Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic
Today we decided to return to Chester as we had not walked around the city walls last time so that is what we wanted to do first this time. There are various geocaches around the city walls too so that is an added incentive. This time we walked from the bus station and soon found ourselves up on the wall. The Chester city walls were built to defend the city and they were started by the Romans between 70 and 80 AD in earth and turf topped by a wooden palisade. From 100 AD they were built in sandstone but it took over 100 years before they were completed. After the Norman Conquest, the walls were extended to the west and the south until the walls circled the medieval city. The walls now total 2.95 km and form almost a complete circuit around the city and are a major tourist attraction although maintenance is an ongoing problem. There was one part which was closed and we had to walk along the road before heading back onto the wall again. At another place, it does not feel like you are on a wall as you are walking along a footpath at the side of the road but when you look down across the racecourse you realise just how high you are. In the past, the money required for the upkeep of the wall was from a series of murages granted by the King which was a medieval tav or duty levied on merchandise passing in and out of the city. The walls were heavily damaged during the civil war and during the siege of the city in 1645.
Just past the Cathedral, we saw a falconry display which takes place daily below the city wall including a falcon chasing a girl holding out a leather glove. It was interesting to watch on such a beautiful day.
A few of the geocaches that we did around the wall included the name, Harvey. It wasn’t until I came to log these finds at the end of the day that I realised that they were the caches of Sir & Lady Harveyjj. We met them three or four years ago in our shop in Geraldine, New Zealand when they were helping to organise the UK 2016 Mega in Llangollen. After talking to them I decided that this was the date I would aim for, to go to the UK so that we could attend the Mega in August 2016. We decided then and there that we wanted to be there and we were. We have been in the UK ever since. So much geocaching to do. LOL. There was another of their caches overlooking the racecourse but it seemed highly unlikely that we would be able to look for the cache as there were quite a few people walking along the footpath and also it was near some traffic lights so cars have a tendency to be waiting here. Luckily it was one of those caches where you have a quite feel and find it, wander off in order to sign the cache in private and then wait for the right moment to return in inconspicuously. Putting it back looked like it was going to be a real problem as a couple stopped nearly right on the spot but I pretended to tie my shoelaces and we were away laughing.
When we were in Chester last Sunday we collected all the numbers for the two multis. I was sure I had the coords right for Chester City Cache – Looking Up but at the final coordinates, although there was a place that matched the hint, we just could not find the cache. It was right by the barrier arm of a college which did not seem quite right and it would also be a hugely busy place during the week. It was a pity as we had done a lot of walking to collect all the numbers although it was a great way to see the city. Also one of our reasons for returning to the city today was to visit the Agricola Tower and Chester Castle. We walked passed the castle but it did not seem to be open. It is an English Heritage site and there are two guided tours per month departing from the Town Hall Visitor Information Centre on the first Tuesday and third Friday of the month at 11.30am, between the beginning of April and the end October. You never know, maybe we will be back one day.
We found the second multi and two other caches on our way along the river Dee and spent some time watching some kayakers being put through their paces while we were looking for a cache at the Old Mill Wheel. Later in the afternoon, it started to drizzle and as we did not have our coats and we had done everything we wanted to do we headed back to the bus station. This time we went the right way. Last week when we visited Chester we got hopelessly lost trying to find the bus station and a young guy helped us by walking with us until we were in sight of it, which was really nice of him.
On the way home, we visited Great Sutton where we found a church micro with an excellent hint but no church. We then ended up going all around the houses trying to get back to the main road. We should have just done a U-turn in the first place. The weather had improved by now and last night I had discovered a challenge called Pyramid Challenge which we qualified for. We had to have found 0ne cache placed in 2001, two in 2002 etc until you have found 10 placed in 2010. This is made more difficult as each of the ten years caches have to be placed in ten different months of the year. We had not only qualified but also found one placed in 2000 of which there were not too many as the first cache in the world was not placed until the 3 May 2000 in Beavercreek, Oregon and the first in the UK was placed on 6/6/2000. The first geocache in New Zealand was placed in May 2000 near Wellington so I will have to put that on my “geocaching bucket list”. We have not found that one but we have found one which was placed in November 2000 on Mt Cargill in Dunedin and one placed in December at Sutton Lake in Otago. The oldest we have found in the UK is Tim & Jon’s 1st Re-Stashed (UK’s 3rd oldest/Eng#2) which was placed in January 2001. The Pyramid challenge cache was well up the Wirral near Irby and Thurstaston so on our way back to Willaston we did three of Dee’s Dawdles that we had not been able to find over the last few weeks and armed with extra clues were able to find all three. I hope we will be able to return to the Wirral in the future and do logs more geocaching as there are so many more to find.