Tag Archives: South Shields

Road Trip South Shields–Geocaches 150-151

Due to the need to acquire various pictures on my geocaching profile, I headed out to South Shields today to grab two caches that would fulfil all of the requirements of the Road Trip and bag me no fewer than 5 souvenirs! Not a bad haul for two caches!

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Rowan berries my phone camera didn’t cope well with.

I solved the puzzle cache The 55th Parallel (GCNZDG) the internet way yesterday afternoon, and headed out to grab it this afternoon. I took the bus towards South Shields. Along the way a wasp got on the bus (without a ticket) and caused plenty of chaos. Happily I avoided most of it and got off near the final location sting-free, past a lovely rowan tree.

Once I followed my GPS, the cache was quickly discovered, signed and put away. As I wasn’t sure if my coordinates were correct, I was very pleased to be able to locate the cache so quickly. This cache earned me the three souvenirs below.

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A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:Favorite Points are a geocacher’s way of figuring out which geocaches are the best of the best. You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a geocache with 10 or more Favorite Points.”

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A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:Sometimes you just have to get your adrenaline flowing or your mind racing—and what better way to do that than with a geocache? You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a Terrain 5 or Difficulty 5 geocache.”

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A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information: It takes determination and brain power to conquer most Mystery Caches. Way to power through and make the find! You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a Mystery Cache.”

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South Shields beach at the end of Ocean Road.

I walked along Ocean Road past the fair and up along the leas towards the earthcache Frenchman’s Bay (GC1XQHD). The view from the leas is often spectacular, and Frenchman’s bay is no exception with its perfect sandy beach, now inaccessible to people.

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Frenchman’s Bay.

This cache brought me the last two souvenirs below.

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A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:The geocaching game board, a.k.a. the Earth, is pretty awesome. Good job learning about it or for cleaning it up! You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding an EarthCache or attending a CITO event.”

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A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:You did it! Way to go! Thanks for being a part of this amazing geocaching journey. You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by earning all five of the other souvenirs.”

Without really meaning to, I have taken a very minimalistic approach to this challenge, and completed it in only 3 caches. I’m not sure if it would be possible to do it in any fewer.

On the way back I also came across this beetle which I’ve tried to identify. It was running along the sandy gravel path on top of the cliffs and dove into the grass. I managed to take a picture of it before it buried itself completely, and it seems to be a Violet Ground Beetle / Rain Beetle (Carabus violaceus). That article has a much better picture of one, but here’s mine.

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It could run very fast, and the sides of it were very iridescent – the picture I captured appears to show them as light blue. It was 4-5cm long with the antennae.

I was very lucky to get home just before the clouds started leaking.

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Meeting fellow cachers, DNF knockout and Geocaches 96-99

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”…

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No FTF for an event, but first to approach deserves a tip of the hat – many others had been circling for longer!

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.

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Nicer than the cache!

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!

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Always good to showcase a bit of bird poo and masonry…

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.

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Off to the cache site.

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!

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One for Lin…

A Trip to South Shields – Geocaches 90-92

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!

Part of the mural
Part of the mural

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…

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Blue plaque

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…

View over the river.
View over the river.

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.

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Customs House – evidence of editing

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?

Really?
Really?

I suppose you’ll have to check there yourselves to find out.

Geocaches 57-61 – 5 A Day

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The musical railings made for great entertainment for our little walk back towards the car.

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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.

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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…

Ice cream and Geocache 56

Terri was in need of ice cream and I reluctantly agreed to put myself out for the sake of our friendship. We enjoyed a Minchella’s in the sun and once there was no ice cream left, our thoughts turned to a very nearby geocache (GC3NXTP).

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Suitably energised, we headed to the cache site. Somehow I put my hand on it straight away this time, after at least 4 previous attempts. We found that we had no pen, so dashed to the cafe quickly to sign it and bring it back. Once we rounded the corner, we saw two more people checking in between the wooden slats… Geocachers!

It was really nice to meet fellow cachers on the hunt!

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The flattest cache – geocaches 32-33

I went hunting for a couple of caches in South Shields today, this is what I found…

The first successful find (GC3MX6E) wins the prize so far for flattest cache – absolutely loved it.

The second cache (GC4B0CM) a bit further up the hill was a more familiar type, and was very quickly found due to the limited hiding spots and the nature of the hide.

Geocaches 22-24

After a successful first run for me, Terri and I decided to pick up a few more local geocaches. For the first one, Long Beach Netty (Gandhi’s Temple) (GC3RVGA) we did a few laps of the building before picking it up.

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After signing and replacing we went to Cornthwaite Park for the next challenge (GC30TV7). The first challenge was avoiding this bush!

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But we managed, finding the container dangling on a wire.

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The need to eat chips was growing, but as our favourite chippy was close by, it would have been rude not to go for this one (GC3VRYZ) at the Pullman. The coordinates were a bit off for this one on my device, but once we came back into the light we found it swiftly.

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The shiny black container blended in nicely with the black gloss paint on the train, but the train could definitely do with some restorative attention. Three out of three and our chips were well deserved.