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This is the forty-first of a series, the “Caerphilly Collection”, that will explore the whole Borough Council area. Four virtual caches take you to two very different memorials and an “all round” viewpoint before leading to a final cache, in a medium sized plastic lunch box. Most of the ground can be covered by car, but expect a moorland walk of about a mile with 200 feet of ascent at the end.
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.
The trail starts in Abertridwr at a set of mock bronze relief panels, depicting various aspects of the community. Unfortunately, they have suffered a little from graffiti additions, some of which are rude. However, if you can cope with this, the panels are still worth seeing. If you would rather not see the graffiti, the immediate vicinity of the virtual cache avoids this. The twin settlements of Abertridwr and Senghenydd in the Aber Valley would probably not exist had it not been for coal (so CC could stand for coal communities). And were it not for coal, the valley would not be remembered as the site of the worst UK pit disaster of the 20th century. On 14 October 1913, virtually a full shift of workers was trapped underground by an explosion and the subsequent fire. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the disaster is that there had been a warning: 12 years before, a gas explosion had also resulted in deaths but, because it occurred between shifts, fewer people were underground. The modest memorial to these tragedies was erected on the 68th anniversary of the second accident (if this is the right word for the failure to manage a known hazard effectively!).
If you prefer, all stages of the cache could be covered in a 5-6 mile circular walk with about 700 feet of ascent. Mountain bikers who relish rough terrain could also manage all stages of this cache.
In the following, VC stands for Virtual Cache and RC for Regular Cache.
VC1 is at the coordinates given for the cache listing. There is convenient street parking nearby. Forget the relief panels for a moment; you need to note the name at your feet (3 words). Convert the answer into a set of numbers using the keypad of your mobile phone.
VC2 is at N51 3a.bc8 W003 1a.ad9, where:
a = the third number of the set derived at VC1
b = the sum of the second and seventh numbers
c = the fifth number
d = the sixth number divided by the tenth number
There is convenient street parking near this memorial, where you need to calculate e which is the product of Thomas’s and Howells and f which is the product of lions and WW1 Davies’s. (Product = multiply!)
VC3 is at N51 3e.ee7 W003 1e.fe2. There is convenient street parking nearby.
In the 1901 accident, vw people were killed: in the 1913 explosion (the accident waiting to happen) xyz lives were lost.
VC4 is at N51 3g.hj6 W003 1k.mg8, where:
g = v - w
h = x + w
j = y - w
k = z – y
m = z – v - w
A car will get you up the worst of the climb, but you will have to finish the cache on foot. (If you choose to walk all the way, be aware that a logical parking spot, opposite the end of Cenydd Terrace is a turning area for the service bus, although not marked as such. This did not stop one geocacher from getting a £30 fixed penalty ticket!) There are good tracks on the moorland, but they can get muddy in wet conditions. This summit provides views in all directions: the main peaks of the Beacons are to the north, the Bristol Channel to the south. But, if you have been working your way through the Caerphilly Collection, you will be picking out other places you have visited – the churches at Bedwellty and Mynyddislwyn, and Mynydd Meio and Mynydd Machen, for example. If you’re not sure, compass confirmation (another CC!) can be used. But you are not just here for the views, you need to note that rstu is the number on the recumbent cartographic aid. This spot can be quite busy, so the final cache has been placed a little way away. The beeline suggested by your GPS will involve a lot of bracken bashing, but good tracks take a slightly more roundabout route to:
RC5 is at N51 3g.np0 W003 1k.st4, where:
n = t + u
p = r - s
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum