Postcard from Scotland

Crossing the border

Here we are in dreich, wet, cold and windy, not quite what we had hoped for, but a welcome break none the less. We are currently stopped for the night in the Kelpies’ carpark for a very reasonable £7.50.

Kelpies sculptures by Andy Scott

The Kelpies are horse-head sculptures that depict shape-shifting water spirits. They are constructed out of stainless steel on a mild steel framework being 30 metres high and weigh 300 tonnes each. These are not only a superb piece of engineering and also are stunning to look at from every angle.

GC891CY Phooning with the Kelpies by Doodlejack virtual D1.5/T1.5

Caerlaverlock castle

In-between the weather we have managed to visit some amazing places and of course find geocaches and adventure labs.

Melrose Abbey, note the umbrella at the ready.

One of our ambitions was to walk across the Forth Bridge and to grab the virtual cache in the middle, we achieved this in the teeth of a freezing wind, but it was well worth it for the views. Since the opening of the “New” Forth Road Bridge only busses and taxis are the only motorised transport allowed across the bridge, there is a pedestrian and cycleway either side of the main carriageway at the moment only the east side is open. There was no sign of anyone painting the bridge, maybe they finally finished it!

GC7B69W Fiorth of Forth (Virtual Reward) by Devious_Dwarferkev virtual D2/T2

Old Forth Road Bridge
Forth Rail Bridge from start of the old Road Bridge

One of the adventure labs in Moffat took us down a leafy cul-de-sac to where a full size Second World War fighter plane was parked on a bungalow front lawn, it beats gnomes or solar water wheels for oneupmanship!

Full size Spitfire replica

As we compose this the rain is still pattering down on the roof of the van, hopefully tomorrow will bring sunshine for a trip to the Falkirk Wheel before heading off to Lindores Abbey Distillery.

News & New Caches 23

There have been 3 new caches recently published, nice to see another fine pair!
GC9PPZH A Fine Pair #1662 ~ Salem by RichieBlod Multi D2/T2
Brooks’ Barmouth Bash series sees the addition of another 2 caches:
GC9QRVF Brooks’ Barmouth Bash meets Mawddach Meander by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9QRV0 Brooks’ Barmouth Bash #1a – Alternative Route by CazzaB80 Traditional D1.5/T1.5

Event Reminder

GC9QBKA CITO 2022 Season 1 by 9 Usual Suspects CITO Event

When: Sunday 10th April 2022
Where: Morfa Parc, Caernarfon
Time: 11am – 1pm

By attending this event you will earn the above souvenir and also be helping to take care of our local environment. Please note there is only limited roadside parking but we do have permission to park in Tescos carpark. We look forward to seeing you.

New CITO Equipment

new equipment

As our regular litter picking attendees are very aware a lot of our equipment had seen better days and we have been struggling to replace. We are pleased to announce that we have finally made contact and have had a very successful meeting with Clean & Tidy, Gwynedd Councils new department that deal with issuing of equipment and sundries. We have a new supply of gloves, adults and childrens, different design litter pickers and bag hoops. The council would like feed back on the quality of the pickers and hoops, also any suggestions for future purchases of equipment. We have already requested the access to extra long handled pickers.

News & New Caches

With the longer evenings its nice to see plenty of new caches being published. With five on Anglesey will Gwyn ever complete his personal challenge of having only yellow smilie faces on the island!

GC9QCET By the church by Somot Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9Q280 Church Micro 14351Llanddyfnan by RichieBlod Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9Q2A5 Church Micro 14352...Llanallgo by RichieBlod Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9NZ0P Church Micro 14354…Niwbwrch by RichieBlod Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9QD33 Poles Apart by RichieBlod Traditional D1.5/T1.5

GC9PXY6 Ammonite…Perimineralisation. by Hillgorilla Earth Cache D2/T1

GC9QBKA CITO 2022 Season 1 by 9 Usual Suspects CITO Event D1/T3

Premium Member Only

GC9QBQ8 The Grapes of Wrath by Squaddie101 Traditional D2.5/T1.5

Event Reminder

GC9PMX9 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 44 by 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T1
When: Tuesday 29th March
Where: Anglesey Arms, Harbour Front, Caernarfon LL55 1SG
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

If you are planning to attend please could you log a ‘will attend’ as we need to let the pub know numbers.

North Wales Wildlife Trust

We are hoping in the future to join forces with North Wales Wildlife Trust in their beach cleans and other events. They have a large grant for events to encourage people to visit their woodlands. It has been suggested, as well as placing geocache trails, we could jointly host ‘Introduction to Geocaching Days’. This would be something similar to Aberlleiniog Castle. We are looking for ideas and volunteers…………

Website Difficulties

We have been having a few problems with the website and hackers. Please could you let us know if you experience any difficulties in accessing the site or spot anything suspicious.

News & New Caches

It is forecast to be a lovely weekend with new caches being placed all over our area there is no excuse not to get out, find a cache or two and enjoy the sunshine.

GC9Q66Y Minesweeper by Clueless_Goose Mystery/Puzzle D3/T1.5
GC9Q5KM You Are Here by Somot Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9Q3JG ❤️Dating Trees❤️ by StrawberryFinch Traditional D1.5/D2.5

Premium Member Only
GC9Q89N Pass the Parcel by Squaddie101 Traditional D2/T1.5
GC9Q59G Tilly’s View by Bess’s Friends Traditional D1/T1/5

Event Reminder

GC9PMX9 9 Usual Suspects – Nosh & Natter 44 by 9 Usual Suspects Event
When: Tuesday 29th March
Where: Anglesey Arms, Harbour Front, Caernarfon LL55 1SG
Time: 7pm to 9pm or when the last person leaves

If you are planning to attend please could you log a ‘will attend’ as we need to let the pub know numbers.

New Challenge, Signal’s Labyrinth

Geocaching have announced their latest challenge, Signal’s Labyrinth, which starts on April 4th 2022 lasting 12 months. By collecting points on geocache finds, Adventures labs, and mysterious bonus items you help Signal to escape from the labyrinths and return to Geocaching HQ. There are 6 different labyrinths with 2 months to complete each maze and 2 souvenirs for each stage plus a bonus for collecting all 12.

A Challenging Adventure Lab

Ye Olde Survey Monuments Tribute Adventure by GAGB 10 stages non-sequential

We are featuring this Adventure Lab as one of the stages is in our area at the top of Snowdon. Ye Ole Survey Monuments, YOSM for short, GC45CC, was a travelling Virtual cache owned by outforthehunt. The cache moved around the country, to claim a find you were looking for a specific survey monument, trig point, pillar, surface block, rivet or bolt. Like all travelling caches, this cache was archived by Groundspeak in 2017. At the time, it had 25,076 finds by 3,528 cachers and 651 favourite points. The Adventure Lab takes you to the 10 most visited YOSM locations in Great Britain. This Adventure Lab cache will be an adventure! If you complete all of the stages you will have travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain. Good Luck!

Snowdon Summit, Gwynedd – YSM0598
Blorenge, Gwent – YSM0272
Flax Bourton (R), Somerset – YSM0415
Brean Down, Somerset – YSM0348
Woodhenge, Wiltshire – YSM0223
The Ring, Gloucestershire – YSM0269
Pittern Hill, Warwickshire – YSM0540
Mersea Gun Emplacement, Essex – YSM0623
Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire – YSM0300
Kinnoull Hill, Perth – YSM0385

The Adventure Lab was published in 2019 and at the time of writing this there has only been 7 people complete the challenge.

GAGB is the Geocaching Association of Great Britain, it is free to join, for more information visit their website: http://www.gagb.org.uk

YOSM Today

Naturesbyte at YSM290 Hough Hill .

After the original cache was archived the cache GC76962 Ye Ole Survey Monuments Memorial Cache was published to allow finders of YOSMs to still record their finds as a note to enable their ‘statpics’ to be updated, see below. Sadly the YOSM website is broken and a list of all YOSM sites is not currently available.

statpic sample

News & New Caches

GC9N17R 9 Usual Suspects Go Peering Around the Pier By 9 Usual Suspects Event D1/T1

We have an event on 27th February at Garth Pier, Bangor published this week. After the event we hope to find GC9MJNM Friends and Piers by Clueless_Goose Mystery D3.5/T1.5.

February Reach the Peak Souvenir Challenge

The final stage in Reach the Peak Souvenir Challenge is the worlds tallest mountain Everest.

Everest and the Welsh Connections
Did you know that Everest is named after a Welshman? The mountain was named after Colonel Sir George Everest, who was born in Crickhowell, Powys in 1790. Sir George was a surveyor and geographer who worked as the Surveyor General of India between 1830 and 1843.

In 1802 the Great Trigonometric Survey of India was established to identify the world’s highest mountains. Over many years British surveyors used giant theodolites to measure the heights, and in 1852 analysing of the raw data led to “Peak XV” being officially verified as the world’s highest peak.

Although the surveyors attempted to preserve local terms wherever possible, there was no unified name for Peak XV. In November 1847, Andrew Waugh, the then surveyor general of India, proposed that the mountain be named after his predecessor, Sir George Everest.

Although Sir George opposed the suggestion, in 1865 the Royal Geographical Society officially adopted Mount Everest as the name of the world’s highest point.

Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing trained for their famous 1953 expedition to conquer Everest here in Snowdonia staying at the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel. Here today many items are displayed connected with their training and the expedition.

Souvenir Challenge

The February challenge starts Monday February 7th, 2022 at noon UTC and finishes Monday March 7th at noon UTC. Geocachers must collect 425 points to earn the Everest Basecamp souvenir and 8,849 points to earn the Everest Summit souvenir. Geocachers who earn all fourteen Basecamp and Summit souvenirs in the Reach the Peak Challenge will also earn the Peak Performer souvenir.

Here are the point values for our climb up Everest:

Completed an Adventure975
Found a Mystery Cache900
Found a Multi-Cache850
Found a cache with 15+ Favorite points700
Found a Letterbox Hybrid550
Found an EarthCache650
Found it*425
Found an Adventure Location125

*Log a Found it on any other non-Event cache type, excluding Webcam Caches.

The maximum number of points you can earn for any cache log is 975 points.

News & New Caches

Apologies everyone, Ecobake has kindly pointed out that I missed a new cache on the Great Orme in the last post. Not making excuses, but the date placed for this new cache is 23.11.2020! So……. it didn’t show up in my search. At the time of writing this there has only been one find so 2nd to find is still up for grabs.

GC931C0 Fossil Fiesta by WildeFamily2 Traditional D2/T2

Guess the Cache?

Answer to Guess the Cache 2 is GC1QH55 Penrhyn Slate Train: 2, The Tunnel

Well done everyone that correctly guessed, this weeks cache is a little further a field but once done never forgotten.

Guess the Cache 3

Guess the Cache? Number 3, GZ is in the picture, a clue this one needs teamwork!

News & New Caches

Only one new cache and one new event published this week. The event is a bit out of our area but for anyone wanting to visit a beautiful beach on New Years Day this event by Pink icing should be considered.

GC9KBDP Happy New Year at the seaside by Pink icing Event D1/T1.5

GC9JT53 Promenade Across The Causeway by Clueless_Goose Multi D2/T1.5

A lovely multi cache which takes you along Belgian Promenade that can be combined with this Adventure Lab Gateway to Ynys Mon – Exploring Menai Bridge created by escapefromwork.

GIFF Results

This year’s Signal Award winner is…

First hide – Geocaching Documentary from Finland

“Braija returns with “First hide – Geocaching Documentary from Finland.” This year, he’s a Community Volunteer Reviewer here to help a cacher with his first geocache hide. He shares tips and tricks which can help every new cache hider!” Geocaching HQ Blog

This year’s People’s Choice winner is…

Signal Academy – Froggy’s Dream

“Signal Academy – Froggy’s Dream shows a day in the life at Signal Academy – a school for cute miniature Signal the Frogs! From Dr. Professor Signalus’ lessons to Outdoor Recreation class, there’s lots going on at Signal Academy.” Geocaching HQ Blog

I’m not sure if we all agree with the peoples choice vote result. There were 61 film submissions from 15 different countries, 17 of which made the cut for this years film show. The next GIFF will be in 2 years time, 2023, due to Geocaching HQ 20th anniversary celebrations. Could we do better?

Other Stuff

A big Thank You to everyone who attended last nights online party and Pete for sorting out all the technical stuff etc. Let us hope that next year we will all be meeting up in person and not online events.

Another elf dance from last year, take it away Pink icing and Jude100………

And as it is not quite Christmas here’s another cracker joke…….

Who says “Oh, oh, oh!”? Santa Claus walking backwards

Coastal Watch, Ponta Delgada, Azores

One of the guns still in place from WW2

GC7ZR5T JOKER PDGT – COASTAL WATCH – P. Delgada CANONS by PALHOCOSMACHADOD D5/T4

This letterbox cache explores a WWII defence post high on Pico da Castanheira over looking the city of Ponta Delgada and its harbour. Portugal was neutral throughout the war but the Azores Islands laying in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, 870 miles west of Lisbon and 1,200 miles southeast of Newfoundland, Canada were strategically very important to both sides.

The CO pointing out the importance of the guns siting in relation to the harbour

After meeting the cache owner, Luis, at an event we took up his kind offer for a guided tour of this fascinating place. The three guns are all still in situ and in remarkable condition seeing they have been in place since 1940 with no maintenance since 1969 when operations here ceased.

Into the tunnels

On the cache page there is a map of the underground tunnels and rooms, it is advisable to bring a copy, as well as studying the attributes. The condition of the tunnels is remarkable, no sign of damp and seeing they are open to all there is no vandalism or graffiti.

The doors lead to one of the gun emplacements

The hunt for the coordinates of the final hide guides you around the battery exploring the different rooms and tunnels. As with all military establishments your rank determined conditions and facilities, with the Battery Commanders having proper toilets!

A latrine for the lower ranks

The tunnels eventually lead to the underground observation post which would have been manned at all times, here there was a machine gun, only the concrete mount remains today. All defences of the battery were positioned for a seaward attack.

View of the sea and Ponta Delgada from the observation post.

This is another one of those places that we would never have known existed let alone visited if it had not been for Geocaching. Having Luis as a guide with his knowledge of the history of the fortifications added to our understanding of how it operated and its position strategically.

We certainly did!

Post Card from the Azores, Flores

After five and a half years planning we are here in Flores, the most westerly point of Europe, surrounded by the Atlantic ocean, next stop the USA. The scenery is truly amazing and we find ourselves repeatedly exclaiming WOW. With Waterfalls over half a kilometre high and volcano calderas two a penny here it’s hard to describe the beauty. Geocaches however are a contrast often a small fragile plastic bottle from a popular local non alcoholic drink being abandoned in strategic locations, without the respect of private property or stone walls. Our lack of Portuguese is a handicap even with google translate often the text and hint are often incomprehensible.