CC30 Aliens at Pen-y-fan Pond
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This is the thirtieth of a series, the “Caerphilly Collection”, that will explore the whole Borough Council area. The cache, a medium size plastic lunch box, is hidden within ½ km of the reference location, but its position has to be derived from offset distances. Children may wish to explore the Alien Trail around the Pond (a legacy of the canal age) to see if they can win a badge.
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.
Pen-y-fan Pond dates from about 1745 and supplied water to the Crumlin Arm of the Monmouthshire Canal for about 100 years. It is the last complete example of a canal feeder reservoir in Wales. (Yes, CC stood for canal consumption!) It has been a Country Park since 1976 and is used for fishing, sailing and canoeing, as a base for walking or simply to laze. The Pond is home to the rare Shoreweed and hosts both summer and winter flying migrants.
More recently, the park has been invaded by aliens. Eight of these have been neutralised and immobilised and can be found by following the path around the pond (about a kilometre). A leaflet for the Alien Invasion Trail can be picked up at local libraries or the kiosk at the park (provided that this is open and has some copies left!).
Each alien has information on it that should enable it to be identified: finding all of these aliens enables a ninth to be named and correctly doing this entitles you to a badge. Images of an alien and one of the information plates are uploaded with this cache.
But another alien has landed in the area. His first human contacts were geocachers and he concluded that these people with GPS’s were the most superior examples of the species, because of their ability to communicate with space vehicles. Following naturally from this eminently wise deduction was the recognition that the key surface reference points were known as caches and that any location could be uniquely defined from these.
This was a great relief to the visitor because the tracks for the primitive land-based transport used on Earth meandered about without clear logic and had signs that were often encrypted in a strange local language which he had been unable to translate. Using the surface reference system, he has defined his own base location by the distance in metres from four nearby caches, as follows:
CC24 – 2417
CC25 – 2024
CC31 – 1237
CC32 – 2232
The challenge is to find the alien’s base, so CC might stand for complicated calculations, clever computing … or confounded cachers! There is nothing to fear: he is friendly (which, as mathematicians will recognise, is why he has given more information than is strictly necessary to find his base!) and very small, so you probably won’t even see him. Unlike humans, who need big spacecraft to accommodate them, his race have perfected miniaturisation, which makes travelling the cosmos much more practical and affordable. It is his quest which necessitates the size of his base: he is collecting earthly artefacts to send home. Suitable ones are miniaturised before dispatch – those you may find in his base are “swaps” which you are invited to exchange for you own items that are indicative of a facet of human life or behaviour.
The reference location for this cache is a convenient car park. From here to the alien base is on reasonably level paths, but the last part may be wet and muddy in the winter or wet weather. On a nice day, there may be plenty of people about, so please take care not to disclose the position of the cache.
Qrfcvgr pbagvahvat gb fgehttyr jvgu bhe ynathntr, gur nyvra fnlf gung ur jnagf gb or “haqrefgbarq”.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum