Today was the day of our very informal geocaching meetup – Amphitheatre (GC5AGWM). We were looking forward to this, and ticking off the Event souvenir for the Seven Souvenirs of August as well as meeting some local cachers. We got to the coordinates right on time and set out our coats to sit on. It was really windy, and we hoped it wouldn’t put too many people off. I had backed the logbook in gold paper to make it stand out and catch the light. We saw a few potential attendees hovering around the area and were discussing whether any of them would approach us. Just then, Jesmond Lynam strode towards us from across the amphitheatre asking “Are you geocachers?”. The direct approach scored him the invented honour of “First to Approach”…
We had a great time meeting fellow cachers, swapping stories about caches we’d done, caches we’d DNFd, puzzle solving and more. Some people stayed for the full two hours, and others only made a flying visit. Ice cream was eaten, tips were shared and it was great fun putting faces to names. It was the first event for both of us, so we were really chuffed people had got into the spirit of it and come along.
After the event, and buoyed up by others’ stories of finding caches that we’d previously DNFd, Terri and I headed back to Whitburn Colliery (GC32WNP) which we had both (separately) DNFd in the past. Inside the clump of trees we spotted the cache half exposed and full of slimy water…not great! Terri signed the log for us and we hefted up the rock to replace it.
Now you know what it’s like – you find one cache that had previously eluded you and then you just have to find another. We went to the site of Aunty Claire’s Birthday Cache (GC3TVH1) which has had us frustrated many times! It was a lot less green than on previous attempts. Within about two minute we had found it! It’s a disguised one, so I didn’t photograph the container…. but we were very pleased to finally get it!
Two nemesis caches in one day? We definitely needed to make it three… so this time it was Freddie’s Birthday Cache’s (GC3TV59) turn. We must have racked up a good few visits to this one in the past, leaving no stone unturned.
Once again, this time, the cache was in our hands in the first place we looked! Given what was around in the area, I was absolutely certain I’d tried this particular spot before. Maybe it had been away for maintenance or someone was signing it on our previous attempts?! In any case, we were very pleased to find it!
Having completed the hideous task of clothes shopping early, Terri and I squeezed in a few caches. There were five different caches all pretty close together. The first was Make Mine A Half (GC33KXH) which was a very quick find for us – a micro squeezed into a bus shelter window with a view of the Tyne.
The next cache was Trow Quarry – Near a Pew, Enjoy the View 1 (GC3NXTM), a cache by the same person as the tricky cache from my previous post. This one was a homemade disco cache, hidden in a nook near a set of benches. We sat on top of a rock and enjoyed the view for a bit before moving on.
The next cache, Yuck to Green (GC4P95E) took us up to the top of Trow Quarry, to search for a “Brian”. I absolutely loved this homemade disco cache, which was very well adapted to its environment. It would be hard to say more without giving it away! Fans of 60s kids’ TV programmes would possibly have understood what they were looking for a lot quicker than we did, as we wandered about saying “Brian” and trying to come up with famous ones. Once found and logged, we headed out across the fields.
Though we had a bit of a walk to the next site for Less than Half a Mile to Go (GC3NXTC), we knew what we were looking for, having found one of this cache owner’s caches previously. Terri grabbed it almost straight away and we signed it quickly. I really like this type of cache, and always appreciate hidden in plain sight ones like this one.
The musical railings made for great entertainment for our little walk back towards the car.
Our final cache of the day, Rattler (GC2B06C) which was a tribute to the old railway line which used to run alongside all the industry, moving raw materials out of the area. I had had no idea that there was a railway along the coast in the past, but this little piece of evidence still remains.
We managed to rack up these five caches in just over an hour! Can you imagine what we could have achieved in a full day? Probably, if you know your five times table…
Here follow Monday’s adventures… Terri’s adventurous mam Helen decided to come with us and was a fantastic good luck charm.
We started off back at Whitburn Pond (GC30TAX) which was a disguised cache we’d failed to find a couple of times. This time it was a case of “Did we check here…? Aha!” A very good disguise nicely hidden. It kicked off our night nicely! It later transpired that we were spotted emerging from the bushes by a friend of Helen’s…oops!
Next up, another of the Cleadon BTB Series, BTB – Cleadon N (GC2X1Y1). Despite the nettles, this time there were no stings. We were just about to give up when a final rummage in the ivy turned up the cache. That’s two down now! We noted down the clue and moved on.
Next we went up the hill to Cleadon Water Tower and got a close up view. The cache (GC2F314) was hidden very well on the information board. I managed to spy it and Terri got hold of it. Meanwhile a horse made snorting noises in a field close by.
We headed to The Cliffhanger (GC3CDMZ) and were almost put off by the massive nettle and long grass patch, but we bravely soldiered on and found the cache. This was the first cache I’d ever found with money inside! 6p! We charitably left it for the next finders…
Our third find from the BTB series, BTB S (GC2X1X2) had previously been a DNF. We were determined, and Terri made excellent use of her full waterproofing once again to go deep into nettle territory. Grabbed it straight away! We made a note of the clue and got it back in place.
Flushed with success, we had a quick look at Academy Path (GC4ZA3R) again, but to no avail! Next time maybe…
Once again enticed by travel bugs, we started at Fullwell Windmill (GC4ZA1H) with a fairly straightforward find. Terri nabbed this one quickly, and was very happy to find that the travel bug was still there!
Next we had a go at Fairy Dell (GC33WYA), but the search was abandoned after a while – partly due to the hovering sinister wasp who was investigating the same tree stump. We’ll have to try again…
Now we come to a slightly sticky cache – Jessie’s Field (GC4MWZT)… This was hidden, and very well disguised. Let’s just say it’s a dogwalking area. A modified…item…contained this tiny log! We also spotted some colourful locals.
Next, we got ourselves thoroughly tangled up in the one way system and stopped at St Peter’s metro station for this awesome cache (GC53Z0G). The hide was fairly straightforward, but it definitely gets points for being out of the way in such a public spot, and for the awesomeness of the container!
The next cache (GCX972) was by the beautiful and ancient St Peter’s Church. This one had us hunting for ages (the coordinates seemed to point to private property on the other side of the wall). Terri spotted an out of place fragment after we’d ferreted abot on the ground for ages.
Two Geocaching adventures with Terri in one week? What could go wrong?
Another local jaunt this time to East Boldon and the West Harton Mineral Line bridleway. Much of this runs alongside the Metro line. We made use of the Metro car park to grab the cache W.H.M.L. #8 (GC4KHR5).
Our next success was with #6 in the W.H.M.L. Series, the Horse’s Step (GC4KHQ3). It was a swift find as we knew what kind of container we were after, and it was in the first place we looked. A nice spot with an interesting story in the cache description.
If you’ve found 6 and 8 you really should find number 7… (GC4KHQF) so we did. This was the first cache of this type that I’d found, and was flush with the ground covered by a handy bit of debris. We unearthed the cache quickly without any nettle stings on this occasion!
There were two DNFs today, one of which resulted in a nettle sting (the BTB series in Cleadon claims another victim…I got stung with BTB W (GC2X5PA) whereas Terri was got when we DNFd the BTB S cache () the other week. and we were foxed by a cryptic clue on our first attempt at cache Triumph in the skies… (GC32R6D)
Seeing as we were out and about, Terri and I picked up a few more local caches.
The first cache in the park eluded us, and I had a quick look for the cache “Sunderland” (GC50AFR) with the hint “sign”, found it, signed the log and didn’t even take a picture. Terri had already found this one so “enjoyed” hanging about while I unearthed it.
The next cache (GC30TPP) was a bit more exciting, being a disco cache (disco meaning disguised container) and we found it casually flung on the floor in a discreet spot. I moved it to the grass to take a prettier picture.
It was hidden in plain sight close to an electric car recharge point. I always really enjoy the hidden in plain sight containers, especially if I walked by them plenty of times pre-geocaching.
Finally, another drive-by on the coast road led us to a cache (GC30TWR) by the windmill, easily fished out when stood at GZ – there was only once place it could be really!