From Kassel to Ireland and back-
Part 1: Kassel-Calais

Start in Kassel, obviously.

Immer nach Westen

Out of one of my caches I had a travel bug, which wanted to go to Cologne, so I tried to find a suitably sized cache. But all caches along the motorway were micros so we had to veer off the motorway…

“Fort IV (Köln-Bocklemünd)” Found a lovely roman fort  were the box was big enough for a travel bug. Another micro, then back on the motorway. The restarea at Frechen was a bit of a let down, there was micro at a place were a huge container would have fitted. Logged and off we went to Belgium.

I had made arangements with Guinness70, that he would hide an extra cache near one of his caches just with stuff for me. He makes these faboulous zipperpulls as his sig items. Also I wanted to trade pathtags with him.

So we did a small detour to Tongeren, about 25km from our route. I had exchanged mobilphone numbers with him and planned for a few caches in the area as well as a pocket query of Tongeren on the laptop.
Just half an hour before we reached Tongeren, (after missing the right turnoff at the motorway…) I got a text from Guinness70, that there were cachers at his brand new TB hotel, of which he had given me the coordinates, and he couldn’t hide the extra stash.

A short while later he sent another text, that the extra stash is at the foot of the sign VERBODEN TE STORTEN, which means something like ‘no littering’. He has one cache with this name, so I thought, well, he couldn’t hide it at the TB hotel, so he hid it there. I went to that cache. Found no legal or illegal way to it and parked about 450m at the road. We went through a hollow way, but halfway down the track was a 4m long puddle. So we had to go carefully along the side of the incline. Very muddy…

Anyway, we found a huge container, but no sign. And no sign, where the promised extra stash was supposed to be.
The way back was a bit of a scramble through the brambles, someone had cut a maze in a very tall bramble field. But forgot about an exit… I texted Guinness, where the sign is, we didn’t find it.

In the meantime we went hunting for another cache, Het kerkje van Berg.
Het kerkje van Berg
After that we tried for another one, but as there were muggles, I had to abbort the search.

Got an answer of Guinness, that the sign is on the other side of the road. Verboden te storten.
Well, I really hadn’t seen a sign there, but just to make sure, we went back to that cache. This time we found a different road, not much closer to the cache, but less brambles and no puddles…
But no sign whatsoever.
I gave in and called him on his mobil. And only then found out, that he did hide the extra cache at the TB hotel, where on the other side of the road is a sign which reads: Verboden te storten…
What a confusion…

After searching a bit for the road to the TB hotel, as I didn’t realise, that this way was actually legal to drive, we found another very big container and the extra stash on the other side of the road.
Took out the trade items and a TB from Guinness which he wanted to send to Ireland.
Left an TB who wanted to visit Neuf Chateau/South Belgium and my pathtags.
Unfortunately we couldn’t meet, as he was visiting his mother-in-law.

After some original Belgium chips, we went direction Calais to the ferry. Slept the night on a Belgian motorway rest area.
I have an VW van, so we had madresses and sleeping bags, as well as loads of food and even a cooker with us. Totally independent of all amenities. Except fuel stations… ;-)

In Dunkerque (Dunkirk) we went on a frosty morning about a kilometre through the sand dunes to find a graffitti and do some calculations. But my French is non existend and my understanding of the Belgium seemed to have been wrong, we searched over half an hour and were unable to find a cache. (Bij de buren / Chez les voisins)
Sanddunes with Sea-Buckthorn

But the walk through the sand was lovely and the area was well worth a visit. Now I know, why Hippophae rhamnoides is called Sea-Buckthorn. There were certainly a lot of them in the dunes.

After this disapointment we went by ferry to England.