All night the rain had hammered down on the tent and when we awoke in the morning it was still raining. We cooked our brekkie on the stove, in the rain and then covered ourselves in a waterproof jacket, trousers and watertite shoes. It was still raining but we were still caching!!!
We had decided to do the huge Way Down West loop (GC24XHH) today. This is the “nearly a powertrail” of 109 caches just north of Barnstaple, Devon. It was a total of 20miles, in a figure of 8. We decided to break it up and do the top half of the 8. This ended up giving us just over 50 caches for the day…
The first 4 were simple, but as the rain beat down on us we struggled to find number 5. It was listed as a small but ended up being a micro. I moved a tiny rock on the off chance and there it was! That emphasises the importance of knowing the cache size as it does determine where you look! We followed this with 2 DNFs which look like they had fallen in the hedges and then #9 was unobtainable due to a huge herd of bulls standing right at GZ. They had a young one with them too. We decided it wasn’t worth the risk and moved on. We were very close to giving up with the trail as it wasn’t looking great, but luckily we didn’t as we did get all of the other caches. We grabbed #1-#25, #76-#105 and #74 on the road as we passed.
The caches were all pretty close together, mostly under 0.2mi from the last and it was pretty easy to navigate and most paths very well kept, however it wasn’t a very exciting trail and there sadly weren’t many exciting points. This is definitely a “for the numbers” run. There were however a couple of cool finds. There was an official geocaching.com rock cache, I’d never seen this rock before only the cheaper, smaller ones. There was also a magnetic bolt cache. Very cool! Took a while to find that one having never come across one.
One thing we have learnt from today is that when you are caching in Devon, a pile of suspicious looking rocks/a suspicious looking stone doesn’t equal a geocache location! From all the slate mines there are hundreds of bits lying around!!!!!
At the end of it my shoes were saturated and my feet sore and wet. I am however very glad we went caching despite it being the worst weather we have ever cached in. We managed to reach our 800th find also, which was a big bonus.
We then finished back near the church before changing out of our saturated clothes and shoes. It was over. Fingers crossed for sunshine for the next day…
It was then back to the tent for one of those cool pouches of camping food I’ve recently blogged about. We’ve had the chili and lamb hotpot ones so far. They’re awesome and all cooked in under 5mins