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Via des Echelles de la Mort (GC32NMB):—Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC32NMB
by Sansecousse
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
5
Location:
Franche-Comté, France
N 47° 11.165′ E 006° 52.276

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What is Geocaching without adventure, risk-taking, thrill, and a challenge to overcome? GC32NMB encompasses every one of those elements, and has its own movie trailer. Be prepared to cross narrow monkey bridges that sway over 100 meters of open air, scale rugged rock faces, and climb what the locals refer to as des Echelles de la Mort: the ladders of death. After signing the log-book, zip line your way through the Doub Gorges in the Franch-Comté region of France to cap off this epic journey.

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The howling winds that sweep through the gorges have led the locals to refer to the area as “Death Valley.” Contrary to the name, the region is robust with flowers, colorful meadows, sparkling lakes, and the foothills of the Jura Mountains. The beauty of the Franch-Comté draws a lot of attention and becomes an oasis in the summer time, when other parts of France become dry.

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The T5 thrill seekers come to this area to feel alive and experience the adrenaline. The first stage of obstacles include ladders, originally made of wood and used by smugglers in the 18th century to pass over the Swiss border. Today, in place are safer ladders that are reinforced, and hooks in the side of the rock face to help you traverse en cours to the geocache.

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Just when you thought you were on solid ground, the wobbly monkey bridge and shaky nerves approach. Harness your inner grit to pass the daunting bridge and grab the cache that lies just ahead. The real challenge is simply getting to ground zero and overcoming that ‘stomach in your throat’ feeling along the route.

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“After a good vertical climb and adrenaline to the max . . .  I agree our first T5 was a hand trembling experience, and a lot of effort,” say CEPITIFLI, creators of the video linked above.

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Can you imagine crossing this in the winter time? There are a few brave souls who went after this T5 in the snow!

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From here you can choose between hiking back, head over another bridge, or going a bit further and taking a zip line across the valley. Don’t forget to BYOP (bring your own pulley), or rent a pulley nearby to add to the adventure. The area is regularly maintained by the land offices of la via ferrata des échelles de la mort

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Thank you for all the great pictures for those who have visited, and thank you Sansecousse et Gountard for recognizing this brilliant area and maintaining the geocache. 

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Isla del Encanto: Puerto Rico — newest Geocaching souvenir!

A territory of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a paradisal Caribbean destination. Adventure seekers will find it worthwhile to cross crystal blue waters to visit Puerto Rico’s stunning beaches, beautiful mountainous landscapes and one of Puerto Rico’s best-kept secrets: its extensive cave system.

If that’s not enough and you need another reason to visit, we’ve got you covered. You can now earn a geocaching souvenir by finding a geocache or attending an event if Puerto Rico!

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When you visit, be sure to meet up with local geocachers. The Puerto Rican geocaching community is famous for its warm hospitality and friendliness to strangers.

Puerto Rico by the numbers:

  • Over 1,000 hidden geocaches  
  • 9103 sq km. (3,515 sq mi) island. ~ 1 geocache every 3 miles
  • 3.548 million people
  • 6 Olympic Gold Medals
  • 13 living, native mammalian species, all of which are bats
  • 65 km (40 miles) at its widest part
  • 400 years of rum history and contribution to the economy

Here are our 5 bucket list caches in Puerto Rico.

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1. El Árbol Solitario

El Árbol Solitario
El Árbol Solitario—GC1GN4M

GC1GN4M | by El Surveyor | D3.5/T4.5 | Traditional | 24 favorite points

Hiding this cache required some hard work by the cache owner and friends. A two hour hike takes you to the top of the mountain where you can take in the gorgeous view of the Puerto Rican countryside. You’ll notice an interesting standalone tree that gives this cache its namesake. When you visit  this cache, make sure to snap a shot with the Puerto Rican flag as well!

2. Cat/ Dolphin/ Giraffe

Cat/ Dolphin/ Giraffe
Cat/ Dolphin/ Giraffe—GC2JWTD

GC2JWTD  | by lulusoy | D1.5/T1.5 | Traditional | 73 favorite points

The Cat/Dolphin/Giraffe sculpture at this cache location observes the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista. Alonso Manso, a bishop in San Juan, was responsible for the construction of the San Juan Cathedral in 1521, making it one of the city’s oldest structures. Behind the sculpture, you can find the Museo del Niño (The Children’s Museum), a non-profit organization involved in preserving the island’s cultural heritage and presenting subjects in an interesting way for children.

3. Cueva del Viento

Cueva del Viento
Cueva del Viento—GC1XB18

GC1XB18 | by vocho725 | D2.5/T4.5 | Traditional | 14 favorite points

This cache is located at the entrance to Cueva del Viento in northwest Puerto Rico’s  Guajataca Forest. The forest is also the location of Camp Guajataca, the island’s main camping grounds of the Boy Scouts of America. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes, water, and a strong flashlight!

4. Playita Rosada, La Parguera

Playita Rosada, La Parguera—GC1BBAY
Playita Rosada, La Parguera—GC1BBAY

GC1BBAY | by milton_fmh | D2.5/T4.5 | Multi-cache | 14 favorite points

The Parguera village in Lajas is famous for the beauty of its coral reefs, mangrove islands and channels, and bioluminescent bay. As an ecotourism destination, you can enjoy a simple coastal town where scuba diving, relaxing and swimming all take place. The cache may bring you to Playita Rosada (Pink beach), but the views and warm water will keep you there.

5. Karate Kid

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GCXBH7 | by outsidegroup | D2.5/T3.5 | Traditional | 14 favorite points

Located along Road 333, Karate Kid is located on Playa del Tamarindo in Guanica. This area is home to many threatened and endangered species, including the dry forest anole (a type of lizard), the hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles, the Puerto Rican crested toad, the blue-tailed ameiva (another type of lizard), and the brown pelican. Don’t be fooled by the D/T ratings as the 4.8 km (3 mi) round trip and the intense heat and sun make it more challenging. If you enjoy bird watching and staring off into the ocean, this is the cache for you!


We’ll unveil one or two new souvenirs every week until all FIVE are officially released and awarded by mid December. Souvenirs that are currently available can be found here. A list of currently available geocaching souvenirs and even the ones you’ve already earned can be found on Geocaching.com. And, if you’ve already found a geocache in Puerto Rico, we will automatically add this souvenir to your profile.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our Blog to find out which countries are next.

Have you found a geocache in Puerto Rico? Tell us your experience in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brand new geocaching country souvenir for Russia

By Nicole Jendro, Community Volunteer Support Coordinator at Geocaching HQ

We are excited to announce our newest country souvenir: Russia!

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As the largest country on earth, Russia has many wonders to show and one of the best ways to find them is through geocaching, or “геокэшинг”. From the desolate wildlife reserves to the cosmopolitan streets of Moscow, Russia is an exciting destination for adventurers and geocachers alike.

Tolbachik volcano

GC2DG9N | by X-JAM | D2/T4 | EarthCache

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‘Tolbachik volcano’ is Russia’s easternmost cache. This EarthCache brings you to a research station at the active volcano Tolbachik. The last eruption happened as recently as 2013.

Inside Volcano Mutnovsky

GCY8QY | by Pitr & Oleg | D3/T3 | Traditional Cache

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If you like to get your feet warm, find this Traditional Cache, Inside Volcano Mutnovsky. Another active volcano, this location promises gorgeous views and stunning clouds of volcanic gas.

Мыс Хобой

GC2BC0T | by kapsa | D2/T3.5 | Traditional Cache

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Кругобайкалка

GC2BC0N | by kapsa | D2/T2.5 | Multi-Cache

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Visiting ‘Мыс Хобой’ will give you a great view of Lake Baikal and ‘Кругобайкалка’ teaches about the lake’s railway that was once part of the Trans-Siberian Railway route.

Moscow Kremlin

GC2Q7KY | by Mr. REM Esq. | D2/T2 | Wherigo

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Learn about the fascinating history of the Kremlin in Moscow while enjoying this Wherigo.

Tishinka

GC3A264 | by -CJ- | D1.5/T1 | Traditional Cache

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Learn how the Tishinsky flea market began after WWII in the heart of Moscow by finding this traditional geocache.

St. Petersburg’s Most Beautiful

GCGNHF | by Gary Samad | D1/T1 | Virtual Cache | 611 favorite points

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We’ll unveil one or two new souvenirs every week until all FIVE are officially released and awarded by mid December. Souvenirs that are currently available can be found here. A list of currently available geocaching souvenirs and even the ones you’ve already earned can be found on Geocaching.com. And, if you’ve already found a geocache in Russia, we will automatically add this souvenir to your profile.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our Blog to find out which countries are next.

Have you found a geocache in Russia? Tell us your experience in the comments below!

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Geocaching a geothermal geocache (GC25643)—Geocache of the Week

EarthCache
GC25643
by goldohulk
Difficulty:
1.5
Terrain:
1.5
Location:
Iceland
N 63° 52.810 W 022° 26.976
Iceland's Blue Lagoon
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

No doubt if you plan to visit Iceland, you will probably plan to work a visit to the Blue Lagoon into your itinerary. With its otherworldly landscape, promoted benefits to your health, and mix of rugged rocks and modern architecture, it’s obvious to see why it’s the country’s top destination.

You don’t need to enter the spa to log this EarthCache. But if you do, know that the waters are rich in minerals, and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis. The temperature in the bathing and swimming areas of the lagoon are warm to quite steamy-hot. The Blue Lagoon also operates a research and development facility to help find cures for other skin ailments using the mineral-rich water.

No need to enter the spa to log this EarthCache
No need to enter the spa to log this EarthCache

How did this come to be? In 1976, a pool of wastewater formed near the geothermal power plant that had just been built. In 1981, people started bathing in it after its supposed healing powers were popularized. In 1992, the Blue Lagoon company was established, and the bathing facility was opened for the public.

So no, the Blue Lagoon is not a natural phenomenon; it’s actually created by the runoff from the nearby geothermal plant. But it’s fascinating, nevertheless. Check out what some geocachers have to say about this geothermal geocache:

EarthCache logging is tough business
EarthCache logging is tough business

Diabolic27
Brilliant trip. Went in 54 yrs old and emerged a mere 21(again). Well worth a visit.

Soapy Joe
Well the sun actually came out today, for the first time during our trip. What an odd feeling to be bobbing away in warm water when the air temperature was 3 degrees! Made the sprint to the changing rooms even colder than normal! Thank for placing this cache at this iconic location. TFTC

Beinhart
We had already visited a geothermal plant, so we knew what is done here. It is fascinating that a company uses the geothermal power, can sell electricity and hot water and that they can even make money from the “waste” (the used water) by building a bath, a hotel and by selling beauty products and other stuff under the name “Blue Lagoon”.

Hot spot in the lagoon are near the steam vents
Hot spot in the lagoon are near the steam vents
Yup. It's cold outside the spa!
Yup. It’s cold outside the spa!
Now THAT'S a wet bar!
Now THAT’S a wet bar!
Mud mask
Mud mask
Mud mask
Mud mask
Soak it all in
Soak it all in

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Give the Gift of Geocaching

Give the gift of geocaching

Lots of ways to tell your fellow geocachers you care

Share your love of geocaching with friends and family this holiday season. Finding the perfect gifts for the geocachers in your life is kind of like finding a geocache — you earn a smiley for both.

There are multiple ways to give the gift of geocaching:

Let Shop Geocaching and our international retailers guide you to the perfect holiday gift!

Shop for tools of the trade, apparel, and geoswag in the US and Canada through Shop Geocaching and globally via our international retailers.

Shop our Happy Holidays Collection! Featuring a Signal Holiday Geocoin, Ugly Sweater Travel Tag, a Trackable Snowflake Ornament Set, a Holiday Greeting Card with Geocoin, and more!

For a limited time, when you make a qualified minimum purchase from Shop Geocaching or one of the participating retailers, you will receive Free Limited Edition Holiday Travel Tag. The more you spend, the more free trackables you will earn (while supplies last)!

Give the gift of geocaching

You can give the gift of Premium membership easily online. With a gift membership, your friend will enjoy all the perks of Premium membership, including custom search capability, instant cache notifications, and access to Premium-only caches. Your gift also supports the game by helping to maintain the website, upgrade the mobile app, and provide community support. You can purchase a physical gift card from the Shop Geocaching, or a digital membership directly online from Geocaching.com.

Share good wishes via the Message Center

Let your fellow cachers know you’re thinking about them by sending a message via the Geocaching Message Center. Share your latest find, lay down a challenge, or, better yet, ask them out to go caching!