This was another cache and dash to celebrate International Geocaching Day. Finding myself in Heworth for the evening, I made sure to pop to Church Micro 7723 … Heworth (GC5TJ1M) to tick off the souvenir! A quick think and an even quicker search meant I soon had it signed off!
After a gloriously lazy morning finishing off my book, it was time to geocache!
The weather was absolutely horrible! So why cache today? 15 years ago to the day, Geocaching was born! As such, there was a new souvenir to collect on Geocaching.com, and who can resist a new .jpg for their profile?
Terri and I headed out to pick up some local caches that have sprung up over the winter. We started off with Attention Defici… oooooh shiny (GC5PJNQ), which is nearby the National Glass Centre. When we got to the parking place we were surprised to see this:
HMS Ocean is staying in Sunderland this weekend. It’s a really huge boat. We walked up onto the glass roof of the centre to get a better look. This is the weird view you get up on the roof – the gift shop many floors below.
Terri hoped that these designs weren’t covering up the cracks!
Back to the geocaching though. We found the cache near the Red House, a sculpture nearby the National Glass Centre.
Quite a view from the living room.
After a short drive up in the hideous weather, we ended up on top of the cliffs at Roker. The picture below doesn’t do justice to the wind and rain we were enduring by this point! Traditional Bank Holiday weather.
Next up, Top Bombing (GC5NM3R). Continuing the military theme we headed for a multicache set near an old Sea Mine.
We solved the clues from the nearby information board, and ran along the clifftops to the final location to keep warm. The elements didn’t want us outside today. Once we got to the final location, we quickly hunted out the cache and signed the log.
On the way back to the car, I picked up Church Micro 6343…Roker (GC5CCZ7) – which Terri had already found. Still freezing, we ran back to the car.
From one church micro to another, the next one on the list today was Church Micro 7369…Whitburn (GC5NA9Y). In our own traditional style we headed straight for the church in Whitburn. Except it was the wrong church. Whoops. Still a nice church though.
Nearby Whitburn Parish Church is this other red house The Red Cottage, which has cricket-themed decorations.
Anyway, we were in exactly the wrong place for the church micro. We walked back through the village towards W.M.#62 We Shall remember them ~ Whitburn (GC5NEB8). The War Memorials series is a relatively new one, and you complete them by reading information on the monuments which reveals the final location of the caches. The church micro series has really taken off, with at least 7000 in the UK. I wonder if the W.M. Series will do the same.
Before going to the final location for this cache, we went to the Methodist Church in Whitburn (the correct location this time) but were unable to unearth the cache. We had similar luck with the final location of the war memorial cache. We should have quit while we were ahead!
At the end of the adventure, we were left with a couple of new DNFs in the area as well as our finds – it’s been a while since we’ve had some local DNFs to grab! The souvenir unlocked itself and presented us with a new mission of finding various types of cache on various days throughout the summer. I wonder if we’ll manage it!
In what is now a two-week long tradition, Terri and I grabbed a couple of local caches before heading to the gym. Our first one was Church Micro 7370…Fulwell (GC5NYCA) and after withdrawing last week due to dog walkers, we had to have another go this weekend. The coast was clear, and we went straight to it – a real cache and dash!
Because of Pi day, there was a special souvenir to be unlocked on Geocaching.com. Finding a ? (puzzle) cache would do the trick. As we had already got a puzzle cache ready to find, we went for the final part of the BTB Cleadon series – BTB – Cleadon C (GC32XAH). We had found the 4 feeder caches ages ago, and thought today would be the day to grab the final cache!
It was a fairly quick find somewhere in the vicinity of the church, which we had suspected all along given the cache owner… you’ll know what I’m talking about it you’re from around here! Souvenir bagged, we went off to the gym!
Additional Information:Computing more and more digits of pi has been a goal of some mathematicians throughout the years. It’s almost like solving a very complex puzzle, which is why this souvenir was awarded to those who found a Mystery Cache on Pi Day, March 14, 2015 (aka 3.14.15).”
At the beginning of the year I found myself in Durham with a few hours to kill, and went geocaching. The trip was only moderately successful, and with a few more hides under my belt, nicer weather, and enthusiastic fellow travellers (hi mam, hi Lin), I set about finding some of the ones that got away.
After a lovely lunch we headed along a path along the river, straight for Fulling Mill (GC416DW) which had eluded me last time. Armed with an improved understanding of the clue, more experience and a lack of rainwater getting in my ears, I started looking around for it. My fellow searchers got very involved with some foliage and a stick, but I spotted the likely spot. I checked the cache was there before announcing the find, and mam zoomed up and found it too. It contained the creepiest thing I’ve ever found in a cache too…
After a few unsuccessful hunts, we headed past the cathedral and paid a visit to Durham World Heritage Site (GC4EYT2) – one that I’d found before. Mam dug around in the dressing up box with great enthusiasm, but it was Lin that spotted the cache in the end! We continued our walk through Durham…
I hoped to find another previous DNF – Durham is Changing (GC2CD9C) – which I’d expended an awful amount of effort on previously. This time, once at the correct spot, the hiding place became clear pretty quickly. It was a really nice hide, and I could see how I’d missed it previously not having seen a similar one back then. The container was full of foreign coins, which were really interesting to look through. We even got a sticker for our efforts…
Mam and Lin told me they’d enjoyed the hunt, and all the hills certainly helped us walk off our lunch.
For a quick after-work cache, Terri organised a magical mystery tour around South Shields – including snacks! We started at Air Raids on Shields 1 (Queens Theatre) (GC3JA6A) which was a very quick find – wonderfully hidden in plain sight, but we had seen a similar one before.
Industrial History (GC2FR80) is a mystery cache, and involved going to a HUGE mural and counting various things like the number of steel workers, the number of cranes… it took us about twenty minutes of searching and counting but we did get the correct coordinates eventually!
Rather than head up the hill to grab that cache, we went back down to the Customs House Theatre and gathered clues for a short multi cache which told the history of The UK’s First Racial Riot (GCVCVT) – quite a claim to (in)fame…
We gathered the numbers and then did the maths – somehow we ended up with coordinates on the other side of the river! Now, there is a ferry, but that seemed a bit extreme. I checked my maths and nothing was amiss… then Terri checked she’d written her numbers down right…
New (much more reasonable!) coordinates in hand we quickly found the magnetic cache and signed the log – now to find the end of the mystery cache.
We went to the coordinates and had a quick hunt around, and paid close attention to this particular bush… surely not! Though there was a place you could just about fit your hand in. Was the cache owner really so devious?
I suppose you’ll have to check there yourselves to find out.
Terri noticed a cluster of caches on her map, so we made a date for a day of caching and set off for Barnes Park in Sunderland.
We started off at the beginning of the Barnes Park Walk series. This series has a mystery cache (GC3X7QB) at the end of it, and in order to find it you have to take down some details from each log. We started by heading for the first one Barnes Park Walk #1 – Is Jack Watching You? (GC3NTJ8) which was a quick find for us. We photographed the clue and got straight onto the next one.
Walking along the top path, we began to realise that the park is actually on quite a steep slope and at some stage we were going to hike back up to the car! Though the slope did give us plenty of nice views.
We carried on to Barnes Park Walk #2 – Trees R Us (GC3X7KW). This one took a while longer, but we spotted it as we were low to the ground, sneakily hiding under a bush. This is perhaps a temporary container, but the log was still intact and once again we signed the log and photographed the clue to the mystery cache.
Next up: Barnes Park Walk #3 – Penny for your Thoughts (GC3X7MK) which was also unearthed quickly! We were on something of a speed run by this point! So speedy were we that we forgot to note down the puzzle clue… not that we realised that until much later.
As we were near a gate and there were three other caches fairly nearby, we decided to extend the walk and struck out for some other nearby caches, starting with Electricity (GC4W20V) which has a funny hint which made us giggle. There was something cute about the container too!
We walked on towards the next cache, The Railey (GC4YRHN), past some wall-based philosophy…
Where could it be?
We eventually found it tucked away amongst some foliage in a very nice convenient spot. Onto the next one, The Blue Signpost (GC4WA6G), which was a slightly longer walk away. We realised that we had found 5 caches in under and hour, and really fancied squeezing in a 6th! Happily we got there with a few minutes to spare and found it quickly. Terri executed a manoeuvre and we signed it and replaced it.
We had a quick sit-down lunch at the carvery and rehydrated. Well rested and restored, it was back to the park to finish off the walk. We got to Barnes Park Walk #4 – The Ivy (GC3X7NB) was fairly quickly found, though we did find a different bit of string in a different bit of ivy before getting our hands on this one. Always be suspicious of string in foliage…
This corner of the park was absolutely lovely, with a fairly new “sensory garden” with tickly grasses and fragrant plants. You can see a special stone on the right hand side of the picture below, which will resonate when you hum into it on the right note. We had lots of fun searching for it!
There was also a stone glockenspiel! How often do you get to have a go with a giant one of these?
A walk through the park past the lake took us towards the next cache, Barnes Park Walk #5 – Ribbit Ribbit (GC3X7NX), located in some bushes.
We found this brilliantly-shaped cache amongst the undergrowth after a search. We hadn’t DNFd a single cache all day and were feeling pretty good…until… Barnes Park Walk #6 – Tree Shephard (GC3QED2) which eluded us entirely for 45 minutes! We didn’t get anywhere at all with it, and fared no better with Barnes Park Walk #7 – Buzz Bee (GC3X7PF), placed near the exit to the park. It was at this point that we decided to sit down and work out the coordinates for the bonus mystery cache. Trouble was, we had forgotten to note down the letters and numbers that we needed on the logs. Oh well, back around we went!
After we’d finished feeling silly, we plugged in the numbers and went off to the coordinates of the bonus cache. We got it!
We were very pleased with ourselves. We’re so used to urban caching and finding nanos and micros (which are lovely in their own way, of course) it was really cool to find a cache that was so huge! After wrestling the can open and signing the log we went back to the car for a swift relocation to the next cache, JMC Remembered #3 (GC2VDDD). A cache placed as a memorial.
After a break in the house which included minty magnums and fridge poetry, we got back on the road again and headed for the River Wear, which has a few caches along its southern bank. The first cache here, Pottery Lane End (GC4826F) which was down this pretty path.
After I did a little bit of nettle-battling and spotted the “has to be the right place” spot, Terri was nominated as the tall person to reach up to this one.
The path along the river made for a very pleasant walk.
We went to the end of the path, encountering a few fishermen and boat enthusiasts. Terri soon had her hands on Claxheugh Rock Boat House (GC4804P).
We debated about going further along the river for the next one, Rock House Farm (GC3R7HG), but decided to drive there and park a bit closer, as it looked like it was going to be on top of the cliff. As you can see from the picture below, we were right!
As you can tell, the sun was hinting at setting by the time we got here.
Back to the car, and we headed for some more urban caches. Terri had found this one, Exchange (GC417V1) before, but it was a simple pick up for me too. A cool handmade container.
That was a quick one, and as we realised we were smashing our PBs for the number of caches found in a day, we powered on to Halford’s of all places, to pick up another bison tube, Retail Returns (GC3X4M8) which needed Terri’s longer fingers to grab!
We were beginning to tire by this stage, but our final cache of the day, Spooky School (GC57KZQ) wasn’t far away. This disguised cache blended in well with the surroundings, an would have taken us longer if we hadn’t seen a similar one recently. The old school was indeed very spooky – abandoned buildings always have that feeling about them. At one point a fire engine screamed by and we both jumped!
After 16 caches + 2 DNFs, we were well and truly worn out. What a brilliant day out! Next adventure: Holy Island…
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…