A “Busy” weekend with Team Essex


Last year I was very excited when I saw the Sussex Olympic Rings puzzles released and I tried very hard to solve them. We didn’t get the opportunity to head to Sussex to actually find them last year, but with the bank holiday coming up and my fingers tightly crossed for good weather I teamed up with Stones2005, Yorkie63, MummaD, Helennbrian, Hollyncharlie, and Andy750x to form Team Essex and we headed down south. 2 heads are better than 1 and as 10 heads are even better than 2, so together we managed to also completely solve BHQM (Burgess Hill Question Mark). That gave us 85 puzzles solved and ready for finding during our Busy weekend in Sussex…

Day 1 – Challenge caches and a challenging hill!

I headed to Sussex with Andy750x on the Friday and we decided to set ourselves a mini challenge. As we had 85 puzzles lined up to get, we thought we’d aim to grab 100 puzzles for the trip so first we stopped off in Kent to find the Assiduous Cacher Challenge caches. I’d worked out a long while ago that we qualified for 17 out of 20 of the challenges, so that was good enough for me to justify a nice morning walk around Scadbury Nature Reserve, where they were all hidden.

Entering the Reserve

Entering the Reserve

The reserve was an absolutely beautiful place to walk around and was reasonably quiet in the morning. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and there were many butterflies all around. It had been quite a mission trying to work out which challenges we qualified for, however, it was well worth it for the beautiful walk through the bluebell-filled woods.

The reserve was full of pretty bluebells

The reserve was full of pretty bluebells

The caches were relatively easy to find, apart from a couple which required some keen eyes. On route we bumped into a muggle who asked if we were looking for fungus (Hehe, haven’t heard that one before) and a lovely muggle lady who knew what we were doing and told us that she had found one of the geocaches in the reserve and always checks it’s still in place when she walks past.

After all that challenge caching, it was time for a rest on a conveniently shaped tree before heading off to Sussex.

Taking a break

Taking a break

We met up at Tottingham Totter #31 in Fulking with stones2005. Mrs. Stones2005 had spotted the 8 miler as a nice walk to do. She wasn’t wrong, but as the cache description mentioned “nice views” that could only mean one thing… a giant hill!!! We parked the car and looked up to see what was in store for us. The cache we started at was an excellent starting point as it meant we would conquer the hill, have an easy walk for the rest of the series and then finish at the pub! πŸ˜€ At the beginning here there was also a very nice little spring.

A beautiful spring at the start of the walk

A beautiful spring at the start of the walk

We then climbed the hill past the National Trust sign and through a herd of cows. Eek! I’d usually be really scared of them, but it looked like a popular walking route so they didn’t bother me too much.

I didn't notice someone had removed the 'L' until I looked at the photo I'd taken. Lol!

I didn’t notice someone had removed the ‘L’ until I looked at the photo I’d taken. Lol!

Moooooooove out the way!

Moooooooove out the way!

Soon (after a bit of huffing and puffing) we were at the top and could admire the amazing views whilst we found the series’ earthcache.

Mrs. Stones2005 at the earthcache

Mrs. Stones2005 at the earthcache

Great views on a fine day.

Great views on a fine day.

As we looped around to the end we spotted the hill that we had climbed previously. I imagine if we started at #01 that spotting the hill would cause me to cry “Oh no, we don’t have to climb that, do we???” So I was very glad it was already out of the way!

It was good to know that we've already climbed the hill!!!

It was good to know that we’ve already climbed the hill!!!

After a quick stop off at the pub for a cider as a reward we headed off to Blacklands Farm where we were camping for the weekend to find the rest of Team Essex already pitched up and saving our spot so we could huddle around the camp fire and plan our route to scoop up the puzzles!

We definitely needed a Firepit to keep warm!

We definitely needed a Firepit to keep warm!

Day 2 – V for Victory!

We were up super early on Saturday morning as there was an 8am Flash mob for May the 4th around where the Olympic rings puzzles were placed. We all gathered around Lindfield Common for a quick piccie before we headed off on our adventure.

Cachers gathering on Lindfield Common

Cachers gathering on Lindfield Common

The slight issue with the Olympic “rings” caches was that once solved, they weren’t very…well… “ring-like” and although a couple of the colours made for nice walks, the rest were very scattered. We had planned the best order to do them all though and as the weather forecast wasn’t looking very promising for the afternoon we tackled the walks in the morning.

The rest were picked up during short walks and cache and dashes. We found a very good use for little Cass though as when finding caches for the black ring he was able to sneak into gaps and under bridges to grab the caches for us!

Little Cass gets into the places where big Cass can't!

Little Cass gets into the places where big Cass can’t!

One of the nicest sights of the Olympic Rings series was seeing the 450m long Ouse Valley viaduct. It was absolutely massive.

Ouse Valley Viaduct

Ouse Valley Viaduct

The olympic rings caches took nearly the entire day to complete, way longer than we had anticipated. There was a really nice reward at the end though as by grabbing the bonus caches from each of the rings we had the coordinates that we needed to find the Bronze, Silver, and Gold medal caches. Each of these were big containers at fantastic, well planned locations. I’d love to show you a few of the piccies, but I’d probably be giving it away. Here’s one of the containers though…

The bronze medal cache

The bronze medal cache

Although the medal caches were nice rewards on their own for the hours spent puzzling and hours spent dashing around the area, we made our own reward as well by visiting the appropriately named pub, “The Victory Inn” for a celebratory pint to finish the day… or not…

A victory for Team Essex!!!

A victory for Team Essex!!!

Whilst sat enjoying our drinks we decided that we would properly finish the day by also finishing the BHQM puzzles. We were all completely knackered, but after refuelling we headed off to finish the already long day with 18 finds and 1 DNF, however I was able to replace the missing cache that we DNF’ed with the cache owners permission making it 86 puzzle cache finds in a day!!! WOW! It was very late when we got back to the campsite, but we were safe in the knowledge that our epic mission was complete. I definitely think we won a gold medal for our massive team effort!!!

Day 3 – Winding down

After our very busy couple of days caching we teamed up with Helennbrian to do a few short series whilst the rest of the team tackled the fabulous Devils Dyke. We had already walked that series so we left them to complete it.

We started off with Retreat Walk, a 2.7 mile walk for 17 caches before heading off to do West Hoathly Wander which took us past Philpots quarry. Both were lovely walks and far more relaxing than the day before’s hectic run around!!!

Very cute donkeys on the Retreat Walk

Very cute donkeys on the Retreat Walk

Elton Cass models a nice bit of swag from one of the caches

Elton Cass models a nice bit of swag from one of the caches

The marker stone for Philpots quarry

The marker stone for Philpots quarry

We finished the day with a few church micros and a long rest at the pub. πŸ˜€

Day 4 – Packing up

And so it was the last day of our trip away 😦 Packing up is always the worst bit, especially when you’re feeling pretty tired after lots of walking! There was time for one last series though, and after the tent was packed away we chose Wineham Wonder as it was only a short walk from the campsite. This series took us for a lovely walk along the river on the hottest day of our trip. The hides were a little different from easily hidden film cans, so a few had us guessing for a little while, but we managed to find all of the caches on the series which were enabled. 6 miles later and we were back at the camp site ready to head off home.

There were a few nice weirs along the walk

There were a few nice weirs along the walk

The path ran alongside the river for most of the journey back to camp

The path ran alongside the river for most of the journey back to camp

Awwww, little goslings on the way back to camp

Awwww, little goslings on the way back to camp

In the absence of Little Cass, Yorkie63 got under the bridge whilst Alfie tried to help!

In the absence of Little Cass, Yorkie63 got under the bridge whilst Alfie tried to help!

There was time for one last cache though. Stones2005 had visited Church Micro 111 before and said it was a really lovely Church. We headed there on the way home to find St Hugh’s Charterhouse monastery. It was absolutely beautiful and a fantastic cache to finish the trip on! πŸ˜€

St Hughes from near GZ

St Hughes from near GZ

A close up of the Monastery

A close up of the Monastery

I just want to say a big thank you to all my friends in Team Essex who made the weekend trip very special. It was great being able to grab the Olympic Rings and BHQM puzzles together and great to have such a mega caching trip. I’ve been snowed under with uni assignments recently and haven’t been able to get out to do much caching nor had any time to tile the bathroom! πŸ˜‰ It was lovely to spend so much time with such lovely people. The caches were just an added bonus. πŸ™‚

6 Responses to “A “Busy” weekend with Team Essex”

  1. Annemarie Halls Says:

    Brilliant log. Lovely to hear all about your weekend. I’m not surprised you are all knackered. 86 puzzle caches in one day – EPIC. πŸ˜€

  2. swisscrusoe Says:

    Great account. Being a local cacher I’ve done several of the series mentioned and also did the flashmob and Wineham Wonder this last weekend too. Glad you enjoyed your time in Sussex, I must have missed your tshirt at the flash.

  3. geocachingwithgeokids Says:

    Nicely done. I’ve not even begun to look at the Olympic rings other than the occasional “that would look better as smilies” on my map. I’m not much of a puzzle solver yet so still tend to stick with trade and multi’s.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely photo’s though, it does look like a nice area to visit.

  4. Tootsie's Trackers Says:

    Hi, I just wanted to say what a fab report on what must have been a great adventure. Really glad you enjoyed doing some of mine and the wife’s (cachedrag0n) caches and as for finding 86 mystery caches in one day must be some sort of record.
    Very Well Done to ‘Team Essex’..
    Cheers
    Paul

  5. Matt Musgrove Says:

    Great blog and well done on your EPIC caching weekend πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed my Tottington Totter and the Sussex Olympic Rings Medal caches too!
    Matt (a.k.a. lost!)

  6. Tim Says:

    Just got around to reading your log on Yellow 12 (Bonus) – Sussex Olympic Rings and saw the link to your blog, Cass. What a fantastic weekend you must’ve had. And even the weather wasn’t t o o o bad for a May Bank Holiday weekend! It usually rains from Friday to Tuesday. This is a really effective way to remember such caching events and, of course, takes a lot of effort to put together. All the best
    Alison n Tim
    AnTsInRpAnTs


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