We’d been looking for a way to complete the Church Micro Challenge set by Mario McTavish, which involved finding 10 consecutive Church Micro’s with an added requirement being to have found at least 50 Church Micro’s (CM’s) in total. We were already on the road to success having found over a hundred CM’s at the time of spotting the challenge but a check of the figures showed that we were nowhere near finding 10 in a row.
We always like the idea of a Geocaching challenge, although in practice they can actually become quite stressful! None so more than this challenge, which we thought we’d have in the bag with one trip down to Brighton…and we would have got away with it too if it wasn’t for those pesky DNF’s!
Geocaches between Brighton and Littlehampton…
All along the coast between Brighton and Littlehampton there are literally hundreds of caches, with around 50 Church Micro’s some of which we’d earmarked for the mission, dotted amongst the other likely suspects like Earthcaches, Virtuals and Puzzles. There’s also the Curry Micro series set by proftonks towards Littlehampton, the PuCK Butterfly geo-art series by Sallilas up near the Sussex Uni and plenty of powertrail’s like D2D-01 Bubba by TheAdamss somewhere in between so it’s a great place for a Geocaching day trip.
We’ve been lucky enough to cache around that area a few times and have always enjoyed it, even in slightly dubious weather conditions, parking can be a bit of a problem but as with most coastal towns the further away you are from the beach the more likely you are to find a space 🙂 A really nice area to cache along is the stretch starting at Shoreham Fort (we added a favourite point for this one as we really enjoyed the find!) heading West, so with all of these great hides and series’ there really is no excuse not to get yourselves down there is there? 😉
We headed out fairly early on a random Tuesday morning in March to bag numbers 3301-3311 with a few extras thrown in for good measure and managed to find a parking space close to Church Micro 2340…Fishergate – St Peter, which was a nice easy find to start. Our second cache of the day, Church Micro 3301…Fishergate – Community, also went smoothly but we had problems at our next stop, Church Micro 3302…Portslade – St Andrew, which meant that bagging the challenge that day was off the cards. It didn’t dampen our spirits though as we knew we could always come back, it was just a shame that we hadn’t taken any extra caches with us as the next cacher’s did a throw down which they ok’d with the CO. If only we’d thought that far ahead!
CM’s 3303 – 3307 were all found with no real issues, but again we were stumped by 3308 and then again at 3310, so I’m guessing that it really wasn’t our lucky day! Still, we did find 3309 and 3311 so we could always go back and find the missing ones at some point.
On our way back to the car we decided to walk along the beach and pick up a few more caches along the way 😉
Buster was a nice hide, Western Esplanade was a little trickier but we soon found it, Hove Beach Nano (not!) didn’t take long, but it was Hove Beach Huts by patch_the_cat where we had the most fun attempting to look inconspicuous. It took us a good five minutes even though when we eventually found it the coords had been spot on it was just our eyesight that had been letting us down. We added a favourite point at this one as it was the most frustrating but satisfying of the day. Continuing down the beach front we weren’t sure whether we’d worked out the multicache Beacon right until we arrived at the location and made a quick find. Our last one of the day Tor’s Cache, MK2 also had us going for a while but thankfully I made the find before attracting any unwanted attention from any muggles 😉
We were starving by the time we’d finished as we’d been walking for between three and four hours so we were ready for some food, although not much seemed to be open by the time we finished the walk. Fortunately just as we were about to give up we spotted Woodies Diner just what the doctor ordered…burgers and shakes! And they certainly helped the bitter pill of not completing the challenge that day go down a lot easier! It’s a really nice little authentic American diner and definitely worth popping into if you find yourself peckish near Portslade!
So that was it…?
Of course not, you don’t think we’d just give up on a challenge that easily do you?!
A little over a week later we were back on the road, heading to the Dorking area to pick up CM’s 1-10, having already found Church Micro 4…Shere way back in November we had one less to worry about but still 9 to try and find. The sun was definitely shining on us that day and we found them in this order 2, 10, 9, 1, 6, 3, 7, 8 and 5 as that made for the most efficient route. We also decided to pick up a couple of others along the way; Killer #4: Hung, Drawn and Quartered, a devious killer sudoku puzzle cache (and one which we needed for our D/T grid), and BBL 03 Betchworth Brockham Loops which had been missing when we’d originally done that particular series back in March the previous year.
We added a favourite point at Church Micro 1…Earlswood because it’s not everyday that you get to find the very first cache in such a popular series! Also at Church Micro 2…Merstham because it was a great Church 🙂 Although to be fair we could’ve awarded favourite points for all of these, and despite there being a lot of driving involved we enjoyed the added challenge of finding them in the one day.
We’d like to thank sadexploration for keeping these caches going and for starting this amazing series, of which there are now approximately 6000 all over the country. With only 167 found we’ve only just scratched the surface so I think we might need another trip down to the coast soon to pick up a few more!
That and we need to pick up the cache which we dedicated so much time to try and claim, the Church Micro Challenge 🙂
Until then, happy caching! 🙂