Geocaching and Trigpointing

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1 - 100      01/04/2006 - 06/08/2006
101 - 205  13/08/2006 - 25/02/2007
206 - 309  04/03/2007 - 07/05/2007

310 - 434  28/05/2007 - 05/08/2007
435 - 600  19/08/2007 - 23/12/2007
601 - 707  31/12/2007 - 07/04/2008

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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!

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

Our Geocaching Diary

Brean Down from the beach

28th June 2008

We like to try and do something a little special for our milestone caches and today would see in number 800. So it was off to the Bristol Channel to Brean Down in Somerset. Brean Down is a short, hilly penninsula which is reknowned for it's wildlife and has the ruin of an old fort on it. The fort was built in the 1850's to protect Britain from France's new steel hulled ships. The fort was re-opened for WWII, where it was upgraded with two 6" guns and searchlights.
On the way to the first cache we were held up in the road by a herd of cows being driven by a farmer. It was interesting watching an ambulance trying to get past.



The main event was Brean Fort Wherigo Cache. A Wherigo is a new cache type. Think of it as a techno multicache. You need a new generation Garmin GPSr or a GPSr enabled PocketPC to run the cartridge. A cartridge is a set of rules (or a program) that triggers location based events. So when you walk to a certain point media can be activated. For instance, when you reach the trig point the GPSr detects you're there and tells you about trigpoints. It then asks you a question about the location. If you answer correctly it tells you to go to another location... and so on until you finally reach a cache. The cache itself was great fun and very educational.


Brean Down Trigpoint
Clevedon Pier at night Have you seen Mike Ash? and I've Never Brean Down Here Before were two very clever cache names. The formed being one of two interesting puzzle caches. The other one had a very sneaky hide. We finished the day by driving into Clevedon to get fish and chips before visiting the amusements on the peer. This would turn out to be the last time we would do this as it burnt down three weeks later.
Finally we did another Wherigo in Clevedon, though having completed it we failed to find the final micro. They never were my strong point though.

22nd June 2008

What with birthdays and Father's Day, bad weather etc another three weeks go by with no caching. The weather was very windy today, so we decided to stay close to home. We did 9 caches over the day, but only went to two places we didn't already know. The best walk, was up Gray Hill, but with another bad chest infection it was very hard work and for once it was me gasping at the top while Will was ready to go on. I must say that the next bit was probably the most frustrating of any cache we've ever done. We had to count arches and chimneys several miles away. I'd brought some small, but powerful binoculars, but the wind was so strong on the hill top that it was nearly impossible to hold them still enough. It turned out we'd got everything wrong, but the errors cancelled each other out. On our travels we met a screaming small child. She was hysterical about the Adder she had found basking on the path. It is pretty unusual to see them round here though.

Adder on Gray Hill
Pill box near the Severn crossing

We did a circular walk of a few other caches, mostly placed by The Blorenges. A rock band were playing at Caldicot Castle as we found a sneaky camoflaged cache there. Another interesting one was the Counting Welsh Sheep puzzle. We ended up in a place I would love to end up at one day, but at the end of a much longer walk. The stone at the start of Offa's Dyke Path marks the beginning (or end) of a wonderful 177 mile walk along the English / Welsh border. Maybe when Will's grown up I can have a go at it. Who knows, he may even come with me then, but that's all a long way off.


16th June 2008

Nearly forgot this one as it was primarily a walking day out. I had the perfect Father's Day in the Brecon Beacons, with my son Will and Bob too of course. Will had never been up Fan y Big, so we did the classic walk letting him find two of our caches along with A Canadian Memory and Alien Encounter I. It was the perfect chance to give my new Merrell Wrap's a good test run. They've since proved to be an excellent waterproof shoe and very comfortable too. No more soaking feet after walking through grass after a heavy summer dew.

Will loved his walk and it was great for me to show him the places I love most. He was tired at the end of the 12 miles, so he took a break while I went to find Off the Rails on a Crazy Train.

Will at A Canadian Memory Wellington Bomber memorial
Pete on the Diving Board at Fan y Big

As I said, we couldn't find the cache, but it was a great fun cache anyway. I'd far rather DNF a cache like this than find 10 boring roadside micros. People must think that we're in it for the numbers with around 800 finds, but I can honestly say that couldn't be further from the truth. Unfortunately I can't say too much about the cache as it may spoil it for others, but we'll definitely be back again to walk the mountains round here before too long, so when we do - you can bet we'll be back for this bad boy.

The evening was so fabulous and Cath was at work, so we were in no hurry to get home, that we stopped for a drink and enjoyed what may well be one of very few sunny evenings this summer. Stella, sun, son, beautiful views, great memories. The best way to end a day.


31st May 2008

Our first proper day of caching since the beginning of the month. As much as I love it, it's good to have a break now and then. We'd visited Nailsworth in March 2007 and done the few caches there in a series of short walks. We don't find this a very enjoyable way to cache, so this time we planned an 11 mile route round the 9 new caches there. Only one multi and 8 of the caches owned by 2 teams. We got the multi out of the way first and then just enjoyed a leisurely day strolling through meadows and along an old railway, which has been converted to a cycle track. The village straddles a green valley and there are great views (if somewhat more built up than we're used to) along the way. The weathers been atrocious lately, but today was the one good day. Even then it went very heavy for a while, but then passed and remained pretty hot.


Because of my back I decided to just carry some water and no back pack, but then we struggled to find a shop to buy lunch, even though we knew where one was. It appears to have closed down. This meant we had to divert to walking along a busy road so that we could find a petrol station to get provisions before we starved. We needed some more liquid too. The last of our water was spent giving this poor frog a shower as he was just standing in the middle of a lane in the midday heat. Will prodded him on the bum and he jumped to the saftey and shade of the verge.
We had a great email from sly2 telling us that Ash's Keyring Cache is named after Ash from Pokémon. You may remember that Will is Pokémon mad. Their pets are Ash, Brock and Misty! All human characters from the anime.

Our favourite of the day was This one Had Roast Beef as it was off the beaten track and on a nice hill. Just how we like it.


24th May 2008

We had three weeks off caching. Well almost. Two new local caches came up within a week of each other. People think I'm joking when I say we get about four a year. Well sadly I'm not. I picked up one on the way to work. It was one of those odd occasions where you've got all the details to work out the final coords of a multi because you know the area so well and have thought about placing a cache there. I'd also photographed all the railway related information boards over a year ago. I left the other cache until the weekend and used it for a walking route from home. The 10 mile walk was very enjoyable, and to be honest a quick cache 'n' dash would have meant nothing to me. An extreme cache also appeared in Newent, so I went to investigate after work one evening. Hippos Below is in a disused canal tunnel. I make it about 0.88 miles in.

Newland from near Pingry Lane
Will Looking for Linda

I tried to investigate without a boat, just using waders, boots and a head torch, but it was way too dangerous. It was like walking on quick sand and I struggled to get my foot free only a few yards in. I will return one day.

Will had a terrible cold and just as he was getting over it we did a couple of maintenance trips and I pulled a muscle in my back. The pain was excruciating and it put me out of action for a few days. We did meet some other cachers whilst visiting Looking for Linda though.

I also did a couple of very dull caches in Swindon on a business trip.


5th May 2008

This was the weekend that we'd been looking forward to for a year. The 2008 South Wales Event III was taking place in Clyne Farm in the Gower. We were up at 6am on Saturday, the car had been mostly packed the night before, so we just had to get breakfast, make lunch and load the last few things and head for the sea. We said hello to the campers, who we didn't know a year ago, but now feel we know so well, then put up our new, much smaller Outwell pop-up tent. It was all done in minutes and we were off for a days walking and caching. I'd planned a couple of routes and today would see us walking from Oystermouth Castle, round the Mumbles and down to Pwlldu Bay and then back to the start.

Oystermouth Castle
Newton Cliff

We had a fabulous 12 mile walk with 12 caches along the way. Most were very good, though it is easy to place caches in such a beautiful place. We failed to find a magnetic micro, but came back in the evening and found it easily. It must have been the early start, but we were starving. Lunch was eaten in a park by 10:30 and as we hit Oystermouth we popped into Greggs. Very typically I opted for savoury and Will went for sweet. We later had a very interesting twin cone of Grapefruit and Vanilla. Yuck! A couple of stops for drinks were also needed and one for chocolate. It was very hot and there was a fair bit of climbing, especially as the summer beach dog ban had just come into force. This meant a couple of detours.


We got back to the farm and all the day visitors had long since gone, but the hardcore were in for the haul. The barbecue had been postponed as the weather didn't look too good, so we went out to get chips (a really healthy day) and after a sociable evening we got an early night.

The next day was our day to take it easy. No big walk, just caches here and there. We found seven, including out first Satellite Kid cache. 1136 - Land without soul was the best of the day and took us to one of those interesting places you never would know about if it was not for caching. The site of The Battle of Gower on 1/1/1136.

We spent the rest of the day struggling to find an open swimming pool and having sunday lunch in a pub.

Whiteshell Point
1136 - Land without soul

Sunday evening was barbecue time and I really enjoyed chatting with the campers while Will had a ball playing with the kids and toasting marshmallows on the BBQ.

I should also mention that 10 of our number took place in what was billed as the muddiest assault course in the world on Sunday. The video can be seen on YouTube

We packed up on Monday morning and said our goodbyes, then set off for Cefn Bryn. This was the other circular walk that I'd planned. Parking wasn't too easy, but having the route plotted on the GPSr we knew we could park at any point where the route crossed a road and soon found a parking area near Penrice Castle.


The first cache of the walk was supposedly a traditional, so we spent 20 minutes looking for the cache. When itt became evident that we weren't going to find it we read the listing in it's entirety only to find it was really a multi cache. I can't understand why other finders wouldn't do something about this obvious error. We got it sorted as soon as we got home so that others won't waste their time as we did. The walk took us on to the sand dunes and then up to the top of the cliff at Little Tor. It was a hard climb up the sand in the very oppressive weather conditions. The views at Tor Bay Cache were as good as they come though. We then headed off for the ridge. It was a pretty easy walk when all's said and done. We met two couples on the way round that had started their walk as we did, but had gone round in the opposite direction. Amazingly they both reconised us and said hello.

Cefn Bryn
Cefn Bryn Trigpoint

We did a few caches near Arthur's Stone, which was a real bog. Will had decided to walk 12 miles in his Crocs, which turned out fine apart from getting soaking feet here. Still, there was an Ice Cream van and he consoled himself by getting the largest ice cream that was on offer. After that was headed down the hill and back to the car. The highest point was only about 600 feet, so as I say, it was a pretty easy walk. We finished the day as we had started it, by picking up a quick micro as a cache 'n' dash then headed home. We didn't get home until 20:30 and Will had school the next day. We completed 31 caches and the event as well of course. A great weekend, with some fab caches and countryside and some brilliant people. Next years event is nearer to home, in the Brecon area. The downside is that we won't have many caches to find.


24th April 2008

We were hoping to get a couple of caches found on our way to North Somerset, but as we were meeting a bunch of cachers in a car park at 10:15 it didn’t happen. We nabbed the last space in the car park at the foot of Wavering Down just after 10am and milled around for half an hour with a couple of familiar faces and many new ones. The occasion was a pre-event caching trip with The Morgan Mob and others to find their 1000th cache. The walk actually took in two caches, though we had done one of them before. We picked up the clues for Only a Hill on then headed to Crooks Peak. The cache sits under a steep rock face, so we took the opportunity to make "999 TMM" out of rocks and pose for a picture taken from the top. We finally met Sniffadogz (FTF hounds) and Follow Me Chaps, who we had both missed at the South Wales event last year. There was a small cave at the 1000th cache, and Robin (FMC) took Will through as well as his dog (with TB), The Beast that Barks. A great time was had by all and TMM cracked open a bottle of fizz at the appropriate moment.

Crook Peak revisited
999 or Bob?

Once back at the car park we headed off with Sniffadogz and Birdman-of-lizkatraz to grab a nearby cache, then off to the pub for the event.

We’ve never been to a pub event before, but it’s pretty much as you would imagine. People sitting, talking geocaching and generally having a good time with other geeks. I won’t go down the TB/geocoin route as that’s just too geeky for an outsider – or even an insider in this case!

The weather was spectacular compared to the year so far and Will, Bob and I set off for Fry’s Hill. There were another four caches there on the steep hill overlooking Cheddar Reservoir. We bumped into a couple of cachers from the event. It was hot work and we were glad of some shade on the way up. The highest cache was in a field full of cows and calves, but there was no problem this time.


Red Dot Nano was a very clever hide on The Strawberry Line railway line, which is now a cycle track. We returned in the early evening sunshine to enjoy fish and chips. Perfect. Another very sneaky and original nano followed this at A Stylish Nano. Being far from micro fans, we loved both of these extremely small hides due to the originality and general sneakiness.

We finished with exactly the reason we don’t like micros. A lazy 35mm film canister behind a rock in a lame location. Rubbish.

The Old Severn Bridge was closed on the way home, so we paid our £5.30 only to be diverted miles out of the way. Just as well petrol is only £1.10 a litre at the moment! TomTom disgraced itself again by suggesting we went back over the bridge after we had paid the toll. I’m seriously thinking about putting Mio Maps back on.

The Morgan Mob and friends celebrate 1000 finds

30 deer running down the hill

18th April 2008

The M50 from Ross on Wye takes you east to the M5. A few miles from here is Bredon Hill. Although there is no series of caches the route around the top of the hill is about 13 miles and takes in 9 caches. This was the plan for today. It was a dry but windy day, maybe not the best for walking on the top of a lone hill on the edge of the Cotswolds, as the surrounding land is very flat indeed. The rest of the weekend was miserable as it turned out.

We parked in the pretty Ashton-under-hill and ascended to the first cache taking an anti-clockwise route. After this cache we diverted to the nearby trigpoint where our way was blocked by about 30 deer. After shooting about 30 photos we re-trod our steps to get back on track. After 30 minutes we came across 12 stags and a few young in a field.


The stags were about 80 yds from us and kept a cautious eye on us. This stage of the walk is along the north edge of the hill, which is very steep, so the wind was bitter. We were glad when we disappeared behinds some woods despite missing the view.

High and Dry was the closest we came to a DNF due to using an old hint on my POI. The cache had been in a tree. As I said, it gets pretty windy up here, so guess what. Another poor carcass of a black lamb lay near the cache. Will is certainly learning about natures cruelty.
The following cache had somehow gone missing recently, which is amazing when you consider how remote it is. The cache had been replaced, then DNF’d twice, so we weren’t expecting to find it, but it was a very easy find. The last two and next one were containers which we had never seen before. This was a huge test tube shaped paintball ammo container apparently.

Bob swimming

It wasn’t until we sat down to eat our lunch at 2pm that we saw anyone at all. The last 1/3 of the walk was quite different from the rest. It was more of a walk through a park/estate. There were a couple of very quaint Cotswold villages, though we were surprised to see that the buildings only dated back to near the start of the 20th century. They looked much older.

The last oddity was one of those paths that go right through someone’s garden, and I mean right through it. It feels very odd walking along one of these paths. My wife doesn’t like to do it, but I always say that the path was there a long time before the house, so if they don’t like it they shouldn’t have built/bought the house.

This was a perfect days caching for us. The length, ascent and number of caches were just right. The views were pretty good for round there too.


14th April 2008

There aren't many caches for us to do in Wales now without traveling a long way and the roads are usually pretty windy too, so it was great to do some that had appeared since we last visited the area north of Newport. We started with a very nice multi around the Roman town of Caerleon. There is an incredible amount of Roman evidence on view here, and you can just roam around it. At another cache we had a mix up with a TB, both thinking the other had it. It wasn't until we were on our way to the next cache along the M4 that we realised what had happened. When we got back to the cache, there was the TB just sitting on a pile of leaves. Oh well, no harm done, but that was close.

We next tackled a series of four micros. I had left these since last summer as I really don't like micros in the countryside.

Caerleon Ampitheatre
Nant-y-draenog reservoir I have to say that two of them were in great locations, which I had visited last year whilst walking the Raven Walk. If you read my log then I'm sure I commented on how difficult it proved to follow the trail. Well they're waymarked it properly now and created new Raven Posts, as the wood sculptures had been badly vandelised.
We found two more multis, and had a good time in the sunshine just chatting and walking.
After nine caches we had another go at CC28 Bedwelty, the only CC cache we didn't complete and our only DNF of the 50 cache series. The skies opened and we were forced to give up on the cache again. I think it's cursed.

11th April 2008

We have great memories of some fabulous summer caching in 2006 on the other side of the Severn from home, and enough new caches had built up since then to give us a day of caching in this area. Because of the toll bridge (£5.30 now) we try to cross the bridge and then cache our way up towards Gloucester and come home over the much smaller bridge there.
After a couple of caches we headed for Berkeley
Castle to do A Walk with the Deer. We ran into a few problems here as one of the signs required had been changed. We made an educated guess at the intended result and got it completely wrong. Another clue was very vague, so we needed to allow for this too. After the clue gathering stage we headed off to the deer park to find the cache. The park and cache were very clear about staying on paths and I noticed our destination was on a track

Berkeley Castle
Will near Vindi

rather than a path, so I began to have grave doubts. We read the hint and a few seconds later reached a point which could possibly match the hint. Low and behold the cache was there! This is the first time we have ever done this through a complete fluke, so we were pretty pleased.
Later we headed to Vindi. This cache is about the Vindicatrix, a training sailing ship used by boys before they joined the Merchant Navy. The river was like molten mud and it's really strange to see the forest so close, but so far away.

Our favourite of the day was Waterways Wander. A pleasant little stroll along a disused canal. We were forced to re-route when a swan just would not budge from the middle of the towpath. We tried to get past, but it got very aggressive as we approached it - especially as Bob was with us.


It became evident that the swan wasn't going to move, so we had to. The late afternoon sun was brilliant and after we'd found the cache we retraced our tracks back to the pub near where the swan was. Locals at the pub fed the swan scraps and they seemed to know each other.
We finished up with a cache that's been placed on the exact site of Moonherb's archived Windmill Hill cache. I can never understand why people do that. It's not a particulary remarkable spot, so anywhere along the stretch of river would do. We had to go through a narrow field which was full of cows. This is normally pretty daunting, but these cows were a little nervous, and ran a mile when we made a bit of a rumpus.

After 10 caches had been found we headed home for the start of another cache free weekend. Not to worry we've got Monday and Friday off agin next week.

Sharpness docks