CC17 Sirhowy Valley Country Park (Raven3)
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This is the seventeenth of a series, the “Caerphilly Collection”, that will explore the whole Borough Council area. This cache is also one of a subset around the strenuous circular Raven Walk. One virtual cache leads to the final regular cache in a medium sized plastic storage box. Anticipate a minimum walk of about 2 miles, mainly on a good level track - but the final 40 metres to the cache goes up quite steeply.
The Caerphilly Collection consists of 50 caches, distinguished with a unique CC number. The caches vary in difficulty and type and may well have other “C” word connections – castle, cheese, coal and canal come to mind - or Cryptic Clues for Clever Clogs! The current Caerphilly unitary authority grew out off 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.
CC17 is the third of a subset of the main series, following the Raven Walk which is about 14 miles long with 3500' of ascent, around the confluence of the rivers Ebbw and Sirhowy. The official start/finish is at the Cwmcarn Visitor Centre and our set of caches begins here and is designed to follow segments of the circular route (so CC could also stand for Cwmcarn Circular) in the recommended anticlockwise direction.
When originally established, the guide from the Visitor Centre included the cost of a badge for those who completed the walk. Proof of the achievement was the aggregation of four brass rubbings from posts (topped by carved ravens) placed strategically around the Walk. There was (and still is) no obligation to do the walk in one go. Sadly, all of the original carved ravens succumbed to vandalism and their posts (and brass plates) have been removed and most of the original waymarks (see uploaded image) have disappeared. But don't let this put you off: there are new raven sculptures and waymarks, an improved guide and a new challenge, which requires the finding of Ogam characters at the sculptures and translating these into a Welsh word. The correct word will gain you an enamel Raven Walk badge.Despite its proximity to over-populated valleys, the trail finds some beautiful countryside and achieves magnificent vantage points.
In the following, VC stands for Virtual Cache and RC for Regular Cache.
VC1 is by the site of the former Ynysddu Railway Station (the platforms are still evident) at the coordinates given above for this cache. Parking is available in the road to the Ynysddu Hotel (N 51o 37.569 W 003o 11.328). The number of the National Cycle Network route here is ab, c is the number of buses on the sign, d is the number of people and e is the number of chapels.
RC2 is at N51 3c.fd9 W003 1g.fh5 and close to a disused (the second raven sculpture is now encountered in CC18) steel raven post which is at N51 3c.fd4 W003 1g.fh3, where:
f = a x e
g = c - d - e
h = b - e
Because of the tree cover, GPS accuracy will be poor, but the steel post should be easy to spot and, if you are really stumped, the "hint" will get you from the post to the cache.
If you are doing the whole Raven Walk subset (CC15 to CC19) in one go, you will carry on past the post to the Ynys Hywel Activity Centre, heading for Mynydd Machen, where you might as well look for CC4. Alternatively, you could link this cache into a circular walk with CC5, a round trip of about 3½ miles with about 1000' of ascent.
Gur pnpur vf nccebkvzngryl 12 zrgerf sebz gur Enira Cbfg ba n zntargvp ornevat bs 206 qrterrf
- Current Raven Walk Waymarks
- Former Raven Sculpture, Sirhowy Valley C.P.Being a replacement for the original sculpture, this may be thought of as Mark 2.
- Original Raven Walk waymark signNot sure if any of these still lurk on posts around the route.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum