Saturday, 28 July 2012

Poshrule's Birthday Bash

A Posh Birthday Bash in Yaxley

A Posh Birthday Cake
We knew this event was coming up but weren't sure we'd be able to attend as we had to see our daughter off on Explorer Scout Camp mid-morning.  We decided to make the effort as we've enjoyed so many of Poshrule's great walks over the past 18 months and it would be good to wish him a 'Happy Birthday'.

We arrived in time to enjoy some pub grub in the beer garden and a chat with other cachers then we set off with Pfaffabouters, LGXKLS, Matt Smith, Rascal Dascals and Lorri-Ann & Kev to do the Tour de Brick Pits series. At the end of the walk one of the team found a car key in the grass and realised it remotely unlocked one of the cars parked nearby, a few dog walkers had passed us so Mark went running back in the sweltering heat to see if he could find the owner, luckily he did and the owner was very pleased.  Really enjoyed the series in great company.

Then it was back to the pub for another drink and a chat.  We'd planned to do the nearby Yaxley series but we'd run out of time so instead we did the slightly shorter Folksworth Foray, a fabulous walk in the gorgeous early evening sunshine then it was time to head home.  Great to finally to do some caching in the long awaited sunshine, let's hope there's more of this to come

Sorry this is so short and sweet and not up to the usual standard but....................

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Caching in Castle Combe

Castle Combe on 7/07/07
Scene from movie 'War Horse' filmed in Castle Combe

After watching the film War Horse a few weeks back we were intrigued to know where it was filmed, after a little research we found it was filmed in the village of Castle Combe in Wiltshire.  We checked what caches were located nearby and realised that there was an old cache there from 2001, Castle Combe (Wilts), that was on our to-do list, so we decided at the first opportunity we'd have a drive down to Wiltshire to visit the village.   I have to say that we've done many of The Wombles caches and we have never been disappointed, they've set lots of great virtuals which we've really enjoyed doing.

Pretty village of Castle Combe
On further research I found that this village has long been a favoured location by Hollywood film, television and advertising companies, the village makes a perfect filmset as there are no TV aerials or telegraph poles in sight.  'Dr Dolittle' was also filmed here in 1967 as was Stardust in 2008 and Wolfman in 2009.  TV programmes including Poirot and Robin of Sherwood have also been filmed in Castle Combe.

The Street, Castle Combe

We spotted that there was a circular cache series around the village which looked perfect for a walk in the area.  We parked up at the suggested parking for the series and off we went. We had hoped for a dry day but after weeks of rain it was too much to ask for and it started raining as soon as we left the car so it was on with the waterproofs.

On the way out of Castle Combe

The circular walk consisted of 10 caches and a bonus and passed through Castle Combe on the way taking in 3 additional caches.  All caches in the series were a nice size and well stocked and a good distance between them enabling us to enjoy the fabulous scenery.

What a great idea, should have these before entering cow fields!

The walk didn't involve walking through any cow fields and as we didn't have our dogs with us we can't comment on the dog friendliness although we'd say on the whole it seemed pretty much dog friendly but there were a few stiles.  Part of the walk takes you through the golf course of the Castle Combe Hotel, there was a handy bell to ring to warn golfers of your approach, as it was raining so hard we didn't think there'd be any golfers but we rang the bell all the same and there were a few hardy players on the waterlogged course.


We really liked the bonus cache which was the first of its kind for us because rather than just collecting up numbers you had to collect up written narrative instructions, describing the route to the bonus - although this was slightly more challenging as we had a DNF on one of the series.

Castle Combe Cache

This was probably one of the best series we've done and we'd highly recommend it as it 'ticked all the boxes', ideal length of walk, good sized well spaced caches in a scenic picturesque area and even a pub half way and a pub at the end - the fact it was raining for most of the walk did not detract from our enjoyment.

Royal Crescent - Bath

The other reason for our visit to the area was to find the two virtual caches in Bath - we'd planned to spend the evening in Bath but as the weather turned to torrential rain and there were news reports of flooding in the South West we decided to head back to the Midlands after doing just a handful of caches in Bath itself - we hope to be back in the area very soon.  A brilliant day out!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bristol and The Malverns


It's been a few weeks since I updated our blog.  I know I joked a while ago that we were going to retire from caching at 10,000 but since our 10,000th cache in the Brecon Beacons 3 weeks ago we haven't found many, in fact we've found only 8 (6 of which we found today).  Why?  Well it's been a mixture of things really, poor weather (wettest June on record), I've been working full-time, Mark's work commitments, wanting to pursue other interests and probably above all else general caching lethargy.  There are so many new caches published on a daily basis now and so many caches are now placed for no particular reason, some with poor co-ords in rubbish locations.  So it got me thinking about what I enjoy most about the hobby - I love finding caches in interesting locations, going to places you never would have gone to if it weren't for Geocaching, I love hill-bagging, I love finding trig points, I love long walks for one old cache, I love filling in the world map (would love to do more of this in the future), I love being out in the countryside,  I love finding caches in places of historical interest .....  So that's what we hope to do more of in the future.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Last weekend we had to go to Bristol as our daughter had to collect a rather specialised violin, so we decided as we were only there for a couple of hours we'd pick out a couple of interesting caches to find.  The first one being Suspension, a cache set near to the Clifton Suspension Bridge .  A distinctive Bristol landmark.

A couple of interesting facts about the bridge:

The first modern bungee jumps were made on 1 April 1979 from the bridge, by members of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club.

Between 1974 and 1993 127 people fell to their deaths from the bridge.  Barriers were fitted in 1998 to prevent people jumping. In the four years after installation this reduced the suicide rate from eight deaths per year to four.

Blaise Hamlet

Then before heading home we stopped off to do the virtual cache at Blaise Hamlet.  Definitely worth a favourite point, what a fabulous little hamlet and certainly on the list of places that we would never have found if it weren't for caching, although we may have eventually found it as we are intermittent National Trust members. A delightful hamlet of nine picturesque cottages laid out around an open green. The hamlet, which is four miles north of Bristol city centre was built in 1811 to accommodate retired staff from Blaise Castle.

Genuine Banksy, Park Street, Bristol
This was nothing to do with caching but as soon as I spotted it I had to stop and photograph it as I'd seen it in Banksy's book.

Saturday 30th June 2012

Sugar Loaf Hill

We have been regular visitors to the Malvern Hills for as long as we can remember, it's one of our favourite places to go walking and are so lucky to have the hills virtually on our doorstep.  The most memorable visit was 1st January 2000, the sun shone and it was a beautiful day, so many people had turned out to celebrate the day.... we've made many visits with our dogs but sadly Poppy is now just too old at 13 to climb hills.

We were looking for somewhere local to go as we had an afternoon free, preferably involving a walk up a hill and we spotted a few caches on the Malverns.  We decided to walk up to the Worcestershire Beacon which is the highest point of the Malvern Hills, then continue along the ridge to Sugar Loaf Hill.  After finding Sugar Loaf we sat for a while and enjoy the fabulous view, then along came a family of walkers, we spotted the tell-tale yellow Etrex, they spotted us and then hung around feigning interest in the view but probably hoping we would hurry up and move on - we thought at first we'd wait a while and pretend to be muggles but we couldn't be so mean so we called down to them, we introduced ourselves, they were HowarthClan from Taunton.  We enjoyed a good chat, swapping a few trackables and stories before going our separate ways.

Filling up the water bottle.

The Malvern Springs Earthcache involved visiting two different springs, so we parked next to the one, which was a very busy location with lots of people stopping to fill up bottles and we visited the other one after walking along the ridge.  A very interesting earthcache.

A very enjoyable walk on the Malverns on a very rare sunny, dry day. We'll be back again soon as we left a few caches for next time.