Hello, Mrs Hg137 here.
It was the final day of our full-on geocaching/walking/sightseeing holiday before we headed home (to recover?), and we thought we would do a ‘proper’ day’s caching, rather than caches found as we saw the sights. But first – how to reach Bolventor without ending up in a Bank Holiday traffic queue? We went the back way, past Golitha Falls (http://www.bedknobs.co.uk/golitha-falls.htm very pretty, worth a visit, but needing scrambling as well as walking skills for the last bit) and then beside the River Fowey up to Jamaica Inn. A car driver stopped us near the Inn. ‘The A30’s rammed!’ he said. He was right.
We pulled in to an equally rammed car park at Jamaica Inn http://www.jamaicainn.co.uk and pulled up near a granite post. Crikey, we were at GZ, and it was less than 3 feet from our geocar bumper! It didn’t take long to locate the cache, and we also retrieved a trackable (it wanted to stay in Cornwall – we have honoured that). A good start to the caching day!
‘A Drive on the Moor’, a series of about 60 caches, was our main goal for the day; all the caches are billed as being within 50 feet of the road/car park, and this was true. We planned to do the northernmost half of the series, heading south first of all, then looping back to the north to finish not far from our start point. It had been billed as having ‘next to non-existent traffic’ and we were looking forward to empty roads. It was not to be. Car after van after trailer after caravan was heading away from the stationary traffic on the A30. We found a small spot to park and retrieved the first cache, and a hedgehog trackable from Holland, as the cars went by. Trackables are like buses – you don’t see one for ages, then two turn up within minutes of each other… We couldn’t even attempt the next cache as the stream of traffic escaping the A30 went by and we couldn’t stop.
A little further on was a cache a little way away from the road and across the moor, overlooking Dozmary Pool http://www.legendofkingarthur.co.uk/cornwall/dozmary.htm This is alleged to be the place where King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, was thrown after Arthur was mortally wounded in battle. The pool is variously described as mysterious / enchanted / atmospheric, and that is probably so on a misty day, but on this day the bright sunshine and extra traffic meant it wasn’t overly mysterious, but it is a beautiful spot with good views over the pool and the moor.
The next two caches were: drive-find-log-dash on, and the third was in such a busy spot that I was sent to find the cache while Mr Hg137 cowered by the geocar. There were good views over Colliford Lake and up to the A30 where the traffic jam still stretched from horizon to horizon. For the next cache, the roles were reversed, and Mr Hg137 did the finding. During the few minutes it took to find those two caches, maybe one-eighth of a mile apart, twenty-seven cars, one Land Rover, and a caravan came by – this really wasn’t the quiet road we had hoped for! After bypassing the next two caches – the traffic was way too much for this little country road – the next two finds were quick and simple, and, better, we had now moved away from the section of road that was being used as a rat run by all those drivers … and it was now much quieter (phew, that was a relief).
By now we had passed by the dam at the bottom of the lake (actually, it’s a reservoir https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colliford_Lake ) and there was a handy car park where we could stop for a pleasant picnic lunch, then search for the next cache in the series. Well, the lunch and the car park were agreeable, but we didn’t find the cache (and it hasn’t been found since). And another less agreeable thing – the area where the cache was likely to be looked to be used for something else – “walking the dog” – a colleague helpfully described it – as there were racy magazines and other …items … dotted about. We moved on.
Heading north now back towards the A30, we followed the western side of the lake without always being close to it. The scenery became more open moorland, and we stopped to find (or sometimes, not find) caches at intervals. At one point, one of us acted as decoy to keep the attention of some ponies and foals while the other sneaked in behind to find a cache.
And then there was another car park, with a view down over the lake. We pulled in for a coffee break, to take in the view, and find another cache. But this one was special. It was to be our 1500th cache. Woo hoo! We approached, subtly, so as not to excite notice from a couple picnicking nearby. It didn’t work; as we got closer and bent to retrieve the cache … ‘We know what you’re doing!’ We’d been rumbled – those picnickers were two other cachers, Squirrel &Stinky, on their way home after a holiday … so that’s six geocachers we’d met this week … We swapped tales of caching adventures – (they’ve been MUCH further afield than us) and offered them the log to sign; they did so, but never did log the cache; they did say that it wasn’t ‘proper’ to log something they hadn’t found.
On we went, heading north back towards the A30, finding more caches as we went. We met more traffic, but this time it was coming from the opposite direction, and the road was wider, so it was less troublesome. Except for one moment while I was signing a cache log while tucked into a storm drain as traffic rushed past, uncomfortably close.
The sunshine had turned hazy, cumulus clouds were massing to the north, and it was appreciably cooler and windier; if we didn’t hurry, we would get very wet. We sped up our caching; we could hear rumbles of thunder, and it got darker; the traffic escaping the A30 now had lights on. Once again, a passing muggle driver stopped to chat. We found out from him that it was possible to turn right onto the A30 at the end of this lane – we weren’t sure it was possible till then, didn’t want to join the holiday traffic jam, and were preparing to turn round – so that was good to know. We were close to the A30 now, and could see all the queuing holiday traffic – not a good afternoon for them at all. The last two caches in the series were accomplished in gathering gloom amid rumbles of thunder; we had finished just in time. This was a super series in beautiful countryside and equally beautiful weather (except at the very end). Our one mistake was to choose the Saturday before a Bank Holiday to attempt the series, when the lanes are much busier than usual!
By now, it was late afternoon and we were heading back to our hotel in Liskeard, having found 26 caches, a good haul. About this time we both realised that our record number of caches for a day was 29 – and we were passing very close to the ‘Compass 360’ cache series. Suddenly there were extra caches available. And the rest of this post is elsewhere, in the forthcoming ‘Compass 360 post’. Did we break our record? Wait and see…