First find of 2020. Came out for a New Year’s Day walk with extended family whom we’re visiting and decided to visit the ruin. Checked for nearby caches and spotted this one. Took some finding as it had gathered some natural camouflage and I eventually found the cache when I kicked it out of its hiding place while hunting somewhere else! TNLN, SL, TFTC.
I’ve been to Crocodiles of the World many times before – both my 5-year-old and my 3-year-old are big fans – but I’d so-far always neglected to bring my GPSr with me on expeditions to this curious and specialised zoo. Not so today: this morning the kids and I came out to meet the reptiles as usual and take a quick break on the way in to snap a picture or two (with apologies for the terrible framing of the one taken by one of the kids!) to log the find. TFTC.
Footpath connecting Ditchley, Fulwell and Cleveley, North-East of Charlbury.
The XKCD Geohashing Wiki has been down ever since the forums hosted on the same server were hacked almost three months ago. But the algorithm is functionally open-source and there’s nothing to stop an enterprising Geohasher from undertaking adventures even when the biggest silo is offline (I’m trying to negotiate a solution to that problem, too, but that’s another story).
So I planned to take a slightly extended lunch break for what looked like an easy expedition: drive up to Fullwell where it looked like I’d be able to park the car and then explore the footpath from its Western end.
Everything went well until I’d parked the car and gotten out. We’ve had some pretty wet weather lately and I quickly discovered that my footwear was less than ideal for the conditions. Clinging to the barbed wire fence to avoid slipping over, I made my way along a footpath saturated with ankle-deep slippery mud. Up ahead, things looked better, so I pressed on…
…but what I’d initially surveyed to be a drier, smoother part of the field up ahead quickly turned out to be a thin dried crust on top of a pool of knee-to-waist-deep ooze. Letting out a smelling like a mixture of stagnant water and animal waste runoff, the surface cracked and I was sucked deep into the pit. I was glad that my boots were tied tightly or I might have lost them to the deep: it was all I could do to turn around and drag my heavy, sticky legs back to the car.
This is my first failed hashpoint expedition that wasn’t cancelled-before-it-started. It’s a little disappointing, but I’m glad I turned around when I did – when I spoke to somebody near where I’d parked, they told me that it got even worse in the next field and a farmer’s tractor had gotten briefly stuck there recently!
My GPSr keeps a tracklog:
Having realised my imminent failure, I vlogged the experience:
You can also watch it at:
After a quick pre-breakfast expedition to the (very good, but under-visited) nearby cache GC18GJB, I decided to take a minor diversion on my way back to Alexandra House via this little cache. An easy find, although I did for a moment think I might have been being watched… only to discover that the creature watching me was a deer. Does a deer count as a muggle? TFTC.
An abundance of leaf mulch made it more–challenging than I’d anticipated both to reach the GZ, on account of slipperiness, and to find the container, on account of camouflage. My geosense took me directly to the right spot but after an initially fruitless search I expanded my radius. Then, still having had no luck, I checked the hint and returned to the site of my initial hunch for a more-thorough search. Soon, the cache was in my hand. SL, TNLN.
Like many previous finders I’m staying in the nearby Alexandra House. My fellow volunteers and I at a nonprofit we run were getting together for our AGM and a Christmas meal (I know it’s early in the year for such things, but among our activities was signing Christmas cards to the hundreds of charities we support, and we have to catch the last international posting dates!).
As has become my tradition at our get-togethers, I got up for a quick hike/geocaching expedition before breakfast. I’m glad I did! This under-hunted cache represents much of what’s best about the activity: a decent sized container, maintained for many years, in a location that justifies a nice walk. FP awarded.
Side note: there’s a bus stop (pictured) at the North end of this footpath. Who’s it for??? In the middle of nowhere with a two-hourly bus five days a week, it doesn’t seem to be serving anybody! Maybe a geocacher will disembark there, someday.
Dropped by to give this cache a checkup before the winter really sets in. It’s well and healthy, only a tiny bit damp. Getting a little lost in fallen leaves but its size and colour mean that it still stands out!
Wonderful location for a virtual: what a view! I’m in Cape Town for a week of work and teambuilding with my new colleagues: a rare occasion as we normally work completely remotely from many different countries. I was pleased to be able to combine work with a trip up Table Mountain, especially on such beautiful day. Snapped the attached pic, then walked over to the other side to watch the sun set. TFTC!
Despite a thorough search in what seems like all of the likely spots, I couldn’t find a trace of this cache.
An easy find while out for a walk an the waterfront with some of my fellow Team Alpha Automatticians. Beautiful view and we got the best possible weather too. TFTC!
Staying in the hotel nearby for a meetup event with my team, who’ve flown in from all over the world (USA, UK, France, Indonesia, Russia, among others) to meet one another face to face (we normally all work remotely). Needed to count the portholes twice but got the right answer in the end. TFTC (my first find in ZA)!
Turned up on a Tuesday at 16:15 to find the place all locked up, despite a sign on the door saying it was open until 18:00! Might try again later in the week.
Found after an extended hunt with fleeblewidget. Hadn’t brought my proper GPSr out and my phone didn’t give us a solid fix, but a spoiler photo by a previous finder was enough of a clue to help us as we expanded our search radius. TFTC.
Dropped by to visit and discovered this had been vandalised again; I don’t think it’s maintainable in its current location. Archiving.
Looks like this cache has been muggled, and its hiding place is no longer usable. I’ll look to see if it can be moved somewhere else in the vicinity and the puzzle updated accordingly.