Journey to the Peak District
Yesterday’s weather was just right, however today we woke to quite a miserable, drizzley day. The object of today was to get to the Peak District so we could bag our second 5/5 cache and a virtual called “Harry’s Place” that would allow us to find a number that would give us the location of the “Harry’s Other Place” virtual in London. We also fancied the look of a trail around some quarry pits called ‘Quarry Capers’ which we just about got enough time to do to finish our day.
Many of you will have seen the ‘Skeg-to-ness‘ series which stretches from coast to coast. Conveniently part of this runs from where we were staying all the way into the Peak District at the point which we wanted to get to. So, we thought we would grab this on the way there. Pretty much all of the caches along this route had obvious lay-by’s or pull in’s for parking and we were able to park safely off of the road.
We started down near Ollerton with very little traffic on the roads. It seemed like we had chosen the perfect day as despite the rain we weren’t out in it for any long periods of time due to the cache and dashing.
I did the jumping out of the car to grab the caches, and called for assistance when they got a little tricky, but there weren’t too many difficult ones.
As we got closer to the Peak District there were a few additional caches that we could do as drive-by’s. One was ‘Guide Stoops-Beeley Moor II’. The Guide Stoops are stone markers which aided navigation many years ago through the Derbyshire moorland and there are several caches near their spots.
This cache was quite a way off the road on a moor under a prickly bush. It was a horrible spot to get to today as the ground was slippery and the bushes were all spikey. I fell arse-over-tit but luckily (Or rather not so luckily) the spikey bushes broke my fall (Ouch!). Thankfully the cache wasn’t too hard to find after I waded through the undergrowth.
When we got a bit deeper into the Peak District it was clear that the cache hider for this section of Skeg-to-ness wanted to be a bit cleverer with the hides. These did take quite a few extra seconds to find, but we didn’t give up on them until we had them!
Our second 5/5
The Bridge over the River Wye attracted us as it was a 5/5 cache that needed wellies and obviously required us to find a cache that involved getting into the water. So I put on my waterproof jack and leggings and some nice big wellies. The theory was that if I put the waterproof trousers over the top of the wellies then it would stop any kind of water getting in. Erm, no that didn’t work as it seeped through the zips! hehe! I immediately dived into the river at an opening which went above the wellies and filled them with water. I then noticed the opening right next to the bridge which was lovely and shallow. So I clambered back up and enterred at the shallow sensible point! The GPSr told me I didn’t have to go very far to claim the cache, but as I couldn’t see it in the obvious spot I thought I’d delve deeper into the river checking as I went along. With the GPSr telling me I was 40ft off I still continued further and put one foot forward and the rest of me followed down a 2 ft drop into the water!!! By then the water was way above my knees and I bailed out of that spot and waded back to a shallower section.
All of a sudden the cache caught my eye! I was really excited and grabbed it immediately. It was smaller than I was expecting, hence the reason I couldn’t find it on the first search.
I quickly signed the log and got out. I did make this one very hard for myself! In comparison to the 5/5 down the tin mine however this was a walk in the park (Or rather float in the water) but we were happy to have grabbed it, so that’s another adventure bagged! We then had to go back to the car and dry me off. I had expected to get wet so had a spare pair of clothes. We went to the bridge and noticed a huge group of about 30 ramblers admiring the river. If they had been there abour 10 minutes ago they would have had a right giggle at me!!!
A beautiful virtual
We continued along the track towards Harry’s Place. We didn’t really know where we were going as there was nothing in the description about how to get there and stupid (me) had forgotten to load the TOPO maps for ‘tup North onto the GPS. We had a blue line though that was the river so we just followed that around. Some of the paths were really slippery and as usual we never followed the sensible path 😉 Eventually we got there and it was amazing! I fast flowing, ferocious weir. What a great spot for a virtual. We needed to find the number of bolts on the sluice head gear at this spot in order to find the Harrys Other Place coords so we jotted this down and took a picture.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s up the hill we go…
It was quite late by this time however we thought we had time to fit in ‘A Quarry Caper’. This was a 6.5mile stroll/climb around some of the local quarries. It turned out we did have just enough time, but we finished at about 8:30pm just as it was getting dark. We were very glad that we went for it though as there were some amazing views of the quarries.
It was quite a climb to the top of the first hill but once we got there the views were absolutely stunning.
It was then onto the descend, we thought that was the end of the hills, but when we got to the end of the trail we realised that the CO had saved the best til the end.
All of the hides were pretty straight forward other than one micro in a huge rock face. We knew it was in a hole in there somewhere, but we searched and searched and turned up nothing. To make things worse the cache description said that there was a spoiler picture but my iPhone refused to get any signal so that I could peek at it. Just on the verge of giving up and I felt in a hole near the rock. Something plastic! It was the micro! It was so cleverly hidden in a micro sized hole that must have been drilled out for it to fit and then covered in a splodge of moss. Very crafty!
We then came to Darlton Quarry.
Little did we know that there was a footpath through this and we’d have to climb a mad hill in order to get a cache and then get to the top. This tops any of the hills we’d ever conquered as we had to climb the entire thing on our hands and knees! Before finding the 3rd number for the bonus I realised I’d dropped the little piece of paper with the other bonus numbers on. These were 4 and 5 digit numbers which I *tried* to remember but after calculating the GPSr told us those coords were half a mile in the opposite direction. Somehow I didn’t think that sounded right. It was getting dark by now and we didn’t have time to recalculate or mess about so we read the bonus clue and thought we’d wing it. We do this quite a lot so looked for the thing mentioned in the clue about half way between the last cache and the car. It paid off and ended up being at the first place we searched. As I removed some rocks I heard a familiar scrape of metal. An ammo can. What luck!
This ended up being our best day of caching ever as we picked up 59 caches. Another day of great adventures.