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This is the fourth of a series, the “Caerphilly Collection”, that will explore the whole Borough Council area. This cache is also the fourth of a subset along the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Footpath. If you can find it, there is a small car park within ½ mile of the cache, but this still leaves a fairly steep and rough ascent of 300’ on well-defined tracks and paths. The container is a medium sized plastic lunch box.
The Caerphilly Collection is distinguished with a unique CC number and is made up of 50 caches. The caches vary in difficulty and type and usually have other “C” word connections – castle, cheese, coal, canal, etc. There may even be Cryptic Clues for Clever Clogs! The current Caerphilly unitary authority grew out of the former Rhymney Valley and Islwyn Councils and stretches from the outskirts of Cardiff and Newport in the south to the Brecon Beacons, north of Rhymney. Despite a past dominated by coal and heavy industry, it has a diverse history and varied and dramatic scenery. We hope you will enjoy exploring it with us.
Towards the end of the Collection is CC48 The Accumulator, the location of which is given in coded form. The translation details of the code are distributed around the whole Collection, but only about a third of the caches will contain a piece of the code, which is on the back of the Log Book. To do the Accumulator, you will need to keep a note of each piece of code that you find. Unless you are very lucky, you will need to find the majority of the Collection in order to do the Accumulator. The Accumulator cache is hidden in an area of difficult terrain and demanding navigation, with a 5,4½ rating.
CC4 is also the fourth of a subset of the main series, which will visit locations on the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Footpath – hence the RVR4 suffix. In this case, CC could stand for coalfield corner, as this is close to the edge of the somewhat rounded south-east corner of the South Wales Coalfield. Confirmation that you are close to the edge of the Coal Measures is provided by Machen Quarry, less than half a mile to the south, which is working the older Carboniferous Limestone. You can also find shallow coal outcrop workings and bellpits on the southern and eastern slopes of Mynydd Machen.
We did our recce for this cache on a bitterly cold, but beautifully clear day. We could see the Bristol Channel from the two Severn Bridges to the north western corner of Devon, some 50 miles away: to the north, the Carmarthen Fans and the central peaks of the Beacons could be seen: a little closer, we enjoyed views of shapely hills cut by steep-sided and wooded valleys. It was well worth the effort of getting there.
As it is our intention to encourage more extensive exploration of the area and the RVR Footpath, we recommend tackling this cache from Machen, Risca or the eastern access into the Sirhowy Valley Country Park. A look at the local Explorer Map will show that all provide circular walk options, but you should be ready for a minimum of 3 miles, with 1000’ of ascent, on occasionally steep, rough, wet or muddy trails. If you do this, add one to the Difficulty and Terrain ratings. This cache can also be conveniently linked with CC5, adding another 2-3 miles and a bit more ascent. If you want to take in CC6 as well, you should expect a total distance of about 13 miles. If you can organise transport to both ends, all three caches can be picked up in the 8½ mile (with 1300’ of ascent) section of the RVR Footpath from Maesycymmer to Machen.
Be aware that the nearby radio masts may affect GPS reception. From waypoints taken during many visits, we have found variations of up to 15m despite the GPS saying that it had an accuracy of better than 5m.
Bs tbefr vg’f va gurer.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum