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This is the nineteenth 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 small black plastic tub. Anticipate a round trip of about 1½ miles, with 500' of ascent. Some paths may be wet, muddy, steep or rough in parts.
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.
CC19 is the fifth (and final) 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. You are advised to use a 1:25000 map to ensure that you find the Raven Walk route and use public rights of way to get to the cache.
In the following, VC stands for Virtual Cache and RC for Regular Cache.
VC1 is in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church, Risca, at the coordinates given above for this cache. The church is about ½ mile off the Raven Walk, but it is convenient to park nearby and, we think, worth the diversion. Although the church dates from the 19th century, the stump of an ancient cross close to the given reference suggests that this was a religious site from much earlier. If open, a look inside the church will reveal several attractive features. The remains of a Roman building were discovered during excavations in the chancel and this may be linked with the spring at the east end of the church. There is a cast iron lid on the well by the churchyard wall at N 51 36.844 W 003 06.211. The Victorians were fond of cowled urns on grave monuments and you need to look on one of the four here to find out when Hannah died. The year of her death was abca and her age was ef. To pick up the Raven Walk from the church, head for the canal bridge at N 51 37.118 W 003 06.644 (so CC could stand for canal crossing).
RC2 is at N51 3e.gc8 W003 0f.hf7 (at the base of a concrete block, which was once the perch for a raven sculpture), where:
g = c - f
h = g + a
Because of the tree cover, GPS accuracy will be poor, but the concrete block should be easy to spot. To find the fourth raven sculpture, that used to be here, you will need to continue along the Raven Walk to N51 3e.ee5 W003 0f.ak6 (k = f – a).
If you are doing the whole Raven Walk subset (CC15 to CC19) in one go, you will continue from the cache over Pegwn-y-bwlch (where a short, but steep, diversion will enable CC21 to be picked up as well) back to Cwmcarn. Both caches could also be done in a circuit of Medart, a distance of about 7 miles with 1200’ of ascent.
Gur pnpur vf haqre n fgbar jvgu n gerr sbffvy ba vg
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum