Geocaching and Trigpointing

Check out for more stuff about Walking in the Wye Valley.

Our other Geocaching pages

Our Geocaches  
Paperless caching guide PPC guide UPDATED

Our Blog Archive

Profile for SidAndBob  

Geocaching is a treasure hunt with a GPS.You find a log book in a sealed container hidden by other geocachers, while trigpointing consists of visiting Ordnance Survey pillars which are often located at hill summits. In both cases the real treasure is the discovery of beautiful countryside, near to you, or far away. It's just good, clean, harmless fun with plenty of exercise and we love it!

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

Our Geocaching Diary


19th September 2009 Upper Soudley, FoD

I'd hurt my back the previous weekend and I didn't want anything too strenuous so we made a day of walking between two caches in the forest. Soudley Geology Trail was our 1200th cache, and an interesting one too. We'd read the noticeboards on previous visits, but we'd missed this precise location. There are so many things going on by this location with the railway tunnel, the foot and mouth memorial and the Hod Boy sculpture, not to mention all this geology. The other highlight of our trip was finding a really healthy Beech tree that was hollow for about 10' of it's trunk.

The forest can be deceptively hilly at times and the powerful sun came out briefly on the most strenuous stretch to make us sweat.

A nice gentle walk
Some of the rabble

30th August 2009 Blaisdon, FoD and Caldicot event

We spent Saturday making a walk out of 5 caches in the Blaisdon area. Four of them were really lame and right next to each other. These are the sort of caches that make me question my future involvement with this hobby. Why would anyone want to look under a post box and then at a road sign a couple of hundred yards away is beyond me? St. Anthony's Well was a place I had meant to visit for ages and was much more interesting. We had a blast picking damsons and blackberries on a lovely sunny day.

A rare treat on Sunday in the form of a local event at Caldicot Castle. Thanks to The Blorenges for organizing it. Fortunately the weather was bad, as we were double booked with a large event at the castle.


22nd August 2009 Farewell Sid

Last Saturday was a very sad day in our house. Poor old Sid couldn't stand up in the morning as his toes just turned in. By the time we got him to the vet his other hind leg had followed suit. We knew this day would come, but it's still a very sad occasion. We had to make that awful decision, but the vet was wonderful, which helped a little. We spent a lovely couple of hours together and he enjoyed some mini sausages and chocolates lying on the grass in the sun. He had never had chocolate before in his life, but it would do no harm now and he loved it. We were just glad that we were there to say goodbye. We're going to miss you big fella, but we have so many wonderful memories of you.

Sid was 15 years old when he passed away, which is very old for a Golden Retriever.

Farewell Sid

19th August 2009 Looe, Cornwall

After three days at home Will and I headed down to the campsite on the sea cliffs at Talland where we had stayed two years before. We'd checked the web site and there was no need to book. When we got there we were horrified to find the camp site had closed down and was being developed. Will insisted we had a camp site with a bar, so when we eventually found one we were very relieved to have some real luck. The owner had a cancellation on the phone while we were there. They had been full all summer despite the horrible weather. Ironically this was the best day by far of the week and we spent it in the car getting here and finding somewhere to stay.


We spent the first day at Minions at the edge of Bodmin Moor. It was a miserable day and we were soaked by the wet, thick, high ferns. It was a lovely area, but rain and fog isn't good and climbing a hill just made it worse. Our evenings were mostly spent wandering round Looe, getting something to eat and possibly a drink. The local food was very disappointing, though we have had great stuff here before, so I think our choice of pasty shop and Fish and Chip shop was poorly judged. One evening we re-did Out and About in Looe. I dread to think how many hours we've put into finding this cache as we started in on our last visit, but couldn't work out the last bit then. This was followed by a good climb in the Kilminorth Woods which has just been archived while I'm writing this. Let's hope another cache is placed in these woods before we return.

Talland Bay

Polperro is a lovely little fishing village nestled away from the crowds. We much prefer to walk to these places than park up with the tourist masses. Ho too (and HO2)provided a caching challenge (I nearly gave up) and back at the car we got chatting to someone who turned out to be a geocacher (Digger's Dad). It's a shame that the morning was so miserable or we could have done a lot more. Here's the route.


We'd visited Rame Head for a short evening stroll on our previous trip and enjoyed it so much we returned for a full day's walking. Several new caches had appeared, so we parked near Kingsand and took a very enjoyable anti-clockwise route. We met some really friendly people along the way, who all turned out to be locals. Rame Head is a really special place that I would recommend to anyone. There's a tiny medieval church on the head and further down the coast at Penlee Point there's another wonderful building (marked as a grotto on the OS map) which is built into the rock face. We didn't spot the Peregrines that live here, but we did see some Kestrels which were motionless in the sky despite the strong winds. Finally, we had the best ice cream of the holiday in Cawsand before exploring the park in Kingsand.

Rame Head
Will triumphant on Monkey Island

We spent the next day at Par Sands near Polkerris. We just spent the day doing the things that normal people do, like building sand castles, paddling in the sea and fishing from the rocks. There's a cool cave here that gets surrounded by the sea when the tide is in. We picked up a couple of nearby caches before we left at the end of the day. Neither was anything worth mentioning. The following day we re-visited Monkey Island, one of our main reasons for coming here. Will really wanted to conquer the island and he succeeded. It's a tough climb and many adults have backed away from it, so I was really pleased for him and a little relieved when it was all over. I had to carry Bob back down off the rocks as he wanted to come with us.


Our last day was spent at Pencarrow Head. With four caches this was one of our highest find days of our two weeks spent camping. Firstly we visited a church where Daphne Du Maurier got married and featured in one of her novels and then a cache at Pencarrow Head. After this we dropped down 200' to Lantic Bay where we spent a hazy afternoon playing on the beach. I love beaches like this. They keep the hoards away as it takes a fair bit of effort to get there and back. Our final tally for Cornwall was 19 traditional caches and 5 multi caches.

We left the following morning having never even used the campsite bar, mainly because it was constantly full of screaming kids. We'll know better next time. The campsite was called Camping Caradon. Bob got home with an eye infection, an ear infection, a rash on his tummy and a tick. He has never needed to see the vet ever before, so he certainly made up for it in Cornwall.

Monkey Island (again)

9th August 2009 Shropshire, Rhayader and Mega Event

After some horrible weather we were forecast a few good days so we took the pop-up tent the short 60 miles north to Wentnor in Shropshire for a couple of days. We had lovely sunshine and spent the first day walking the Stiperstones. The walk across the low level ridge was lovely and we climbed most of the rocky outcrops we came across. We ate loads of whinnberries and managed to get our clothes covered in it's purple stain. We had a frustrating search for a cache which it turned out wasn't there, but the owner had failed to disable it. This walk doesn't lend itself to a circular route, so our planned return was a bit disastrous, taking us through several very boggy fields. We ended up cooking Will's second favourite food (hot dogs) on a quiet hillside as the sun slipped behind the horizon, then finished a great day at the pub next door to our camp site.


The second day was spent walking the Long Mynd. As with the previous day most of the finds were ammo boxes (ex-Army water tight metal boxes for storing ammunition). A lot of caches used to use these top grade containers. Cache containers are quite representative of how Geocaching has gone, as nowadays you will find many more micros (the old plastic pots you used to get 35mm film in) than ammo boxes. They aren't waterproof, they cost nothing to buy or fill and they take little effort to hide. We had a run in with a glider club who verbally bullied us off a PRoW. We did report this to the local council who were very concerned, as this is illegal. The hills were a bit disappointing to be honest, which was mainly due to the road that runs along the top of the hill. The photo is at Pole Cottage, which was more of a challenge than it may look. I am actually standing on an island in the heather. I had to balance on a very sunken log across the black, freezing water.


On Friday morning we packed up and drove to Rhayader. There we found Gigrin Farm (there is Kite feeding here throughout the summer) and pitched up again. The pop-up tent is great for trips like this as you can pitch it in less than 10 minutes. The site was very quite in a lovely location, though amenities were very sparse. We parked up at the visitor centre at Caban Coch and climbed the very steep face of Craig Gigfran. I doubt many people come up this route as it is quite hairy, especially with all the slate scree. Our first target was Dambusters (the crash site) at the summit. Once we were back to walking (albeit through thick heather and ferns at first) we had a fantastic time. The scenery was stunning. We must have spent over an hour at the waterfall at Y Foel, but just messing around thanks to an easy find. The roadside micro (which I normally detest) was even great, as it was by another fab waterfall. We walked the flat route back along the side of Garreg-ddu Reservoir.


We packed up after breakfast and headed over to Claerwen Reservoir to look at the huge dam there whilst visiting the aptly named What a view. Bird watchers were manning the dam, though we didn't ask what they were watching. We parked in the huge and empty visitor car park and found a bird nesting on a cistern in the public loos. A steep climb to the top of the dam (you can drive up) was followed by crossing the dam and then a wander over the hillock in the top left of the photo.

I'd wanted to come to this area for a while and it was even better than I had hoped for. As it's relatively close to home I'm sure we'll be back pretty soon for a short camping trip. The scenery and lack of tourists meant it was right up our street. We were home by 1pm, which gave us a chance to relax before tomorrows trip to Weston-Super-Mare.


If you've read this blog since the beginning you'll know we've been caching in Weston-Super-Mare a few times before, but usually as a stop off for food after a day in the countryside. Today was only the second UK Mega Event (and event attended by more than 500 cachers). People come from all over the UK and beyond. We met quite a few of our caching friends, but missed even more as having our trusty canine friend with us excluded us from much of what was going on. We would never go caching without Bob, as he's much of the reason that we go. It's in Scotland next year, so we won't be going, and it looks like it's in South Wales in 2011.

We didn't really go to do caching, but we really enjoyed Weston Promenade Stroll (despite not completing it) as it was different and we were approached by dozens of cachers who were identified by the print out they were carrying.


2nd August 2009 Hereford

This was the start of three weeks off work for me! Will needed some new walking boots and Hereford Millets were the only place that had them in stock. Despite being 11, he has been in adult sized boots for ages, so our ridiculous tax system forces us to pay VAT on them.

We don't normally come to Hereford because the traffic is bad, but it was Sunday, so we bit the bullet and enjoyed a few hours walking round in circles and up and down the Wye. If you have to go shopping then this is the way to do it.

Not being a classical music fan I wasn't familiar with the story about how Elgar's Variation XI had come into being. A great story and fun to visit the spot that inspired it.

Edward Elgar near Hereford Cathedral
Looking back over Risca

27th July 2009 The Raven Walk, Cwmcarn

Bob and I did this walk a couple of years ago, so we'd done nine Write and Mane CC caches in the area then. Only one new one had come up since then but Will also wanted to complete this challenging walk and find six of the caches along the way. The wooden raven sculptures have been replaced by slightly more vandal proof steel sculptures, but one (made of Copper) went missing almost immediately. The visitor centre has also been completed since my last visit, though they were still not able to tell me that part of the route was officially closed due to subsidence. As the closure was half way round the walk we were not going to let a bit of 8' fencing get in our way, especially as it was such an over-reaction to the small slippage.



We had a fabulous day together and I was very proud that Will completed the 17 mile walk, especially as there are three very good hills along the way. This is what Geocaching is about for me. Showing me places / routes that I will use again and again over the years. The walk was more challenging than I remembered it, but I kept Will going with stories of what had happened along the way on my last eventful venture here. I'd promised Will a cold drink from a shop that I'd found in Risca, but we couldn't find it. I couldn't let him down, so had to walk an extra mile down to a petrol station for drinks and chocolate. Despite being forecast rain we only had two small showers, so it was a great day out.

You can see our route on our Walking web site here.

The first Raven sculpture
Take a Heston Brake

25th July 2009 Caldicot

We seem to be doing more and more walking, but less and less caching. Today's trip wasn't very successful. Path after path marked on the OS map didn't exist. We got fed up of being forced to walk where we didn't want to be. The worst bit was under the M48. We discovered that the motorway was on stilts because we were on a flood plane. We had another detour because the whole field was under water. Maybe we should have expected this, after all it was only late July! We finally cut our walk short, which made for a pretty depressing route. We did find a couple of fun caches from The Blorenges though, so it wasn't a total disaster. Most of the others were terrible though.


11th July 2009 Winchcombe

We'd done a lot of non-Geocaching walking prior to this in the Brecon Beacons and around our home area, but today we visited Winchcombe, which is NE of Cheltenham. We'd been here quite recently and today's circular walk almost touched the circle we did in May. This time we started from Sudeley castle, which is more of a big house really. More pleasant Wrighty caches. The highlights were seeing a wild fawn at very close quarters and a fabulous hidden Roman mosaic. We started off by getting soaked it a field of broad beans which were still wet from the earlier showers. The day was quite warm, so we dried out without too much of a problem. I think it was Wrighty's way of getting his own back after the last trip!

This is the easy bit by the tunnel portal

21st June 2009 Newent

Every now and again you need a bit of adrenalin to rejuvenate your enthusiasm for Geocaching and today was one of those days. The Flying Boots and Wrighty were both out to notch up their 1000th finds and I was their guest. We were taking on Hippos Below a 5/5 a mile into a disused canal tunnel. Check out the listing for some superb photos from other visitors. Not only did I not need a GPSr, but I had a lift from door to door too, which was a great luxury for me. The FBs supplied an Canadian two-man canoe. Carrying it through thick mud for almost 1/4 mile and over a large fallen tree was fun, but the real fun began when you got in it as it's not the stablest of crafts, but more on that later. Mrs FB and I took the first trip. It slightly tricky to get started due to the shallow entrance and deep silt, but once you're in the water is deep and clear.


Steering the boat is an art. Front person paddles on one side only and rear person paddles on the opposite side controlling the direction by the amount of power applied. You really need to sit still too or you'll be in. Once we eventually picked this up we were flying along. The terrain rating should undeniably be a 5, but a difficulty of 5 is daft as the cache is sitting on the only shelf in the tunnel by an air shaft. Mr FB was in his one man canoe escorting us and while we signed logs and swapped TBs he paddled the short distance to the end of the tunnel, which had collapsed. The trip back was happily uneventful and teams swapped over. Right away we were concerned for the stability of the new crew and very shortly there was a large splash. A camera took a dunking, but otherwise it was just pride that was damaged. While Mrs Wrighty understandably wanted to dry out Wrighty was very much up for another attempt, so I offered to make up the team.

Yours truely signing the log
Mr and Mrs FB and some Calcite

It was quite a different experience facing forwards into the tunnel as you could see so much more. We completed the trip successfully and dragged the gear back through the thick mud. I had resorted to a pair of Crocs, which I kept losing in the glupy mud. With my trousers rolled up I was sting a million times too, but it didn't seem to matter. Wrighty cracked open a bottle of bubbly and we all stood beaming with delight standing in the road on an old disused canal bridge sipping Champagne from flutes. After all, it's not every day you find your 1000th cache. Well done to The Flying Boots and Wrighty on reaching your milestone in such style. We commented on how strange it was that such a bunch of walking enthusiasts (we're quite rare in caching circles) should chose to meet at a cache for a milestone where no walking is required.

The flash makes it look light, but it isn't   Wrighty does the honours

20th June 2009 Shirenewton

The reason I had been so interested in the Cipher Cache series (apart from it being a good challenge) is that #8 has been my nearest unfound proper cache for quite some time. I was very pleased to be able to put this one to bed. It's only been found 8 times in 2.5 years. I've lost my impetus with the series now I've got this one, but I will find it again one day. Some of the other caches today were rather weak. I don't enjoy finding margarine tubs with very lude jokes written in them stuffed into live fox holes, in fact it's downright irresponsible. It's one of the things that's causing my interest in this hobby to wain again. Thanks to Sniffadogz and The Blorenges for a couple of good caches though.

Will getting shade from the sun in a lime kiln

14th June 2009 Ogmore

Apart from walking locally recently and picking up another cache on the Kymin (I wish people would place them somewhere original rather than just next to one that already exists) I had spent some time getting back into the very sneaky Cipher Cache Series. After spotting a typo error working out #4 two years ago I cracked on an got 4 - 8 solved. As #4 and #5 were in the same area we decided to come and find them. #5 was a really good walk. People just don't set caches like this these days. After about 8 miles we were back at the car and headed for the beach to mop up a couple more. #4 was much harder to find than we had expected as it was at a random point in the middle of a thickly wooded area. Our only regret was that we didn't have time to pick up another puzzle we had solved. We also had a lovely walk picking up Golden Daffodils and one on a site used in an old Dr. Who shoot. I tried to find a route back to the car avoiding the road, but we just ended up in a dead end on a cliff top above a disused quarry, so had to go twice as far. Isn't that always the way.
We got home for another lovely barbecue. Our forth in 8 days. Almost more barbecues than caches.

Will's drum exam results arrived. He got a well deserved distinction. Well done you rock god!


24th May 2009 Winchcombe

The Cotswolds is a pleasant place for a walk. The hills aren't too steep, road access is pretty good and when the sun comes out the surrounding countryside is lush and green. It does jar with me having to drive such a distance to near where I work most days though. You can always rely on plenty of caches from Wrighty in this area. Just what we like, so we can like a few together for a good walk.

On our way to the second cache we came across a girl in a summer dress, sitting on the hillside reading poetry. At this point a steam train puffed by at the bottom of the hill. It was all very surreal.

Steam Train
Spot the cache hiding place

After a few successful caches we ran into a bad period. We had to leave one cache because a couple had set up a barbecue right next to it. The next cache was a multi which we failed to spot some required information. We didn't waste time going back, so arrived at the next cache where a couple had stopped to picnic right next to the cache. Will talked me into waiting. After 15 minutes they eventually went.

We did meet some nice people at Beckbury monument and as well as the train we also saw some Gloucester Old Spots and Kenelm Well (in a building) which dates back to a staggering 819


17th May 2009 Poets Path I and local stuff

The Poet's Path is one of three routes starting from Dymock where several poets gathered in the period leading up to WWI. Rupert Brooke was a poet I studied at school, so I was particularly interested in him. The walk was pleasant once you got away from the M5. We detoured off for a very dull cache before finding Breezy Peezy, Redmarley, which was in a far nicer location. Even the clay pigeon shoot very nearby stopped when we got to the cache. We found a very unusual tree along the way which grew out of rocks. It had fallen down many years ago and then carried on growing vertically despite it's recumbent position.

The following day we took Sid for a stroll in some nearby (well in our caching terms anyway) woods for a pleasant local cache in the rain. A very rare treat indeed. It could be the last cache Sid ever does.

After several walks up to Penallt during the week we set Babington Meadow Barbecue, which was met with all the enthusiasm of a teenager with homework. It may well be the last cache I set. I may even archive some in the near future.

Sid on Will's Path