Caching in Bath

I have just found this post in my drafts, although written in May I am posting it anyway.

The weather in May this year was very good, lots of dry days with sunshine so lots of caching.

May 2nd was Blue Switch Day – the day US satellites were made available to everyone so there was a souvenir to gain.

I decided to go Bath as I had 699 caches and wanted to get Church Micro 7500 – Bath Abbey for my 700th as mentioned in my previous post.

As I had worked out the co-ordinates from my previous visit I looked to see exactly where the cache was so parked in a nearby car park, we walked to GZ using my GPS which took me to the middle of a space behind a warehouse.  It was difficult to look as there was a man near the entrance loading his van and he kept looking at me, I sat on the wall and when he wasn’t looking I felt around a guard rail where I thought the cache would be. After 10 minutes or so I decided to give up as I felt I had been there too long and the man was aware I was there. The hint said there were two at GZ and it was the one on the right, where I was there wasn’t really anything to correspond to that clue so decided to walk along the road in the opposite way we had come to go back to the car park and look around on the way,  I then noticed two large objects behind a wall, I looked behind the right one and there was the cache. I signed the log book and we were on our way, so my co-ords were a little out.

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The next cache I decided to find was near a petrol station called Fuel Cache and Dash, I drove there due to it being very busy on the road which I would have to cross, I had to go all around the one-way system to get there!

Luckily there were parking spaces in the shade so I left Katie geohound in the car and found the cache amongst the trees.

 

I had some caches in Oldfield Park, a very hilly area as much of Bath is, planned not far from where I was, the first was the side-tracked cache at Oldfield Park station but there was no-where near to park due to residents parking.   I then drove to St Barts church and had problems finding anywhere to park but just managed it.  We got to the church and there was someone cutting the grass close to GZ so I walked down the hill as there were quite a few munzees (yes I collect munzees when I can)  in the area we got 3 munzees and walked back up the hill, stopped to chat to another greyhound owner and by then the man mowing had moved to the other side of the church.  The cache was soon found and the log was signed.

St Barts. Oldfield Park

The next cache was next to a school and as it was 3 pm the school was turning out so I drove past.  I then found a brilliant cache called Oldfield Park Helipad, I cannot say much about it without giving it away but it’s the type of cache I would never have found a few years ago.

Hopefully I can return to find some other caches in Bath.

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Milestones

I have not blogged for ages and was thinking it’s about time I wrote a blog post so that my readers do not think I have disappeared while out geocaching, then Washnight (https://washknight.wordpress.com) popped up in my reader with a list of stock reasons why he/people stop blogging  – so just read the list and pick one, there is not one particular reason although I have taken on two volunteer jobs, mostly computer work, but it has been keeping me busy.

My geohound and I are still geocaching regularly, I choose places to go where we can enjoy a walk and get a cache or caches along the way.

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When I wrote my last post I had just reached 500 caches, I am now at 699.  For my 600th cache which was just before Christmas, Katie and I set off for Glastonbury on a very foggy day and found the cache at Glastonbury Abbey, I worked in Glastonbury for many years and used to go the the Abbey grounds during my lunch hour to de-stress from my job and get some fresh air and exercise.

Winter

Photograph from 2006 on one of my lunchtime walks

For my 700th cache I am going to Bath to find Bath Abbey which is a multi cache, I went to Bath last week to visit a friend and have crunched the numbers, so will go and (hopefully) find the cache next time I am in Bath as GZ is actually quite a distance from the Abbey and I had run out of time (and energy).

The following photos are from some of our caching walks we have enjoyed this year:

I will be back soon, enjoy your caching adventures!

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500 caches

This summer I reached 500 caches!  To me this is a great achievement. I know that  some people are able to reach 500 in a short time but for me it has been quite a journey.

I started geocaching in 2010 and by 2013 I had reached the grand total of 34 caches, I have a big gap of almost a year in 2012 – 13 due to a back problem when I did no caching at all.

You can read about my first ever geocache here – it was quite exciting!

In 2014 I found a total of 33 caches so I was improving!  In reality it was time that prevented me as I was working full time so only had the weekends to cache, often it rained and when working full time weekends are catching up with what needs to be done.

In 2014 I retired so I was able to go out caching whenever I wanted, then in 2015 my sister started caching so we went out together and by the end of 2015 I had found 224 caches.  2016 has been my best year caching and I hope to continue.

I still have the problems with my back, plus fibromyalgia so I do have a major problems walking any distance, I can manage 2 miles on good days.  So most of my caching is short trips, unfortunately my sister likes to get as many as possible and walk long distances when we go out so I have gone back to mainly caching alone with Katie geohound.

So my 500th cache had to be a special one and I chose to go to Bath to find the cache at Sham Castle, I am making my milestone caches follies or some sort of architecture.

Information from wikipedia:

Sham Castle is a folly in Bathampton overlooking the city of BathSomerset, England. It is a Grade II* listed building.[1][2] It is a screen wall with a central pointed arch flanked by two 3-storey circular turrets, which extend sideways to a 2-storey square tower at each end of the wall.[1]

It was probably designed around 1755 by Sanderson Miller and built in 1762 by Richard James, master mason for Ralph Allen, “to improve the prospect” from Allen’s town house in Bath.[3]

Front and back of Sham Castle

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My son and Katie at Sham Castle

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Views of Bath

After exploring the folly and looking at the views over Bath, my son and I  walked the short distance to find the cache.  It was hidden amongst stones and there were plenty of stones!  We were under tree cover so the GPS was a little jumpy. Overall it didn’t take long to find the cache and it was a good sized cache which contained lots of swag.

sham-cache

We signed the log book and walked back down the steep hill and drove into Bath for the all important tea and cake!

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A New Geohound

I now have a new geohound, another greyhound – once you have had one greyhound – her name is Katie and is a youngster at 3 years old.

I decided her first geocaching trip would be a local walk to find one cache.  I had completed the rest of the West Shepton Stroll series last February with Tara but we didn’t look for the last cache as the mud was knee deep.  So to finish the series all I had to find was West Shepton Stroll – Ridge Lane.  I knew it was a quiet lane and would be perfect for a walk with a new dog as there would be few distractions, Katie is quite nervous when meeting new situations.

WSS Ridge Lane

When I got to GZ the nettles were as high as me!  I did manage to battle my way in and it didn’t take too long to find the cache, I am sure Katie did wonder what I was doing amongst the nettles.

Cache found

What’s this then?

Katie did enjoy her walk she was fascinated by all the new sounds and smells, I did too as it was a beautiful sunny day but not too hot

 

 

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An update

I stopped blogging after my dog died in April, I was very upset and just didn’t feel like blogging.   I have continued to go geocaching although it was not the same without my geohound.

The following are the highlights of the past few months caching.

West Wells Wander was a series of 13 caches near the city of Wells, I say was as they have now been archived which is a shame as it was a really good walk.  We did the walk in three stages as I cannot walk long distances, even then one of the walks turned out to be 4 miles which was really a bit too far for me and it took a long time to recover from it.

WWW6 WWW

There were some really good views on the way but also some difficult stiles as the first step  to get on the stiles were so high.

Some of the West Wells Wander caches:

A trip to Tintern with my son and girlfriend was a brilliant day out, we went to the Old Station where they have the most delicious cakes in the cafe.

 

Tintern

There are lots of walks from the area, we chose to walk to the village of Brockweir finding 3 caches along the route.

Wells Cathedral is a puzzle cache,  to find the final co-ordinates two other churches in Mid-Somerset have to be visited to get the clues for the numbers.  This I had done over several weeks, I chose to go to Wells to find the cache in the evening as Wells can be a very busy place during the day.  A really good hide and easily found.

Wells

 

 I went back to Bristol for an event and some more urban caching.  This time I went by bus so I didn’t have to worry about parking and my son cycled there. After the event my son and I walked to St Mary Redcliffe, a very good multi-cache which involves getting clues from inside and outside the church. The church is well worth a visit anyway, as I was brought up in Bristol I am rather fond of the church anyway.

After St Mary Redcliffe was a very clever cache and one of the best my son and I have found, St Mary Redcliffe view  I cannot say much about it without giving it away, here is a photo of my son’s cycle with the cache in view!!

CycleSadly this cycle has since been stolen (even though it was chained up).  If you ever visit I recommend doing these two caches.

Some of the trackables I have moved on over the past few months:

There were more caches but these were my favourites.

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Back to the Tunnels

I found this post in my drafts from April so I am publishing it anyway.

My son was visiting and as it was a lovely sunny day we decided to go for a walk in local woodlands.  As he had not found the geocache in the old Somerset and Dorset railway tunnel we decided to go back there. You can read my post about my previous trip here: https://barbsview.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/the-tunnels/.  Also there were a few more caches that we hadn’t found in the area.

I enjoy walking along the old railway trackbed as it is always flat, it is a very pretty area and what is strange is so few people walk there (or maybe they just walk at different times to me), I haven’t ever met anyone in the area.

My son had no problem finding the geocache in the tunnel, he left a trackable he had picked up in Bristol as its mission was to travel around Somerset.   We walked along to Ham Wood Viaduct finding Windsor Hill – Through the Tunnel on the way.  When we got to the viaduct we marvelled at how it must have been built as it is very tall – no machines in those days.

Tunnel

Tunnel

 

 

 

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Urban caching

Most of the caching I do is in the countryside or the small town where I live but last week was my first foray into caching in a large city.

Goodness, urban caching is so different! So many muggles around!  It was so different wandering around streets because you follow the GPS and there are so many obstacles in the way such as houses, walls, bridges!  We ended up walking further than we needed to as unlike the countryside you can usually within reason follow a straight-ish line.

It was different but I enjoyed it.  Tara geohound got rather tired and it took her a couple of days to get over it.

We decided to find some of the caches in Sally’s Stroll a series near Temple Meads Railway Station but we only found two!  The first one was on the cycle path and was a good easy find, the next was in a park The Dings and we looked for ages but couldn’t find it.

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Next we walked to Temple Meads station and found the side-tracked cache at the station, it was a very good hide which my son enjoyed looking for.  I wanted to find this cache due to spending rather a lot of time at the station over the years when my son and daughter were at University, I think the dog I had at that time thought it was our second home!

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Apparently it originally was a train but it went missing.

We then wandered back to get a Little Bridge on one of the two modern bridges in the area, I spotted it straight away, my son was amazed at the cache and how it was placed, in fact, on reflection, I should have let him find it.

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We then walked back to the car as we only had 3 hours parking we got back just as the traffic warden was on his way.

After lunch at my son’s house I had planned more cache for the afternoon but I was too tired so we just went and found a couple of local caches.  I particularly liked Rainbow Bridge which was a good sized cache and an easy find.

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It was a good day and hopefully we will go out again when my son has some spare time.  I have solved a puzzle that I want to go and get.

 

 

 

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Puzzle caches

During the winter months when it has been raining and blowing gales I have been solving some mystery/puzzle caches.  Quite often I go to the page of a puzzle cache and just shake my head as I do not know where to start.  I have found some of them I can solve and up to now I have solved 10 puzzles but I have only ventured out to find one of them – Can you See it! The puzzle was Magic Eye pictures which I have always been able to see without any problems so it was easily solved. The cache was 2 miles away and I ended up going twice – the first time it was snowing heavily so I didn’t even get out of the car (I was on my way home and just took a detour), the next time I went it was just cloudy and after looking in the wrong place for a while I found it on the other side of the road.

View near GZ of Can you see it!

View near GZ of Can you see it!

I am recruiting my son for help with some of the puzzles (my sister is not interested) so hopefully we can solve some more.  He met someone at a Leap Day event he went to who places a lot of puzzle caches – they are easy she said – I have not been able to do any of them – yet!

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February – part 2

My next geocaching outing with my sister was to the village of Oakhill where there are 3 church micros, two of them multis.  One of them Church Micro 6190 – Oakhill URC is now split into 2 private dwellings – I went marching up the driveway to take a photo and realised when I got to the locked gate that it was no longer a church.  For the question we had to walk up a nearby road to get the answer.  The actual cache was half a mile away with a steep hill to climb.

Oakhill URC

Oakhill URC

The next multi was at the CM 6114 – Methodist church – no photograph as it would be a spoiler! Again the cache was a half mile walk with another steep hill, when we got there we realised we had been there many times in the past – not always when geocaching, although we had walked past when doing some of the Zider Zeries.

We sat in the sunshine in the churchyard of CM 6113 – Oakhill All Saints for a while, after all the rain we have had this winter it was good to feel the sun.

Oakhill All Saints

Oakhill All Saints

I found in the village that the GPS was taking ages to settle after I had entered the new co-ordinates, there were quite a lot of overhead wires in the village so I don’t know if that was what was affecting it.  In the end we looked at the hint and on our way to another cache we found it.  While in the village we found two more of the Zider Zeries which we are doing in stages.

Company while caching!

Company while caching!

The next villages we explored were Croscombe and Dinder near Wells, Somerset.  There are two Church Micros in the village and another cache which was in a field with cows we decided not to cross the field, we don’t like going into fields with cows we are not that brave.  In Croscombe we decided to go to the pub (The George) for morning coffee, I tried the door but it was locked, as we walked away the landlord opened the door and invited us in so we had a very nice drink complete with a plate of biscuits.  Such good hospitality.

Dinder was just the Church Micro a pesky nano which we found after quite a search, we then enjoyed a walk around the village. There is another cache near the village but I had found that one previously.

A massive yew in the churchyard at Dinder

A massive yew in the churchyard at Dinder

At the end of the month I found a cache called End of the Road, on a lovely sunny Sunday morning. The cache was at the end of a country lane and was a very small bison tube, I was surprised it was not a bigger cache as it was not near any houses.

Tara at the End of the Road

Tara at the End of the Road

Did you get your Leap Year Event souvenir?  I was busy during the day but luckily there was an evening meet in Frome which I was able to attend to get my souvenir.

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February – part 1

February was a month for Church Micros.  It wasn’t planned but most of the caches I found were church micros.

The month began with a visit to the village of West Pennard, 3 caches in total around the village.  The first was West Pennard Wander, I took Tara into a field on my own to find this one as my sister would not walk through the mud!  We found the cache easily and there were good views towards Glastonbury Tor.

View to the Tor

View to the Tor

The next cache was W.M #9 We shall remember them – West Pennard, I didn’t realise there was a War Memorial series I will have to watch out for more of them.  The cache was easily found close by.

Tara at the War Memorial

Tara at the War Memorial

The church was at the top of the hill, an interesting walk looking at some lovely houses on the way.  We had no problems finding the cache. This was my 250th cache.

St Nicholas, West Pennard

St Nicholas, West Pennard

A highlight of the month was a First to Find, I am not one that dashes out the door when a new cache is published and I didn’t intend to go for this one.  Twice a year I attend a greyhound meet with my greyhound (they love to meet other greyhounds as most of them are brought up together as a group and of course they are around lots of other greyhounds when racing), anyway on the way I decided to look for the new cache that had been published a few days before. Imagine my surprise to find a blank log!  So I now have a total of 3 FTFs.

The FTF at Street

The FTF at Street

Several other people found the cache later in the day so it was lucky I looked for it on the way and not on the way back.

Our next trip was to Kilmerston and the surrounding area.  A variety of caches, the highlight for me was Jack and Jill Hill.  This is the hill that inspired the nursery rhyme ‘Jack and Jill went up the Hill’, the well at the top of the hill is in the school grounds and the hill is steep!

Jack and Jill HIll 4

 

Jack and Jill hill

The cache for Jack and Jill Hill was one of the best I have come across so far:

J and J Hill

Kilmerston Church

Kilmerston Church

Part 2 to follow soon!

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Obstacles along the way

Our next January outing was on a cold frosty day (we have had very few frosty days this year), we decided to to find a series called Brue Valley ring.  Firstly we stopped in Bruton to find the multi cache at Bruton Methodist church, last time I was here I had taken photos for the clues and worked out the co-ordinates at home,  I parked the car, looked at the GPS and I was right next to GZ so a very quick find.

We then drove to the beginning of Brue Valley ring and found the first cache which was frozen! A nice big container with lots of room for trackables.

Brue Valley 1

The route then went off the main road to a little used country road and that is where we met the ice, we decided not to continue as we didn’t know the road and it seemed a bit risky to continue.

Ice 1

We will be back to continue this series.

The next week we tackled 3 more of the Zider Zeries, a nice easy walk we thought.  How wrong can you be!! The road started going down and when we got to the bottom there was the steepest hill I have ever seen on a road, I would not like to drive up it!  It was hard going and it got the heart pumping so it must have been good for us.

Very steep!

Very steep!

When we reached the top of the hill we found the next cache then just along the road we came to a halt as the road was flooded.

ZZ3

There was a track though the wooded area beside the road which we took to avoid getting wet feet, a short walk to the next cache with lovely views across the countryside.

ZZ4

This was actually the start of the series but we were doing it backwards.  We now have 6 of the 20 in the series so will be back to continue.

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Pillbox series

We drove to Binegar on Wednesday to find geocache – Pillbox #7 – Gurney Slade which is actually at Binegar.  This cache is part of the Pillbox series, if you follow the link you can read all about the series.

Pillboxes were built during World War II as a defence structure to keep an invading army at bay. 28,000 Pillboxes were built during the war but only 6,000 remain today. The one I visited was built to defend the railway bridge (which is no longer there) carrying the Somerset and Dorset railway, it was part of the Green Stop line which went from Burnham on Sea to Melksham, Wiltshire.

I was surprised to see a Pillbox here as I thought they were always at high points or on the coast.

13 Jan 16

I love it when I discover something new when geocaching. When I got home after finding out why there was a pillbox at this point I then spent time researching local railway stations in the area.

Photo by Ben Brooksbank

Binegar Station – Photo by Ben Brooksbank

Unfortunately there is no trace of the station, there is now housing built where the line once ran.

 

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