Reviewer'
Last year in Devon we missed out on the Lock Pick Village so it was great to see that it was here again.

We spent ages working our way through the different locks and the grand finale was picking a lock to get a lab cache answer.

In our welcome packs we were given a ticket for free entry into Newby Hall so we enjoyed a quick look around the gardens before heading back to the site for an early tea as we hadn't eaten since breakfast.

At the end of every UK mega event, there is a hand over slot, where the current Committee hand over the golden ammo can to the new committee, we arrived back at the marquee just in time to see the ceremony.
The Handover
After the ceremony we started on the YM18 puzzle series.  We'd originally intended to do them on our bikes but we ended up teaming up with some other cachers to complete the series, this was great fun.

We rounded the day off by heading over to the marquee where the band Mr Jones were playing, it was another great night, enjoying a drink and chatting to friends.

Breakfast View
After breakfast we popped out on our bikes to find a few local caches as it was such a lovely morning.

At 9:00 we headed to the marquee again to attend A Touch of Tartan event. This event was hosted by the Aberdeenshire Mega Committee and a chance for everyone to sample some Scottish grub, meet the committee and play a few games.

Irn Bru

Scottish nosh
We are one of 17 caching teams that have attended all the UK Mega events from 2008 to 2018 which are as follows.

The UK's First Mega Event
The UK's Second Mega Event
Mega Scotland: The UK's 3rd Mega event
Mega Wales 2011 (The UK's 4th Mega Event)
North West England 2012 - The 5th Annual UK Mega
UK Mega 2013 - West Midlands Region
UK Mega Event 2014 - Ayrshire and Arran
UK Mega Essex 2015 - The 8th Annual UK Mega
Devon UK Mega 2017
and this year's 10th Anniversary UK Mega Event - Yorkshire 2018

All 17 caching teams have been awarded a special TB by Richlay, the chairman of the Yorkshire Committee.

It was a lovely surprise to be given this.  We have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Mega Events, well let's face it if we didn't enjoy them then we wouldn't go to so many would we? 😀

Heading home
Around midday we decided to head towards home, stopping off for a few caches along the way.
We've seen this transmitter from a distance a few times recently and have wondered what it is, we got much closer on Sunday, it's Emley Moor transmitting station and at 330.4 m it's the tallest freestanding structure in the United Kingdom - fun facts 😀

the 1964 Denby Dale Pie Dish
Another interesting find - The Denby Dale Pie is a huge communal meat and vegetable pie baked to commemorate special occasions.  Each pie has to be larger than the last.  There have been ten communal pies:

1788 - To celebrate King George III's recovery from madness. A game pie baked at the White Hart pub.
1815 - Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. The pie, contained "two sheep, twenty fowls and a half a peck of flour".
1846 - The Repeal of the Corn Laws.
1887 - Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The 1 ½ ton pie proved to be rotten, possibly through poorly-handled game, including what appeared to be a skinned fox. It was paraded through the streets in funeral style and buried in quick lime.
September 1887: The 'Resurrection Pie' baked (without game) to replace the failed Jubilee pie.
1896 - Fiftieth Anniversary of the Repeal of the Corn Laws. 2000 portions supplied.
1928 - To raise funds for Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. 16ft. long, 5ft. wide.
1964 - Celebration of Four Royal Births.
1988 - Bicentenary of the First Denby Dale Pie.
2000 - The Millennium Pie, in a dish designed by The University of Huddersfield School of Engineering, measured 40ft by 8 ft, held 5 tons of beef, 2 tons of potato, a ton of onions and nearly 200 pints of John Smith's Bitter.

Denby Dale Viaduct

Longwood Nab End Tower

To sum it up, we had an absolutely fantastic weekend.  The Mega Event was brilliant fun and the Committee and Mega Makers have worked tirelessly over the last couple of years and it really shows, they put on a truly professional event and we've taken away with us some very happy memories of a top weekend.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Geonord 2018

We attended Geonord last year and we'd enjoyed it so much we decided that we'd definitely try and return this year to the Geonord Sunset event.  We realised timing would be tricky though as we would be on holiday in Austria/Slovenia the week before and with limited holiday left from work we'd only be able to make a weekend of it.  The plan was to drive down to Folkestone on Friday afternoon after work ready for an early crossing on Saturday morning on Le Shuttle.

What should have been a 4-5 hour journey took nearer to 8 hours as there were a number of lane closures on the motorway at different points.

We detoured to Dover first of all to do an Earthcache - we'd already done it on the way to Geonord last year but when we got home we couldn't find the answers or even the photo we'd taken.   So we decided to return and do it again.  It was a bit dark but we managed by torchlight.

We had 3 hours sleep then headed to the Eurotunnel terminal to wait for our crossing.

We arrived at the mega event at about 8am and there was loads of room to park, people were starting to arrive and the car park soon filled up.

After the most important business of the day - Cycling to the Boulangerie for cakes and pastries - we headed to the event venue.  It was already in full swing when we got there about 10am.

Signing the 'log book'
Log book
Always nice to bump into good friends
Last year the event had been held at an aerodrome and all the lab caches had been outside, this year the venue was a sports hall and all the lab caches were indoors and with the number of people trying to do them meant that it was very tricky to get to them so they took quite some time to complete.

It was really hot and crowded in the hall so we ventured outside and enjoyed chatting to lots of caching friends from the UK.

After spending a couple of hours at the event we headed off on our bikes to find some caches around Dunkirk.

We were keen to find the new wherigos on the dunes but the sun was quite hot so we decided to wait until later in the afternoon before starting them because of the intense heat.

We set off about 3pm and took plenty of water.  We bumped into quite a few cachers just finishing, most of them said how tough going it was walking in the dunes with the heat of the sun.

It was very hot but not as bad as we were expecting and we completed the 4.25 mile walk in 2 hours.  Really enjoyed the series.

After hiking in sand with sun cream on we needed to have a shower so it was the perfect opportunity to test out our new camp shower.  We've used a solar shower before but it wasn't the best, after a lot of research we invested in a USB shower and it's perfect!

En suite shower


Up bright and early to an amazing view

After breakfast we enjoyed a walk along the beach before joining lots of other cachers for a CITO on the beach which gave us a chance to explore the WW2 bunkers and find a few caches along the dunes.

We found quite a bit of litter and our bag was soon full so we headed back to where we started.

It was lovely to bump into our caching friend Arnokovic, a cacher from Paris and also a Groundspeak volunteer.  We met him in the US while doing Power Island GC35 in Captain Mike's boat, it was great to catch up with him again. Such a small world as we also bumped into DutchTrolls a couple of Dutch cachers we met while doing GC28 Beverly and Cache42bears - 2 German cachers we first met back in 2014 at the Catalunya Mega Event, they came to our event in Andorra and have since bumped into them a few times at various Megas and Gigas.... that's what I really love about this hobby, we've made some great friends over the years.

All too soon it was time to head to the Eurotunnel terminal and start the long drive back home.....

Stopping off for a couple of breaks on the way home to stretch our legs ....

A brilliant weekend, definitely want to venture further into France in our campervan next time... stay tuned 👧👨🚐