Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Horny the Hornbill

Well, I think it is a parrot. BabyDippy has other ideas. Apparently this cache is in fact a hornbill and therefore, she will name him Horny.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Our 500th cache

Today we found our 500th cache, actually it was our 510th cache, but we broke a great milestone.
With it being the summer holidays we can be out caching most days. Once school goes back though we will be limited to just the weekends for caching adventures.

Our UK map is now filling up- we have cached in 8 different counties plus France. We'll hopefully add a few more countries over the rest of this year.

Our caching today was in Berkshire round a loop of 3.5miles. It was a lovely loop containing many many impressive oak trees. It wasn't overly buggy friendly as the path in some places was very very narrow and there were several stiles, but we had a lot of fun followed by a very expensive bistro pub lunch!

Our oldest cache, yet

Geocaching has been around now for just over 10 years. We've found a few caches that were placed in 2002- still in their original containers and with log books dating back over 8 years.
Today though, we found the 9th oldest cache in the UK! It was initially hidden back in June 2001 in Berkshire. The log books were filled with signatures and comments from years ago. We had a brief look through the books before signing our names and leaving a comment and a few travel bugs.
This cache also happened to be one of the largest we've found.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Caching aims

We are now fast approaching the 500 mark for caches found. It dawned on me recently that 95% of our caches are of the 'traditional' type. I've been trying to make more of an effort this month to find some other types of caches, e.g. puzzles, multis, earths etc.

DaddyDippy uploaded a new set of stats recently, this included a map of the UK counties. We've cached in only 5 counties (until I went to Devon and Cornwall), so we'd like to cover a bit more of the UK map.

Next month BabyDippy starts in Year 1 at school, our caching time will be limited to weekends only as she needs to be in bed early. Caching on a school night is out. However, TinyDippy and I might sneak a few caches in though once a week if we can!

A trip to Devon (and Cornwall)

BabyDippy has been asking for sometime to go to the Eden Project, with it being the school holidays we decided to combine a trip with a visit to our good friends.

Our drive down was long so we broke the journey up with some motorway service caches, naturally! Once we'd arrived in Devon we thought we'd convert a few more people to caching, so off with them and their dog we went. There was a nice forest walk a few miles from their house with a series of 5 caches. This was a hard series especially with the buggy. Whilst BabyDippy climbed up a hill on her hands and knees, TinyDippy got carries up in his pushchair! We found 4 out of the 5 caches...and converted a few more people.
After a trip round the Eden Project (fantastic place), we fired up the phone and discovered a nearby cache. After a short search we discovered the cache under a gorse bush.

Our final day saw one cache which we found on the very edge of Dartmoor. We then spent the afternoon at the beach. We drove home via a few more service stations and picked up 2 more caches. I'm not a fan of finding caches at motorway services; they are always so busy and dangerous. We pulled into one service station and decided that crossing the main road in was not for us so we left that cache for others to find.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

How are the Travel Bugs getting on?

A few weeks ago we released 5 travel bugs. A quick update:

Para's Trip to Heath (aim to get to Sydney) is now in Somerset, UK.
Vendee Gem (aim to get to the Vendee, France) is now somewhere in heading south!
BabyDolphin (aim to just travel) is in Hampshire, UK.
Marmalade's Travels (aim to travel) is a short distance away in Buckingham.
Mountain Panda (aim to go to high places) is in the dizzying heights of Lincolnshire!

Our car has been spotted 4 times in various locations.

Nothing better than an Ammo Can

After a lazy morning we decided to head out after lunch for a spot of caching. We headed to a series in the village of Wilton. This was a lovely series and very kid friendly. We found all the caches, plus grabbed a few on the way home. One of the caches we found was a lovely big ammo can filled with goodies to swap. This really pleases BabyDippy!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Cache n'Curry

What a great day. We spent the morning in Devizes doing a route that was not the best for buggies- we had lots of stiles to cross, kissing gates to negotiate, a mainline railway line to cross; no gates or level crossings, just the tracks plus lots of hills and cows. We also got thoroughly soaked in a downpour. We found all the caches plus a few extra ones on another series. It was a good walk.

On the way home we passed a Farm Shop so we pulled in for cakes, juice, coffee and a mooch round the shop. We came home with locally brewed beer, more juice and some posh olives for the kids!

We had to pass Silbury Hill on our route home. This is Europe's largest man-made hill. It is impressively symmetrical for a man-made hill! We found a virtual cache there. We had to read some information and then email the cache owner with an answer to a question. It was good to know more about a hill we have passed many many times.

On the way home, we knew there was an Indian Restaurant with a cache in it's grounds. We pulled in and waited for my phone to load the co-ordinates. We waited and waited but (obviously) due to no signal, nothing happened. we decided to console ourselves with a curry. It has to have been one of the best curries we've had in a long while. We will definitely return there, plus we need to grab the cache!

Over dinner we talked about caching has changed our weekends. We used to spend most Sundays at Borders Bookshop until they went into receivership. We would just mooch around and achieve not a lot. Now, our weekends are filled with discovering new places, getting out and about and enjoying ourselves as a family.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Unusual finds

Within each cache there are often little 'treasures' to swap. BabyDippy loves this, she often has a stash of little toys to swap. Treasures range from McDonalds toys, marbles, pencils, keyring torches, hairbands, condoms...yes, condoms! After a quick lesson, the 5 year old decided that a condom was not going to be of much use to her yet, so it remained in the cache. Safe caching everyone!

Death by Caching

Yesterday, an email alert came through announcing a new cache in the area. This new cache made up a short series of 5. I had already been 'First to Find' on the other 4 caches so I most definitely wanted the set. Once the kids were in bed, I headed out. I half expected to bump into a fellow cacher seeing as he was 'second to find' on the last 4 caches, but I didn't see him.
I parked up, walked the short distance to the cache, signed the log, left some geocoins, re-hid the cache and headed back down the path. I was under the impression that the path was a restricted byway, so only farm vehicles could use it. It was a bit of a shock to hear an engine roaring down on me. I leapt to the car, just as a 4x4 (SUV) whizzed by at a ridiculous speed. The dust left by the car made it impossible to see, but I could hear another 4x4 coming and I knew he couldn't see anything. I unlocked the car and switched on the lights and hazard lights to warn him. The second driver swerved past my car, narrowly missing me. If I hadn't switched my lights on, there could have been a very nasty mess.
Anyway, I got the FTF. The other cacher who had been 'second to find' was 2nd again!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

4 cache types

Today we wanted to see if we could find more than 2 different cache types in one day. We also wanted to find our 400th cache!
We set off early to complete a series of 20 caches. We couldn't find 2 of the series, but we did find the multi-stage cache (see tree climbing post below). This was a hard series with the buggy, but we had fun over the 5 miles. On the way home we stopped off to do a cache in a Cold War bunker. DaddyDiplodocus had a good look round the bunker whilst we looked for the cache. We then headed up to an Earth Cache at a nearby estate. We found a huge Lone Saracen stone. BabyDippy felt it was lonely so added several small pebbles to it so it had some companionship!
We were passing through a series that I had started back in May, I only had the bonus mystery cache left to we picked that up too!
20 traditional caches, 1 multi-stage cache, 1 earth cache and 1 mystery cache...and a new total of 406!

Today, I climbed a tree!

Yep, today I climbed a tree to find a cache!

Getting up to the tree was hard, the bank was very steep with a lot of loose mud. Once in the tree, the cache was easy to spot and fairly straight forward to get to. Getting from the tree to the ground was another matter. I ran down, but felt like a skate boarder going up and down the ramps continuously. It was fun though and the sense of satisfaction at getting this one was immense.