X Marks The Spot. This was the one that we had originally considered placing in Nightingale Woods, as mentioned in my last roundup post.
This is the cache that has already got 5 favourite points, which I’m chuffed about. I think that’s partly because the location is so lovely, partly because the box itself is a whopper and it has lots and lots of nice swag inside, and partly because kiddies especially seem to be enjoying following the treasure map that we included on the cache listing as an alternative route to ground zero. It’s definitely the kind of cache that we as a family would enjoy doing ourselves, so hopefully other families think so too!
Swindon Soiree event. And this time it was a Christmas special – which involved a visit from Stanta! (yes, I spelt that right ;) ). The kids were mightily chuffed to win a prize in the raffle – a cool interactive I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here DVD game – thanks Mrs Mole! And it was great to meet up with Hannah from The QCs for the first time in the flesh after much communication via blogs and Facebook.
That was us all geocached out then until after Christmas. Life’s too busy in the run up to the big day to do much other than faff about with presents, decorations and other prep.
Mouldon Fields – and #222 Mouldon Hill – as the kids (including Jay :) ) were having more fun throwing snowballs about. Also we did start out after a third, but in following the arrow came to an impassable barrier, and the boys were thirsty and cold by then, so we didn’t bother looking for an alternative route. We give up far too easily, us :)
A couple of days later we had a trip planned to Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, and Hannah QC just happened to mention that there were a couple of good caches very close to the zoo, and I’m glad she did as they were well worth checking out.
|Up on top of the Viaduct|
And then we went to the zoo – I’ve already posted some of my zoo piccies on the “Z” entry for our A-Z Year, but here are a couple more….
On New Year’s Eve, Jay was off doing boy stuff with his eldest (fixing cars and things, and probably eating bogeys or whatever it is that boys do when there aren’t any girls around), so I went out for the day caching with the kiddies. We had a full day with no hockey to rush back for, so this was our chance to go and tackle RoobyDoo’s new series near Avebury that we had been eyeing up for a week or so.
|can you glimpse Silbury Hill in this photo?|
|that little blip on the horizon is the West Kennett longbarrow|
We got SO muddy doing this series – the heavy snow had only just melted and I guess it had softened up all the mud – the whole way round it was squelch squelch squelch. Thank heaven for good walking boots.
The boys really enjoyed the day’s walk, it’s a fascinating area with plenty to keep their interest up, and they loved collecting symbols from each cache to determine the location of the bonus cache at the end. I see that the series already has 9 favourite points despite only being a month old, and it fully deserves them.
After completing the series, we relocated just down the road and climbed up to the famous West Kennett longbarrow where there is a virtual cache that was #233 for the Chaos Crew. For some odd reason I haven’t been to the barrow since I was in my teens despite many visits to the Avebury area now that I live in Wiltshire.
We did no caching after this until the 9th January, when we were spurred into action by an event cache called #235 “On Holiday By Mistake” which we had signed up for some months back. In all honesty, none of us woke up that Sunday in a caching mood, it was a cold morning, my knees were playing up (old lady that I am) and we knew that the event involved climbing up a whopping great big hill. But we didn’t want to let anyone down, so off we set. And of course we were glad we did, it was a lot of fun.
A Road Anarchy A417 - Stand & Deliver. It is very close to the Highwayman pub on the main Swindon to Gloucester Road (the clue’s in the name :) ), and we found this lovely old stagecoach there. It was lovely and sunny by this point, and we were getting in a caching mood. Then the cache itself (a slip of green, mouldy, slimy paper in a dripping wet film tub wedged behind a road sign) kind of put us off again. Every time I do one of these cash and dash micros I remember why I don’t do cash and dash micros! Still, if you ignore the nasty cache, the location itself was worth stopping off at just for the stagecoach….
Of course, having only stopped off because we thought we were in plenty of time, our little detour made us late, and when we got to the congregation spot for the event, everyone was waiting for us. Ooops!
Painswick Beacon, followed by a well earned pub lunch. The other eventers raced off, and by the time I had said a quick hello to Sandra of the Lydford Locators, and tightened Connor’s boot laces, the crowd was already out of sight, so Jay and I and the boys did the walk on our own.
|Group photo at top of beacon, you can *just* see my head to the left of Jay's - we look like midgets compared to everyone else :D|
The Beacon, which strangely wasn’t up at the beacon at all, but instead very close to the pub car park. This was a good sized cache in some pretty woods, with some decent trade items in, so the kids were happy. I think everyone at the event found this cache today, the owner must have been somewhat startled by all the “found it” emails flooding in out of the blue!
By the following weekend, I was really starting to miss “proper” caching big time – we’d picked up one or two here and there, but we hadn’t really got stuck in for a while – so with Connor at his dad’s for the day the rest of us set off to tackle the Leigh Fields series, starting at #237 Leigh Fields 1 – High Bridge.
As we pulled up to park the car we saw that all the fields around us were flooded. It had rained non stop all week after all. Definitely a good day for me to test out my snazzy new gaiters that I got for Christmas!
We found the first cache in the series easily enough, and then, well, that’s as far as we got! That was because we got within 50 feet of Leigh Fields 2 – Derry Brook, and saw this:
The brook had breached its banks and the bridge (yes, there’s a bridge under there) was under about a foot of water. As Jay and Reece were gaiterless, and already had wet socks from the walk through the squelchy fields, we decided that this series is maybe best saved until a sunnier day...
Lonely Church (Wilts). This is a good example of a cache that might not have leapt out of the listings at me, but the fact that 10 of our fellow cachers had awarded it one of their precious favourite points made it a must-see.
From the cache page: This church was built in the early 1200s, but the village centre subsequently grew some 1/2 mile further down the road. The villagers decided to move the nave of the church in 1896, but the chancel remains in its original location, now some distance from any other buildings. It is a very peaceful location.
The following weekend, we were headed down to Basingstoke for the day (for a pub lunch, a swim in the Aquadrome, and an ice hockey game in the evening), and we knew we would have about an hour to kill mid afternoon, so once again we used the new “favourites” feature to help us to choose a good cache to hunt in the area. We came up with one called #239 Roman Coins, in the old Roman town of Silchester, just outside the ‘Stoke, that looked very promising.
There were some other caches nearby, and more Roman ruins to explore, but we spent so long at the North Gate that we ran out of time. We will definitely come back here one day, next time Swindon Wildcats are away vs the Bison maybe.
Agricultural Cathedral (Oxfordshire).
Of course the barn turned out to be considerably more interesting than I thought it would be – and a lot bigger too – in fact it was huge!
The blurb from the cache page:
A great end to another couple of months of caching – the weather may have put us off doing loads, fair weather cachers R us, but we did have fun with what little we did do.