Geocaching and Trigpointing

Profile for SidAndBob  

Geocaching is hide-and-seek with a GPS.You find caches hidden by other geocachers, while trigpointing consists of visiting Ordinance Survey pillars which are often located at hill summits. Both are great ways of discovering beautiful countryside, near to you, or far away. It's just good, clean, harmless fun with plenty of exercise,

Find out more at GroundSpeak's web site and TrigpointingUK's site.

SidAndBob Geocaches


Icons D/T Placed Our Caches Comments
21 Apr 06 The Two Bridges Great walk on quiet lanes. Hilly.
30 May 06 Tractor Hill Outstanding, peaceful countryside. Flat, with a hill at the end.
2 Jun 06 King Arthur's Cave Great caves and a tough hiding place. Bring a torch.
28 Jul 06 Cached into The Wilderness Easy walk along a ridge with an unusual hide.
28 Jul 06 Scowling at the Great Oak An ancient path to far reaching views.

Blog - A cachers / triggers diary


Tally Ho! Cannop Ponds

6th August 2006

Check out that number at the top of the screen! After 4 months and 5 days we've reached the magical 100. Does that mean we can stop now?

Damsk's caches seem to be high on the Gloucester local itinary at the moment. I did Easy Leisurely Strolling on Thursday lunchtime which used a hiding place for a micro which Will and I had discussed doing for some time. Ah well, I'm sure it's been done dozens of times, but we may still try it anyway. I couldn't believe there were three travel bugs in the cache. One of them wasn't even supposed to have been there; which makes a pleasant change from the other way around.

Bob found out that he can swim this week. It has to be said that he's a little more butterfly stroke to Sid's breast stroke.

On Saturday we went to look at a car in Cwmbran (NU have agreed to pay up after 6 weeks). Afterwards Will, Bob and I popped down the road to CC46 Crumlin Canal and then CC45 Pant-yr-eos Reservoir, the latter being a really nice walk through farm land to a reservoir-side path. We grabbed the trigpoint by jumping a fence and then proceded through Upper Wenallt Farm, where we met the farmer. I don't reckon he meets a lot of people because he was well up for a chat - and when we met him on the way back. Had to take an undergrowth scury, as we'd tried to cut a corner. I really should learn by now that these short-cuts really do anything but add hassle. On the way back we noticed a noise, then figured that it was raining hard, but the tree cover was so heavy that we were completely dry. When we reached open farm land again we had to wait for 15 mins before the rain stopped. It was very humid and the climb back to the car was pretty uncomfortable. Waiting for the thunder storm to stop
Wonderful views from CC21

At this point we were going to go home, then I spotted CC21 Twmbarlwm on the GPS, and it was pretty close. I couldn't resist, and much to Will's dismay and Bob's delight we were parked up and heading up the hill. The parking area was a horrible litter filled place with regular fly tipping areas along the roadside. Nice to see the tax payers money is so well spent! Up on the hill is another matter entirely. The summit has great views to all sides and a trigpoint to boot. The cache was off the main trail, but was so obvious that two of the last three finds had been by muggles. Still, the muggles had been friendly and the cache remained in tact.

We visited The Boat Inn, Redbrook for the first time in ages, but still didn't get home until 6pm.

We were now on 97 finds so Sunday was going to be the big one. We'd already decided on number 100, but needed a couple of easy caches nearby to get us there. First up was Blakemere Hill, another cache by a trigpoint. Cool. An easy walk down a flat track with great views. I left Will to make the find while I did the duties at the trigpoint. All the caches today had travel bugs, which was a bonus. Next we did Lost In The Lanes. I only mention it by name so that you can avoid it. This cache has NO redeaming qualities and is only any good if you want to increment your stats with no real work. The GPS took us straight there and 10 seconds later we had another TB. Via the Tump Farm trigpoint the GPS guided us to the starting point of The Cats Back. I love this routing GPS. View from Blakemere Hill
Sure is comfy heather

The parking area has picnic tables, so out came the food. Sugar Puff sandwiches all round. The walk starts with a steep climb. Next a walk along the ridge up a gentle incline taking in superb views of the Olchon Valley and the Wye Valley to the west. When you get to the trigpoint you are at the highest point in southern England at 2306 feet. I didn't know that part of the Black Mountains were in England until today. From here on in it's pretty much downhill. We cut off the corner and bounced through the heather. Sid did a good job of keeping up for an old boy and Will was great. The cache itself proved no problem and another find for Will. Down the hillside where the dogs enjoyed drinking from the steams (and lying in them in Sids case) to the lanes on the last leg of the journey through the valley. What a great way to mark your 100th cache.
We stopped off at Longtown Castle on the way back, where we met the two guys who had been parked next to us at the picnic site.

How weird's that. Right at the moment of writing this I've just had notification that MadBilly (owner of The Cats Back) found King Arthur's Cave.

A proud Dad records the moment   Looking back along The Cat's Back

30th July 2006

I spent more time planning caches during the week before publishing two on Friday evening (see above). I'm going to try to publish all my caches at the weekend so it gives most people a chance to bag the FTF, rather than giving first bags to the retired cachers and holiday makers while we're all at work. I found a new hiding place at The Wilderness and this convinced me to use the cache as it adds something a little different. The Newland cache is a walk we do most days, though not always with Sid as he struggles with the stiles. As I said, "We like multi caches".

Half way up Scowling at the Great Oak
Cooper's Hill - Site of the famous cheese rolling

I had a few trips out during the week. On Tuesday I did Barrel Makers Hill, by Mark "The Cat" Thompson, founder of (RIP). I was going to start Runic Unique(5/5), which I've been planning to do for ages, but soon realised that even the first stage was too much to start with the little time I had left.

On Thursday and Friday I visited Leckhampton Hill. On the first visit I did Leckhampton Ridge and the first four micros of Grandad's game of cards as well as bagging a strangely minty blue trigpoint and on the second visit I got one more micro but couldn't find the sixth, partly due to some lads hanging out by the cache and partly because there were about 1,000 rocks and one very small micro. It had been surprisingly easy for a 4.5/4.5 until this point, but its taken a lot of time working out the 30 clues so far. I'll be back next week, though I have no idea how many more micros there are.

As if I were a sucker for damsk's long multi's I did the first part of Easy Leisurley Strolling on the way back after doing the homework a couple of weeks ago. The PDA came in really handy doing these caches as I could record all the data ready for whenever I come back to it in the near future. I've had to create a new category in CacheMate for In Progress caches, as I have three on the go at the moment.
The Devil's Chimney on Leckhampton Hill
Will supping Malvern Spring water at the Malvern trigpoint There was no caching on Saturday, but happy in the knowledge that both new caches had been found, we set off around 10am on Sunday for our villages namesake. Newland, Worcs. The first cache was one I've fancied the look of for ages. Skidmarks on my Trousers was far easier than we had imagined for a 4/5. You climb up a hill at British Camp and then the cache is hidden on a pretty steep slope. We thought this may have been really hard to reach in the winter, but it was a breeze in the very dry weather we've had recently. We were back to the car within 30 minutes having easily avoided the £2 car parking fee by parking across the road. We then did another four caches around the Malverns before taking on Above Earnshaw Lake and Three Counties View. We parked by one of the Malvern Springs which we'd passed earlier in the day. A constant stream of people pulled up in their cars to fill water bottles from a pipe which stuck out the side of the hill. Some had a single 2 litre bottle, one had about twenty 5 litre bottles. The water was beautifully cold on such a hot day.
We climbed the hill for what seemed an age and when we got to the top of the ridge we realised we had to go down the other side. The drop was about 1:2 and went down 300 feet, which is a bit demoralising when you've just climbed it, and then you have to scramble back up it again. But it was good fun and we still had supplies of ice cold Malvern water. A final walk along the ridge took us to the summit and the third trigpoing by a cache that day. There's a rather impressive topograph at the summit and plenty of people admiring the views. I don't think we spent more than a couple of minutes looking for any cache that day, but this one was understandable as there aren't many places to hide a flare canister at a location like this. The views were outstanding as I'm sure you'll agree, though it was rather blustery. We headed home (via food in Ross-on-Wye) with seven caches and five trigpoints under our belt. The boys done good! Bob at the rather posh topograph
Click on the panoramic image above to open the full size picture (2MB). Expand the image to full size, then scroll slowly through the image revealing what it feels like to stand at the trigpoint and turn through 360 degrees. Cool huh!
Strange stones at The Wilderness 23rd July 2006

Spent pretty much every evening in the week trying to plan a cache to no avail. Main sites were up The Wilderness and at Ruardean Hill. I may plant a multi cache very close to home next week though.
Addition : Looking back at my photos, I might just place a traditional cache at the Wilderness after all.

Did a couple of Trigpoints while I was out. Had a really helpful email from a fellow trigger pointing me at some useful sites to locate BMs, though I think I'll only bother with pillars.
Did Birdlip Walk on Wednesday lunchtime and bagged the nearby TP. Parked near The Air Balloon pub and walked along the ridge. The views are pretty impressive considering there's no climbing involved. I must admit I prefer views over countryside rather than Gloucester, but you can see to the mountains.

Friday night saw the whole troop set off for Wye Valley Ghost Train. Will's school had brocken up for summer hols today, so we decided a late night might be fun. We'd fully charged the huge torch and set off towards Chepstow. After seeing a couple of Will's school friends who live at the start point we started walking down and down past the quarry track and under a bridge to the micro. I picked it up by the slimey slug (I thought it was something worse at first) and then we set off to the main cache. The track became pretty overgrown from this point and it ws beginning to get dark, but this all added to the excitement. Eventually we were confronted by a tunnel, and given the hint, it was obviously inside. What we couldn't have known was how far inside it was. The cache was at the centre point and the tunnel measured 3/4 mile. When we got to the centre we found the shaft to the surface. We breifly turned stones until the light flickered. We didn't have a back up, so the only thing to do was to get out of there without the cache. I'd had to put Sid on th lead as he was dragging behing and now I had to pretty much pull him 1/3 mile. We got to the exit and it was getting very dark. It really was dark - for a long time too!
You big out of focus slug After scrambling around, getting stung, caught in thorns and dropping my GPS (minor panic) we managed to find a way up the embankment which we had originally missed. We found the way back and after a comment from Cath like "All we need now is a field of cows", guess what. Hundreds of the things. We detoured again and managed to get onto a lane. We couldn't see the moon, but it never got totaly dark and the walk back was great fun. In the end we all had a good time and Cath can't wait to come back in the daylight to nose at the nice houses. Will was pretty spooked and Bob had a ball. I was stressed because of having the others with me.

Bob and I popped back the next day to make an easy find. The light gushed in through the shaft in the daytime. You could even turn out your torch whilst writing the log, though I did notice that the entries in the log so far are very short!

We had another go at Border Town Walk, which we'd done 3/4 of before, but I'd chucked the print out so I started again. And again I ran out of time at the same point, though I think I might have got something wrong.
I decided to go paperless this week. I got and old Sony Clie S320 for a tenner from a workmate. He'd lost the CD, so when I'd located some software, I registered CacheMate and off we went. I stuck the nearest unfound 500 caches on and all 7000+ TrigPoints and away we go. Best tenner I ever spent. M500's go on eBay for a few quid all day long. I'm having a problem with sending me query results and am on the forums as this seems a common problem that's really flaring up at the moment. Clie S320 - it's free! almost
Will at To The Lighthouse

On Sunday we were out all day getting a car for Cath and other stuff. Will and I left for Portishead at 16:15. A bit of a late start, but we managed to squeeze in Seven by the Severn. All turned out to be pretty easy, but Will really enjoys being by the sea, so we enjoyed throwing pebbles into the sea and other such stuff. Will’s favourite was Under Leon Loneliness, Motorcycle Emptiness which had a cleverly hidden normal size cache. Most of these were micros, which I’m not a fan of, unless there’s a really good reason for it. Will made the find on Riverside Walk and I enjoyed the location of To The Lighthouse the most. The final cache was Aqua Marina and was right by The Royal Inn hotel, which was perfect for a drink by the sea as the sun lowered over the horizon. We got home far too late, but Will doesn’t have to get up in the morning and Cath’ll be back after working nights, so what the hey!

I nearly forgot. We met another dog called Bob, who was the same age as our Bob. This girl looked really confused when we started calling "Bob". Then she explained why.


Things to do next week.
Get a lanyard for my GPS before I lose it.
Get at least one new cache planned and set.
Sort out pocket queries.
Get rid of that TB that needs to go to Cheltenham.


16th July 2006

A busy weeks caching started on Wednesday lunchtime. I had my GPSr with me at work and on the spur of the moment I decided to do the Cheltenham - Park and Ride quartet of caches. These are set in parks around south Cheltenham. One of the micros was slightly tricky, but the other three were extremely simple. Clues in each micro combined to make a Sudoku puzzle which I got Cath and Will to solve for me. Will had coincidentally got into Sudoku that day, so it was great that he could help out too.

Lechampton Ridge from  Millie's Makaton Cache

On Friday lunchtime I went out to claim Cheltenham Park and Ride Final Destination using the co-ords from the Sudoku puzzle. After another easy find I did Millie's Makaton Cache using this site (thanks FB's) to crack the code. This was a nice lunchtime through a field below Leckhampton Ridge. I'm not used to caching during the week and the sound of kid's in the nearby school playground was unusual to me. Every school playground, where ever you are, sounds the same.

In the evening I walked up near The Wilderness, by Plump Hill (what great names) to try to find a good location for a cache, but it was so heavily wooded that I couldn't find a view - which should be stunning from here. Will try again very soon.

On Saturday we did the caches we had planned for last Sunday. I had to take Sid to the vet first thing as his skin complaint had flared up again. Poor dog, it's one thing after the other at the moment.
Our caching started by finding the Old Severn Bridge was closed, so had to detour to the new bridge which added about 25 miles to the journey (I knew there'd be some benefit to having a diesel hire car). Not a good start. Grabbed a really dull trig right by our first cache. The cache itself was pretty dull. So we moved quickly on to I See No Ships which took us on a 3.5 mile and 2.5 hr wander around some lovely, peaceful, flat countryside. There were four micros to find on the way, with a puzzle to solve in each. Will did a lot of the puzzle solving whilst we sat in the shade and drank water. We detoured off down the banks of the River Severn in the middle of this cache to find Severn View . The cows were very placid and on the way back were all walking south in a line, though they were up on a ridge and couldn't get down to us despite being only feet away.
Placid cows and a deserted Old Servern Bridge
Friendly horse near I See No Ships final cache site

We had a picnic in the shade and reapplied creams and repellents while Will read the Beano and we talked about our morning.

We next did The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog. The cache was easy enough to find and Will had solved the puzzle earlier in the week, but I can't say it was enjoyable. I believe a cache should take you somewhere interesting, or on a great walk, or to a cool viewpoint for instance, but this was just a thrash in the undergrowth.

A bit of a drive next to an old classic. Tyndale's Stump has been around for years, and you can see why. A steep climb (at last, we were beginning to feel like cheats) up to a marvelous viewpoint and a cool tower to climb too. Unfortunately I couldn't leave Bob or Will on their own and the steps were way too steep for a dog to come down safely, so we'll have to visit again on another day.

After that we tried to bag a couple of easy roadside caches, but the second one Bugopolis - M5 Jn12 TB & Coin Hotel, had been muggled. We saw DaBeEm at the first, and met him at the second. Though the cache was gone, we had a good chat about our days (he was doing 20+caches on a dash through the area!) and swapped a couple of travel bugs. I also release our first TB, Red Light, which wants to visit caches which need a torch to investigate them. Hopefully one day it will come back to do King Arthur's Cave, but it's going Bournemouth bound for now.

We just did a local walk on Sunday and planned a possible cache.

Picnic in the shade   Wonderful views from Tyndale's Stump (inset Tyndale's monument)
Signed up for Premium membership. I'm not really sure why, as I've never needed it so far - but there you go, we're signed up now - at last.

9th July 2006

Popped out on Thursday evening to visit a couple of Trigs at Sailor's Folly near St. Briavels and Tidenhan Park. The first was on private land and pretty average. Went for a walk at the latter until it got dark. On Friday evening we crossed the border and did very similar stuff. We went for a good walk at Trelleck through a forested area very much like the ones we're used to and afterwards we did a spot of harmless trespassing to get Cwmcarvan Hill. All the sheep in the field we crossed bleated as loud as they could as they all ran off into the adjoining field. I could see Bob thinking "silly sheep, I'll go and round them up", but I kept him close as I had visions of a farmer arriving with a shotgun under his arm shouting "you been worryin' my sheep?". But it all went off without a hitch.

Looking west from Trelleck
As Will had done so well last Sunday I promised him he was King for a Day this Saturday, which meant not doing any caches amongst other things. In the afternoon we walked up between Newland and Staunton, by the quarry and picked out a good spot for a cache hide once we've got the ammo boxes sprayed up.
Looking over the Severn

I'd planned a big day out on the in Wiltshire for Sunday, but when I got up it was pouring with rain. Last time we went in the rain (or even in wet grass) we had a miserable time, so we decided to cancel all plans and do the two remaining local caches which we had saved for a rainy day. Haven to Ridge was a great cache in a location very close to one I was looking at on 11/6/2006 for a cache, but I didn't know of the great vantage point that this cache takes you to. This has all the elements I like in a traditional cache. It take you to something interesting, on a decent length walk, which isn't in a straight line. A good climb was thrown in and if there had been a Trigpoint at the top it would have been almost perfect. I'm not a micro cache fan, but with the tree cover here I can understand it was probably necessary.


A cyclist crawled past us on the way up, and like the tortoise and the hare we caught him up at the top. He had his kettle out and was brewing up right next to the cache. We hung around and took pictures for what seemed an eternity until he eventually left. We could see across to the area where we had planned to go caching - so close, but yet so far. Some caches you expect muggles to be around, but not up here. We took the quick route back, through the trees and down a very steep hillside.

One day everyone will have a SiRF III GPS (or better) and the whole of the forest will be opened up to day.

Sid swimming
Llama trekking at Cannop, 17/7/2005

We finished up with The Lake in the Forest at Cannop Ponds. The CSx came into it's own and found the cache without a problem. I love this place in the winter when there's hardly anyone around, but at this time of year it's my idea of hell. Burger stands and cars everywhere - very picturesque (I don't think). Stopped off at the Butcher's Arms in Clearwell for a drink before going home on a relatively quiet weekend.

By the way - don't get quoted happy. They off-shore their Customer Services. In fact, they have no customer services. They still don't know if my car is going to be repaired or not. And we wonder why our premiums are so high.


2nd July 2006

The week started disastrously when a Transit van smashed into the back of my stationary car on the way to work on Monday morning. Turns out he's not insured and gave false ID. If you know anything of M325 CKB please contact me. I'm still waiting to see if my adored Cupra will be written off. Enough of that and on to the good stuff.


Got stuck into Trigpointing on Thursday evening with a visit to Hangerberry Hill, near Upper Lydbrook. As Bob and I climbed up the hillside through undergrowth we came upon a cave. The trig was on private land, so we hopped over a couple of fences and found the pillar in a thorn bush. There's something more exhilarating about this than caching. Maybe it's the fact that it's a little more elitist, maybe it's the spectacular views, maybe it's that the trigs usually in more isolated spots or maybe it's the element of the unknown. You don't know if the trig is on public land, if you'll need to hack through a bush to get there, if there's a path or anything. This means it's not such a family friendly trip though.


Hangerberry Hill The views were great from the top and once you make the find you know it's all downhill from here. This is a problem for me at the moment though, as I damaged a toe nail last week and steep descents make it push against my shoe. This hurts big time. So for the first time ever I prefer going up hill.

Bitten by the bug I set with Sid and Bob off for Little Doward trigpoint the following evening. On the way I stopped at King Arthur's Cave to drop off a pen and was on a high as there had been two finds earlier that day. The trig was in the forest near the fort ruins. Although there was rarely a view, due to all the trees, this was an excellent walk. We ended up accidentally coming down someone's private drive, but they didn't seem to mind at all when we bumped into them.

Rabbits were rolling around whilst playing with each other in a field and a friendly horse and sheep came running to see us.

Friendly horse and sheep
Hello, what's this then? Bob and I went to Kidderminster to get some ammo boxes from the Army Surplus shop there. As we had to take a 100+ mile round trip I planned a few caches in the area. By the end of the day we'd found eight, yes eight, caches, with no fails. Most were micros or canisters. There were a couple on the canal and a couple in woodland walks. One in a park and one next to a housing estate. Only one caused us a problem finding it and this was because the co-ords weren't very accurate. Check out which ones we did here.
We finished off the day with Stagborough Hill trigpoint. There were guys in 4x4s in the adjoining fields and they drove past the trig while I was standing at it admiring the views. I'm sure they wondered what on earth I was doing. There was a very steep decent off track which hurt the toe like mad, but it was late and hot and the match (England v. Portugal) was about to start so I couldn't face the long path back - so painful quick route it was. Stagborough Hill
Will on The Blorenge On Sunday Will and I decided to combine our two favourite new pastimes and head for The Black Mountains near Abergavenny. First up was The Blorenge (the only word to rhyme with orange). This was a great walk across the top of the mountain. We had to pass the trigpoint to get to The First In Wales. The cache itself is under a cairn, better known as a pile of rocks. We studied the spoiler, picked a rock and there it was to our amazement - under the very first one. It was pretty hot and hazy so the normally fantastic view where somewhat less than usual. Never mind on to the next.
We next took on the mighty Skirrid Fawr. The direct distance from car park to cache is only around one mile, but don't be fooled. This is a tough walk on a hot day. The climb is of 936ft and most of it is stepped as it is so steep and so many people make the ascent. To put in in perspective though, it's less of a climb than the first hill in The Three Castles Walk as you start 1/3 of the way up the mountain. Again it was too hazy for good views, but as always, they were better than the camera shows. There were a few people up here today and even a model glider. We carried on past the easily found cache to the summit and trigpoint, which had a plaque and had been clad in stone. A bit like a Jack and Vera trigpoint really. Sugar Loaf from Skirrid
Stone clad trigpoint

I know I'm getting carried away with this Trigpointing thing, but don't worry, I'm not going to start showing pictures of trigs like some kind of geek. It was just a hazy day, I had no good scenery shots and it was an unusual trig, OK?

This had been a busy few days with ten caches and five trigpoints. The heat and the terrain of Sunday's caches had made this all the more difficult. Bob's gone for a sleep and Will's off to bed ready for school tomorrow. Only five more days until the weekend.


24th June 2006

Will went off to PGL at Hole in the Wall for the weekend on Friday leaving us free to do The Three Castles Walk and take in the three caches along the way. The walk is situated in Wales, right on the English border. Grosmont, White Castle and Skenfrith are all border castles from around the 12th century, but we weren't going to look at castles. The caches dictate that the walk is done in an anti-clockwise direction, so that decision was made. A last minute change meant that we'd start at Grosmont. This was because there is no pub at White Castle and if we hit it first it would be before opening time anyway.

You won't forget you're in Wales - just.
Grosmont Castle I let Cath have a bit of a lie in as it was her birthday and by the time we got to Grosmont it was 09:00. We found a place to park in the street, and due to the time decided to do the cache at the end. Another reason we started here was because there are two steep climbs on the route and Grosmont splits them. The downside is that after an initial small drop, there's a climb of 1050 feet. This was a bit of a slog with a full day sack, but at least it was cool and we were fresh. We're not really used to this kind of walking as we usually only do 6-10 miles, however, we'd both done 20 mile walks as school kids, so how difficult could it be? I guess this answered that question. Of course those walks were pretty flat, this was anything but flat.
View from near Graig Serrerthin

When we reached the top I wanted to find Graig Serrerthin (trig point #2742), but Cath sensibly dissuaded me as there was no route and we would need to conserve energy. There was a lovely orchard with resting sheep and a pretty man made hillock adorned with foxgloves, which were abundant throughout the walk. A walk though long damp grass made me remember that I really must get some better walking boots as although they loudly proclaim their waterproofness, this is nothing but a blatant lie.

Bob was excellent throughout the walk and we reckoned he must have covered at least three times our distance (probably much more). Once or twice there was a minor panic as he'd run so far that when we called him it took a fair while for him to appear. He's great around sheep and there were plenty of squirrels and rabbits to chase.

A quiet place
White Castle - tickets please

This leg seemed to take forever and after 9.2miles with one slight detour through a depressingly long heavy grass, we arrived at White Castle. It was a hot day and all our drink supplies were nearly gone, so it was good to see the kiosk by the castle open and selling bottles of water. I don't think I've ever been happy to see bottled water before in my life. There is a charge for entering the castle grounds and as we'd been there before we skipped the sight seeing tour and got the cache clues and set the co-ords in the GPS. The woman in the kiosk could talk for Wales, but after hearing her life story we were on our way. We found The Three Castles Walk: Whitecastle without a problem. All three caches were well thought out in that they didn't take you off the route at all, which was really important for us.


The next stage was much flatter and went off without incident. Our only problem was finding our way out of one of the fields as some of the paths are well hidden at this time of year. There are signs and Three Castles disks pretty frequently and the map only came out once or twice on the whole trip. I don't agree with the map and compass brigade. So long as you can read a map it's much more enjoyable to forget the map and follow a GPS leaving you to enjoy the scenery and the vast array of funny little foot bridges, or even to concentrate on panting up a hill.

I was beginning to wonder by this stage why I had packed so much food, as neither of us felt the slightest bit hungry. As it was Cath's Birthday I'd packed some of her faves like, humus and strawberries (not to be eaten together though). We lugged them around the whole walk then ate some of them at the end. Make a note - Pack lighter next time.

Thin Bridge
Inside Skenfrith Castle We arrived at Skenfrith via The Old Vicarage and went straight to the castle to answer the clues to The Three Castles Walk: Skenfrith. After drinking a few gallons of cold water, courtesy of The Bell Inn's outside facilities. After a short rest we headed off on a route unknown to us. We often walk around here, but always cross the river at the pub and head towards Garway. There are some beautiful hillside houses here.

The cache was an easy find, so we exchanged travel bugs and moved on. The scenery round here is stunning and we were glad that we'd left the shortest leg until last, although there was one last significant hill. With blisters growing I thought again (almost constantly) about how I was going to get some new boots. Nice comfortable boots. Boots that kept the water out. Ahhh new boots.

We hobbled into Grosmont in the cool of the early evening and drank an ice cold Stella and a cider outside The Angel. The barmaid was great, unlike in The Bell (Did you know it was illegal to run a tab?). I knew it was a bad idea leaving the cache until last, but we had to do it. We wandered over to the castle, past the old fashioned sweet shop with jars of bonbons in the window and grabbed the information required for The Three Castles Walk: Grosmont. The cache was found after a short hunt (by Cath as usual) and we signed the log and swapped travel bugs again.

Looking at our regular walk
The only noise comes from birds and sheep

We headed home after 22 miles, 2 blisters, 3 caches (making 50 in total), 2 encounters with cows (Cath does not like cows) and a whole heap of aching bits. Radox on standby.

We both felt we'd achieved something and had seem some beautiful countryside along the way, and Bob had just run his socks off.

Many thanks to The Flying Boots for the three excellent caches and for plotting the route for us. We will be publishing the GeoHike in the near(ish) future.


18th June 2006

I spent a fair bit of time during the week planning The Three Castles Walk for next weekend. The Flying Boots kindly sent me the route from Fugawi, which I managed to get loaded onto my GPSr. It matched pretty well with the route I'd planned. I used some mapping tiles from Ordnance Survey as the walk crosses three different OS maps. So everything's ready to go, we just need the weather to cool down. I never thought I'd hear myself saying that!

On Saturday we started with Tess-Dog's Cache. The walk was along side the M4 though fields growing high with stinging nettles, hard muddy ridges. We were lucky that there were no cows or mud (which is normally the case apparently. The first micro was simple to find and full of water, the final micro was very simple and damp. We couldn't figure out why it was a multi cache when the final and the micro were in the same field, and we had no idea why the final was in a micro when the hiding place was easily big enough for a regular cache. Most of all we couldn't figure out why the difficulty was set at 3.5! Sid and Bob cool off at Tess-Dog's cache

I never thought it would happen, with me and this girl from Clapham...

Next we moved on to Up The Junction (one of my favourite Squeeze songs). There were weird railway rails just appearing out of hillocks. Very strange. A short walk led to an obvious hiding site, but was it too obvious? We searched for ages in the scorching sun until we were really fed up. That M4 was driving us nuts as well. The short of it is that we never found that cache and I can't imagine we'll ever be back to look again.

We called in at The Boat Inn, Chepstow for a well needed drink and got chatting to a really nice couple from Pontypridd. The subject of Geocaching came up, but these were strictly the map and compass brigade.




On Sunday we did La Belle Marie at Brockwier. This is a nice walk along the banks of the River Wye. Unfortunately I left my camera at home, so I've used a library picture of the Wye (Welsh Bicknor 9th June 2006, see below). I love it along this river, especially at this time of year when the green is so vivid.

Just as we were getting close to the cache we noticed Sid was missing. We ran back for over 1/2 a mile before finding him (he had been with us until a couple of minutes before we noticed he'd gone). I thought he'd got stuck in the mud on the banks of the river, but it turned out well. He'd just thrown a old age wobbler. He's as mad as a balloon these days.

I think we saw The Blonenges, but we didn't know it at the time. Also we met a guy in the Brockwier Inn who recognised us from The Boat Inn, Chepstow yesterday. He was a biker camping in the area and seemed to have taken in a scary amount of detail about us the previous day. This seems to happen far too often to be attributable to the laws of probability!

The River Wye - but not at Brockwier as I forgot my camera
I discovered today. This looks like a really great idea. You submit hikes (short/medium/long) which take in geocaches. There are very few submitted at the moment, and none in my part of the world, but I may try compiling one or two and submitting them. I think the worst thing about Geocaching is doing a cache, driving to another cache, finding somewhere to park and all that stuff. Nice idea guys. I am working on a geohike which should be published by next week.

Thought for the day.

I think I've finally learnt to give Geocaching a break when it's too hot and to be a little more selective. It's tempting to go for the nearest caches to you when you have to drive a fair distance to do one, but to leave a beautiful, peaceful area to spend an afternoon by the side of the M4 - that's insanity. Still, you live an learn.

Sounds good in theory, now let's see if I can actually do it.


Mapsource Topo - Click for full image

11th June 2006

I had Friday off work and checked out a couple of places to set a nice cool cache in this searing heat. The first was by Soudley ponds, but I decided against that and the second was near Welsh Bicknor, but I couldn't find a place to hide the cache. We a couple of good walks anyway. I'll put down another cache very soon, but I don't want to do it for the sake of doing it - it's got to be good.


Q: What's the most pointless thing a geocacher can do?

A: Avoiding the walk by doing a cache from a car!

On Saturday the whole team went to Herefordshire to do three caches. We're running out of caches near home and have to travel a fair distance now. Firstly we did High Above Hereford. We parked at the bottom of the hill and walked up, which was a bit mad in the heat, but enjoyable never-the-less. Cath found the cache and went on to find all of the caches that day. The view from the top of the hill is quite impressive, although there are limited openings in the trees to catch a glimpse from. Today the tree cover was appreciated though. High Above Hereford by Walkies
Beam Me Up Scotty! - by Walkies

We then moved on to Belmont Blackberries before stopping for refreshments and then going on to Beam Me Up Scotty! This was a very interesting and unusual cache as it takes you around the perimeter of a BT satellite disk site. There were dozens of dishes of varying sizes the largest being awesome in size. That blue blob on the ground is a 4x4 to give you an idea of the scale.

We decided that it was just too hot for caching and went home to watch England v. Paraguay. Anyone that says we're going to win the World Cup needs their head examining!

Stayed in the coolness of the forest on Sunday and went early to New Fancy and Mallards Pike where Sid enjoyed a swim. Didn't do any caches, though later in the day we did pop up to King Arthur's Cave to check the cache was still there as the last four attempts have been failures. It's weird how this cache has attracted five attempts in it's first week and Tractor Hill has had one in ten days and is a better cache in my opinion.

4th June 2006

On Tuesday Cath, Will, Sid and Bob did the dry run of Tractor Hill. They found it with no problem using the eTrex, so I published it that night. It took less than a minute for Groundspeak to publish it. Very impressive.

On Wednesday lunchtime I popped out from work to do It's a Dogs Life. It was somehow ironic that this was a dog themed cache, yet it was the first cache that neither Sid nor BoB had done with me. I'd only taken the GPS with me to check out the Speed Camera Points Of Interest (POI) alerting which I'd downloaded from here and converted with tool from here. They seemed to work fine.

Some mini caves
Will in King Arthur's Cave

I had the day off on Friday as Will was on his last day of half term holidays. The previous night we'd been talking with friends about King Arthur's Cave, so we decided to find it and take the spare cache box with us, just in case. We set off to find Merlin's Cave, but when we got to the co-ords there was nothing there. After a long hot, hilly hike through the undergrowth, we headed back towards the car and planted our first traditional cache near King Arthur's Cave. This cache is meant to take you to an area to explore, rather than guide you round a circular walk like our previous caches. I wish we'd taken a torch to investigate the cave's, but we'll have to return soon as we need to write on the cache and include the cover note.

Congratulations to The Flying Boots who were FTF Tractor Hill.

On Saturday we crossed the Severn Bridge for the second weekend running in the attempt of burying a few ghosts. We started with My Home Town. This Cache 'n' Dash affair was easily found. We soon noticed that out familiar surroundings of sheep filled fields had been replaced in this area by cows. On our way back from the cache the field had mysteriously filled with them, though they were friendly beasts and not a problem. Next we tackled The Lost Bridge again. This time the grass was long and dry on a beautiful summers day. Surprisingly one corner of a field we needed to pass was a complete mire, but we found some fallen branches of a tree and constructed a temporary bridge, which allowed us to cross into a field of cows. The cache was an easy find, though very difficult to get to and the box itself was an old ice cream container, with a loosely fitting lid and riddled with holes. We poured the water out and made our mark and headed back. This time Will slipped off our bridge losing his shoe in the mud. We managed to retrieve it and carried on only to find a previously empty field full of cows who gathered around us needing to be shooed off periodically. Towards the end of the long field some cows were getting quite threatening, jumping and bucking. We detoured to the nearest gate and found another route back. Where's my shoe gone?
More bl**dy cows We stopped for a drink and a picnic after these two caches and the did Shoulder of Mutton. A nice easy track to the ruins of a small house. We immediately spotted some lined up bricks. Anything too orderly looks out of place in a situation like this, and sure enough we'd got our 40th find.
We'd already done the first part of The View is all Around, so when this took us to the same location as the start of Fred Lies Here, that was a bonus. With TVIAA micro was found quickly and the problem solved easily we headed off in search of Fred. This was a lovely walk, firstly with panoramic views, then in woodland. We spotted a fox in the middle of a pathway in front of us. We got to the cache site and searched for ages only to fail. When we got home and read the logs indicating where the cache was it was no wonder. The co-ords where so far off, we would never have found it unless by a fluke. Strange thing was that Will found a shell on the ground which Buff n Stuff confirmed had been put in the cache on it's last visit. This cache may well have been muggled.

It was getting late by now and we hadn't brought a phone with us (as usual) so we needed to get home soon as Cath would be wondering where we were. Took a route back taking in The View Is All Around micro cache 2, which we found whilst getting stung by the stinging nettles from hell. Took a picture of the problem and went back to the car. I turned the ignition and there was a Bang! With a sinking feeling I turned it again and... it started, though the engine was revving like mad. Somehow it got us home to our relief, but we didn't dare to stop for anything.

All in all, there were a few low points in the day (Fred, the cows, our wounds and the car) but we had a great day.

Will on the march back from Fred Lies Here
The River Wye at Chepstow

We decided to take it easy on Sunday and do a couple of caches around Chepstow. We called in at Wintour's Leap once again, as we were passing and grabbed a quick find. Mind you, we've spent a few hours on this in total. Found it almost immediately this time for some reason. I guess we were looking from the wrong angle before.

I'd figured out the first part of Steganocache during the week. It was simple enough with the clues provided, but very clever in concept. This lead us to a very cleverly disguised micro cache. Will found it immediately and we were off on a nice walk in the blazing sunshine for a relatively easy find. I can strongly recommend this cache if you like something a little different.


We called in at The Boat Inn, Chepstow for a cold drink and then took a picnic round the corner to the park, where a blues band were playing in the bandstand. The blues harp player was particularly good.

After eats we started out on Border Town Walk. There's a lot of fact gathering and coord punching in on this one, and what with that and the picnic we ran out of time. No doubt we'll be back very soon to finish it off.

Blues in the Bandstand
Chepstow Castle Congratulations again to The Flying Boots for being FTF King Arthur's Cave.
It certainly makes updating the congratulatory fireworks HTML much easier.

29th May 2006

Friday evening and at last it's dry outside. Cath's working tonight so Will and I grab our GPS's and Sid and Bob and head towards Chepstow to do St. James Around the Bend. The 60CSx takes us to the exact point of the cache (though it is pretty obvious anyway). The church itself has been nicely tidied up and we spent a while trying to read headstones and the like. We just about managed to get up the muddy slope, though I would have expected it to be much worse after all the rain we've had (in the current drought!). We really enjoyed this cache - but things were about to go downhill rapidly.
Being able to see Wintour's Leap up above us from St. James' Church we decided to give it a go. It's one of those caches where there is no walking involved, so we thought it would be a quick win - no such luck. We spent 45 minutes scrambling through fly tippers garden waste until the broken glass put us off and we consigned ourselves to defeat. The GPS pointed to a very likely spot - but no cache. The fact that there was a skip at the co-ords and signs of someone recently sawing wood there made me wonder if all was well with the cache. With the idea of coming back in the morning we set off for Lydney, bought some Fish and Chips and went down to Lydney Harbour to sit by the lock and enjoy the sea air and our food.

Bob racing up from St. James' and Wintour Leap in the distance
Is your front garden like this?

Saturday was forecast with rain and they weren't wrong. We decided to go out anyway, stopping off at Wintour's Leap after checking the hint. Still couldn't find the cache. A couple of walkers must have wondered what on earth we were doing as they entered the cove to ask for directions - but we're all used to that I guess. We crossed the Old Severn Bridge and went to The Lost Bridge. We were confronted by fields of extremely long and wet grass. We foolishly decided to go on and in seconds were soaked to the skin. After a field and a half we decided that this was ridiculous and maybe this was becoming a bit of an obsession. Not wanting to go home empty handed we went north to Where Old Barges Go To Die. On the way along the towpath we saw a weird garden filled with gnomes, fish, an aviary and countless other bizarre things which raised a smile. We actually got to the cache site this time and low and behold, more long soaking grass. We couldn't have been any wetter, so in we went. We rummaged around for half an hour in the rain without finding a thing. We decided to go home and never talk of this day again.

On the way home Will asked, "Dad, do you think Geocaching in hell is like this?". It probably is son... it probably is. Let us never speak of this day again.
Sunday was a new day, so we put the failures behind us and struck out afresh. Will fancied Gray Hill, which overlooks the two Severn Bridges, so armed with our routing GPS we let it show us the was. This was our first Virtual Cache, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. This is probably because we enjoy the walk more than the searching on most occasions. The views were great, a there was surprisingly little road noise up here. The reservoir seemed OK despite being in the middle of a drought. Next we moved down to Milly's Cache and then Welcome to Wales! Motorway Mayhem M4 J23a. These were both very much Cache and Dash affairs and by this time we were ready for a cool drink. Then there it was, right next to the cache, as if a higher being was trying to tell us something. We headed down to the Castle Inn in Caldicot and followed our orders. Reservoir Pigs
Hmmm Stella

Alianore and the Swan is set in the park surrounding Caldicot Castle. This place was buzzing with people on a fine bank holiday afternoon. Once we found the initial clue (a car was parked in front of it) it was easy enough, but we enjoyed the lakes and fields and castle views. It seemed kind of weird to see people in a park after a few years of country life where there's just so much open space you can have it to yourself.

Once we arrived home I dropped off Will and Sid so that Bob and I could grab the information we needed to set our next cache on a walk we know inside out. 90 minutes later we were home with all the waypoints and photos we would need. A take-away followed as we'd forgotten to eat at lunchtime and it was way too late to cook.

On the Bank Holiday Monday we had loads to do at home, but come the afternoon we'd tied everything up and set off for Ross-on-Wye to do John Kyrle and The Prospect. The first required hacking through a bank of nettles and the second involved raiding a cache without being spotted by several kids who were very close by. Bob met another Border Collie pup and they had a great time while owners exchanged idle chat.
Finished off by popping up to The Two Bridges to drop off Sir-log-alot and make sure everything was OK. Slightly damp, but that's partly due to the location.
View over Ross from The Prospect
Not a house in sight at Tractor Hill

Finally on Tuesday I published Tractor Hill. This is a multi cache starting in our home village of Newland. There's plenty to see and the scenery is stunning. Groundspeak had published it within a minute of me submitting it! Pretty impressive guys.

When Will was little we used to go to Tractor, as we called it, all the time. We even used to take picnics up there. He'd sit in the wreck of a tractor, pulling levers and pretending to drive it - then one day it was gone. Wow, sounds like a metaphor for life.
Tractor was in the clearing near the cache, but I don't think we have any photos. Maybe I'll drag the photos down from our bat infested loft soon and see if one exists.



24th May 2006

My Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx arrived along with Topo UK and 1GB of micro SD flash memory (it really is incredibly tiny) and a clip drive. So far I'm pretty impressed. The GPS signal is incredible and holds a fix inside the house. Almost all of England fits onto a 1GB card, though it takes a while (about 90 mins) to download when mounted in the GPS. Still this is a one off exercise, though I will try downloading to the clip drive at some point.


21st May 2006

It rained for most of the day today, but we decided to risk a quick cache at 17:00 as it hadn't rained for a few minutes. There are still about three caches within 6 miles of us that we've been saving for days like this, so we set off for the Cyril Hart Arboretum by The Speech House to do Speaking of Water. We've walked these paths many times, but never in so much rain. It looked OK when we set off so I didn't bother with a coat, which turned out to be a bad move. One minute it was pouring, then it would stop and the sun came out, and so the pattern continued. By the time we were on the way back to the arboretum we were in the middle of a full scale thunder storm. This is a very pleasant cache - and we like multi caches. Thanks Severnsiders.

Chicks in a brief moment without rain
We got home a bit late for a Sunday night, so by the time we'd done our Saturday night ritual on a Sunday night, Will was late to bed. Hope he doesn't look to tired at school tomorrow.
Will near the cache at Foy Yesterday the weather forecast was pretty bad, but we decided to take a trip out with Bob to The River Wye at Foy. Foy is just outside Ross-on-Wye, but we didn't take a map and ended up driving around for ages because we were on the wrong side of the river. When we eventually found the starting point at Foy the heavens opened, but be weren't deterred. This cache is a multi with a couple of micro caches on the way to reveal the location of the next step. The first was simple, but we couldn't find the second. The rain was coming down hard and the grass path by the river was at least a foot long and sopping so we had to walk on the muddy field. We gave up searching for the second micro cache and deciphered the hint. It sounded easy so we continued on and Will found the cache after a couple of minutes searching. It was pretty difficult to retrieve due to it's position and the large stinging nettles, but we got there thanks to a large branch we found. We gave up any ideas of doing the other associated caches in favour of getting out boots off in the car and turning the heater up.

I can't say that this was the most enjoyable cache we've ever done, but that was largely due to the bad weather. To make matters worse, we got home and it hadn't rained all day. There were walkers everywhere on the Newland to Redbrook walk, which is what we were going to do.
After much researching I purchased a UK Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx and a copy of MapSource V2 Topo on Friday. Hopefully it will arrive before next weekend so I can give it a real test over the bank holiday. I just need to buy some micro SD flash memory in the meantime.

There are a few decent reviews about, but no doubt I'll do my own from a walking and geocaching perspective after I've had it for a while. In the meantime check out Patrick (anorak picture) Roeder's excellent review and Mike Barratt's equally good Cx review.

Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx
Spotted The Three Castles Trilogy by The Flying Boots during the week and was really tempted to do a couple of them after work on Wednesday, but it was raining hard. Will's off to PGL for the weekend in June, so Cath and I have decided to do the circular walk that weekend. It's a shame to see FTFs left for several days, but they really don't matter - as long as you've got at least one.

14th May 2006

Checked for local caches on Wednesday night (I don't know why) and there was a new cache a couple of miles from me - no wait, in my excitement I'd missed the fact that there were two new caches. What's going on! There was almost nothing within four miles of me a few weeks ago and now this. Shame it was too late to go out, and one had been found already.

A Bridge Too Far Got home from work on Thursday and set off with Will for a FTF. A Bridge Too Far is a very different cache to those I've come across so far. This cache takes you down Monmouth High Street, then onto a track by the River Wye and over four bridges. We were pleased to get another FTF, this was Will's third.

On Saturday I set off at 7:30am for Breakfast with Emma and Horatio at The Kymin. This location is a tribute to Naval heroes and is now owned by the National Trust. Rabbits were out in force and the views were spectacular. The weather was gorgeous at that time, though there were thunderstorms in the afternoon. After an easy find we went for a walk in the woods, which was great until the climb back to the car.

In the evening I went round A Bridge Too Far again to put some stuff in the cache as we didn't have anything to leave the day before.

Bluebells at Breakfast
Monmouth from The Kymin (widescreen)
Sid at Roll Away the Stone

Sunday was a bit busy. I went to Lydney Harbour to do Severnsider's Walk, but ended up doing Roll Away the Stone as well. The first was very easy, the second was slightly more difficult. I can recommend doing these two together (leave the car at Lydney Harbour) and also Martha's Harbour.

Then it was home for breakfast. Sid had had enough and stayed at home for the rest of the day.

In the afternoon we went town to Sudbrook and did Sudbrooku and Black Rock. The first is a very clever sudoku based cache. Cath was into Sudoku, so I enlisted her help to solve the puzzle, but she had to go to work and couldn't come on the hunt. Again, you don't need to move the car to do these two. Both involved searching under stones and we spent a fair while finding each cache. It was a humid afternoon and 10 miles later Will and I were in need of a drink, so we drove back to The Boat Inn for a drink or two and then home for the ritual weekend homemade pizza (Will's favorite). At least we should sleep well tonight.

Released A few of my favourite things... at Black Rock.

Hide the Beer Matt Our favourite (indoor) game at The Two Bridges (a.k.a. The Boat Inn) is Hide the Beer Mat. We play it in the annex room where there are a couple of interesting hiding places. I must have downed the first Stella when I took this as it's sadly out of focus. Will still has chocolate muffin on his face as we realized we'd missed lunch so stopped in the one shop on the 15 miles home for emergency supplies.

7th May 2006

On Saturday we took Rob's Rhino 130 to Ghosts at Goodrich. It took an age to pick up a fix, but was slightly more accurate when coming to locate the cache. The cache itself was an easy find after a nice gentle stroll - we were surprised at how easy it was despite the 3/3 rating. The clues took a few minutes to work out at home, thanks to the Internet. Sid appreciated the lack of hills as we'd been very near here the previous evening and he was still tired from the climbs, but we discovered a great place to put a cache in the future. Stopped at the Waterside Inn in Lower Lydbrook on the way home and sat outside for some chow whilst Will played on the climbing frames. Bob managed to cut his head again, although it was nowhere near as bad as the other week when he appeared from a bramble bush covered in blood which wouldn't stop gushing the red stuff.


Kerne Bridge, Goodrich
I got home to find that the FB's had set a cache over a week ago and somehow I'd missed it! It's only the nearest one to where we live as well, and what's more it's in the exact location I was planning a cache.
Staunton Meend looking over Newland

Did the walk up to Staunton this morning to The Druids Stone. I've been up here many times, but didn't know the stone was possibly a Druid sacrificial table. After an easy find we walked around the meend until I realized Will had left my stick at the trig point and we set off back up the hill.

About 18 months ago I was walking down here and a stag with full antlers was standing in the pathway right in front of us.

A load of wild boar were also set loose (illegally) here about the same time and I once came face to face with them on the road / track from Newland.


Sunday afternoon saw us leave Sid behind and head off to The Speech House / Beechenhurst Lodge to do The Cathedral in the Forest. We've been saving this one because it's so close to home. It's a great day out for the family if you've never been there before as there are loads of wacky sculptures like the stairs that go nowhere. I first came across this not knowing of The Sculpture Trail, and really didn't know what was going on. The cache was easy to find, though I wish I'd taken the Rhino as the GPS readings were rubbish. As I said below though, you get to know where to look pretty quickly.

Stairs to nowhere
Stop Press... Congratulations to L8HNB for completing The Two Bridges. Thanks for your comments. You can read the log here.

1st May 2006

It's the end of a Bank Holiday weekend and we've been Geocaching for one month now and found a total of 18 caches and set one too. We've discovered places we never knew existed and rediscovered places we have walked before, but all were enjoyable and fun. We've learnt that most caches in our part of the world are at high altitude, and the preferred hiding place is a tree stump.

We'd like to say a big thank you to all those cachers whose caches we've enjoyed.

The Devil's Pulpit looking down on The Devil's Congregation at Tintern Abbey
The Devil's Pulpit looking down on The Devil's Congregation at Tintern Abbey.

During the week I popped out of the office at lunchtime to find Robin's Slippery Slope, which had been set by Rob and Tiina. Rob is the one I blame for getting me into this Geocaching thing.

On Saturday we did The Devil's Congregation - Tintern and A Day at the Races. The first was a little touristy and short for my taste. It's a beautiful place, but kind of spoilt by tourism. This cache goes hand in hand with The Devil's Pulpit which we did on 16/4/2006. The latter was far more my scene. A wonderful park behind Chepstow race course which I would never have known about otherwise. We stopped for a beer or two on the way back up the Wye Valley and listened to tales of the park and mansion, how it was to become hotel and how the last residents were American officers in WWII.

A Day at the Races Getting close to A Day at the Races  

Lambs taking refuge in Piercefield Park Lambs taking refuge in Piercefield Park

Sunday saw a single cache, but the hardest an most rewarding yet. Sweet Mountain takes you to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, close to Abergavenny. We struggled to find a car park, so just parked up where we could and followed the GPS. This isn't always the best idea as was proved on this occasion. We all made it to the top, even if much of the route was through heather with little or no path. Bob didn't seem to mind at all and he ran constantly for three or four hours.
Cath was desperate to find this cache and as she stood decrypting the hints Will removed it from it's hiding place not two feet from her. The weather was absolutely perfect for the climb.
We found a nice pub on the way back and enjoyed an ice cold Grolsh and some bar nibbles before getting home to 100 messages on the answer phone from work and ended up working most of the night and Monday morning recovering a server, so didn't feel like doing any caches that day. Still, on the bright side it should finance the GPS upgrade I'm planning.

Atop the Sugar Loaf is sweeet
Atop the Sugar Loaf and the views are spectacular
I'm feeling a bit dejected as only the FB's have done The Two Bridges, so I've adjusted the difficulty rating as it may be putting people off. I know many of the locals will be at the First Welsh Geocaching event this weekend, so maybe next weekend there will be some interest. Come on you lot, it's a cracking walk!
Hermit and the Waterfall

23rd April 2006

The Flying Boots were up with the lark yesterday to be the FTF The Two Bridges. Congratulations! We responded by zipping down to Trelleck and getting our second FTF on Virtuous but "poore and inconsiderable" and decided to drop in on The Hermit and the Waterfall on the way home as Sid and Bob still had plenty of spring in their step.

Popped over to Usk this afternoon to do a Usk for Fun - Again and The Kiwi and the Fox. Will got them both without the hints and we had a good wander round. Bob especially enjoyed meeting a black Lab, who joined in the contest for maddest dog in town, though Bob won hands down.


21st April 2006

Raced round The Two Bridges this morning and checked for any inaccuracies before submitted the cache to GroundSpeak. We all did Off the Beat'n Yat and Wye Rapids this afternoon. We were particularly pleased with the latter as it's a micro cache and has not been found that many times.

Our bones are aching, so we've popped home for a bath before going out for food, beer then sleep. A great way to spend a day off work.


The River Wye from the start of The Two Bridges

Our first cache has been published. The Two Bridges (GCVJ6P) takes you from Redbrook to Penallt (or Penalt depending on which sign you read) on a steep, but wonderful walk. Despite checking everything twice, I'll be a little happier when someone has found it.

Will with the ammo box at Go Garway Gliding


8th April 2006

Our second weekend Geocaching.

Will found his first First To Find (FTF) at Go Garway Gliding. He was dead chuffed with himself for finding it before we did.

He took a travel bug, Biggles, who he sent on his way the following day at Martha's Harbour.



"Geocaching is great fun for ALL the family."