Open the photo gallery >>

High-Speed Caching with the Happy Hunter

Friday morning began with an early appointment with some breakfast at a Premier Inn on the north side of Wrexham, where we were meeting up with Graham, also known as Happy Hunter HP20. I think we met up at 7:30 am, allowing plenty of time for a lot of caching during the day. Ami did her usual job on the muffins and pastries. I guess they are always going to lose out with some kids on the “kids eat free” policy. The plan was to head over to a puzzles series near Llangolen.

On plan for the morning was a trip over to the Mega Event’s official camping venue, which was over near Carrog, which was the start of a series of drive-by caches set by the Mega Event crew along the narrow roads running back towards Llangollen. Graham volunteered to take his car rather than mine. This proved to be a good choice because I suspect my car would not have fit. Some of the space we had to stop in weren’t very big.

We’d both solved all of the puzzles beforehand so it was a matter of turning up and grabbing the containers. It was quick going. We completed all 45, plus two random traditionals, in about two and a half hours. I didn’t take photos while we were driving. We just raced through the caches and then drove into Llangollen to the mega event site, where we parked up and went for a walk. We were sitting in the cafe at the Llangollen Pavilion having something to eat well before midday. Epic!

The Llangolen Mega Site

We’d come here because the pavilion was hosting a GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit. This is a very rare form of geocache which involves an exhibit about both GPS technology and geocaching. Given that most of the attendees were seasoned geocachers who already knew most of what was being presented, and were in Llangollen just to do the geocaching event, it seemed a bit pointless as an educational exercise, if I’m honest. Some of the displays were quite well done though. Ami enjoyed some of the more interactive parts of the exhibits.

They’d also set up 10 lab caches in the exhibit. That made it a winner in terms of racking up interesting geocache types. I’m glad we went and it was at a location we were going to go to for the caching anyway. I think if I’d travelled a long way just to go to the Maze Exhibit I might have been a bit disappointed, but then to be honest I didn’t really have any idea what to expect anyway.

Along the Canal

Once we’d done with that, we decided we should go and stretch our legs a bit, so we walked along the Llangollen Canal towards Horseshoe Falls, picking up a few caches as we went. The scenery at the chain bridge is spectacular, and the experience was enhanced by lots of crossing, climbing and rummaging in attempting to find a multi-cache nearby. I’d tried to solve it using Google but had failed as a result of getting the wrong date for one of the elements. Once we had the correct data it still took us a while to find though, as the coordinates were a bit out, and we only found it at all because Graham read through all the logs and found a couple of pointers as to where we should be looking.

At the Horseshoe Falls itself we completed an earthcache and then decided we were done with going upstream, so we sat for 5 minutes while Ami cooled her feet off in the river.

The walk back was getting a bit painful for Ami and me. We walked back along the canal quite slowly before Graham drove us back to Wrexham to get my car.

From here we went back to the flat and got ourselves showered and cleaned up. After that we headed into central Wrexham to get something to eat. Pizza Express. It hit the spot nicely.

We thought we’d earned a decent meal, because we’d found about 175 caches in two days.

The caches we found on Friday in Llangolen were :