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Hagen med det rare i— Geocache of the week

Letterbox Hybrid
GC51MPR
by thomfre
Difficulty:
1
Terrain:
1
Location:
Buskerud, Norway
N 59° 45.869′ E 009° 57.503

When daydreaming of Norway, one may think of fjord laden landscapes, snow-capped peaks, and the midnight sun. Norway is also home to over 5 million people, 72,080 active geocaches, and a thriving geocaching community. This Geocache of the Week, Hagen med det rare i, is located in the town of Steinberg along the Drammenselva river, one of the largest rivers in Norway.

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When you arrive in Steinberg, it won’t take you long to spot the remarkable garden filled with wood carvings, metal art and a Signal the Frog® lookalike.

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All of these distracting installations may increase the difficulty of finding the cache, including the large troll that guards the yard. In Norse folklore, trolls can sometimes be tricky and unhelpful to humans, so don’t let this troll trick you into going the wrong direction!

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Not only is the cache entertaining for geocachers and muggles alike, it also attracts LetterboxersLike geocaching, letterboxing is another form of treasure hunting that uses clues instead of coordinates. In this case, the cache owner has made their container both a letterbox and a geocache, making it a Letterbox Hybrid. These types of geocaches will contain a stamp that is meant to remain in the box and is used by letterboxers to record their visit.

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Of my 200-something hides, this is my personal favorite. The cache is located right outside my grandparents’ garden, a place I spent a lot of time when growing up.

Some of my earliest memories are from that place. And even though there’s some things that are as old as me there, there’s always something new to look at whenever I visit. I am thrilled that I get to share this awesome place with other geocachers! And the best part is that so are my grandparents! I might be a bit subjective here, but they are simply awesome!

I’ve received so many great logs, and I really enjoy telling my grandparents about all the nice words people write. Several people have noted that they see where I get my creativity from after visiting this cache. They’re so right! -Thomfre (cache owner)

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Thomfre, the cache owner is also very involved in the geocaching community with an interesting geocaching blog and a website that helps Norwegian geocachers to plan their next geocaching vacation.

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While visiting  family in Loesmoen we had to make the trip here. Exciting and fun garden with an ingeniously made geocache. Deserves all its blue bows. Fun that this was our first letterbox. Left our travel friend Reflexus, ready to embark on an adventure.—BråtenStabæk

A round after work to grab some caches in Steinberg and Hokksund with jonnyloe28 today. Today’s fourth discovery and our first letterbox. Parked at the zero point to mirror quickly heading to Hagen med det rare i. Wonderful garden and great installation. Certainly today’s highlight this here. Clear favorite points from me.Thanks so much for the cache. —supertoga1

On drive from Hamar to Vegglifjell and only time for one cache. The choice fell on this, and all your favorite points are well deserved! Great box, crazy garden, and now it has another favorite points. Thanks!—Schrøder


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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.

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Laguna de los Tres: Maya-treasure-06 — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC5TQT9
by CacheGert
Difficulty:
1.5
Terrain:
4
Location:
El Chaltén, Argentina
S 49° 16.806 W 072° 59.031

The plains of Patagonia are boundless, for they are scarcely passable, and hence unknown: they bear the stamp of having lasted, as they are now, for ages, and there appears no limit to their duration through future time.” – Charles Darwin

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An enchanting, semi-arid plateau with glacier-encrusted Andean peaks, Patagonia is an adventure seeker’s dream destination. Travelers journey to the region for its iconic vistas, and vibrant wildlife, but stay for the delicious Malbecs and rugged gauchos.

3The Patagonian town of El Chaltén is named for local peak Cerro Fitz Roy’s Tehuelche name, meaning ‘peak of fire’ or ‘smoking mountain’. Once you arrive in El Chaltén you will find colorful buildings made of corrugated steel, built to withstand the harsh Patagonian weather conditions including forceful winds that will knock you off your feet. Traditional geocache GC5TQT9 will lead you to El Chaltén, where you will begin your journey to the cache location.

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You’ll want to allow about 8 hours to complete the full trip to Laguna de los Tres and back. There’s also the option to make it into a multi-day trek with two different overnight camping sites along the way: Camping Laguna Capri and Campamento Poincenot. The last 1.5 kilometers of the hike are very steep and exposed, so many hikers choose to camp below at Campamento Poincenot and then push for a sunrise view of Cerro Fitz Roy.

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Once you arrive at Laguna de los Tres, feast your eyes on the cobalt blue waters glowing before the magnificent peak of Cerro Fitz Roy and take in 360 degree views of the entire mountain range. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, which is a very real possibility, there are plenty of boulders to seek shelter underneath and search for the geocache.

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This geocache is part of an amazing series that cache owner CacheGert created for his daughter. He hopes to pass his love for traveling on to her by hiding caches for her in all parts of the world. When she turns 18, he will give her a list of all “her” caches, along with an airline ticket to wherever she wants to go. CacheGert is lucky enough to visit this cache often since he travels to Argentina for work.

¡Qué copado! (How cool!)

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Recent logs:

redgecco

What a hike, what a view! Starting in El Chalten, first part is easy. Well maintained hiking paths, beautiful landscape and the FitzRoy in the background. The last 1,5 km you have to climb uphill, the path is also well marked, but steep. The wind blows you away, the knees hurt … but if you reached the edge, this breathtaking view makes you forget everything. We made a little break, enjoyed the amazing scenery and as an extra we get the box! Finally we had around 24 km and 1400 m altitude difference on our GPS. Probably our best hiking tour ever, thanks for hiding a cache there. Of course a favorite point from us, redgecco

mach401

What an amazing view of one of the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen. I arrived just before sunset on a perfect weather day and watched the evening shadows crawl across the lake. Wish I could stay longer, but since my time in Chalten is limited, I dropped off a geocoin instead. May it travel farther and longer than me!

Gaiemo

Quite a hike, especially at the end of a full day trip to Lago Torres, Lago del Madre y Hija and finally up here. But the place with the spectacular view is more than worth the effort! Great place for a cache! Thank you for putting one here! Greetings from Switzerland, we will be back 🙂


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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.

gotw-france44
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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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Soak it all in
1 Comment

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.

Table Mountain Travel Bug Hotel in South Africa
3 Comments

Table Mountain Travel Bug Hotel (GC31WXR) — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC31WXR
by CapeDoc
Difficulty:
1
Terrain:
1
Location:
Western Cape, South Africa
S 33° 57.444 E 018° 24.185

Breathtaking views. Exotic Flora. Adorable Fauna. Travel Bug Hotel. That’s what you’ll get if you venture to the top of Table Mountain in Western Cape, South Africa to this Geocache of the Week. And, while the northern hemisphere gets ready for fall, the southern hemisphere is getting ready for spring flowers (hello allergy season), shorts, and light jacket weather! What’s not to love?

Table Mountain is one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature (along with Puerto Princesa underground River in Philippines, the Amazon River and Iguazu Falls in South America, Komodo Island in Indonesia, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, and Jeju Island in South Korea), and is definitely worth of a visit for many reasons.

Whether you hike or take the cable cars, the views are spectatular
Whether you hike or take the cable cars, the views are spectactular
Cable cars take you from bottom to top, then back down again
Cable cars take you from bottom to top, then back down again

To get to the top you can hike or take the cable car. But be prepared. If the wind gets too blustery, the cable cars will stop operations (Tip: follow them on Facebook and they will post regular updates on whether they are open or closed). Also, when you get to the top, it can be quite windy and chilly, so bring layers. But the trek is well worth the view, especially at sunset!

You and your geo-friend can check into this 5-star TB Hotel!
You and your geo-friend can check into this 5-star TB Hotel!

Fun facts:

  • Prehistoric people first left evidence here more than 600,000 years ago.
  • The original name given to the mountain by the first Khoi inhabitants was Hoeri ‘kwaggo (“sea mountain”).
  • Table Mountain is the ONLY geographic feature on earth to have a constellation named after it! The constellation is called Mons Mensa.
On a sunny day, you can see for miles
On a sunny day, you can see for miles

Richard.F says:

This must be the most well organised Travel Bug Hotel in South Africa (and possibly beyond). Well deserving of yet another FP. Two TBs that would like to take long trips away from South Africa took up lodging (hopefully for a short period) in the hotel. None of the current residents seem to want to travel around South Africa so were left in peace.

Thanks for contributing so meaningfully to the enjoyment of geocaching.

Another stunning view from the top of Table Mountain
Another stunning view from the top of Table Mountain

kellysail3 says:

Day two of our South African holiday all the way from Devon, England. Braved the queues on a glorious Spring morning to visit this jaw-dropping location. Dropped off ‘The Coinfather’ travel bug in the North American box, as it has ambitions to travel to Texas, and picked up three travel bugs that want to go back to Europe and the Salceda family’s Wild WestWinter 2015 geocard? Will have to find out what that is all about. Undoubtedly the best organised cache I have ever visited and in the most stunning location. I thought that we were lucky living in Devon! Thank you CapeDoc for bringing me here.

TB Hotel - up close and personal
TB Hotel – up close and personal

AdiaA says:

Might this be the cache with one of the best views in the world?

It wonderful up here on the mountain where we haven’t been for many years. We started the day very early to do the Swartland power series and then hastened back to Cape Town for the Table Mountain sunset event.

Dassies, or rock hyraxes, are kinda cute
Dassies, or rock hyraxes, are kinda cute
This view is gorgeous no matter where you look
This view is gorgeous no matter where you look
Good place to contemplate which geocache will be your next find...
Good place to contemplate which geocache will be your next find…
If you're afraid of heights, don't look down!
If you’re afraid of heights, don’t look down!
This handy 3-dimensional map/plaque give you and idea of scale
This handy 3-dimensional map/plaque give you an idea of scale

Thanks to CapeDoc for placing (with the permission of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company) and meticulously maintaining this amazing geocache.

 

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.