Saturday, 29 October 2011

Caching in North Devon

As well as Way Down West, we did a few caches altogether.
We had a good walk round the lower half of a series called 'Below the Belt', the whole series was 7.5 miles which was too far for the kids to walk. The kids had a great walk and found a lot of the caches themselves.

We also took a walk up to Baggy Point near Croyde. This was a 2.5 mile cliff walk; it was so busy up there with hikers and families but again, the kids found most of the caches. Little QC did very well by walking most of the way. We had beautiful weather for this series, it was such a still, clear day that we could see for miles.

Whilst in Devon, we did 2 EarthCaches set around our favourite beach- Saunton Sands.  One of the Earth Caches required us to walk out half a mile along the cliff rocks, I got scared 400ft from the 'Erratic' so tunred back and sent Mr QC instead! I wasn't keen on the incoming tide or the cave! We also picked up a trig point half way round Baggy Point.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Way Down We(s)t

Way Down West; 105 caches over 20 hilly had to be done!

A few months ago I booked a holiday cottage in Devon, I sold it as a week of surfing (for Mr QC), playing on the beach (kids) and a spot of caching (me). As luck would have it, the cottage was situated just 10 minutes from the Way Down West (WDW) series!
I had planned on walking the series in 2 sections; other cachers have recommended walking the southern loop first as it is the most hilly. 

I picked the wettest day of the month to do the southern loop. I parked up and set off, climbing and descending hills, taking in amazing views and finding cache after cache. It was very wet though but my gear held up and I was relatively dry. 10.4 miles later and 4:05 hours later I arrived back at the car. What a brilliant walk.
(Stile, Devon style)

Today, it was even wetter than Monday! I parked up at cache #1 and set off round the northern loop. This was a very different walk to the southern loop; the terrain was more varied and the views very different. By cache #20 I was drenched. My Gortex jacket failed to keep me dry, my rain repellent trousers couldn't cope and the waterproof boots just filled up. I have had drier showers!
By cache #103, the finish came into view and I just grinned like a Cheshire cat, I was so elated at having completed the walk in such adverse weather conditions. The northern loop was much easier, it was slightly shorter than the south one though both had a similar amount of caches (105) on them. This loop was 3h20mins and about 8.5miles.

I would highly recommend this series. The time, effort and expense that the cache owner has put into creating the series is excellent. Many thanks for this series.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Caching in France

We were in France on holiday recently, so a spot of caching happened!
We discovered some lovely new beaches, some caves, a fossil beach, new parks, lakes and forests.We also managed to pick up 2 new cache areas in France which was pleasing.

A lovely walk over the River Yon

Big QC has a go at reaching for the cache..she couldn't so we DNF'd

Mr QC heads off over the boulders for a cache up (very up) the river bank/cliff!

A lovely new beach complete with caves

A 'Pigonniere', I guess a dovecote. Inside the building there was space for 2000 pigeons. It hasn't been used in years. One had to climb up the inside a few feet to find the cache.

Cache number 3000

To coincide with the 365 challenge, I decided to make that cache my 3000th. It was a great cache to reach that milestone was also our first 5/5 cache!
Here's to the next 3000!

The 365 day challenge

The 365 day challenge is over! It has taken just 17 months to fill in every single day of the year with at least one cache. The final day occured in France. We celebrated with a tricky (D/T 3.5/4) cache which involved a bit of climb up a old mill.

 Last week, we headed down to near Winchester and signed the log of the '365 challenge'. It has been an excellent challenge, but I wouldn't recommend trying to complete it in under 18 months!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The 365 Challenge and D/T grid

The 365 Day Challenge is nearly over. I now only have a 10 day block left and then I am finished. I am aiming to collect the 365 cache on the day I hit 3000 caches; it will be a nice milestone for such a great challenge cache.

The D/T (cache difficulty, terrain difficulty) grid is filling up; we added a few new ones over the past few weeks.

A fun DNF!

Recently, both kids had a brilliant hour at a local cressbed. We had intended to find a multi (Cache and Splash) there but the first stage was missing. Instead, the kids spent an hour getting soaked in the shallow waters. We're looking forward to going back and perhaps finding the cache!

Some FTFs at night!

It's been a while since I chased some 'First to Finds' as I have been saving local caches for days when I needed to cache. The 365 Challenge is nearly completed so when a new series of 16 caches (Butterfly Series) was published a few miles from our house, I sort of had to go! I picked up our caching friends on route and off we set. We only managed 10 FTFs as it was getting too dark to finish the series, the batteries in my GPS died and my phone was running very low on juice so we called it a night. We finished off the series the following evening.
It is a great series with some excellent, well thought out and constructed hides.

Friday, 12 August 2011

An update...

It's been quite busy these last few weeks as it has been the summer holidays for Big QC. We started the holiday with a maintenance trip round one of my series, Big QC clocked up 24 finds so she was happy!
We then all went to Swansea in Wales for the UK Mega Geocaching event. We took in a series, a few events and the odd cache or two.
The event that Big QC enjoyed the most was the Mega Camping, unfortunately we weren't staying at the official campsite, so we drove over for the evening and barbecued with friends. We also attended a launch party for the GeOlympix event next summer, a beach event and a convention. We didn't stay long at the convention so went caching along the sea front!
Over the past few weeks, we've filled in a few gaps on our calendar, added a new D/T to the grid and picked up a handful of caches.
Today we walked round the Yattendon Yomp which is a series of 4.6 miles and up to 24 caches on it. It is a lovely series and one that we all enjoyed.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My 6 year old

Here is a nice little article on my 6 year old (Big QC)- click here!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Ridgeway

I love walking along the Ridgeway. The Ridgeway is a trail that runs for 87 miles much of it following the ancient chalk ridge route used by prehistoric man. I have walked many sections and thoroughly enjoyed the silence of the area as well as the views.
Last week a new series was published that took in a circular walk round the Marlborough Downs. The trail was 12km (7 miles) in length with a possibility of 40 caches; I'd already found on previous walks. Little QC and I had a great walk despite a bit of rain, we found all but 2 of the caches giving us a total of 30 for the day.
A highly recommended series.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Trophy

Little QC and I headed off to pick up a few puzzle caches, one of which was called 'Trophy'. I had eventually managed to solve the puzzle with a little help from Mr QC. This was the cache (a skull):

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Pewsey Vale and update

This morning, I headed off with my bike to Pewsey.
The original circuit was 12 caches over 10 miles, in recent years the cache organiser added another 17 caches and a bonus. I managed to find all 30 caches, plus a few extra I detoured to.
It was a lovely morning of caching; the buzz I got from finding the bonus was immense. It was a hard series with a few big hills and some of the caches were getting old, but it was a great route.

This week I managed to add two new D/T ratings to my grid. I found a very hard puzzle cache, plus the bonus today was a new hard rating. I also added in a surprising FTF (first to find). I had no idea there was a new cache in the area and just happened to arrive before anyone else did.

Unfortunately, I managed 3 puctures, 2 on the bike and one on the buggy. The first bike puncture came 4 miles from the car. I had Little QC in the bike seat so couldn't ride on it. It was a long walk back. Today, I took a spare inner tube which was rather handy when I puncture at 5 miles!

Monday, 27 June 2011

How far?

Today, I can barely walk and it's all my fault! I under-estimated how many miles I was going to ride.

I had plans of finishing off the Aldbourne Series; we had started this series many months ago. We had taken two cars and parked them at either end of the walk as we knew Big QC at the age of 5 then would never walk 13 miles. It was a great walk that day, but I had that nagging feeling I needed to finish it off.

Then a new series was published on Saturday fairly close by so I switched my plans and decided on the Swindon BAR series by bike. A very kind Mr QC said "why not do both series, if you leave early enough you'll be back by lunch".

After feeding breakfast to the kids, I left the house at 7:30am, parked up and set off round a great new series. The first part was on footpaths so I pushed the bike, once onto the ridgeway the ride was easy and fun. I clocked 12.5km for the series.
I then drove the short distance to Aldbourne where I parked up and headed up by bike to where we'd left off. 17km later, I return to the car! I didn't have enough energy to tackle the bonus so drove home.

I arrived home vey dehydrated at 12:30pm...just in time for lunch.

Friday, 24 June 2011


Today,we found our 2500th cache.

Little QC and I went out on our bikes to a localish series of 5 caches. The caches were brilliant hides and very cunning containers. We found a fake stone, a magnetic sign on a telephone exchange box, a nano disguised as a leaf and a locked log book. We had collected the bonus numbers so we were able to open the combination lock and sign the log. A great set of caches to mark a milestone.

Caching by bike with Little QC is tricky, he is fine in the seat, but if I stop, I have to take him out the seat before I hunt for the cache...otherwise he tries to tip the bike.

We had a great ride before heading home.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Caching in France

It has been a few weeks since I last updated this blog.

Caching in France.
We headed to France over the half-term holiday. We had to cache a few days to fill in our '365' grid. The caches in our part of France are few and far between. The French seem to go in for long multis and puzzle caches. One cache close by requires a 35km bike....just for one smiley face!
We did one multi, a puzzle cache, 2 earth caches (Dolmen Earthcache in photo) and 13 traditionals.

Whilst we were in France, we set 4 caches, all of which have been found several times now.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

New caches!

Yep, we've just had 4 new caches France!
I set the caches when we were in the Vendee last week. All 4 caches have been placed in locations that are very special to me. I was very pleased to see that there were some finds on the first day, especially considering the region has very few caches set in it and not many local cachers.

The 365 Challenge lives on...just!

I am currently doing a caching challenge called "365 days lost". It means that over the course of a year or three you find one cache for everyday of the year. The finds don't have to be consecutive, but as long as the year grid is filled then you have achieved the cache.
So far, I am on target to finish on the 31st August.
However, we just about got a cache on the 5th June. We were travelling back from France and had planned on grabbing a few caches near the ferry port. The road traffic was awful and we just made it to the boat with 15 mins to spare. Our ferry was then late docking into Portsmouth so we had just 45mins to find a cache and log it before the day was over.
With both kids asleep in their car seats, we found a quick cache and dash close to the ferry port. I signed the log at 11.25pm!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Our D/T grid

Our Difficulty and Terrain grid is filling up nicely. Today we added a new D/T rating to the grid (it will be on there when I update the stats).
After a bit of tree climbing and searching, I found a 5/4 cache- a great new rating to get.

Caching by Bike

With Big QC at a party, Mr QC and I took the opportunity to ride round a few circuits near Devizes. Little QC has loved being on the bike recently so was quite happy to sit back and let me do all the hard work.
We picked 2 series that formed a figure of 8, all on byways. The route wasn't quite as flat as I'd read, but we didn't need to walk up any hills! Seeing as we both once too part in triathlons we weren't quite as bike unfit as we thought. It was a great ride and one which took us through some amazing scenery.
We found 22 caches before we headed off to a nearby pub.

What a big cache!

Little QC and I found this cache recently. The cache was the end result of a challenge; to find a cache published in every month since 2005. I had one date that proved tricky to find, but eventually I found it. Little QC and I headed off on my bike to the cache...and this is what we found...


Ewwwwww to this cache container!

"and I shall name him Ratty."

Lots of series!

Over the last few weeks, we've been round a few series. I took Big QC round the Cache and Cake series (19 caches/3.6 miles) as she wanted to hit her 1000 cache milestone.

I then walked round the new Hannington Hop series which was an excellent loop. The following day we did the Loncott loop which was very very hard. At least half of the 5 mile loop was through head high rape seed fields. This would have been ok had we not had to push the buggy through 10cm width overgrown paths. I ended up carrying Little QC, he is about 26lbs now so was quite a heavy lump!By the end of the series, it wasn't fun. I have never wished a series to end like this one. It would be absolutely fine without a buggy...or hayfever!

As a family, we had a wander round the Kelmscott series. We have walked many of the other series set by this cache owner, as usual, the route did not disappoint and we had a great few hours.

I finished off The Skylers series. I started this series in the Autumn, but never finished it off, so I took the opportunity to last week. This was a fab series and highly recommended.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hopping around Hannington

A new series of 20 caches over 4.5 miles popped up last week so a caching friend and myself headed off to walk round it.
It was a lovely, fairly flat walk in the Hampshire countryside. I spotted a few more caches that looked clse by so I suggested a short detour. *Short* was in fact an extra 2 miles due to me misreading a path on the GPS! By the end of the walk we'd logged up 25 caches and 6.7 miles.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lacock Wandering

Lacock, home to numerous films and TV filmings including Harry Potter!
I started the 6.5 mile walk at 9am, having left Mr QC at home with the two kids. I DNF'd the first cache due to some bizarre maths on my part! The rest of the series was excellent, the hides were brilliant, the cache containers ranged from boxes, to snails, logs etc. By the end of the walk I'd found all 20 caches, plus 3 extra on the circuit. I went back and recalculated my DNF and then found the cache very easily.

In the afternoon we all went for a walk as Big QC wanted to get her 1000th find. We did another 19 caches over 3.5 miles.

My legs are seriously tired tonight! A chance to recover on the sofa was non existent as Little QC was being a hyper boy!

Friday, 6 May 2011

North Hidden Series

Today, I had a wander round a new series called The North Hidden Series. The series is located just south of junction 14 of the M4. There were 10 caches on the series plus an extra set by another cacher over a distance of about 3.5 miles.

I set off from #6 as it was easier to park there today. There was a real mixture of hides and cache containers, plus a multi incorporated into the walk. Half of the series was on very quiet roads, I was passed by 3 cars on the entire series. I had one stile to cross which is always a bonus! This was a great walk and one that both Little QC and I both enjoyed a lot.
I didn't realise how close we were to the M4, it was barely audible but could be seen not far away:

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bank Holiday Caching

Over the long weekend we went down to the New Forest. We spent some time on the Friday walking round the Michelmersh series (19 puzzle caches over 4.5 miles). Saturday was spent at Paultons Park where the kids had so much fun, we picked up one cache at the supermarket on the way back to our campsite. On Sunday, I took both Big and Little QC to an event cache, run by one of the top 3 UK cachers. We spent the event catching up with old friends and making new ones. There was a multi close by that we all attempted en masse. It was far harder than I imagined. Big QC was helped down a very steep slope by one cacher and carried back up by another cacher! I had Little QC in my arms; it would have been much easier without 26lbs of boy to hold!

We then moved onto the Verwood series (4.5 miles and 14 caches). We'd been told by the cachers at the event that the route could be cycled. Big QC jumped on her bike and headed off. I had to run to keep up. I haven't run properly in at least 5 years. My last proper race was the Stockholm Marathon when Big QC was 18 months old! Anyhow, we found all the caches before heading back to the tent. I cannot remember falling asleep, all that running with the buggy was hard going!

On Monday we took in two caches before heading back home, one of which was a virtual cache based around the author Arthur Conan Doyle.

Michelmersh Puzzle Series

We spotted this series of 19 puzzle caches last week. Big QC decided it would be fun to have a large smiley face on her caching map, so I set about solving the puzzles. I managed 18 of the 19 puzzles. We set off on Royal Wedding day and walked round the 4.5 mile loop collecting the caches as we went. We even managed to pick up the cache to the puzzle we couldn't solve! A great walk and a fun smiley to have.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Caching in Dorset

"We're going to Dorset over Easter" I announced to Mr QC. I reasoned, "Big QC can go to the Jurrasic Coast, there is a great dinosaur museum, Little QC can play on the beach and we can camp...oh, and it gets us a new county on our caching map."
So, we headed off with half of England to the south coast where we pitched our tent, ate fish and chips, went to the sea, visited dinosaur museums and cached!

Little QC and I went round a 6 mile series called Piddletrenthide. It was the hardest series I've ever done, even without a buggy it would have been hard work! It was a brilliant series though with lots of different hides. The views from the tops of the hills were amazing, well worth being caked in sweat for!

Another day we took in the Symondsbury series. This was just under 3 miles and had 15 caches on it. It was a lovely walk and just the right distance for Big QC. The bonus of a lovely village pub was found at the end of the series!

Our geocaching map is beginning to fill up a bit. I feel a trip to Sussex happening this summer! We do have a trip up North planned so no doubt we'll fill a few more counties in.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Well done Big QC!

A few months ago, Big QC asked if she could have her own caching account. I agreed, set one up and she started logging whatever she found. Then, Big QC met a top cacher who suggested she backdate all her finds from the time we first started caching. I spent a few hours doing this for her one evening....she'd found a few more than I had estimated!

On Sunday, Big QC logged her 900th find. Considering she has just turned 6 and has been caching for 13 months, she has done brilliantly.

Caching in Kenya

We are just back from a week in Kenya, we all had a fantastic break. We went on a 2 day safari, visited some local parks, went on a glass bottomed boat, swam, ate and grabbed a cache!

We picked up one cache whilst we were there. There are only 43 caches in the entire country, of which some are half way up mountains or in the back of beyond. There are quite a few caches that haven't been found in years or ones that have been muggled.

We picked a safe bet of an EarthCache. We found the cache about 10 miles from our hotel so we took the chance....and thankfully, we hit all the requirements and the cache was bagged.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

How are the TBs getting on?

How are our travel bugs getting on?

Little Dolphin has travelled 14,000miles and is now in Tasmania.
Marmalade is now in California, having travelled 5500 miles so far.
Vendee Gem is in France somewhere!
Para who was aiming for Australia seems to be missing.
Mountain Panda is in the West Midlands in a cache that looks out to the Welsh mountains.

I have a new TB (a cake), it is sitting in a Gatwick TB hotel.

The Devil

There is a cache that has been on my list of 'caches I must find' called The Devil (GC25VW5). It is a puzzle cache, the puzzle answer will take you to the first of 3 micros. Once you have all 3 micros then you can work out the final co-ordinates for the cache. The walk was around Devils Punchbowl near Lambourn, we measured it at just over 6 hilly miles!

This was one of the most satisfying caches we have found and well worth the walk. It is a shame that there haven't been many other finders of this fantastic cache.


It was Mothers' Day last weekend, so I got a day off! I headed down to LittleCombe for a series of 5 miles and 24 caches, backing onto the circuit was the Pertwood Bonaza walk- 4 miles and 24 caches. I walked both, did a few drive bys and hey presto...2006 caches!

It was a personal record breaking day, I managed 57 caches which was my best in one day, this gave me my highest total for one week.

Both series were lovely and I highly recommend both.

Monday, 28 March 2011

A new series

Last week, The Cache and Cake Club put out 19 caches over a 3.5 mile loop. Over the weekend 17 cachers logged their finds and allocated numerous favourite points.
The series has been so well received by newbie cachers and experienced cachers. Each cache is named after a cake and the goodies are generally cake related. We wanted to aim the series at families so placed the caches as close as we could to keep the kids interested.

The Cache and Cake Club is myself plus two very good friends that meet once or twice (sometimes more) to cache and eat cake. We've found over 5000 caches between us and set over 100 caches, this though is our first joint venture.

The first cache can be seen here
A review of the series can be found here

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Some statistics from our first year

Here are a few statistics from our first year of caching.

1862 = total caches found
49 = squares of the D/T grid filled
18 = counties cached in
4 = countries cached in
45 = highest number in one day
57 = best weekend
72 = best week
148 days = fastest 1000
8 days = fastest 100
7 = most cache types in a day

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A year of Caching

This time last year, we found our very first cache! Big QC brought home a magazine from school, there was an article about geocaching in it. We read it, I handed it to Daddy QC and then we signed up to the geocaching website. A week later, we headed out with our mobile phones and found our first cache. A few hours after the find, we ordered a GPS!
Today, we headed down to Salisbury and had a walk round a new series called the Lower Durnford Series. We measured this walk at just over 4.5 miles. The children had a brilliant time as they got to see camels, alpacas, pigs, sheep, cows, chickens and a stoat. The highlight for Little QC were the low flying planes. We did a few drive bys on the way home to make a total of 20 finds for the day.

We made it to 200 days of caching!

Yesterday, we hit our 200th day of continuous caching. We celebrated it by launching a new challenge cache. Cachers will have to find at least one cache per day for 100 days to be able to find the cache.
The past 200 days have been fun. Little QC was still a baby when we started, he has now turned 18 months and is almost past his baby days. We've had snow to contend with, the car has been in the garage, we've been abroad, the kids have been sick, the rain has been heavy and I've been injured.

I took both Big and Little QC to Devizes where we did a very nice 2 mile (8 cache) walk along a Quaker route. We then headed to an event cache which was a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate 200 days.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Cache hides

Yep, one rat and one spider cache! 

Caching around Amesbury

This weekend I headed down to Amesbury in Wiltshire and wandered round a lovely 5 miles circuit (Great Durnford) of 22 caches. The terrain was easy going, the hides were good and the cache variety was excellent. Whilst in the area I picked up a few extra caches including a virtual at Woodhenge.
I ended the morning with 36 caches of which 2 were virtual caches, 2 were puzzles and one multi.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Caching Injury

I have torn my left deltoid muscle (a shoulder one). I have spent the last week perfecting the use of my left hand and arm and being driven to caches by good friends.
As for how I did it...I think it was a culmination of throwing the buggy over stiles and gates, climbing a tree or two and X-Factor! It's been 5 days since the pain started. My mobility is increasing very slowly, but the pain is still there. Pushing the buggy has had to be done by my caching friends as one handed pushing is very hard.

Needless to say, it has been a slow week for caches with just 11 found.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Caching in London

This weekend I took Big QC to London as she had tickets to see X-Factor Live!
I didn't want to pass up the opportunity of a few London caches, so I asked Big Qc how many she wanted to do. She now has her own caching account, so wanted to do 6 caches (it was her 6th birthday last week) to take her up to 60 caches- 10 times her age!
Our first cache was a local Sidetracked cache before we caught the train. We then arrived at Paddington Station and picked up an old virtual cache with Paddington Bear.

There was a cache just outside Paddington Station so we got that before heading for the tube. We managed another cache just off Regent Street and then another near Piccadily Circus. Our final cache was at Wembly Arena just after the concert.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Top 500!

According to the rankings (box on right hand side) we are now ranked in 483rd position in the UK!
I find this rather impressive seeing as we only started (nearly) a year ago, a lot of the cachers in front of us have been caching for years.
I'm now wondering if we can make it into the top 400.

I'm now on day 185 of continuous caching; I'm feeling a little cached out now, but know I need to get to day 202 before I can have a day off. The '365 days of caching' is looking well within reach now. We now have 274 of  365 days filled in.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Been there, Dunnet!

We spent the last few days of half-term up in the Scottish Highlands. We flew to Inverness and then drove a further few hours to a town near John O'Groats. Big QC spent a day with the Grandparents whilst we took Little QC off for a drive round the caches of Caithness.
We found an Earthcache at Duncansby Stacks, a virtual cache, a puzzle cache at Camster Cairns and quite a few traditional caches, one of which was Britain's most northly mainland cache- Dunnet Head.

With Caithness being so far away from anything, many of the caches hadn't been visited in anything from 2 to 9 months. We managed to rescue rather a lot of travel bugs and geocoins that I am now slowly re-homing in southern caches. On our way back down to Inverness we picked up a few more caches...and travel bugs! During our trip, we added in a few new 'finds by placed month' caches, a few 'non-traditional' caches and a trig point or two. There are some trig points in the UK that you can log on a special cache- the Dunnet Head trig point was one of those.