The Flatlands of East Anglia whilst filled with plenty of great locations and creative caches aren’t exactly known for adventurous geocaching hotspots. I love to travel so a road trip in search of adventurous or interesting caches is always going to be a good thing.
This is definitely a cup of tea post though folks, so grab a brew. Awesome caches come with long stories, especially with writers who go on a bit at times. 😉
Another warning. 🚨*Spoiler alert klaxon sounds*🚨
If you don’t like spoilers, close the door on your way out…
The destination of this epic Geocaching road trip, not too far away based around the Nottingham area. I opted to overnight in Loughborough and meet my friends in the morning. I’m not sure which is more tragic sitting alone in a hotel room sipping warm Pornstar Martinis or meeting very odd strangers with very few teeth to play Pokémon. Keeping it classy.
The rendezvous with my friends arranged at what would become one of my favourite caches. In fact, make that two caches. Schrödinger’s Ghostly wormhole paradox GC2HJYV is technically two caches on the same spot. One above ground, one beneath it. Ooh- er.
Starting with the cache above ground, a tiny scrap of information points you in the right direction for the next.
Off to a typically Clare start I manage to lose my pen in the complex operation of getting out of the car ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but after a bit of scrabbling in my overnight bag, eyeliner saves the day.
I figure out where I’m off to next and message my pals to tell them I’ll meet them at the next stage.
Being a geocacher I already have an in-depth knowledge of dodgy lay-bys and as I pull up for my next adventure, my car rolls to a stop alongside what looks exactly like a carpet wrapped body in the latest. Yikes.
I shoot my friends another message, urging them to hurry up, especially as the carpet dude isn’t exactly chatty.
At last the team arrives and our mission begins. Carpet corpse however soon seems far less threatening than our first hurdle. A field full of frisky cows to be crossed. Bugger.
I’m not too proud to admit I happily use another human as a shield and with a bit of squealing and a smidge of bravery we were soon heading to the refuge of…my biggest fear. The dark!
Ahead loomed a disused railway tunnel. Blocked to keep either us pesky cachers or maybe the cows out. We felt at home though as the barrier was essentially constructed from giant stickoflage. With it soon scaled we set off into the dark.
Past the fresh footprints.
All whilst avoiding perilous holes to the depths of the earth, admittedly potholes but treacherous for us small folk.
Another creepy dude to pass, thankfully this time not wrapped in a carpet.
The cache itself fortunately an easy find, but with caches like this it’s more about discovering and exploring unusual locations and of course scaring the bejesus out of yourself.
Then to run the gauntlet back to the car. The cows now really excited to see us. Oh crap.
However with a bit of hand holding, much swearing and a stick-wielding flamingo (True that.) we made it out alive. I guess we now know what happened to carpet dude…
Certainly an awesome start to our hopefully adventure filled day. A short drive across the Nottinghamshire countryside to GC32REK Cold War Cache. A bit of a celebrity in the caching world with more visitors searching for Tupperware than ever requiring nuclear refuge. Thankfully.
This cache is rated a 5/5, allegedly making it a difficult find and needing equipment to retrieve it safely. Not necessarily a rating I’d agree with but it’s always a treat to explore such forgotten places, well if you’re a pornstar martini drinking feral like me anyway.
The ultimate in Royal wedding avoidance, we headed down just as the nuptials kicked off. In fact this is some indicator of how long it took us to find the cache, given I’m only just publishing this after the birth of the first royal sproglet. 😉
A quick diversion before heading back underground though as I spied a tucked away Trig. Mud and nettles duly braved as I went to go and say hi to it.
Luckily heights are one thing I’m actually not too afraid of so it was no problem tackling that big bad terrain 5 rated ladder. Oooh.
Let’s just not mention getting wedged with my backpack…
Four cachers with a combined total of tens of thousands of finds and only a confined space to search, you’d think we’d make easy work of it.
Let’s just say that the one tall person missed it in the obvious place he first checked.*shakes head.*
It’s ok; we left him down there to consider the consequences of his actions.
Then yet another dash across the county to another cache with an interesting DT rating. ‘Ouse Dyke is it. GC3FZ4Z
Parking on a nearby retail park it was a long, hot trudge to the cache. Having established I’m scared of the dark, and cows, it’s probably a good time to come clean about the fact I’m also not great with water. But hey, looking on the positive side, there shouldn’t be any cows in a culvert at least. Yay.
A nettle covered riverbank awaited us at GZ and given I had welly boots and the most clothes on, I, Ms Mud, was appropriately appointed chief nettle basher.
A path dutifully trampled for my scantily clad pals I dithered at the water’s edge before thinking sod it and leaping in.
With the team all finally in the water we boldly entered the dark, watery world of bitey bugs and god knows what else *shudder*, as I rather prematurely shouted to those following at the rear “It’s really shallow…you’ll be fine….”
Reality quickly came to bite me on the ass as the water suddenly started becoming much deeper.
I’ll be honest; at this point I very nearly chickened out. My comfort zone well and truly left. Sometimes though you’ve just got to pull up your big girl pants and get on with it. Just so happens mine were in my backpack.
A muddy bank provided a brief respite from deepening water and with a helping hand I made it through the deepest parts with a grimace and boots filling with sludge. Nice.
Thankfully the cache is super obvious and we were quickly rewarded for our heroic bravery.
Then to retrace our steps. Oh Boy.
This time I decided on a fast and furious strategy that even Vin Diesel would be proud of. (Totally never seen a single one of the films so apologies if that’s a tragic movie reference.)
Again I fancied my chances on the mud bank and with some fancy pants parkour moves (honest) attempted to make my way along the narrow ledge at speed, boldly declaring myself a ninja (turtle more like) before spotting the gazillion big fat spiders next to my head.
Needless to say I leapt straight back into the murky depths.
A muddy, squelchy walk back to the car we decided there was no better time than a celebratory McDonalds Frappuccino. So underrated for a coffee date, especially when you’re looking like extras from Swamp Thing.
Having terrorised the good folks of Notts enough and smelling quite special, It’s time to hit our final cache of the day.
A mystery cache with multiple stages, Agent Gamma Charlie GC5JK0J.
A fun puzzle to be solved first that involves chatting to a bot. Worth noting the bot has a bit of an attitude, especially when you swear at it. Not that I ever would…
Admittedly not one of our finest starts, all that caching experience and we miss a simple base of post hide. Doh. Eventually we find the stage though and with a bit of decoding we head off to the next bit.
Hot, bothered, stinky and after so much excitement I apparently revert to being a six year old. With cries of ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ and ‘I’m thiiiiiirsty.’ it’s easy to see how much fun I am to go caching with. Form an orderly queue folks.
Four years later and we arrive at the next stage 😉 and it’s a technical fandangle. Would be impressive if a previous cacher hadn’t broken it. *Rolls eyes*
Still, we got the information we needed and were off once again to the final location and knowing what I was letting myself into; a bit I wasn’t exactly looking forward to.
However as my friends ventured in, and having dressed for the occasion I build up the courage to make my way in.
Head in. yikes.
Shoulders in. I’ve got this.
Adopt crawl position, and then beat a hasty retreat as the friend ahead of me helpfully starts launching all sorts of manky gubbins down the tunnel. So Much gross.
All is good though. Agent Charlie is located safe and well. A satisfying end to a truly unusual but fun day. Just too bad it’s such a long drive home to take a shower…