Terri and I got onto the metro, but only got as far as Sunderland when the service was suspended… That put paid to our idea of riding around and grabbing metro caches! Unfortunately, the day had started how it meant to go on, with a whole lot of bad luck. It wasn’t all bad though – we had lots of fun and a 6-mile walk into the bargain.
We started off at Park Lane, where we discovered that the cache which had been archived. After a bit of lunch we headed off to SideTracked – Sunderland (GC5NX1F). Despite a good squint around at the correct spot, it wasn’t to be found.
Not to be put off, we headed back across town to Mobray Park, looking for the well-named cache Mowbray Park – (GC4WDEX), which we had failed to find in the past. The DNF struck again and we didn’t manage this one either.
Next on our list was a multi on the edge of the park – W.M.#23 We will remember them ~ Mowbray Park (GC5EY9V). We did all the calculations at the location, but unfortunately couldn’t find the final! We were feeling pretty disheartened by now!
We decided to take a little break in the Winter Gardens for a change and regroup, and walked around the garden for a while.
We headed out of town towards the bridge, but stopped off to search for Church Micro 7959…Sunderland – St Mary (GC5X4E0). Needless to say we came up empty handed there too. We hoped crossing the river might change out luck.
W.M.#40 We Will Remember Them ~ Stadium of Light (GC5JVG8) was next on the list. This is part of the series based on War Memorials, and the statue here was quite unique with its SAFC connection. We did the required calculations and went to the indicated spot… and there was the cache! We were so happy to find it!
We searched for a reprieve across the river by the Stadium of Light, looking for the Stadium of Light Multi (GC4X2C1). We got to the final location just fine, but couldn’t find the final! At least we got a walk around the stadium and found some very fitting plants.
Finally, we decided to call it a day. I hope we can find them again some other time. Fingers crossed.
Today I went to Seaham for lunch with mam and Lin. After we were fuelled, we set off to find some nearby geocaches. The first was THE PIRATES GRAVE! (GC4NDGV), near St Mary’s Church. Lin got her hands on the cache very quickly, and I logged the find.
We had a bit more trouble with the other one, Church Micro 6853…Old Seaham (GC5HCJX). The clues were quickly found, and the final coordinates were calculated. After a thorough search in the wrong place, I rechecked the coordinates and found the cache in no time – slightly futher away from where we had been looking. Oops.
Mam and Lin fancied a walk on the beach, and seeing it was a pebble beach I wondered whether it would be any good for seaglass. It turned out to be a brilliant spot! We found lots of lovely pieces as we walked along, and the walk quickly turned into a stand as we combed the beach.
There were plenty of people walking along the beach, bag in hand. One man walking his dog said hello and gave us a bagful of glass he’d collected. Apparently he collects it every day while walking his dog, and always hands it to someone else. Today I was his lucky “customer”.
Seaham certainly has a much greater variation of glass than any other beach I’ve collected on, and there are plenty of very nicely-rounded pieces too. Because of the way that waste glass was dumped into the sea in big lumps, I have found plenty of multicoloured glass here, which is really beautiful. I’m looking forward to spending lots more time on this beach.
To celebrate my last day of freedom before starting my new job, and because we’d been meaning to go on a proper day trip for ages, Terri and I spent a day caching on holy island! We checked the tide tables and reckoned we’d have time to get all of the island’s caches in one day – the challenge was on.
Our first stop was the endpoint of the mystery cache Lindisfarne Puzzler (GC51Z7Y), for which we had already solved the puzzle. Our coordinates were correct, and the find itself was very straightforward.
One down in short order! There’s a lovely multi cache on Lindisfarne, Lindisfarne Gospels (Holy Island) (GC49XKX), which takes you around the whole island. We decided to use it as our guide and pick up the traditional caches on the way around the island, recording the multi clues as we went.
We got the first clue at the prory and moved on swiftly to a traditional cache – Lindisfarne. View of St Cuthbert’s Isle. (GC51Z42). We found the cache quite quickly, and Terri braved the nettles to get it out. When we took the camo bag off, we found a caterpillar inside! Luckily it wasn’t inside the tupperware!
This one also had some really lovely treasure inside for the youngsters.
The cache location also offered us a few nice views.
Next, we went off to the castle for more of the multi, playing tourist as we went. There were SO many people though…
A busy little spot! We couldn’t find the multi clue, so we had to hope we could guess it…
After picking up a few more multi clues, time for the trads. This one was accessible only through Terri’s premium app, but she graciously allowed me to join in looking for Time for thought (GC3QV2D), which was tucked away behind a wall.
We continued around the perimeter of the island to pick up a few more multi clues, including one at a bird hide overlooking a lake.
It was here where we learned about the Pirri-Pirri burr… we would become much more acquainted with it later!
We passed some lovely bays and walked through lots of dune paths on the way to Cuthbert’s Ghost (GC1HAJ2), which was sited in an old quarry, with a ghostly tale…
We didn’t see any of Cuthbert’s Ghost’s beads, but we did find a solitary soldier climbing the rocks. Terri noticed that the log directly before ours was always by the same cachers, and we realised we must be following them around the island!
We went on to the next cache around the next bay and over some more dunes looking for Greenshiel Stamps (GC1TF34).
We found it tucked away amongst the ruins of an old settlement… now for us to get back to civilisation!
We rounded the last corner and got onto the home straight to Cache and Tache (GC49X05) which made no sense for a cache name until we discovered it was full of stick on moustaches! We of course graced the log with a picture of our moustachioed selves!
There’s always room for a pun… we were getting really quite tired by now, but we had also got all of the clues for the multicache! With a couple of hours left to get off the island we only had one more traditional cache and the multi’s final stage to find and log to finish off all the caches!
We started the second lap for Lindisfarne to get our last traditional cache of the day, View across the Pilgrim’s Way (GC51Z12). We came across lots of interesting things in the beach, and could here lots of animals hooting – probably seals!
And that was the last traditional cache of the day! On the way back to civilisation we passed by a strange collection of glass.
Back in the village we plugged in our answers to the multi cache, got coordinates and went off in search of the final multi stage… we wondered if we were going to run into the cachers who we’d been following all day! We also passed by a farm which had a yard full of birds – chickens, roosters, ducks, geese, swans…
We dived into the bushes off the road and got the multi cache final! We picked up a travel bug and then Terri said that she hadn’t seen the name of the cachers we had been following! We realised they couldn’t be far behind us, so quickly hid the container and sure enough, we spotted a couple walking towards us, GPS in hand! We stopped them and said hello, and it was the two cachers who had been following us all day! They were very nice and had enjoyed their day just as much as we had enjoyed ours.
We went back to the car park and took the weight off our feet – we had been walking for a long time! FInally, we crossed the causeway again, measuring its length for an earthcache, Lindisfarne Causeway (GC2993D).
We completed the other Earthcache tasks, and finally, we finished off the tenth cache back on the mainland – A View of Holy Island (GC1BJ3Q). It was another quick find, and we just about made it back to the car without falling to the ground through tiredness!
We had a lovely day on the island! A little weatherbeaten – and with aching legs – we dived into the nearest pub for a good feed and a refreshing drink. Aaaah… what a brilliant way to spend a day.
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…