This Sunday was the long awaited date of the Mega Event in Weston Super Mare, so Isaac and myself decided to make a weekend of it. There were not many caches in the Weston area but a bit further north, in the Bristol area, there were tons.
We thus decided to overnight just north of Bristol, spending Saturday caching around that area before moving on to the SE of Bristol to cache on Sunday morning. We’d then head over to the Mega event on the Sunday afternoon, taking in the caches in Weston while we were there and a few more on the way back home on Sunday evening. Sounded like a perfect plan (and indeed it was)!
The drive down to the Thornbury area on Saturday morning was boring to say the least, with just mile after mile of Motorway. We’d planned to get off at J14 of the M5 but heard of bad traffic in the area on the radio, so came off at J13 as the traffic was already starting to slow down there. A short drive down the A38 and we were parking up for the first cache of the day – a TB Hotel right by J14.
Next cache was a name we’d become familiar with over the weekend – a Church Micro. Every church in this area seems to come with an associated cache. Even some churches that are no longer churches have a Church Micro! We failed to find this one – not a great start with a DNF on cache #2 of the day!
Once we’d returned to the Jeep, we set off for another series, based around the village of Stone. Most of the series were drive-by’s, but a couple involved some nice walks. We bagged our first Church Micro on the way round, which was a relief after the earlier DNF. All too soon we had the bonus cache co-ords and we realised we’d parked right by it earlier on. A quick back-track in the Jeep and we soon had the bonus in the bag.
A short drive later and we were at the Tortworth Round series. This is a nice circular walk around various caches, with a couple of un-related caches on the way. The terrain is a bit more varied than earlier, which we were looking forward to. Highlight of these ones was visiting a tree that was something like 800 years old and also being taken to a beautiful pool through a tunnel of maize in a field.
We realised we were pretty close to 40 finds for the day but also that it was also getting late and we needed to check in at the hotel for the night. Isaac thus came up with a few nearby drive-by’s on Memory Map and off we set. Several easy finds ensued before we arrived at the hotel.
We were hungry by now and being close to the Severn Bridge, we set off over it to Chepstow to try and find a Chinese or Indian take-away. We also managed to bag our first South Wales cache on the way, which was handy ;-).
On Sunday morning, I had in mind a 7.5 mile circular walk in the SE of Bristol, but Isaac was concerned about arriving at the Mega too late so suggested he plan some quicker caches for the morning. His plan centered around the same area so off we set.
We started with some caches along the Monarch’s Way. We’ve done quite a few caches on the Monarch’s Way near Boscobel House in Shropshire and did not realise it came this far down the country! All were nice caches apart from one that we could not spot.
Next we picked off various drive-by’s and cache and dashes before trying to work our way over to the M5 and the journey down to the Mega. We managed to bag quite a few more caches on the way and eventually arrived at a cache just before the M5. On checking the map, we were astounded to realise we were just on the outskirts of Weston and in fact we did not need to use the M5 at all! Talk about a fortuitous piece of (unexpected) planning!
We then took in a few quick caches on the way into Weston before joining the traffic heading for the beach. As we were approaching the beach, we opted for a different route via the backstreets to avoid the traffic. This route just happened to take us past yet more caches – how handy!
The next cache was the first of the main Mega caches as we could see several cachers at GZ as we pulled up. We did the biz with the cache and several more cachers appeared from various directions. This was to be the case with all the caches near the event for the rest of the day.
Next, we found somewhere to park up and set off on foot for the event. On the way we bagged a quick cache in a park, one on the prom and a really good one in a fountain with water everywhere. Thankfully we managed to talk a cacher’s son who had already got soaked into getting the cache for us – phew!
Now it was on to the event itself. We went to the registration desk and were recognised before we’d even said our caching name, so were soon kitted up with name tags and a goodie bag :-). We bought some raffle tickets in the vain hope that we’d win something (we never usually win anything in raffles – we were true to form here and did not win a thing – not to worry though :-)).
The main room for the event had all manner of trade stands round the edge and a stage in the middle, with plenty of announcements etc etc going on. We spent a really enjoyable couple of hours wandering round checking out the stands and bumping into various cachers who we knew.
All too soon the closing speeches were made and the event handed over to the Scottish Mega Event organisers for next year. A fabulous event which must have taken a heck of a lot of organising. It certainly showed and everyone we met had a great time.
On the way back to the Jeep, we bagged the two remaining caches along the prom and then set off for home.
We’d been recommended to stop at the services at J19 of the M5 as there were a couple of new caches there. As we arrived at the first one, we bumped into some local cachers who told us about a third cache by the junction so off we set. We soon had all three bagged and were back on the M5 heading northwards.
To break the boring journey up a bit, we’d planned to stop for two quick cache and dashes just off the M5 SW of Birmingham. These were both quick find and we were soon headed home.
80 finds in total for the weekend and an absolutely perfect weekend away. We both had a ball.