This weekend, a caching visit to the North West was long overdue. We’ve been caching in other areas, so the NW caches build up again and there was now quite a few new ones to find.
We planned the day in two halves: the morning would be spent along the Leeds and Liverpool canal to the west of the M6 and then in the afternoon, we’d move over to Shevington and make a start on the Wandering around Wigan series.
We parked up not far from the canal in Parbold and got the bikes out of the Jeep for the stretch of canal to the east of Parbold as it’s a long linear walk otherwise.
We could not find the first cache quickly so decided to leave it until later when we’d got a feel for the cache setters hides (we’ve not found any of their caches before). The second one in the series was an easy find, once we’d ignored the GPSr’s as they were sending us to the wrong side of the bridge.
The third cache was an even easy find as we could see a group of cachers at GZ as we rode up. It was grufftymilo, bettyboo and the linedancers. Great to meet you all again. We were handed the cache for the ‘Isaac with the cache’ photo to be done.
The rest of the caches along this stretch were easy enough, with a nice variety of hides and containers. On the way back up the canal, we bumped into the funkey monkeys, so stopped for a nice chat as we’d not met them before.
Once we got back to the Jeep, we headed off for the western end of the series and started to work back along the canal from there to Parbold. Of note on this section were:
- Two of the caches seemed to be missing so we logged DNF’s.
- We bumped into grufftymilo, bettyboo and the linedancers again.
- We also bumped into Channelhopper and SammySandpiper at another cache.
With the canal series finished, we drove over to Shevington and picked the first two caches in the series off (they were not on an obvious circular walk) before moving the Jeep round to a more central location for the main walks. We stopped for some well needed soup and sandwiches before setting off.
We’d not been to this part of Wigan before and really enjoyed it as it’s full of history from the old mines that used to be here, with lots to see on the walk, including tons of wildlife in the lovely wooded areas.
None of the caches were any problem apart from Bridge Over Copper Stream which we knew was a big box under the obvious bridge, but was nowhere to be seen. We PAF’d to the cache owner who confirmed we’d not missed anything obvious and that the cache must be missing :-(.
After we’d finished this set of caches, we arrived back near the Jeep and relocated to near the Heinz factory by the M6 for the last circular walk of the day, taking in another 6 caches. Little did we know but this would be the most scenic walk of the whole day with great views over towards Winter Hill, a lovely dingle, tons of wild garlic and bluebells and even a nice stream thrown in for good measure! We did not see any factory or motorway the whole way round.
I was telling Isaac earlier in the day about a new Puzzle cache with dummy co-ords in the centre of Wigan, but where you have to go up a long(ish) stretch of road on the way to Standish, looking for an old fashioned and very ornate sign. It sounded like a lot of fun so we headed off to do this on the (scenic) way to the M6 and onwards to home.
On the way, Isaac announced that he knew exactly where the cache would be. I was wondering how he had worked this out without going there first until I saw him looking at something on the OS Maps on Memory Map. He turned out to be spot on too!
35 finds for the day and lots of new and really nice areas explored. Great to meet lots of cachers along the way too :-).