Well, it’s been a while since my last Caching Adventures blog. There has been plenty of caching, however I’ve been extremely busy over the past few weeks so haven’t had the time to write a blog entry. We’ve just had quite an exciting week of caching however, as we headed down to Lewes, Sussex for my birthday week. It also ended up that we had chosen one of the best places to head for firework celebrations and were able to combine all of my most favourite things: caching, fireworks, and shopping! 😀
We headed off into Lewes on Saturday 5th to see their firework celebrations, which are arguably the best in the country. We had planned to grab a few sneaky caches whilst everyone was distracted by the entertainment. That didn’t happen however, as we had underestimated just how many people would be there and there were many police officers standing at the spots that we needed to search. Just far too many muggles to risk it. The fireworks celebrations were really something amazing though. We arrived in the town around 5:30pm to see flames disappearing past the crowds in the distance.
We lined up and watched as the whole of the town paraded through the streets in various costumes holding flaming torches. In Lewes there are 7 different rival bonfire societies and all of them have special costumes and traditions. We were quite shocked to see that some of the societies had bangers that they threw into the crowds. They made the most explosive bangs and really hurt our ears. They were very dramatic however, and were followed by flares and various fireworks exploding in the streets!
After the parades seemed to end the fireworks started around 8-ish, so we headed through the crowds to one of the 7 sites. The firework display was ok, not as amazing as the parade, but with an exploding giant Gaddafi it certainly was different! After that there were more parades. It really was the most brilliant evening of fireworks that we would highly recommend, as long as you don’t mind huge crowds.
The following day we headed off to actually find some caches. We were staying just a couple of miles down the road from the HNY (Happy New Year) 2011 series. This took us through Barcombe Mills and Barcombe reservoir which were actually also local walks recommended by the owners of the cottage that we were staying at. We could see why as there was some really lovely scenery as we passed through the mills.
Near the beginning of the series we were also able to grab an extra cache, WW2 Pillbox (Barcombe). Finding a cache near a pillbox is obviously nothing new, however this was a great little pillbox which was litter-free so we were able to go for a little explore before finding the cache.
After the pillbox, the series carried on along a disused railway line. The cache hiding places were quite varied and the hints generally very useful when needed.
The series then passed into a nice little woodland which we were able to explore whilst finding the caches. There were some particularly interesting mushrooms scattered through the woodland.
As we passed through the woods there were a few muggles that we walked past. We knew we were following another cacher, however their name disappeared from the logbooks in a strange place. We wondered where they had disappeared off to! The series then took a strange route where we had a short linear route for 4 caches before heading back and joining the rest of the loop. It seemed strange, however once we got to the end of the stretch things started to make sense. We were stood next to a loud, gushing weir. It was brilliant!
Slightly less brilliant was what we realised we had to do to retrieve the cache. It was up a tree… somewhere. The hint told us that if we looked hard enough we would see the cache. We looked, and looked. 10 minutes later and we still hadn’t seen it. There were a few trees that it could be up, but a spoiler photo of the correct tree was available on the cache page so I loaded it up on my iPhone. Whilst we waited for the photo to load we sat and had lunch (It was, after all a great spot for it!). 15 minutes later and the photo confirmed which tree we needed to climb. Andy shot up the tree, despite not being able to see where the cache would be. 10 minutes later he was still up there scratching around, and we were then joined by a couple of “muggles” that we had walked past earlier. They stood and looked up at Andy up the tree so I thought it best to explain ourselves. “We’re geocaching” I said, ready to launch into my massive explanation. “So are we!” they said. BRILLIANT! They were Ridleys17, the cachers that we were following. Their name had disappeared from the logbooks because they headed back to look again for one they couldn’t find. We all stood around the tree trying to spot the cache. It was no good and eventually Andy headed back down. At the EXACT minute that Andy’s feet hit the floor, Mr. Ridleys17 said “There it is!” and spotted the cache!!!!! He shot up the tree in about a third of the time that it had taken Andy and threw the cache down for us to sign. Hooray! What an adventure!
We spent the rest of the series with Ridleys17. They told us that they had only been caching for a month, but you really couldn’t tell as they were quick to find the caches, and Mr. Ridleys17 was extremely brave climbing up a big bridge structure to grab a D3/T4 cache. 😀 It was lovely to share caching experiences and have some company for the rest of the series. One of my most favourite things about Geocaching is the social side of it, bumping into a random stranger with a common interest and spending the day with them! 🙂
I’ll admit we were quite lazy cachers during our week away. The problem was that we stayed in the most cosy, beautiful cottage with an open log fire and it was hard to tear ourselves away from it. We did however take a trip into Brighton and Eastbourne to pick up a few odd caches here and there. The dark weather meant that there weren’t many muggles out, meaning we could grab a tricky cache on Eastbourne Pier.
On the Thursday we headed off to do a massive series over 14 miles. We packed up the car and headed off to start at Fletching to Newick #1.
We parked up, looked in the back of the car and our caching bag was nowhere to be seen! Oh no! We had left it on the chair at the cottage meaning pens, stickers, TB’s, swag, everything was there! It was too late to go back, but at least we had the bag with the food and drink in and we had our GPSr too. We had a couple of spare pens in the car as well, so were able to head off with the bare essentials. We got off to a good start, however after signing the first couple of caches we realised that the reason those spare pens were left in the car was because they didn’t actually work! We were left having to etch our names in logbooks in available spaces. I was annoyed at first, but we did see the funny side in the end! To top things off, my phone hadn’t charged over night and I was operating with 34% battery! The series was all micros, however they were mostly film cans inside slightly larger pots so were slightly easier to find. It was a nice series, with some nice views and sounds of trains from the Bluebell railway all of the way around. By the end of the series, however, we felt like we never wanted to see another film can again, which I seem to remember was the feeling we had after doing the similar series near by!
The highlight for us was bumping into a very friendly swan about half way around. She thought we had something for her, and despite me being scared at first I soon warmed to her and realised she just wanted attention. We’re used to having swans hiss at us along the river, so having one that wandered up to us was very different!
We finished our week in Sussex on Friday with a visit to the East Chilington series. A series of 13 caches over 4 miles. We’d been very lucky for the week and the weather was very mild for the time of year, however the Friday felt very cold and misty. The ground was wet and muddy. We started to remember what autumn caching was really like! 😉
There were some great stiles along the series, which were specially made from oak. If only all stiles were this easy to climb over and didn’t require crazy balancing acts to conquer!
Near the end of the series we passed through a farm and passed through a field of alpacas. Nice to see something other than horses and cows! 😉 We then walked past a big plastic cylinder in a pen and were surprised when 2 piggies came out to say hello. They were both very friendly and I spent a little while standing there saying “Awww! Aren’t they cute!” 😀
Our last day in Sussex made us remember last year’s autumn and winter caching experiences: Soaked shoes, wet feet, wet trousers, and mud everywhere. Oh well! Looks like it’s time to do it all again!!! 😉
Happy autumn caching!