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La ferrovia Fantasma – The ghost railway

Multi-Cache
GC350VD
by Barafonda
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
1.5
Location:
San Marino
N 43° 58.079′ E 012° 28.816′

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off, you sit still and trust the engineer.” –Corrie ten Boom

Well, there’s no train in this tunnel, but you can trust the cache owner Barafonda’s waypoints to get you through the end. Their advice for when the tunnel gets dark: turn on your flashlight or head lamp, “…and trust the engineer.”

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Where Bats Dare — Geocache of the Week

Mystery
GC1N065
by toczygroszek
Difficulty:
1.5
Terrain:
4
Location:
Dublin, Ireland
N 53° 21.762′ W 006° 04.286

Tucked into the cliffs on the Irish eastern coast lies a cave, and within it, this Geocache of the Week. With a title like, Where Bats Dare, where else would this geocache be located?

Perhaps another title for this cache could be Where Batty Geocachers Dare, because this T4 Mystery Cache requires ample preparation, research, and equipment to access safely. Geocachers who attempt this cache should pay strict attention to the ebb and flow tides. At high tide the cave fills with water. Giving you only a two hour window to get in and get out before the treacherous tide rushes back in.

The entrance is located at sea level on the side of a cliff. You will lose GPS signal immediately upon entering the cave and will have to use your best geosenses to poke around the dark and wet rocks. At the end of the abyss lies the treasure, a small tupperware container.

 

What to bring:

  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Waterproof boots (Be prepared to get wet!)
  • Warm clothes
  • Friend/fellow geocacher (do not do this cache alone)

The cave is also home to sensitive fauna and flora which may excite you or frighten you! But like most areas with a sensitive ecosystem, the cache owner reminds us to not disturb the environment inside.

What geocachers had to say:

This cache caught our attention when we were planning the trip to Ireland! Equipped with the tides table, we decided the afternoon would be the best opportunity!

Entered the site at the western beach, since we were traveling counter-clockwise. We had fun climbing over large rocks and little pools, until we arrived at the cave Exchanged our walking-shoes for Crocs, and went straight through the puddle towards the cave.

Thanks to the detailed description, we found the box and logged the find. The water would still recede a bit more while we were on our way, it was fun to watch it! Thanks for this great cache, which deserves a favorite point.

Neo777

Well this was some adventure! And, of course, somewhere I would never have seen if not for geocaching and toczygroszek. So first off, a big thanks to the CO for the hide and the waypoints. I parked on Ceanchor Road and followed the track to path 1. From there it was straightforward.

I was at sea level over an hour before low tide so I was in no great hurry. I sat at the cave entrance and removed my walking boots, preferring bare feet for the water pool and the business in the cave. I found no obvious signs of life in the main cave or the side passage other than a couple of pigeons near the entrance.

KowaiBaz

A word from the Cache Owner toczygroszek:

“In my opinion Howth Summit is the most beautiful area in Dublin, so I decided place there something special. While looking for a spot to hide a geocache, I found few interesting caves. Most of the caves are only accessible on the low tide. One of them was perfect for geocache.

As the cache type is mystery, I supposed that it would only be found by locals. But after a few logs I realized that many tourists were visiting the cache. And I find that amazing, because you have to prepare before — you have to check a tide time, use torch (flashlight) and have good boots. Now, it’s probably the most popular cave in Dublin 🙂 I’m really happy that people enjoy the cave and can discover wild part of Dublin.

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.

Galapagos

BARTOLOME (GALAPAGOS) — Geocache of the Week

EarthCache
GC1KGT8
by boiler
Difficulty:
1
Terrain:
2.5
Location:
Galapagos
S 00° 17.046 W 090° 33.048

The Galapagos Islands are well-known for their expansive population of species. About 80% of the land birds, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are endemic, which means “belonging exclusively or confined to a particular place”.

Seldom in nature can you be approached by a wild animal. Bartolome (Galapagos) GC1KGT8 can bring us up close and personal to nature. The island is also a geologist’s playground—so it makes perfect sense that a truly wonderful EarthCache is here.

The little island, Bartolome, is only 1.2 square kilometers (297 acres). Rocky pillars of basalt called “tuff cones” jut out from the surface of the island. These pillars are remnants of hardened fallout of a volcanic eruption. One of the great rewards of GC1KGT8 is the stunning postcard view of the prominent Pinnacle Rock, the largest tuff cone on the island.

On the path to the beach, just offshore, you will find a large volcanic crater that is encapsulating.

If you brought your snorkeler you are in for a treat! According to the cache page the northern beach is open for swimming and the beaches of Bartolome Island are filled with fluorescent fish, playful sea lions, and even whale sharks!

 

The trail continues to lead you across a sandy isthmus to another beach at the southern end of the island. Swimming here is not welcome, and not as friendly. White tip sharks have been known to enter the waters and the cache owner Boiler warns of hostile ghost crabs in that area.

 

The trail ends with a rock path and a long wooden stairway (~360 steps) brings you through the lunar landscape with almost no visibility up to summit hill and the viewpoint of Pinnacle Rock.

If you are EarthCaching on Bartolome Island here are some notable vocabulary terms to take with you as per the cache page:

1.) Lava tubes: Formed by flowing rivers of lava whose outer layer cools and solidifies quicker than the core (creating a skin). The liquid lava continues to flow through the middle, hollowing out an area creating a tube like structure.

2.) Spatter cones: These cones are either a deep red, gleaming black or intense green. The cones are formed when the pressure of gases below the magma in an active lava flow push upward. The gases escape carrying big pieces of lava into the air. The outside of the lava cools down and turns black, and when it hits the ground, the lava ball bursts open releasing the hot magma inside.

3.) Lava bombs: The outcome of a spatter cone. The outside surface of lava bombs are smooth, but the inside of the lava bomb bursts open with broken fragments, creating A’a lava. The broken lava is very runny. However, once the gases all escape, the lava will start to slow, creating pahoehoe lava.

Here’s what our fellow cachers had to say about their experience:

One of the most beautiful landscapes in the Galapagos so far! What an awesome trip Elm77 and I are having. The climb was a breeze for me and the view spectacular. Our guide knew a lot about the geology of the area so I learned a lot! Answers and picture will be sent as soon as I get home. Thanks for the lesson! –Pomwoof

Last year on my 40th birthday I made myself the present of a Galapagos dive trip.  And by doing so a dream came true. As a group of 16 divers from Switzerland we were able to charter the “Galapagos Aggressor” for our trip.

On the second day of diving after two dives at Punta Carrion we set foot on Bartolomé Island for a land tour.  Of course I had already hoped at home that I would get the opportunity to visit one of the few caches around the Galapagos Archipelago.

I enjoyed the hiking a lot, admired the view from the top and even had the chance to see sea lions, penguins, Darwin’s finches, a lizard and a blue-footed booby – part of the animals on land, part while riding the zodiac. –Haiopaia

Thank you boiler for cooking up this hot EarthCache. Is that name a coincidence? I think not. Check out the beautiful photography from geocachers who have visited Bartolome Island and in the gallery below!

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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.

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.