Nearly Christmas, with Appropriate Weather

A afternoon of caching in the snow around Sunderland. The kids were being supervised by grandparents, and it was a lovely afternoon, albeit rather cold.

Since we set up the Tyne Tunnel we have so far been totally unsuccessful at dropping TBs into the nominated northern end. When Kas came up in October it had been moved after a muggle attack and Kas couldn’t find it. This time it just isn’t there. We might have to take a suggestion mentioned at an event earlier in the week and just set up our own. There is a fairly wide gap for caches in between South Shields and Sunderland. I feel a new cache coming on next time we visit. Then at least we will always know where it is supposed to be. We have the option to place it somewhere walkable from Kas’s mum’s house.

Meanwhile, back to the plot. We had about an hour and a half before needing to fetch the kids so we thought we could do a bit of caching in the snow on the north side of Sunderland.


First up was the Sunderland footie fan’s dream – the Academy of Light (GC2GC7G). As we were driving there we passed a whole group of Sunderland Academy members on a training run. I guess they have to train even in the snow. We managed to avoid running any of them over.

The cache is down a public footpath which seems to cut right through the middle of Sunderland’s new training ground just outside Cleadon. Weird. The iPhone4 was happy but Kas’s iPhone 3GS somehow thought that our location was N 00 00.000 W 000 00.000 – and as a result it thought the cache was about 7000km away from us. I think not.


So iPhone4 it is, then. The cache proved to be a nice little hide – easy to find and yet not at all visible. It was in excellent condition and was of sufficient size to receive 3 of the 5 TBs we had on us. Only the big ones would not fit in. So that’s a big chunk of the job done.

All in all this one took no more than 10 minutes from where we parked the car. Without the snow I think you would describe it as abandoned rather than parked. I claim total inability to determine the locations of kerbs, pathways and grass verges. Still, the parking location was not bad enough to prevent escape, and we were quickly on our way again down to the National Glass Centre.

The National Glass Centre is home to the cunning little People in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones! (GC2CCM8). Not much to say about this one because it is a magnetic nano. We found it eventually after a few altitude issues. Not saying what though, ‘cos that would be telling.

By this time, unfortunately, two factors were coming into play that would put an end to the activities. Firstly, we were running out of time and secondly, Kas felt as sick as a dog and obviously wasn’t enjoying herself. She can’t have been, because she actually said she wasn’t happy.


So we planned one more target, St. Peters (GCX972). This proved to be quite simple from Kev’s perspective, mainly because Kas had located an unlikely combination of geological items and investigated far enough to extract the goodies while Kev was still farting about with the maps. Moral of the story is that you should use your eyes in the real world occasionally, instead of focusing on the other-worldly, permanent-summer that Google Maps inhabits. Sometime a light covering of snow makes the caching easier, by accentuating things you don’t notice otherwise.

So a quick find, a quick signature, and quickly jump back into the car to fetch the kids. We first stopped off to pick up the remains of last night’s pizzas to be used for lunch. They were actually still in excellent condition and the “remains” managed to feed five of us happily – Ami decided she’d rather have a cheese sandwich and crisps. Some things never change.