Piratemania V – The Essex Invasion!

At last it was time for the Geocaching event that we’d been looking for for months: Piratemania V, a MEGA in the UK. Piratemania is an event in its 5th year which unexpectedly went MEGA last year. As you might gather from the title it’s a pirate-themed event. The actual MEGA was on Saturday 21st July, however we headed to Ashbourne, Derbyshire for fun and frolics camping from Friday to Sunday.

Docking the ship

We pitched our tent up at the campsite late on Friday morning next to fellow Essex cachers mel-ray and happycabbage who had arrived at about the same time as us and soon cracked on with the piratey tent decorations!

The good ship Cassandy

It wasn’t long before we were joined by more of the Essex crew with Hollyncharlie, yorkie63, risktak4r, bigbadjohn1402, tazzy1234, unobtainium, and geotrowel turning up shortly afterwards with most of them pitching their tents along our row so we were all together. With many people arriving after work the camp site was soon packed and heaving with cachers, pirate flags, and some very uniquely decorated tents/motor homes!

Just a small sample of flags!

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Goldhanger Meet and Cache Trails launch 2012

And so it was time again for the Goldhanger Meet and Cache Trails launch event. We had a wonderful time last year when Mr. Crow and Kitty!! gathered us all together on a Saturday for the Goldhanger West competition. This year however, it wasn’t so competitive with the focus being on a nice sociable event with plenty of caches to be had!

There was a choice of walks depending on your ability: the Standard route of 34 caches over 8.7 miles, the Extra route of 54 caches over 14 miles, or the Super route of 74 caches over 20 miles. We picked the “Extra route” and found 53 caches (We had found 1 already) and our GPS logged it as 15.5 miles.

15.5 miles for 53 Geocaches

We got to the area really early with half an hour to spare so we grabbed 5 cache and dashes in the area before arriving at the pub to find some other cachers waiting outside.

Waiting for the pub to open

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MEGA Wales caching – PART 2

Following on from MEGA Wales caching – PART 1…

Saturday – Evening

Saturday Evening was the camping event which was very convenient for us! We headed off to the other field with our BBQ, chairs, burgers, and drinkies and sat in a little circle. It was all very cosy!

Waiting for the burgers to cook

A well packed camping field

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MEGA Wales caching – PART 1

We had the most amazing adventures on a long weekend in Wales for the UK MEGA event last weekend. It was hosted in an area where there weren’t many cache series or trails so caches were a bit sparse in comparison to something like a holiday in Sussex. Our approach was therefore to pick up a handful of really brilliant caches instead and focus on quality. And judging by the amount of photos I took during our trip, I think we really managed it…


We’d booked a long weekend at the campsite for the MEGA Wales event and headed down on Thursday. The route that we were taking into Wales went right past the ‘Cachebusters‘ challenge cache which about a month ago we completed. The idea is that you get across a Blockbuster-style board by filling in some Geocaching tasks. To participate you have to register your intention to join in and from the day that you do that, your slate is wiped clean and all previous finds do not count. I’m very grateful to Hannah of The QC’s who told me about the cache so that I could register my intent on 13th Feb 2011. At the time I did so I thought it’d be years before I got to the area to claim our find, looks like we got there a lot sooner than I thought. So if you haven’t registered, just get to the cache page and post a note letting the CO know that you want to play!

Our journey across the Cachebusters board

Cachebusters! (That's a TB on top!)

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Caching, Waymarking, and the Langdon Plotlands event

On Thursday we went into Peterborough city centre for a few caches and a go at our first real waymarking. To start off the day, however we headed just north of the city for a trail of 22 caches called Helpston Hike. We’d got quite used to poshrule’s hides in this area, however this series was laid by fluffy-chick. There were no hints for the caches so we just had to use our noses. We started off by parking in Helpston near a lovely church. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like the “church micro craze” that we’re quite used to down our way has caught on up here so we quite often drive past lovely churches which would be ideal spots for a church micro, but don’t have caches there yet.

Helpston Church, but no church micro

After passing through a horse pasture we reached the first cache, which definitely put a smile on our faces. At this point we thought that the series may be a little bit more special than we had realised!

A cache to make you smile!

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Goldhanger West Meet – A very special event

Saturday was the day for a very special event, Goldhanger West Meet and Cache Trail Launch (West). This was an event in Essex organised by cachers schoolfrenz and The Kitty Cachers which preceded a new cache trail launch… with a twist…

The new Goldhanger West trail that was launched consisted of 23 caches over around 6 miles, plus 3 new multis in Chigborough Lakes Nature Reserve. This all added up to around 8 miles of walking. We all met at the pub at 9am for a bacon roll and cuppa to give us some energy and whilst we were there we had the chance to catch up with some old friends and new ones too. It was particularly nice for us to meet stones2005 at long last as they live very literally just down the road and if it hadn’t been for all of their caches in our area, then we wouldn’t have had many caches to find to get us started when we were newbies. It was also lovely to finally meet Jane and Simon of Silver Horde as they live in San Diego and Jane often comments on my blog. Brilliant to meet in person (And Hi Jane if you’re reading, hope you had a safe flight back) as there probably won’t be many more chances. Although you never know, we may be caching in San Diego one day and bump into them! 🙂

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Attending the Hadleigh CITO on 10-10-10

The Hadleigh CITO group (I'm 3rd from the right of the flag)

I hope everyone had a good 10-10-10 (The only day this year when our dates and American dates were actually the same!) and logged a cache to help towards the world record attempt of the most accounts to log a cache in one day. By doing so (or if you simply just opened your official Geocaching iPhone or Android app on the day) you will have earnt yourself a shiney new Souvenir. Ooooh! Read my previous blog post if you’re unsure of what these are.

The 10-10-10 Souvenir

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