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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!

Our Geocaching Diary

19th May 2012 GeoGolf    
I've written a short review of our first experience of GeoGolf, which can be found here.

18th December 2011

I know that there are some people out there that follow this blog, so I'm sure you will have noticed that things have ground to a halt here. I guess I am just so bored with the sad state of geocaching these days that I just can't summons up the enthusiasm to carry on this blog. All efforts have moved over to my walking website at Feel free to pop on over and check out a far more interesting hobby. Every time I see a cache now I think, would I have placed it there? Is there a good reason to place it there? The answer is invariably a resounding "No". I'll carry on doing some if they coincide with our walks and there are a few that I still really want to do, but on the whole the hobby seems to have been taken over by people with little or no interest in the outdoors, who consider walking to be an inconvience in the pursuit of logging as many finds as possible. Very sad, unless you like walking two yards from your car to an arbitrary point and then driving off somewhere else.


1st May 2011 South Wales Event, Pembrokeshire

It's here again, our favourite caching weekend of the year. We've especially been looking forward to it this year as it's in a great location that we've not cached in. I had requested it was held here, so I feel partially responsible. We set off a day earlier than planned, as the weather was great, but was supposed to deteriorate later. This meant we set off early on Thursday and came back on Sunday giving us three full days. There was only one other caching tent when we arrived at the excellent Trevayne Caravan and Camping Park. Excellent facilities (toilets, showers, farm shop) and fantastic coastal views. We pitched, chatted and then took a walk from our tent round Saundersfoot. A lovely walk in the early evening. Ideally we would have like to have arranged a lift back from the pub event in Amroth, as we could have walked there, but we had to get back to collect the car. The event was very enjoyable and we got to meet our great hosts, Mushroom Mike (and wife) and Juggling Jill.

Playing on the rocks
Deserted beach at Wiseman's Bridge

The next day we parked up at Wiseman's Bridge on the sea front for a day of walking round the Amroth and Summerhill area. We were amazed at how much free parking there was by the beach. Great stuff. The first find was followed by two DNFs along the cliff top. Not only is this frustrating, but it really slows you down. We soon found that Mushroom Mike likes a sneaky hide and a nano or ten. We later found that one of these DNFs was caused by a very misleading hint. When a hint says it's on the stile, it should be on the stile in my book!
Colby Chest was an odd one. We got to the coordinates and couldn't find the cache. Looking more closely at the details Write and Mane had logged that the cache was 420' from the listed coordinate. That was six years ago and nothing had been done to rectify it since! At the cache a family asked if we were geocaching. We do occasionally meet other cachers (especially during events), but this was a first for us as they were not cachers themselves. They were a lovely family and we enjoyed a chat before our paths went separate ways.


We passed a house where some girls were having a wedding party. Bunting was reasonably common throughout the day, though nothing like Di's wedding from what I remember. We carried on hoovering up caches up to Little Craig-y-borion Wood where I quickly found The Buzzard and The Old Dragon, which seemed to illude many. We then found The Brat Pack searching for...

and this is as far as I got before losing the will to live.


26th April 2011 Wynril Point

You may have noticed that I rarely mention missing caches owned by us. That's because it rarely happens, but our Cached Into the Wilderness cache had been found and trashed by non-cachers. We decided to make a day of doing a maintenance trip and one other cache. A new cacher had found the box and kindly hidden it in a tree 1/2 mile from where it should be as he didn't know it's intended location. Another cacher went out and checked it of his own accord. You must remember that this is in no way a roadside cache. Many thanks to these people. It's great to see such a community spirit. I took 3 days off work as we had two four day weekends in a row thanks to Easter, May Day and Will and Kate's wedding. Eleven glorious days off work and the weather was fantastic too, so loads of walking, but no new caches for most of the hols. Later we packed and got ready for our camping trip.

Big bull
Ponies on the common

16th April 2011 Ewyas Harold

Four caches today all located near this village, though most of the day was taken up walking out to Cae Tack trigpoint. The laugh was that when we got there we couldn't get up the hill because some very active bullocks were blocking our way. Ewyas Harold Common was very pleasant and has great views to the nearby Black Mountains and some lovely ponies too. We had been waiting to do this walk for a while as one of the caches has been disabled for some time. It seems a waste to travel the distance when one of the four caches in the area is unavailable. We found a few odd names: The pub is called the Dog Inn; there are also places called Balls Cross and Dulas. Maybe it's just our odd sense of humour. We had a great lunch break in a secluded spot by a river. I could actually smell the wild garlic and later the muck spreading. It may not sound much to you, but it's a big thing to me.


9th April 2011 Table Mountain, The Black Mountains

Round the Table was our 1500th cache. We know the area well and had started this cache a couple of years ago, but were unable to find of the micros that comprise the multi. I felt a bit bad about not completing this as the owner, Pops Bear, had made a monumental effort to find our nearby High Tea cache over three long hikes. With no other unfound caches in the area it was not possible for us to link this to make a day out, so it got saved. Table Mountain stands very identifiably above Crickhowell. It's a bit of a grand name, as it's only about 1460' compared to 2300' of Pen Cerrig Calch, which is attached to it. A great cache and very worthy of a big milestone for us.

Late last Sunday afternoon I popped out for a quick circuit of 9 caches in 10 miles near Speech House, Forest of Dean.

Shaded path on the way up to the site of the old hill fort
Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

2nd April 2001 Llanellen

A rare trip where we were all present. Our route took in Abergavenny, Little Skirrid and The Hardwick, one of the best pubs restaurants in Wales. It is run by Stephen Terry who has worked for many of the best chefs in the world and appears on TV now and again. We had been there a couple of weeks before to celebrate Will's birthday. The food was very good, but I'm not sure why it pretends to be a pub. The footpath actually crosses the fast A40 (no bridge, you walk across the tarmac). A stile meets the layby where a cache is located, but I couldn't be bothered to find it despite walking three feet from where it was hidden. I really dislike these lame caches. We passed through Llanellen, where Alexander Cordell used to live and then picked up the three caches along the canal. Between the Two was a little tricky, but the others were easy enough. It's funny looking at the logs of the tree caches how different people have difficulty with different caches.


26th March 2011 Oxenton and Bournemouth

A rare business trip to Bournemouth had me staying in a hotel right on the seafront at East Cliff, so how could I refuse getting up a little earlier and completing Bay View Beauty and the Beast. It's a rare treat to be walking along the seafront before breakfast and with the added great weather it's even better. The only downside was a little haze. I managed to mess up the coordinates somehow giving myself a drop down to the beach from the cliff tops which wasn't necessary, but very enjoyable none the less. I also made a quick find of The College Clock Tower on my way into the office. A rare urban nano, but very easy.

On my way home later I detoured to Trowbridge intending to do an Ailec Nor cache or two, but unfortunately it didn't seem to work out.

Oxenton trigpoint
The practise kit at Rock School

Will had another drum exam in Cheltenham, so we visited Oxenton just north of Bishop's Cleeve to do a few Wrighty caches while we were up there. You know exactly what to expect with Wrighty. A good walk with some good views, except today it was too hazy for any views and I ended up with hardly any photos. 1000 Finds Celebration Cache was one of two not belonging to the aforementioned cacher and has some serious issues. Not only in it on very clearly marked private land, but it is also on a Scheduled Monument. How this ever got published is a mystery to me, but I have not reported it as the three reviewers I have previously contacted about more severe issues have not even replied in the past. This seemed to become a theme over the next couple of months. It's disappointing how many cachers turn a blind eye to it or just don't understand what trespassing is. We ended up being under pressure to finish in time to get to Will's exam but made it on time. A month later we found out that he had passed grade five.


19th March 2011 Near Newport and Bristol

Two days working near Almondsbury gave me an opportunity to find a couple of caches during a lunch break. At the weekend we started a walk at Rogerstone which was supposed to have taken the day, but we soon got fed up with roads and lack of paths where they were supposed to be and called it off. We did a couple of caches in Tregedar Park. Wales' First Ethercache exploits some simple technology I remember talking about several years ago as the way forward for caching. It's nice to see someone implemented it, though it is in a very basic form. No more caches of this type are being allowed. You need an Android or IOS device to complete this. We also attempted Pirate Treasure, but as so often happens to us, we were the first to find it missing. It still hasn't been replace when writing this almost three months later.

Tredegar Country Park
Brinore Tramroad

13th March 2011 Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Although the caches were on the canal our actual walk was rather more strenuous. We started in Talybont and followed the Binore Tramroad along it's full course alongside the reservoir and up onto Mynydd Llangynidr past the lime kilns and quarry. We descended to the Coach and Horses in Llangynidr (pronounced Llan-gun-i-der) and were really lucky in that it was open for the first weekend of the year so late in the afternoon. It had been a really hot day for so early on in the year and we had been caught out without drinks. Although our walk was almost over we still hadn't started the caches yet. We do sometimes get a little frustrated at how little walking is required for most caches. The tramroad was a route I had planned to walk ever since walking the full length of the canal this time last year. There were almost no caches on it then, but they are all sprouting up now.


All four caches were easy finds despite the failing light. I'm sure it's just a copycat thing, but we were surprised that just like the archived caches that were along this canal, this series has also been named incorrectly. Both series by different authors are call B&M, when it quite clearly is the M&B canal. People believe what they read, so I think it is important to be accurate. I just found a cache called The River Wye at Caplar spells the name incorrectly, so I believed for years that Calper was spelt with an "a". The canal is fantastic, but the caches are no more than random locations along its path, which is disappointing given all of the history available.

The previous day (Saturday) I was about to take Bob out for his walk when a new cache appeared exactly where we were going locally. Coffins and Corpses is a nice first cache by a local cacher. We've passed the location many times, but a nice bit of added information makes all the difference.

M&B canal between Llangynidr and Talybont
May Hill

5th March 2011 Huntley Quarry

We started our walk in Blaisdon by picking up bonus cache Blaisdon Pursuit 5. This was left over from the rest of the series which we completed on 29/8/2009. It's a pleasant walk over to Huntley Quarry by the A40, if somewhat unremarkable. After completing the earthcache we set about two multicaches (though one is listed as unknown). There were several stages on both, but they were constructed in a way that meant we went straight to the final cache on both. We would pass most of the locations after finding the caches, but of course we didn't want to be backtracking on our route. After skirting round the base of May Hill we passed a run down farm by the A40 where a chicken had escaped and was aptly playing "chicken" on the busy road. We managed to herd it back into it's enclosure, but it will probably escape again. For some reason we were a bit tired, so made our route back to Blaisdon a little more direct than we originally planned.



Geocachers have always wanted a way to determine which the good caches are and which caches are not so good. This is especially useful if you are on holiday and need to choose just a few caches to do in an area. A few years ago there was, but that site went under. I really doubt it would have been able to handle the amount of data that is required nowadays, as it struggled five years ago. More recently GCvote appeared, and although a Greasemonkey script for Firefox could smoothly integrate the concept, there wasn't much take up on it. Both of these methods involved marking each found cache from 1 to 5. Now has built in a method of marking a cache as one of your favourites. For every ten caches you find you may mark one as a favourite. It's a start, but it's not perfect. Firstly there are many people that don't use it. Some people mark a cache if it is deemed to be in their top 10 percent, while others only mark caches they consider to be of the very best quality. Some people seem to just mark caches of people they know (friends), while others seem to mark long existing caches. A kind of rose-tinted view, if you like. The last category seems to be people who have absolutely no taste! If I look at our own caches then generally there are few surprises. Having said that our Giant's Cave cache has just two favourites. If this isn't in the top ten percent of every single finder of this cache, then people must be doing very different caches than we are! Earthcaches and virtual caches seem to have an inordinate number of favourites. This indicates to me that some cachers would probably be more interested in walking or Waymarking than geocaching. A typical virtual would be the summit of a mountain. Not much to do with caching really.

When all is said and done there is little point to favourites as most people will just look for a high density of caches when visiting an area. Quantity, not quality. Personally I think you should get gold star votes - one for every 50 finds. This way we could highlight the outstanding caches, not just the slightly better caches.


25th February 2011 Pen y Fal (Sugar Loaf)

A rare trip out with the complete team, as Mrs. SidAndBob fancied a walk up this hill. It was misty enough that there were very few other people around, as this is one of the busiest hills in the Brecon Beacons / Black Mountains. The single outstanding cache here was placed by Gowenhouse, which was a surprise as he's from the Bradford-on-Avon area. This is the 4th cache ever on this hill, so imagine our surprise when a new cache was publish 1/2 mile away (and on our route) 3 days later. It's not a problem, as we walk up this hill often, but as the caches are in the foot hills, we don't always take this route.

It's surprising how often caches are named incorrectly. Sugarloaf Shelter should be Sugar Loaf Shelter. Don't expect to find a shelter either! The Crown at Pantygelli (N51°51.328' W003°00.895') is worth stopping at for some food afterwards.

On the way back from the summit

23rd February 2011 Yanworth, Cotswolds

We used to cache out this way reasonably often, but we haven't been for ages. It's just too far to go when there are so many fantastic places nearer to home. I know the Cotswolds are associated with hills, but it's also a bit flat for our taste. We had a pleasant day though. The one thing this area has that most don't is some amazing houses. There are no shortage of huge Cotswold stone buildings. The things that stand out in the day were finding a dead badger amongst some trees (they're nearly always on the road) and a lovely waterfall fountain at Compton Abdale where the water came out of a sandstone crocodile's mouth. There was quite a bit of mud, some cute sheep and plenty of snowdrops and a few crocuses on display to remind us that spring is well on it's way. We did wrighty's Cotswold Lions Tour 2010 plus Norwegian Blue x 2 and a couple of others, making 16 finds and a DNF (confirmed missing) in total. Boy this is a high numbers week for us.


21st February 2011 Llandegfedd and Llangybi

We were on leave for the half term and determined to make the most of it despite the poor weather. We joined two trails (which isn't always that easy) and set off from Llandegfedd, though on the cache and map it is named in the anglicized version of Llandegveth. This may be closer to how it is pronounced, but is not very welsh. We were really surprised at what a great area this is. Being not too far from Newport we didn't have high expectations, but the hilly scenery was beautiful. Our favourite stretch of the day was at the start of the day up a great eroded pathway. Despite being a narrow, rocky, steep path it is actually marked as a road with a de-restricted signs at the start by the gate which blocks it off. #1 Llandegveth is along this stretch. It's very unusual. We'll definitely come back when it's less muddy to learn more about the area.

Court Perrot
Dodging mud at Llangybi Park

Half way round we entered Llangybi Park. There was a lot of heavy forestry machinery making a lot of mud. We squelched for a couple of miles, stopping in the forest for lunch while we sheltered from a shower. The grounds keeper joined us from his tractor to tell us all about the area, alternative routes, the trees around us and Llangybi Castle, which has apparently featured on Time Team. After a lovely chat we headed off through the mud to find a tree had brought down a footbridge we needed to cross. After nearly getting sucked into the silty river bank we tried to join the Llangyi series. One path marked on the OS map didn't exist, which caused us problems and later in the day a farmer came out to see what we were doing. Although he was aware that the OS map here showed a path (it hadn't existed in reality according to him for 10 years) he showed only slight compassion for our predicament asking us to go back the way we came. Fortunately I persuaded him to back down, as it was hardly our fault and would have caused us real grief.


19th February 2011 The Deceitful Stream

We rarely place a cache these days, but when we do, we try to make it a good one. The Deceitful Stream is placed in an isolated spot on the banks of the Wye below the towering Symonds Yat Rock. There is a large monument with an entire side etched with the tale of a 15 year old boy who lost his life here in 1804. He was swimming with his family when a current took him down, never to be seem again. It is a tragic tale and the monument was placed as a warning as to the dangers of the river. As always there was a choice of titles. I liked God's will be done! which is carved in large capital letters on the stone, but I like to avoid the whole religion thing. This whole area is full of amazing locations, but is rarely visited by others in my experience. The people on the rock searching for Peregrines through binoculars and telescopes look tiny from down here. There's also a great circular route via Coppet Hill and the disused railway tunnel, or the river bank.

Cormorant photo taken on a visit on 11/9/2010
A dishy view indeed

29th January 2011 South Herefordshire and Walford event

Daytime events aren't good for us, as we are out walking during the day. We made a special effort with an early start so we could make the event before it finished at 16:30. I can remember the day Lost Plane Cache was published. We've never done it because there were no caches in the area to link it to, but four years later there are. It's very flat farmland round here, so we were grateful that the very hard frost kept the mud at bay for most of the day and the cows in their sheds. The most interesting thing round here are the satellite dishes near Kingstone. Dishy View was the best of the day. We got back to the event just after 4pm, but everyone apart from the organizer had left. Oops. I guess for us it's about walking, not talking.
The following Sunday I walked Bob in the rainy forest (of Dean) and we picked up Gangers End, which marks the recently uncovered Mierystock Tunnel. There is still no access to the tunnel though.


22nd January 2011 Pen y Fan

We weren't really out caching today, but just having a great time on a walk round the highest peaks in the Brecon Beacons (see route here). Don't forget that most of our routes are shown on this page. Two and a half years after my DNF we finally completed Off the rails on a crazy train. I sometimes don't mention a lone cache on a day's walking, but this is a real cracker. One of the best we have ever found. There were no surprises for us, as we know the location well, but if you consider the scenery and walking is about as good it gets in the UK, then you enter a disused railway tunnel with flooded entrances you start to see why we like it so much. Will ended up with a very muddy bum, but it's all part of the fun.
This is what I love about caching. This make me proud to be a cacher. Lame roadside caches make me ashamed of the hobby. Take a bow Jo (Flying420uk)!

15 stunning miles and now a flooded tunnel. Ace!

16th January 2011 Yorkley

It was inevitable that a trail of caches would appear in the FoD one day. The problem is that many visitors will just look for the highest density of caches rather than interesting ones. We headed the wrong way round the series as we knew The Flying Boots would be out on a Sunday morning. Sure enough we bumped into them on our second cache. They had just bagged a FTF prize of a £5 WHS voucher at the previous cache! Now that is unusual. The Rec hadn't been published when we left home, but being a series we knew roughly where it was, so we checked our 3G email when we got near and sure enough, there was the listing. The biggest surprise was that we had a 3G signal in the area. Will later found a cracking antler and shortly after we had to abort the caches to get home for a delivery. It was slightly frustrating to have to walk past the last two cache, but we couldn't afford to be late. This was why we had chosen these caches so near home in the first place.


9th January 2011 Coity again

We seem to have been here a lot lately. It's a great place and we took a different route, so that's fine. A couple of new caches had appeared since our last trip, so that was a bonus, but we were really here to find the two caches which eluded us two months ago. While SWMCC20 was no problem (thanks to Morgs4mountains for replacing it) we couldn't find the illusive Cipher Cache 10. We searched the heather for 30 minutes until our hands were numb from the freezing mountain top wind. We would normally quit well before this, but a non-find means an end to the series for us and we have already cracked the next cunning cipher. We shoehorned the final Varteg cache into our route and ended up along the railway at Aberschyan.

Last weekend was spent on the hills around Llangorse doing maintenance and revisiting Allt yr Esgair.

Chrismas tree in a remote spot near the summit of Mynydd Llangorse