Namib Desert, Namibia (GC14W63) — Geocache of the Week

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Photo by Kilroyman

Geocache Name:

Namib Desert, Namibia (GC14W63) by Mausebiber

Location:

Sossusvlei, Namibia
S 24° 44.400 E 015° 17.310

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D2.5/T2

Why this is Geocache of the Week:

The burnt orange dunes of the Namib Desert aren’t exactly right around the corner for most geocachers. Actually, they’re not right around the corner for anyone. The name Namid comes from the Nama word for ‘vast’—and those who are lucky enough to take a scenic flight above the desert know just how fitting a title it is.

GC14W63 is an EarthCache. If you happen to be in the area—that is, in the Mars-like sand dunes of Sossusvlei, in Namibia—this Sunday, October 11, you’ll earn the International EarthCache Day 2015 souvenir for finding it. The sand dunes at Sossusvlei are the largest in the world at around 300 meters tall, and they’re being coaxed northwards by prevailing winds from the south. According to the EarthCache description, geologists say this desert could be the oldest in the world. The almost electric colors of the dunes are caused by the slow oxidization of iron in the sand; the more bright orange the dune is, the older it is.

This EarthCache is Geocache of the Week not only for it’s well-organized, informative, and clear cache page, nor merely for its spectacular vistas, but because it holds true to the original purpose of the EarthCache. An EarthCache site is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. The sand dunes of the Namib desert are utterly unique. They’re fantastic. They’re old. They are at once imposing and delicate, timeless and mutable. The dream landscape they create defies civilization (you try building a cottage on a pile of sand).  And—this may be the understatement of the year—they’re well worth a visit.

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Photo by Team Hermann

What geocachers have to say:

“We loved visting the Namib Desert whilst on our family holiday to Namibia. We stayed in the Sesriem Camp and got up very early to watch the sunrise over the dunes. Thanks for this lovely EarthCache.” –GCMTWood

“On of the highlights of our Namiba trip was the visit of Sousuvlei. The dunes are just fantastic. We enjoyed the stay and even climed the big daddy dune. What a great view from there. Thank you very much for this Earthcache and greetings from Switzerland.” –foolish5

“What a fascinating place in the middle of an ocean of endless dunes. We stopped here during our three weeks lasting tour through Namibia and this was definitely one of our favorite places. The red colors in different increments, the merciless heat despite winter mode, the seemingly absence of life and the huge amounts of dead sand – what a spectacular view to remember, what a unique feeling to deal with, what an unforgettable moment. You have to visit Sossusvlei to imagine and understand these feelings. We will be back as soon as possible, also to enjoy these exceptional moments once again. These days here were such a great experience, so we need to say thank you for bringing us here. Thanks a lot for this cache, for the listing and for your efforts. Regards from Germany!” –do.se_gotcha

“We had 2,5 weeks in Namibia. The countryside is awesome, fauna and flore interesting and the people are so nice. Thanks to geocaching we have found a lot of places I wouldn’t have visited otherwise. A nice EarthCache leading me deeper in the canyon then I expected!” –MMXX

Photo by giddo
Photo by giddo

What the cache owner, Mausebiber, has to say:

When did you first visit the dunes near Sesreim? Have you visited again since then?

“My wife and I were in South Africa and Namibia first time in 1990, again in 1993 and our last visit was in 2007. Unfortunately we have not visited this beautiful country since then, but we are looking forward to go again within the next 2-3 years.”

What do you like about this spot, and what do you think attracts other people?

“This is a very unique place.  If you go early in the morning, you can feel the cold of the night and once the sun comes up, its rapidly getting warm.  Very few places where you can feel the power of the sun this extreme.  On the other hand, it is very quiet, only the wind is singing while it is blowing over the dunes.  When you are on top of a dune, your view can carry for miles and miles and all you see is the beauty and the colors of the desert.  There is nothing but vastness, nothing will disturb the view.  Out of a sudden, your thoughts are free, you feel the peace of the area, you just feel happy.  There are very few places where I had a similar feeling.”

What’s been your reaction to all of the nice logs and Favorite Points?

“Of course I like the logs where people report about the beauty of the place and about their experience. I answer each end every mail I receive and thank Cachers about their visit. At the same time I wish everyone a very nice vacation and happy caching for the future.  Sometimes a little email conversation takes place where we share some experience.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to the geocaching community?

“Namibia, located in the south of Africa, a land of contrasts and beauty. The cost region is cold and windy while the inner part is hot with mountain ranges. There is the oldest desert, the Namib and the Fishriver canyon which is the second largest canyon of the world. In the northern part close to the Angola border is Etosha National Park. With its size of almost 9000 square miles and over 100 species of animals and 300 species of birds, it is one of the largest parks in Africa. If you like lost places, you have to visit Kolmanskop, an old German diamond field. The people are friendly and helpful and the scenery just breathtaking. We enjoyed every second and sure enough, we will come back to visit this remarkable country.”

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Photo by saharaa
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Photo by PermonHroch
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Photo by pfitschipfeil
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Photo by pfitschipfeil
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Photo by Kilroyman
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Photo by Kilroyman
Photo by saharaa
Photo by saharaa

 

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. 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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Privy (GC2Z6GB) — Geocache of the Week

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We hate toilet paper puns. They’re tearable.

Geocache Name:

Privy (GC2Z6GB) by seskds

Geocache Location:

Missouri, USA

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D1/T1

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

Find this cache and you might start to think more fondly about indoor plumbing. Luckily for the trackables left inside this cache, it’s not the real thing. Geocacher seskds has hidden this cache on his property, and given those geocachers who make the drive out to it a heck of a laugh.

Some of the highlights:

  • Exclusive “Privy Parking”
  • A toilet paper roll logbook
  • Signal the Frog artwork on the throne itself
  • Buckets of swag…and insects

What geocachers have to say:

“Driving back to Indianapolis and stopping at interesting and convenient caches along the way. I saw all the favorite points on this one so had to stop. So glad I did. This is definitely one of the largest caches I have found and very entertaining. Definitely a favorite. Thanks for the fun stop on my journey through the area.” –rbmotmot

“This cache is AWESOME!!! We hit the cache at the corner 1st and came back here. We took pictures, signed the log book (great log too) and spent way too much time looking at the swag and the craftsmanship here. I added some donate life stuff to the bottom of the door and took 1 poker chip. Thank you for a great cache in the middle of almost nowhere.” –Sycoscouter

“This is another one of those amazing cache sites that gets people interested in Geo Caching! TFTC and thanks to the owners for providing parking to this one. Great Job and merits a favorite point from us.” –10-Nacious-Bs

“Find 475. This one is fantastic! The kids loved it! The CO’s granddaughter came out to greet us while we spent some time exploring the container. We swapped some swag and signed the “roll”.  A favorite! TFTC!” –P98

Photos:

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What’s the coolest repurposed/reinvented geocache container you’ve ever found? Nominate it for Geocache of the Week below!

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

Thousand Steps Cache (GC59AF) — Geocache of the Week

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Geocache Name:

Thousand Steps Cache (GC59AF) by Team KP and Kid

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D3/T5

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

It may be a bit of a misnomer, but the 1000 Steps Cache is not for the faint of heart. To reach it, geocachers trek up an old set of stone steps (just over 1000 steps, in fact) along the side of Jacks Mountain in Pennsylvania. The rewards of the journey are three-fold. There’s the stunning view at the top, which is well worth the climb. Then there’s the cache, a large, well-maintained ammo can that lends itself well to being a 1000th cache find milestone (check out the pictures and you’ll see why). Then there’s the fact that you can skip the stairmaster for the next few days…or week…or month. Geocachers in the area do this hike as a kind of rite of passage, even a pilgrimage. It’s a great example of a simple cache hide that brings immense pleasure to those who find it.

What geocachers have to say:

“We wanted to do this one for a long time and found a great day to do it. Lots of folks on the trail today even a couple with their pet goat. Thanks for bringing us here for the physical challenge and a great view. TFTC.” –Bob*kat

“When we arrived at the parking for this cache, it was pouring down rain, and I practically had to physically drag Zoimbeee out of the car to head up the steps. For most of the climb, we were surrounded by thunder and lightning, but there was no way I was going to skip this awesome cache location, if it meant arguing with a teenager the entire walk up and trying to convince him the entire experience would be worth it. Thanks for hiding this great cache.” –Geo_Ghosts

“What an exhausting hike to this one, and an awesome view. Creepy spiders all over, cant wait to see what kind the are. This was one of the most difficult terrains we have done, and loved every minute of it. Really enjoyed reading the history of the steps. Favorite from me. TFTC.” –GeoJane77

“What a fantastic thought for a cache! It does take you up a bit. The view is spectacular! We definitely will add this to our favorite list! Thank you for this well thought out cache. Winwinters and I are out and about. We are enjoying the hunt! Many thanks to all the CO’ s for hiding and maintaining these caches.
Thanks for the cache!” –PenguinTeacher

What the cache owner has to say:

When did you first visit the thousand steps, and how many times would you say you’ve climbed them since then to do maintenance on the cache?
“We first visited Thousand Steps about 20 years ago with our kids. They were around 10 &12 at the time. A few years later we started Geocaching as a family & decided to place a cache up at the top where the view is amazing. We use to go up a few times a year for maintenance. I even took up small bottles of water for those who didn’t bring any. In the past few years it’s been about once a year. Our daughter has helped with it also. We’ve even had fellow geocachers who were kind enough to help.”

What’s the main reason you think people go for your cache (despite the trek)?
“We think people go for this cache because of all that it offers, a challenging climb, an excellent view, lots of travel bugs, etc. Also because of all the great things geocachers write about it and it being a favorite of many.”

Do you have any funny stories about this cache or this area?
“My daughter and husband were in front coming down the steps my son and I following. All of a sudden my son stops because of a rattle snake on the steps. My daughter and husband stepped right over it and didn’t notice. It had just eaten (evident by bulge in body) so my husband set it way off the path.

Also my friend and I were doing the steps to get in shape and an older gentleman with a weighted backpack passed us a few times on our trek. Turns out he does Thousand Steps twice a day. We felt really out of shape after that.”

What’s been your reaction to all of the nice logs and Favorite Points?
“Our reaction has been one of amazement. We knew people would like it but we never expected it to be such a fan favorite or for it to be Geocache of the week!”

Is there anything you’d like to say to the geocaching community?
“Thank you Geocaching for getting our family into this wonderful sport! It was a way to keep our family close even as our kids grew and went off to college. Now our kids are Geocaching with their kids! Thank you to all geocachers who visited Thousand Steps. Thank you for making it a favorite and thanks for helping with the maintenance!”

Photos:

The start of the steps. Photo by Shrlock.
The start of the steps. Photo by Shrlock.

 

Geocachers kidcard and friend with the 1000 Steps Cache
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The view from the top. Photo by MrBee&WillowTree.

 

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OhMelli, Nana’s Luz, and T-Tyger after finding the cache.

 

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Tundra Wolf and his geo-pack posing at the top.

 

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The thousandth step… but not the last one!

 

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magicmike&honeybee making this one their 3000th cache

 

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Another stunning view from the top. Photo by GeoChara.

This cache is difficult to reach, but it’s well worth the hike. What’s been the most satisfying cache find you’ve had after a strenuous adventure?

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

 

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words (GC5DN6X) — Geocache of the Week

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Geocache Name:

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (GC5DN6X) by GR8Caches

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

3.5/1.5

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

Although this geocache has a relatively nondescript cache page, 253 favorite points in four months do not lie. A well-known childhood toy, some local art, and a bit of a puzzle combine to make a gadget cache well worth the visit. You might have a hard time being discreet when you find it (you’ll be laughing from sheer joy)—but the nearby business owner already knows it’s there. A round of applause to the cache owner for creating such a unique cache hide.

What geocachers have to say:

“So awesome. Definitely one of my favorite caches ever! Thank you so much for this cache. FP.” –tropicaltrish05

“On our way home from the MCBC Geotrail. What a fantastic cache- best one in a long time! This was well thought out and very creative. Just tough enough to make you think for a bit, but not too tough to solve. Both Mrs R & myself enjoyed this one as we both contributed to the solution. Are you guys taking lessons from Professor Tim or are you now teaching the course? Would give this one 5 favorites if we could! Left one of our Pathtags. Thanks for really nice gadget cache.” –rehobch

“If there ever was a cache worthy of geocaching.com to create favorites it would be this one. I admire the creativity that it took to create this cache because it reminded me of my childhood and showed me some historical images. Afterwards we went inside and talked to the owner and checked out his store.” –cooley1103

“What a happy coincidence. We parked in the lot where this is located in order to complete another local cache, and when I switched to nearby caches this one was at the top of the list! It also is near the top of my “really want to find” caches! Had some head scratching and was very happy to see the light! So fun!
A bonus was that hubby got to check out the gallery. If he had his way our home interior would look much like this store! May need to stop by for a very nice gift…1,000 thanks to GR8Caches!” –Invaluable1

“On a business trip from Hawai’i and exploring the area. What an awesome cache! Thanks for bringing us out here!” –Wild Dog Clan

What the cache owner has to say:

How did you come up with the idea for this sort of gadget cache?
One day my wife and I were out caching and having a discussion about putting out a new cache, something really good that we never had done or seen before. We had already used a Lite-Brite for a night cache we have. So we started talking about old toys. Then it hit me why not a view master cache. She looked up online to see if you could have a reel made and sure enough you can. So the view master idea was born. We wanted something that would go with where we put the cache and a way of tying it all in.

We collect civil war art and buy from a local dealer, so we got permission to place the cache at his gallery. We then had to seek permission from the artist for use of his artwork in the view master reel. Lastly I needed to add something cache related to the art and have the reel created. This process took almost a year to complete along with the build.

Do you ever hear about or see muggles checking out the cache?
I have passed by when cachers were doing the cache but have not seen muggles doing it nor heard of a time where they done it.

What’s been your reaction to all of the nice logs and Favorite Points?
The logs have been amazing. It is really satisfying getting logs that are more than TFTC. When you create a cache that is one of a kind it is nice when you get feedback that reinforces the uniqueness of the cache. I really enjoy the logs a great deal.

Is there anything you’d like to say to the geocaching community?
Come do my cache, you will love it.

Photos:

 

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We know it’s tough…but what’s your absolute favorite gadget cache? Post your photos and stories in the comments.

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

A Cache In Plain Sight — Gdansk TB Hotel (GC2EC67) — Geocache of the Week

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Geocache Name:

Gdansk TB Hotel (GC2EC67) by Thathanka

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

1/1.5

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

It’s not often that a cache hidden in plain sight manages to surprise and delight its finders, but this one does. Tourists visiting Gdańsk, Poland who visit this cache find themselves standing in front of a secret that most locals don’t even know about. To the muggle (non-geocacher), the red metal cube next to the bicycle is merely functioning as a kickstand to a nice piece of “upcycled” art. The geocacher knows otherwise. It’s a lesson that not every geocache has to involve clever gadgets to blend in to its surroundings—this one just needed some red paint and the right setting.

What geocachers have to say:

“What an interesting cache-container in this beautiful old town. I think, we should come back to Gdansk for a longer time, because, today we had not so much time during our Cruising Stop. Thank you for the Cache and greetings from Germany.”  –Cache-Kühe

“So good! And so cheeky! Had some polish friends to cover me with some people and a pram… and so opened the container and signed the logbook. Seems impossible to do it alone…for the nice idea I leave a FAVpoint and a big THANK YOU, Wolffsteam from Germany.” –Wolffsteam

“Roadtrip through Europe: 18 days and 4924 kilometres. We visited 10 countries and our only goal was to find at least 1 geocache in each of them – which we also succeeded! Altogether we found about 25 geocaches. Very nice TB hotel! Worth a FP from us. Also we liked the souvenirs in the shop and bought a bagful of them 🙂 We took the French TB to travel to Finland with us. Thanks for the cache and greetings from Finland!” –Team Korppi

What the geocache owner, Thathanka, has to say:


How did you come up with the idea to hide the cache in plain sight?

“The cache has a history. First of all when I hid this cache back in 2010 geocaching.com wasn’t very popular in Poland and there was no safe and easy accessible place in Gdansk to swap trackables. When it was published it was placed in the shop and it was very well received by geocachers what you can read in logs but after about 2.5 years it was reported as violating the Guidelines and I had to think about future of the cache. I had to move it outside the shop or archive. The second option wasn’t a solution to anything because I could already see a demand for a cache of this type. I worked with landowners on the solution and they accepted my idea of another “gadget” in front of their shop and we came out with present form of the cache. It’s obvious for geocachers and nicely invisible for other tourists. As I’ve heard recently, it’s Muggle-proof and apparently the change we made was for good as the cache is now available 24/7.”

Do you think non-geocachers ever wonder what the red box is for?

“From the logs I know that in most cases tourists pay no attention to the cache thinking about it as part of shop decoration and moreover they do not even pay attention to geocachers at the cache. Although I’ve heard that tourists sometimes make a jokes about geocachers trying to steal the bicycle next to the cache.”

What’s been your reaction to all of the nice logs and Favorite Points?

“I love this type of caches myself and I’m trying to find them in the cities I’m visiting. I reward them with FP’s because it’s not easy to hide something bigger than micro in city environment. I’m sincerely surprised by popularity and nice comments which are clear proof that it’s worth to make an effort. Every single positive log and each FP make me smile and give me inspiration to make every next cache better than previous one. I treat FP’s as a blue fuel for me as a cache maker.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to the geocaching community?

“Example of Gdansk TB Hotel cache shows that if your initial idea of the cache does not meet guidelines and your Reviewer is asking you to make changes, you may feel disappointment (I was there!) but it’s worth to think about it as an opportunity for even better solution because results may very positively surprise you.”

Photos:

 

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Kids are fantastic camouflage!
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daim77 with the cache

 

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The logbook doubles as a good souvenir idea.

 

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Team Fuchsgewitz nonchalantly standing near the cache.

 

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This geocache was featured on Geocaching’s Instagram page.

 

What has been the best “hidden in plain sight” geocache you’ve ever found? Post your stories and photos in the comments.

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