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A race against time in Göttingen — BORN (GC5EG96) — Geocache of the Week

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Snacks for the inside team. The outside teams will just have to wait.

Geocache Name:

Born (GC5EG96) — by team SOKO Gänseliesel (Hatti1971TobiO79)

Location:

Göttingen, Germany
N 51° 34.319 E 009° 56.308

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D5 / T4

Why this is Geocache of the Week:

“Born” is a real-time adventure geocache, one of several such caches in Germany. The cache page (which is in German) sets the scene for this adventure (all a hypothetical scenario): The Federal Criminal Police Office has learned that a bombing is imminent in the city of Göttingen. Special Unit “Gänseliesel” has been summoned to begin the investigation. Chief Commissioner Schönbeck has been appointed to lead the unit. So far, the investigation has revealed that the bombs have been placed in Göttingen and are already on a countdown. The clock is ticking.

This D5/T4 geocache cannot be found alone. In fact, you’ll need 10-20 geocachers split into three teams in order to have a chance of finding it. One team stays at “Headquarters”: a location of their choosing, preferably filled with snacks. The other two teams are sent to 45 different locations around the city. At every location there’s a countdown, and all three teams are given a question/puzzle to solve.

According to the cache owners, “The teams in the city have to use the public transport to get to the locations in time and answer questions about historical or famous places in Göttingen. The team in the headquarter must deal with encryption, picture analysis, internet-research, maps and bus-timetables.”

If all three teams solve their puzzles and submit their answers before the clock runs out, they continue on to the next task. This continues until the investigation is concluded and Göttingen is saved when the bomb is diffused. In total, each team is working non-stop for five hours. The moving teams will cover about 45 km throughout the evening, and eventually reach the center of the city. The CO says, “At the end, all three teams get to know where the geocache is hidden and move together to sign the logbook. Some teams even bring a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate the successful search.”

The T4 rating is well-earned. That’s all we’ll say here, but check out the photos below for more about this amazing cache.

What the Cache Owner has to say:

How often are the teams unable to “defuse the bomb” in time?
“If your team starts the hunt for the geocache BORN, you never know if you are succsessfull. If one team is not able to reach the destination in the timelimit, the team in the headquarter cannot give the right answer. The investigation stops and the team must start another time. There ist always a tense between physical effort and moments of happiness on the one side and disappointment if you fail a task. Even though the geocache is difficult D5, some teams get it on the first attempt. Every second teams has to start a second time from a backup-point and only a few teams fail more often.”

How long did it take you to develop this cache?
“The idea was created in Summer ’14. First we both made a list of locations in Göttingen that are interesting, then Hatti and I spend two days on bikes in Göttingen to visit all this places and take photos of the question-to-answer-stations. Then i took a bus map and planned two routes with basecamp that touch a lot of the interesting places. Meanwhile I develloped the homepage with all the functions you need to play this timed cache and manage teams and so on…

The biggest part of work was to invent a story to connect the 26 chapters of the cache and find 3 x 26 tasks to occupy the three groups. When all was done we two played both outside-routes in realtime to check if the calculated times are ok to get to know what the cache will look like for the teams. The last step was a beta-test with a little group of geocachers to test the complete cache. On January the first, the cache was published. I think the cache was surely over 50 hours of planning, phoning, riding in Göttingen…”

Is there anything you would like to say to the Geocaching community?
“We love to invite you to come to Göttingen to find BORN or our brand-new spin-off ALERT (GC5RRQF). We want you to have a gread time and wish you that you are doing the great experience what it’s like when teamwork succeeds. We have read all the amazing logs on our geocaches and thank for every feedback. Göttingen is an interesting city and you can discover it from a completely different side, if you hurry through the streets with the ticking clock in your neck. It was a hard job to concept our two geocaches, but the feedback from the community is great.”

Photos:

You know it's a cool cache when it has its own logo.
You know it’s a cool cache when it has its own logo.

 

Unit Headquarters often look like this...
Unit Headquarters often look like this…

 

Or this...
Or this…

 

Or this.
Or this.

 

Find "Born" and you might end up doing this.
Find “Born” and you might end up doing this.

 

One of the stops along the way perhaps?
One of the stops along the way, perhaps?

 

Another stop along the way for the outside teams.
Another stop along for the outside teams.

 

This team eventually found success.
This team eventually found success.
Smiling (and weary) faces after completing the investigation.
Smiling (and weary) faces after completing the investigation.

 

Those who reach this cache know ultimate geocaching success.
Those who reach this cache know ultimate geocaching success.

 

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.

 

Karst Mountain Topography — Yangshuo – GE9 — Geocache of the Week

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A secret view on the way to the top of the lookout. Photo by teamAlje
A secret view on the way to the top of the lookout. Photo by teamAlje

Geocache Name:

Yangshuo – GE9 (GC32N82) by Golem team

Location:

Yangshuo, China
N 24° 46.665 E 110° 29.127

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D1.5/T2.5

Why this is Geocache of the Week:

It’ll take a bit of a climb—and maybe an international flight—to reach this EarthCache, but rare is the geocacher who regrets it. This EarthCache takes you on a short hike above the city of Yangshuo in northern China. The area is known for its dramatic karst mountains, which are the focus of this cache’s earth science lesson. Karst mountains are striking and easily recognizable. The isolated, steep-sided limestone hills are typically surrounded by flat plains. They’re formed when mildly acidic water begins to dissolve weak, soluble bedrock, creating fractures and openings in the rock which deepened over time.

Or, as the Cache Owner puts it in words we can all understand:

“In the beginning there was a huge limestone plate. Like a chocolate table on the desk. There are movements of tectonic plares in the earth’s crust and the table was broken to pieces. Imagine the table of chocolate divided to pieces as if you want to eat it.
Next the water from rain and rivers come. If you put water on chocolate it will start to dissolve it and flow parts of it away. The holes and openings become bigger and after some time most chocolate is out. The same as here. The rests of limstone’s plate are karst hills and mogules of different shapes.
You can ask why the water did not make a deep canyon – the bedrock is too hard. The water took the chocolate, but the desk remained the same. The end of the story is sad – after some time there will be no chocolate at all. But here in Yangshou it is a question of many million years.” -Golem team

What geocachers have to say:

“During our China trip we also visited Yangshuo. A beautiful place with lovely mountains which are lighted during the evening. Together with CaliburnNL we found this earthcache it was a challenge to climb this mountain. Not the climbing was the problem, but finding the start of the climbing. After climbing we had a beautiful view and were able to answer the questions. Team Golem TFTC. mnmjwe from the Netherlands.” –mnmjwe

“We spent two weeks in China. The landscape around Yangshuo is fantastic. My family wasn’t glad that I left them alone in the park while climbing up the hill (especially because they didn’t know that I had to go up). But it was worth. The answers I sent to the owner. And I would like to leave a favorite point. Thanks!” –alpinpoet

“Today we (my youngest son AO99) ans I decided to climb the hill instead of shopping together with the others in our tourist group. A good choice to my mind. The climbing was a bit sweaty (36 degrees C and moisture about 90%) but worth every step. A gegorgeousiew was our salary for this exercise. Unfortunately was my GPS unreadable because of the chineese text in the description, but I think I have managed to answer all the questions, even if there was a small misunderstanding. This cache is a clear favourite to me and FP added! Thank´s for all the work you have done to create this cache! And greetings from Sweden.” –benke.olsson

Photos:

 

Photo by JanSimona
Photo by JanSimona

 

Photo by geotooter
Photo by geotooter

 

Photo by ohnny_cache11
Photo by ohnny_cache11

 

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Photo by monotard

 

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Photo by Heidi28

 

Photo by Tielk
Photo by Tielk

 

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.

Mario’s Stoneworld (GC3HCC3) — Geocache of the Week

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Wezztah creeping along the edge of the water.

Geocache Name:

Marios Stoneworld (GC3HCC3) by Sauerteam

Location:

Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
N 49° 44.030 E 006° 30.400

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D4/T4

Why this is Geocache of the Week:

You don’t need to have loved Super Mario games as a kid to enjoy this cache. It’ll inspire anybody who has a taste for adventure. This is an eight-stage multi-cache, which takes place in a quiet, light forest with the autobahn roaring far above.

We don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but here’s what we can tell you. At the first stage of this cache you learn your mission: rescue the princess. The next few stages are different “levels” of the game, sometimes literally. The stages have you wading through streams, edging your way along cliffs, finding eerie lost places, solving cleverly set up physical puzzles, and eventually finding and rescuing the princess. The final location is filled to the brim with wonderful swag for kids.

If you speak German, check out the logs on the cache page. It’s covered with people raving about how amazing the experience was. And don’t be fooled by the difficulty and terrain rating — this cache is frequented by geocachers both young and old.

What geocachers have to say:

“Wow, wow, wow! Once in a while you’re doing a geocache which will let you really appreciate this nice hobby. However the more geocaches you do, the harder it seems to get to really be suprised on a cache. Well, this one, this multi raised the bar for us big time. I actually dont know what to say about this’, a bit lost for words. Every single waypoint was worked out really well, and there must be taken a lot of effort to create this multi. Very, very amazing, this was more than just a geocache, a real experience. You definitively earned the blue medal, too bad we can only give you one…” –pleb06

“Gemeinsam mit FRP-O hatten wir einen super Ausflug! Groß und Klein kamen auf ihre Kosten. Wir hatten super viel Spaß und Freude beim Lösen der Aufgaben. Für unseren Hund und Teamleader (Marlon) war dieser Cache ein Paradies!!!Die Kids waren total stolz sich eine Überraschung aus der “Finaldose” aussuchen zu können. Zu Hause hatten sie noch viel Spaß und beschäftigten sich noch ein Weilchen mit ihrem Geschenk! Vielen Dank für dieses wunderschöne Abenteuer, es wird noch lange in unseren Köpfen bleiben!!!
Viele Grüsse von der Mosel!!!” –Marlonebär

(This was an awesome outing with FRP-O. Both young and old got their money’s worth. Lots of fun and joy was had while solving the puzzles. For our dog and our teamleader (Marlon) this cache was a paradise. The kids were incredibly proud of the fact that they were able to select a prize from the final. At home they continued to play with their presents. Thank you so much for this amazing adventure…we won’t forget it soon. Greetings from Mosel!)

“Gleich mal vorweg: Nebst all den coolen Lostplaces und unzähligen Bunkern, die wir in diesen Tagen gesehen haben, ist dieser Multi hier für mich mein persönliches Highlight an Gestaltung!! Sehr geile, aufwändige, liebevoll und teils ganz frech gestaltete Stages trifft man hier an! Sowas gefällt Hasen im Wald ganz besonders gut, und ich würde zu gerne an jeder Station ein blaues Schleifli hängen….Chapeau!!! Huhuuuuu ;-D Vielmehr kann und will ich gar nicht mehr sagen, da muss man selber durch! ;-)…Spannung, Spass und Action im Wald! Kurz: genial perkfekt für mein Cacherherz!!!! Wärs ein Hotel, gäbs 5 Sterne! 😉 Riesen Dank ans Sauerteam für diese sensationelle Runde!!!” –Häsi7

(First off: Compared to all of the cool lost places and numerous bunkers that we saw in the last few days, this multi-cache is absolutely a highlight. We encountered stages that were carefully put-together, incredibly cool, and sometimes downright tricky. I would have loved to give a favorite point for every stage of the cache. I can’t say too much more…you’ll have to experience it all yourself! It’s all about excitement, tension, and fun in the forest. Absolutely perfect for my ‘caching soul. If this were a hotel, I would have given it five stars. A huge thank you to the CO Sauerteam for this amazing adventure!!!)

Photos:

 

It all takes place under this mysterious structure.
It all takes place under this mysterious structure.

 

Mario's Stoneworld is actually a green paradise.
Mario’s Stoneworld is actually a green paradise.

 

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One of the levels in Mario’s Stoneworld. Try not to get wet!

 

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This is a real place.

 

A D4/T4 cache that's good for kids? Heck yeah!
A D4/T4 cache that’s good for kids? Heck yeah!

 

There is no 'I' in 'Team'. Nor will there be wet feet!
There is no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. Nor will there be wet feet!

 

Christmas comes early if you're a kid who's made it to the final.
Christmas comes early if you’re a kid who’s made it to the final.

 

Everything wrapped in waterproof bags.
Everything wrapped in waterproof bags.

 

SevenQuak & der_diego are the only ones dressed appropriately.
SevenQuak & der_diego are the only ones dressed appropriately.

 

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.

 

Boondocks USA Travel Bug Motel (GC3PMCM) — Geocache of the Week

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Geocache Name:

Boondocks USA Travel Bug Motel (GC3PMCM) by biss65

Location:

Iowa, United States
N 42° 28.281 W 093° 33.847

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:a6bc6b0e-bd10-4b7a-af55-a615f06765b9

D1 / T1.5

Why this is Geocache of the Week:

Last week we featured a clever gadgety Travel Bug Motel cache. This Geocache of the Week is also a Travel Bug Motel, and while the cache itself is plain—spoiler alert, it’s an ammo can—you’ll probably be grinning wildly by the time you reach it. It’s a Travel Bug Motel in more ways than one.

That’s right, folks. The cache is tucked inside a cherry red VW Bug which, depending on the season and the whims of the property owner, alternately has flowers, tall grasses, or various other living things sticking out from its roof. (Speaking of the property owner: permission was granted for the placement of the cache!)

What geocachers have to say:

“A day off of work in the area and this cache made the list. another great cache nearby. what a cool ideal, hope they don’t try to move it. Gets a favorite point from us. TFTC.” –2CraziesMSN

“This was another must do cache on this trip. psychoVW loves cars, especially Volkswagens, and especially Beetles, and especially abandoned cars. This one had everything! She slugged me, as usual, when we drove past this on the way to another cache. When we arrived here, Paycho guessed where the cache was and made the find. Nice camo! We took some pics, and I dropped off the VW Beetle trackable I had picked up that I had been saving specifically for this cache.” –Darth Leviosa

“On our way to geocoin fest and this one popped up on our favorites filter. Very interesting area. Looks like somewhere out of a Hunter S Thompson novel. Picked up a couple trackables to take with us and dropped one off. Favorite point for taking us to the Boondocks.” –DublinMN

“GZ produced a big bug, but I did not squash it! thanks for the swag … TFTC!” –November Ghost

Photos:

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c77f66f5-6149-4ea6-959b-ab0320533ce7

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Continue to explore some of the coolest caches 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.

 

The Director’s Travel Bug Hotel (GC3MFAD) — Geocache of the Week

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The birdhouse – 9 bedrooms available!

Geocache Name:

The Director’s Travel Bug Hotel (GC3MFAD) by Woodnutt

Location:

Alabama, United States

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D1.5 / T1.5

Why this is Geocache of the Week:

GC3MFAD is disguised as a multi-level birdhouse, which, on its own, isn’t that unusual for a geocache. The casual observer might notice the birdhouse is a little high up…seven or eight feet off the ground, at least. A muggle probably wouldn’t think twice about that fact, but the geocacher—who realizes this must be the geocache, is presented with the problem of reaching it.

Geocachers realize the genius of this cache the moment they figure out how to lower it to the ground. At the base of the pole in a second wooden box is a small crank. When turned in the right direction, a box descends from inside the birdhouse ‘shell’. This is the Director’s Travel Bug Hotel. According to the cache page, this geocache is “by far the best Hotel in Pintlala, Alabama” and “the staff might be someone you recognize but they are not travelers and do not want to go for a ride. They are here to help the guest enjoy their time while staying here.”

It’s the perfect blend of a gadget cache and a roomy and well-crafted Travel Bug Hotel. Should you be lucky enough to be passing nearby, it’s worth the visit. Take care when lowering the unit—it is full of sleeping guests, after all.

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The cache fully revealed.

What geocachers have to say:

“Out on a cache run with CaverScott. This was the start of our day. This was a great find. I love how this has been put together and how it works. Worth at least one favorite point. Thanks for the fun and the smiley!” –autigerman

“Wow. There was definitely a lot of work put into making this cache. I love that people drive by every day and don’t even know it’s there. Kudos for your awesome workmanship and for maintaining this. There were no travel bugs inside, but we signed the log and enjoyed the characters visiting the hotel. Great shape. Well crafted. TFTH!” –hoosiersunshine

“It is always a joy to find a Woodnutt cache, and with 99 favorite points we knew this one was not to be missed. I saved the two travelers I had for a nice stay at this quality hotel. Such fun! I am honored to add favorite point #100. CITO tftc” –tleu

What the Cache Owner, Woodnutt, has to say:

How did you first come up with the idea for this type of hide?
“A lot of my ideas come when I am traveling, which I do a lot for work.  My mind wanders trying to come up with new and different ways to do things.  I like birdhouses and have a number of them as caches and this is just another type of birdhouse.”

Was building the cache a difficult process?
“Building it was not a difficult process, I have a nice workshop with a lot of tools and I enjoy woodworking very much.”

Do you ever see birds landing on the cache?
“I have seen some birds on top of the cache but not a lot.”

What’s been your reaction to all of the nice logs and Favorite Points?
“I have always read all logs on my caches. It is one of my favorite parts of owning caches. It is always nice and rewarding when someone appreciates the work and enjoys the cache. The favorite points are nice.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to the geocaching community?
“Lately I have been very frustrated by some caches that have destroyed a cache with an ax when they could not figure out the on site puzzle cache but this is a game, not everyone enjoys the same thing but one can make geocaching what they want. You can go for numbers, you can go for puzzles, you can do FTF or whatever it is you like; most important is to enjoy what you are doing and respect others as well.”

Photos:

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The cache, looking pretty birdhouse-y in it’s normal state.
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The hand crank elevator mechanism.
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The TB hotel descending from the bowels of the birdhouse.
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All the way down.
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The TB hotel is open for business!
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Time to put a “No Vacancy” sign up?
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The front desk staff are happy to see you.

Continue to explore some of the coolest gadget caches 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.