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This eighth cache of the “Caerphilly Collection” involves a relatively level walk of no more than a mile, if you approach from the south. An unconventional microcache will provide the coordinates for the final regular cache (in a medium sized plastic lunchbox). As well as walking part of the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway Footpath, you will be shown a good example of how a coal-mining valley can be transformed.
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.
CC8 is also the eighth of a subset of the main series around the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway (RVR) Footpath.
In this case, CC could also stand for cleared colliery. As you look northwards up the Darran Valley, it is hard to believe that, forty years ago, you would have seen the headgear, grimy buildings and despoiled environs of the Groesfaen Colliery. At 2160 feet, this was the deepest mine in the valley and, at its peak, employed about 730 men. The shafts were only sunk in the early years of the 20th century and the colliery was in production for 60 years, closing in 1968. Reclamation work in the late 70’s/early 80’s created the much improved landscape up to, and including, the Darran Valley Country Park, although the “too perfect” contouring gives away the location of former spoil tips.
In the following, MC stands for Microcache and RC for Regular Cache.
MC1 is at the coordinates given above for the cache and it is possible to park near the road junction on Gelligaer Common at N 51o 41.303 W 003o 14.853 . The tarmaced lane north from here is designated as a public footpath only, so you should resist the temptation to drive along it. Besides, you might miss some splendid sections of drystone wall here (as well as some examples of how not to repair these walls!)
The unconventional cache here will provide you with the coordinates for RC2, your final objective.
Because this cache has previously been trashed, finders are requested to ensure that it is well camouflaged when it is replaced.
While an approach from the south has been indicated, and follows the RVR Footpath, a more interesting route uses the long distance path from the north, from the small car park at N 51o 41.771 W 003o 14.988. The distance involved is only a little further, but it is definitely more strenuous! We hope that some will link this cache with CC7 and an exploration of Gelligaer Common, involving a 6-7 mile circular walk, which is likely to be very wet and muddy in places. If you can organise transport to both ends, the RVR Footpath from Gelligaer to Groesfaen is about 4 miles with about 350’ of ascent. Because of the way in which the multicache stages work, it would be most logical to do this from south to north.
The initial treasures in the cache include a patriotic Mini, an alien head air freshener, a roller ball pen, a packet of chalks and Welsh postcards.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum