This weekend, we could not decide where to go caching. I was toying with the idea of a return visit to Poynton and then on to the new caches in Hazel Grove and Gatley but was not convinced as they were virtually all micros (not our favourite size cache).
Myself and Isaac were looking at un-founds on Memory Map on Thursday evening and he said “What about the Wirral?”. I didn’t think there were enough caches still to do there to make a day out worthwhile, but a quick count and there were about 50 odd ones we could try for. Also, there were two good looking circular walks – the Ben Ten series and some caches around Bidston Hill, near Birkenhead. Perfect!
With the decision made, I set about solving as many of the puzzle caches we had left to do in the area and by the middle of Friday had a good plan of where we would be hitting.
After an easy drive to the Wirral we were parking up for the first of the Ben Ten series. The series is triangular in shape, with caches along two sides of the triangle and the third side strangely devoid of caches. The parking place was familiar as we’d parked there ages ago to go and find the final stage of the now archived Wirral Challenge puzzle cache.
The series was nice and easy with pretty much all the caches being containers of similar size to the preform caches you see a lot of just south of Derby. Along the way we picked up a stand-alone cache and were soon at the end of the trail and making our way back to the Jeep.
We calculated the co-ords of the bonus cache and set off to drive to a nearby industrial estate, where there was quicker access to the bonus cache and also one other cache on the way.
Next, we headed off to park at Tam O’Shanter’s Urban Farm for the walk around the Bidston Hill caches. On the way, we picked up another cache at this very old park that you could easily miss if you did not know it was there.
After our soup and sandwiches at a picnic table near the car park, we set off on foot. The first cache was a Christmas present related cache and a nice BIG ammo box. Just the size we like :-).
We then had a lovely walk around all the interesting spots on the hill, picking up the caches as we went. Most of the caches were short offset multi’s as the cache owner wanted to take you to specific points of interest but there were not always good cache hiding places at these places. We visited the Windmill, Observatory, Viewpoint, Lighthouse and an ancient carving of a Sun Goddess in the rocks on the way. Great stuff!
Our luck then ran out and we had 3 DNF’s on the trot. The first turns out to be still there but was hidden under a lot of leaf litter so we missed it. The second was missing and the third is apparently still there, although we checked the exact hiding place and did not see it (can’t see how we missed it though).
Isaac was working Memory Map and doing the directions for the day, so he suggested we head over to the beach at Hoylake and two un-founds there. A short drive later and we had an easy (if not a bit nettly – is that a word?) find of the first one. The second was at an old Victorian drinking fountain right by the beach, with fab views over the sand. We spent a while admiring some people with one of those skateboards with a sail on (not sure what they are called) zooming back and forward along the beach. Looks like great fun.
Next, we re-located to a tricky little cache by a Mariner’s column near West Kirkby. We’d done one of these hides in Derby a few weeks ago so had an instant find. It took a heck of a lot longer (and one paperclip) to get to the logbook though. All good fun :-).
Time was getting on by now, so just time for a quick puzzle cache (I won’t say any more as I don’t want to spoil the surprise) and a Traditional, before heading over to the cache in Hazels’ front garden to pick up a TB that we needed for something else I cannot mention here ;-).
By this time, we really should have been heading home but there were 3 caches in Eastham Country Park around the corner and we could not resist. The first was by the side of the Mersey and we were treated to a boat going right past where we were stood.
Next, it was on to a Multi at the location of the original crossing point of the Mersey and then a fun Puzzle cache, which I cannot really say any more about as we don’t want to spoil it for others.
A great day out in an area we always enjoy caching in and a great opportunity to clear up a few of the more tricky puzzle caches. 33 finds for the day too!