We had a quiet day today, but we did ride the tram number 43 all the way to the end of the line to meet up with Lisi’s family. The old trams in Vienna are really cute!
As I was taking this picture, I was joined by an older gentleman who was doing the same. He looked very happy to be photographing the tram. Lisi’s family arrived on the next tram, and we walked together up a wooded hill on the edge of the city.
We came back into the city as the sun was setting, and I spotted my first Austrian flag of the trip. The photograph doesn’t really do the sky justice, but it was a beautiful end to the walk.
Back home, we had homemade vegetable soup and tea, and I spent some time playing the ukulele with Lisi’s sister who also had one. We had fun comparing notes and finding songs we both could strum along to.
Jon had mentioned that parts of Cornwall look like the Moon from above, and sure enough if you look at satellite images, you can see vast expanses of white with the odd bright blue/teal lake scattered around. Who would turn down a trip to the Moon?
I can’t take credit for the first picture below – it has been borrowed from Wikipedia – click on the picture to go to the article about St Dennis. This image shows St Dennis parish church in the centre on a hill, surrounded by trees. You can also see the modern houses of the village of St Dennis. The two pointed hills near the top right of the image, and the strangely coloured lake, are the result of china clay mining in the area, which supported the village.
I’m getting ahead of myself. We started the day not on the moon, but on top of the hill by St Dennis Parish church, pictured below. We walked around the church yard and Jon spotted a headstone dedicated to a Mr Kent – a clue for a geocache but we couldn’t find the cache itself. The hill provided a fantastic view of the area.
We came down from the church and parked in the village. It was fairly quiet – let’s just say it is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone. We headed off up the path towards the two big heaps. It wasn’t far into the climb before my boots were smeared with plenty of wet white clay. We dodged the biggest puddles and somehow avoided most of the mud to discover this alien landscape. The weather was quite changeable and damp, and the strange light led to some quite unearthly colours.
As we walked around the lake there was another fruitless geocache search, and we met a nice dog who quickly detected where we’d stored our sandwiches. The odd works vehicle rumbled by on the road. The hill below looks a bit less moonlike, but still far too pointy!
Elsewhere on the tops we came across some rare Cornish Mangroves, complete with water lillies. You can see a pointy hill in the background too. I’m really not sure what exactly the landscape is going for here. I think it has just picked all of its favourite things and combined them.
We came out of the other side of the moonscape onto a road, and walked alongside it when what should appear but a geocache! Water Hole (GC4FFK0) was a nano cache right on our walking route, and didn’t take too long to fish out.
We eventually ended up back in civilisation – can you spot the Cornish flag?
Next up was the village of Roche – pronounced to rhyme with coach. I thought that it seemed like quite a French name for a place in Cornwall, especially if that place had a big rock in it. So why did we go to Roche? There’s a very cool big rock there. And on top of the rock, there is a ruined chapel.
A very muddy path led up to the base of the rock, and we avoided most of the puddles again to get to the foot of this ladder. We climbed right up to the top for a lovely view of… well, Roche.
Jon bravely ventured outside of the chapel walls on the top, but I stayed by a doorway and tried not to think about the wind and the drop… It’s a very dramatic place to put a building, and was made even more so by the wind and drizzle.
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.
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…
A very quick geocaching adventure today turned up two nice caches near Souter Lighthouse, a favourite place of mine as you can see from the picture in my header.
The first (GC2MG0C) was a little scramble up a hill, and swiftly found thanks to my new best friend Obvious Geocaching Rock. It was spotted by my non-geocaching companion and at first glance the cache looked covered in mud! Eurgh! Luckily it was just some canny camouflage. The cache was swiftly retrieved, log signed and re-hidden.
The second cache of the day (GC32HF9) was even closer to the lighthouse, and my new best friend OGR flagged up this one in fairly short order too. This cache was big enough to stash a travel bug after a quick snap.
These were two lovely caches and it was great to go hunting for them in such a familiar place! A beautiful day for a wander too. Non-geocaching companion has also expressed an interest in finding some more…