August 12 – Finally an evening out geocaching

Around Shipton-on-Wychwood

Hi from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

We had a good day with average numbers but meeting some interesting people. We talked to a local guy who is a volunteer at the Tolsey Museum in Burford. He is very interested in local history and is a keen photographer who reminded us about the meteor shower tonight. We also met a lady from Chester who is very keen to find somewhere to display the mosaic in Chester which would be great.

It was a lovely day weatherwise, the first really nice warm day in ages. After work, we went home for a cup of tea and a quick game of cards then we went out for some local geocaching. First, we went to Caching Heroes Number 5: Simply Paul which is along the road to Ascott-under-Wychwood. We found a convenient car park and walked around a field taking in the lovely summer views on the way. At the bottom of the field, there was a bridge. I wondered where the cache could be as there are many possibilities. Then I noticed that the terrain rating was 4.5 (the highest is 5) so we soon realised that the cache was probably under the bridge. Getting under there was not easy, I certainly would not be able to do it. From there Mike could see the cache, under the bridge right in the centre. He thought about hanging over the edge but didn’t think he would be able to reach or have the strength to hold on. At 23 he would have found it easy and right up his alley but alas he is not 23 anymore. However, he realised he could climb along the inside of the bridge from underneath, not easy but possible. After retrieving the box he had to bring it back to me to sign the log and we added a travel bug which we have been carrying around for a while. Then he climbed back in taking some photos on the way so that I could see where he had been. I also ripped out some of the pages as some naughty boys had found it and drawn rude pictures in it. Not sure how a cache like this caught be muggled, I guess by canoe. I gave this cache a favourite point as it was a lot of fun to do and a real challenge and as a bonus, we got a 1.5/4.5 D/T rating for our geocaching grid. Mike had a smile on his face. A real sense of achievement without risking life and limb.

Next, we visited Holy Trinity church in Ascott-under-Wychwood. We were not sure if we had been here before but we were here on 6 January 2017. There is no church micro but there should be, we may have to put some in in this area. There is a lovely avenue of trees in the churchyard, limes maybe.

Next, we went on a trail of 5 caches on a walkway around Shipton-under-Wychwood. The evening was so nice and just perfect for a walk, we were just missing a dog. The blackberries were out and we were eating them warm of the bushes, it reminded us of a similar evening walking along the Ashburton River a few years ago. The caches were all a bit different and some were quite challenging to find. The first was a sneaky hide in a tree, the second was a bigger box and we were able to leave our last travel bug. The third gave us more trouble. We had to cross the railway track and then we searched and searched. We nearly gave up several times but we just kept looking. Then finally I read out the title and description to Mike and he had a ‘light bulb’ moment. He guessed that the cache was going to be up a tree but held with fishing line and sure enough after a few minutes more of looking we had it. Another favourite and another sense of achievement. He is on a roll tonight. The next cache took us a few minutes of searching as the hint was a little confusing but when he approached from behind, he soon found the cache. We were starting to get hungry now and eating the blackberries had just made us hungrier. Mike suggested that we picked some and made jam and at home, I probably would have. The fifth cache was at a kissing gate on the track but it was covered in nettles, we both got stung several times even on the face and when some muggles arrived we gave up and went home. A lovely evening.

At 11 pm we went out again and drove up the hill towards Burford and parked the car besides some other sky watchers. We saw quite a few meteors as well as satellites in the half hour we were there watching the Perseid Meteor Shower. It was a nearly clear night which is a bit of luck. Funny to see the sky look so different to the Southern Hemisphere with no Southern Cross but ‘the saucepan’ is much bigger and clearer.