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Love Love Braga: Um Mega-Evento cheio de Amor, Comunidade, e Geocaching

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High-Five!

“All you need is love,” The Beatles

100espinhos, uma pequena mas dedicada equipa de geocaching de Portugal, teve uma importante revelação em 2014: o mundo precisa de mais amor e o geocaching é a única maneira de ajudar a espalhá-lo. Nos últimos anos, esta equipa tem abraçado o movimento de alma e coração, organizando três eventos com mais de 500 geocachers – todos cheios de “Love Love”.

“Nós organizamos estes Megas porque amamos o geocaching e acredito que o jogo traz imensa alegria para a vida das pessoas”, disse Tiago, um dos 100espinhos. “Não há nada mais poderoso do que amizades, sorrisos e amor.”

E funcionou. Através dos seus eventos, eles criaram uma comunidade inspiradora de geocachers, todos dedicados ao jogo e à iniciativa do amor.

100Espinhos Team
100Espinhos Team

Em agosto, eu tive a sorte de viver a mais recente edição da série Mega Love Love, GC60WBP. O evento em que participei foi realizado na bela Braga, uma cidade histórica e digna de postais, no norte de Portugal. Foi uma longa viagem de Seattle a Braga, mas depois de dois vôos de seis horas e uma viagem de comboio de três horas, eu chegava ao que eu considerei o paraíso do geocaching. O evento seria de quatro dias com atividades geocaching, Signal The Frog, Lab caches, mini-excursões por toda a cidade, e uma abundância de momentos em comunidade cheios de amor. Eu senti-me com doze anos de novo, fora de casa para o meu acampamento de verão favorito… não sabia o que esperar, mas estava incrivelmente feliz por lá estar.

Love Love Braga
Love Love Braga

Seja o que for que o teu geocoração tenha desejado ao longo dos quatro dias, o Love Love disponibilizou. O espaço principal do evento foi num grande auditório, onde workshops diários, intercâmbio de trackables, competições de recipientes criativos, lojas de fornecedores, e aulas de dança tiveram lugar. Houve uma iniciativa CITO em curso durante o evento onde as tampas dos frascos utilizados eram recolhidas (tampinhas) – todas as tampinhas angariadas tiveram o objetivo de contribuir para a compra de uma cadeira de rodas para uma menina que luta contra uma doença rara. Além do espaço principal, houve eventos paralelos planeados todos os dias por toda a cidade onde se podia conhecer as principais atrações da cidade, enquanto se fazia geocaching. Se não te sentisses como disposição para participar numa dessas excursões, podias relaxar na piscina ou visitar um museu de todos os que existiam nas proximidades, tudo grátis. Foi tudo muito bem organizado e disponibilizado, tudo o que eu tinha a fazer era abraçar o amor e aproveitar o momento!

Carly, Signal, and Tiago
Carly, Signal, and Tiago

Cada dia era um deleite, mas as alturas das refeições foram as minhas favoritas. Eu realmente gostei do tempo que passei a relaxar, a tomar vinho verde, e a conversar com os diferentes grupos de geocachers, enquanto degustava a cozinha local. As suas histórias de geocaching e dedicação ao jogo inspiram-me verdadeiramente. Nota: Há tantas geocaches épicas em Portugal que deves planear várias viagens de regresso para experimentar todos elas.

Making a splash at a T5 cache
Making a splash at a T5 cache

Outros acontecimentos importantes do fim de semana incluiram um espetáculo de fogo de artifício, conhecer o Vice Presidente de Braga e um atleta Olímpico que tinha acabado de chegar do Rio, tirar mais de 500 fotos (sem exagero), praticar CITO, experimentar Peddy Paper pela primeira vez, encontrar duas cache T5 (uma numa cave e outra numa ilha), dar mais cinco ao Signal (muitas vezes), comer demasiada pastelaria Portuguesa e fazer muitos novos amigos.

  • The event begins and Signal greets attendees!

Depois do evento, passei uns dias em Lisboa, a comer mais pastelaria (estou a desintoxicar-me) e a passear pelas ruas. Também tive a oportunidade de me encontrar com os incriveís revisores Portugueses para um jantar. Por ser um país relativamente pequeno, Portugal tem cerca de 40 000 geocache ativas, e a equipa de revisores voluntários faz um excelente trabalho ao apoiar o crescimento do jogo e da comunidade.

The Portuguese
Portuguese Community Volunteer Reviewer Team

Que mais posso dizer? A minha viagem a Portugal foi muito especial e sei que não a vou esquecer. A comunidade, os anfitriões, o país, e as aventuras de geocaching foram extraordinárias. Para perceber completamente “o amor”, deves experimentá-lo tu próprio. O evento do próximo ano é no Porto (Agosto 11-13), mais uma cidade mágica do norte. Vemo-nos por lá!

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Love Love Volunteers!
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Love Love Braga: A Mega-Event full of Love, Community, and Geocaching

 

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High-Five for an awesome Mega-Event!


“All you need is love,” The Beatles

100espinhos, a small but dedicated geocaching team from Portugal, had an important revelation back in 2014: the world needs more love and geocaching is one way to help spread it.  For the past several years, they have fully embraced the movement, throwing three 500+ geocacher events— all full of “Love Love.”

“We organize these Megas because we love geocaching and believe that the game brings  immense joy to people’s lives,” said Tiago, one of the 100espinhos. “There’s nothing more powerful than friendships, smiles, and love.”

And it worked. Through their events, they’ve created an inspiring community of geocachers, all dedicated to the game and the love initiative.

100Espinhos Team
100Espinhos Team

In August, I was lucky enough to experience the latest edition of the Love Love Mega series, GC60WBP.The event I attended was held in beautiful Braga, a historic and postcard-perfect city in northern Portugal. It was a long journey from Seattle to Braga but after two six hour flights and a three hour train ride, I had arrived in what I considered geocaching paradise. The event would be four days jam-packed with geocaching activities, Signal the Frog, Lab Caches, mini-excursions throughout the city, and plenty of love-filled community moments. I felt like I was twelve years old again, off to my favorite summer camp… not sure what to expect but unbelievably happy to be there.

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Love Love Braga

Whatever your geo-heart desired over the next four days, Love Love provided. The main event space was in a large auditorium where daily workshops, trackable exchanges, creative container competitions, vendor shopping, and dance classes took place. There was an ongoing CITO initiative where used bottle caps were collected (tampinhas in Portuguese) from event-goersall bottle cap proceeds went towards a wheelchair for a little girl battling a rare disease. In addition to the main space, there were side events planned every day throughout the city where you could take in the city’s main attractions while geocaching. If you didn’t feel like participating in one of the planned outings, you could relax at the swimming pool or visit a nearby museumall free of cost. Everything was very well organized and laid out, all I had to do was embrace the love and have a grand ol’ time!

Carly, Signal, and Tiago
Carly, Signal, and Tiago

Every day was a treat, but the meal times were my favorite. I truly enjoyed the time I spent relaxing, sipping on vinho verde, and chatting with different groups of geocachers while tasting the local cuisine. Their geocaching stories and dedication to the game truly inspired me. Note: There are so many epic geocaches in Portugal that you must plan several return trips to experience them all.

Making a splash at a T5 cache
Making a splash at a T5 cache

Other highlights from the weekend included a fireworks show, meeting the VP mayor of Braga and an Olympic athlete who had just returned from Rio, taking 500+ photos (no exaggeration), CITO-ing, trying Peddy Paper for the first time, finding two T5 caches (one in a cave and one on an island), high-fiving Signal (many times), eating way too many Portuguese pastries and making lots of new friends.

  • The event begins and Signal greets attendees!

After the event, I spent a couple days in Lisboa, eating more pastries (I’m currently detoxing) and wandering the streets. I also had the opportunity to meet the incredible Portuguese reviewers for a nice dinner. For being a relatively small country, Portugal has nearly 40,000 active caches, and the community volunteer reviewer team does an amazing job supporting the growth of the game and the community.

The Portuguese Reviewer Team!
The Portuguese Community Volunteer Reviewer Team with Carly

What more can I say? My trip to Portugal was very special and one that I will never forget. The community, the hosts, the country, and the geocaching adventures were extraordinary. To fully understand “the love,” you must experience it for yourself. Next year’s event is in Oporto (August 11-13th), another magical city in the north. See you there!

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Love Love Volunteers!
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7 Tips for Finding your First Scuba Cache

You’ve dominated the game on land and now you’re ready for the next level of geocaching — sea level that is. Dave from Geocaching HQ, aka HiddenGnome, recently found his first scuba cache in the US Virgin Islands. He returned to HQ with a plenty of vitamin D and some great advice for those who also want to go on their first underwater geocaching adventure. Scuba caches are no easy feat, but with these 7 tips from Dave, you’ll soon be ready to take the plunge.

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Dave himself finding his first scuba cache, GC3CMHE, in the US Virgin Islands

1. Get certified. Before attempting, make sure you have proper scuba certification.

Geocacher "FJFitzgerald " at GC1D6ZQ in Michigan.
Geocacher “FJFitzgerald ” at GC1D6ZQ in Michigan

2. Read cache details carefully as every scuba cache is different. Some will require park entrance fees while others may ask you to notify the local park ranger.

Geocacher Peter_U and friends at a underwater cache site in Finland
Geocacher Peter_U and friends at a underwater cache site in Finland

3. Research the diving area and its ecosystem. You don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised by the local sea creatures or water temperature.

Geocacher "Stray65" at GC3GB52 in Egypt
Geocacher “Stray65” at GC3GB52 in Egypt

4. Bring a compass. GPS devices will not work underwater but a compass will help you navigate while submerged in water. You can also triangulate the position of the geocache based on provided landmarks – certain cache listings will specify.

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Bring a compass for navigating

5. Buddy system is a must. In the off-chance that something were to happen (an underwater current), you want to make sure someone knows where you are.

Travelingeek and friends at GC4BAC0 in Cayman Islands

6. Bring a pencil or waterproof writing utensil to sign the logbook. Standard pens won’t work when wet.

Logbook at GC34AAB in Mallorca

7. Carry an underwater camera… so you can snap a shot of yourself finding the cache!

Say cheese!
Say cheese!

What other questions do you have about scuba caching?

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12 Comments

HCue: How To Make a Hollow Book Geocache

Do you consider yourself a book nerd and a geocaching connoisseur? If yes, then this HCue video was created just for you. Grab yourself some glue, a few cutting tools, and a thick book (of witchcraft and wizardry), and you’ll have all of the necessary tools to create your own “Chamber of Secrets!”

What You’ll Need:

  • Thick Book – Make sure it’s large enough to fit a logbook, Trackables, and other geocaching trinkets
  • Box Cutter or X-Acto Knife*  
  • Saran Wrap
  • Straight-Edge Ruler
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Power Drill – Optional but very helpful
  • White Glue/Water Mixture  – 70/30 ratio mixture
  • Paint brush
  • Band-aids… Just in case

Instructions:

  1. Select a page near the beginning of the book and use Saran Wrap to cover that page, the pages before it, and the front cover. This saved page will be used later on in the process.
  2. Firmly hold down the remaining pages and brush the outer edges with the glue/water mixture. The Saran Wrapped pages should be protected from the glue mixture.
  3. Place some sort of heavy object on top of the book and wait for the glue to dry. This should take around 15-30 minutes.
  4. After the glue dries, open the book to the first glued page. Draw 1/2 inch border inside the page edges using a writing utensil and ruler.
  5. If you have a power drill, drill a hole in each corner of the border. Using the ruler and cutting tool, start carefully cutting through the layers. Safety always comes first (as you saw in the video) so take your time cutting!
  6. Cut until you reach the back of the book. Do not cut the back cover. Then remove stray paper debris.
  7. Brush the inside edges and top of of the cut-out pages with glue/water mixture.
  8. Carefully remove the Saran Wrapped pages that you set aside step #1 and placed the saved page right before the cut-out pages onto the wet glue mixture.
  9. Close book, add weight, and let dry for another 15-30 minutes.
  10. Cut through saved page.
  11. Your hollow book geocache is now complete! You know what to do from here. And if you don’t, go here.**

*These should only be used by adults with experience handling these tools.

**These containers are placed commonly in libraries and other wonderful “book-filled” environments.