GOTW Senhora da Pedra, Madeira Portugal

Senhor da Pedra—Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC2ZWP5
by luisftas
Difficulty:
4
Terrain:
3.5
Location:
Arquipélago da Madeira, Portugal
N 32° 50.110 W 016° 54.419
GOTW Senhora da Pedra, Madeira Portugal
GOTW Senhora da Pedra, Madeira Portugal

Off the southwest coast of Portugal and northwest coast of Africa lies the beautiful archipelago of Madeira. It is the outermost region of the European Union and an autonomous region of Portugal. Known for its idyllic climate, flowing wine, romantic beaches, and sheer cliffs, Madeira is also home to close to 1,200 active geocaches.

You must be thinking, “Geocaching in gloriously warm climate with stunning landscapes and flowing wine—where’s the grit and the character-building adventure of that?!” Luckily, this traditional cache provides a mildly challenging hike with a big pay off in a phenomenal location. Perfect!

You’ll start your journey at the São Jorge (St. George) lighthouse, a sweet little spot to prepare for your trek and take in the ocean views. The lighthouse was, “…designed in 1948 and started to function in 1959. Its structure is a cylindrical tower 14-meters high, and the focus is at an altitude of 271 meters. Its light has a range of 16 miles, and its operation is automated in 1986 after being electrified in 1962.”

São Jorge (St. George) lighthouse
São Jorge (St. George) lighthouse

The next step is to find the path to the geocache. Once you are on the path, you will see why this geocache earned its 3.5 terrain rating. There are many paths—will you take the correct one? Will your path be full of mud with no alternate route? Will you slip and fall in the mud? Will this actually be worth it? Stay strong, intrepid geocachers, because yes, the payoff will be worth it.

Path to the geocache
Path to the geocache

At the end of the path on the very edge of a cliff, you will find a very large rock. Many years ago it broke free from the hills above, rolled down the rugged terrain, then suddenly stopped right on this precipice. This was so amazing and odd that the locals built a small shrine in honor of the “Lady of the Stone” and placed it underneath the boulder. This “monument’ is full of religious statues, candles, flowers, stones, and other knickknacks. It is also a wonderful place for quiet reflection and to sign a logbook.

Path to the geocache
Path to the geocache

If this amazing rock and little shrine weren’t enough, check out that view! On the left you can see Porto Moniz very far away, while on the right you can look down and see the old pier of São Jorge. Can it get any better than this?

View from above the rock
View from above the rock

Recent logs:

Siggi72
This is my second time visiting Madeira but the first time with Geocaching. Without geocaching I wouldn’t have seen this “balancing” rock with the small shrine and the great views. Thanks for showing!

Amazing location for a geocache
Amazing location for a geocache

Comètes
On our way, we could not miss this cache, that we already bookmarked in France when preparing our trip. Its D/T ratio is the only one missing in on matrix. We first discovered the lighthouse, then went down to GZ. 148 steps later, we were at the right place. A special place, as many ones that we can discover since we are practising geocaching. We found the box with the help of the spoiler. While we were signing the logbook, a rainbow appeared above the Ocean. To celebrate our fully filled matrix? Thank you for this great cache!

At the shrine under the rock
At the shrine under the rock

ED77
First we had problems to find the right access and had almost given up. Fortunately we found the right way otherwise we have missed a great adventure and a total crazy place! The path down was a real adventure but at the end worth every step How curious to place a shrine under this huge stone! We enjoyed the mystic and peaceful place, stayed some time staring at the sea This place is worth a favorite point

Just before the geocache
Just before the geocache
Great view and a great experience
Great view and a great experience
The shrine
The shrine
Gorgeous views
Gorgeous views
View to the right
View to the right
Even pooches love this geocache
Even pooches love this 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.

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1 Comment

A new country souvenir: Romania!

Be prepared to hike mountains, take field notes on a volcanic crater, check out Europe’s largest parliament building, ward off vampires at Dracula’s famous castle, and travel back in time to the 17th century on our virtual visit to Eastern Europe.

Because our final new souvenir of the year takes you to Romania!

romania
Aside from having Europe’s most abundant resources of gold, there is a rich and vibrant geocaching community in Romania. If you find yourself in the area, be sure to check out the local geocaching events. The community is warm and welcoming to people who travel to the country for geocaching, and are eager to share stories. You may be invited to join in on the adventure and broaden your visit by tagging along to learn more about the country and culture.

Balea Lake

GC2DYPD | by delcho | D3/T3.5 | Traditional Cache |

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Visitors will fall in love with Romania’s picturesque countryside filled with landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains, steep valleys, and glacier lakes. Our first stop is in the heart of Romania at a place that even impressed hollywood superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme: GC2DYPD – Balea Lake.

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The drive to the Balea Lake will bring you up winding roads that climb to 2,034 m of elevation through the Carpathian Mountains. Be prepared for the cold air that sweeps through the valleys during winter time. Though if the cold doesn’t bother you too much and you only want to escape the wind, you can always seek refuge in the nearby Ice Hotel in case of a snow storm. The cache is south west of the lake and is located at the best vantage point. While you’re in the area be sure to also check out nearby caches “A walk in the clouds” (GC1VM88) and “Dragon’s Window”(GC5CF4R ).

rm1

Nobody Home

GC1BFHH | by silentmouse | D2.5/T1.5 | Traditional Cache |

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Stop by this old 17th century village in the capital city of Bucharest, but don’t bother to knock because there’s Nobody Home (after you make it through the museum entrance). The village museum is open to the public and you are welcome to poke around and imagine you are back in time — with a GPS or smart-phone of course. If you find yourself overwhelmed with joy here, know that it’s probably not by coincidence, because the city of Bucharest literally translates to “City of Joy.”

rm2

[MR] Casa Poporului

GC5FPEX | by miss_shady | D2/T1.5 | Traditional Cache |

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Not too far away from GC1BFHH and the open-air village museum is Casa Poporului the second largest parliament building in the world. If you plan on doing some sight seeing through Bucharest this is a must-grab geocache. It is a small cache on the street facing the palace strategically placed for some great photo opps. However this is a major tourist attraction in the city, so be wary of muggles in the area.

rm3

Volcanic Crater in Racos

GC1QAVH | by Mioritics | D2/T2.5 | EarthCache |

romania27

Of the 51 EarthCaches in Romania  the Volcanic Crater in Racos tops the list when it comes to that “wow” factor and provides a glimpse at the country’s eclectic geomorphological features. As far as geology enthusiasts go, the volcanic crater is a perfect place to study all types of slag, ash, pumice, volcanic bombs, and hardened lava.

rm4

Dracula’s Castle

GC5D8 | by Orangefizzy & Buntoro | D3/T3.5 | Traditional Cache

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The Bran castle is better known as Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, and has the most favorite points of any geocache in Romania. The former abode of Vlad the Impaler attracts over countless visitors each year. If you take the tour, you will see the vampire theme played out in the castle: coffins, red colored drapes, and melted wax candles. Bran castle is open to the public year-round and you can stay in the castle overnight on Halloween.

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This legendary castle also has a legendary geocache. On April 1, 2001, Team Romania placed the country’s first official geocache at this location. The castle is an international icon and surrounded by mountains, giving it the perfect conditions for a geocache. The contents of the cache consists of mainly of toys and games, but also includes a few essential vampire deterrents, including a mirror, a Croatian pre-paid phone card with a photo of the Pope on it, and a large pencil that could be used as a wooden stake in an emergency. The cache container is a rectangular plastic tupperware container with a green lid. According to the cache page there are three different ways to grab this cache depending on how you would like to get there.

rm7

Romania is home to 3,221 geocaches and a strong community. Whether you are visiting the capital city of Bucharest or sight-seeing in the rural regions of the Romania, you will have a geocaching adventure you won’t forget!

La revedere!
(Good-Bye)

5

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!)

9


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.

China Geocaching Souvenir

Newest Geocaching country souvenir: China

China official souvenir

The People’s Republic of China:

China’s diverse landscapes, rich history, and an abundance of adventures await you. If that’s not enough and you need another reason to visit, we’ve got you covered. You can now earn a geocaching souvenir by finding a geocache or attending an event in China!

China 5 Geocaches

Here are five noteworthy geocaches to get you started:

Like mountains, lakes are considered sacred by people of this area, and EarthCache Yamdrok Lake Overlook clearly shows why. The lake is revered as a talisman, and is said to be part of the life-spirit of the area. Don’t underestimate the amount of gasping for air any physical activity will ensure, the elevation is ~4,400 meters (~15,000 feet).

Yamdrok Lake Overlook
Yamdrok Lake Overlook GC2V1HN

 

EarthCache Mount Emei – GE7 is located at one of Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. Near the top of the mountain you will find more than 70 Buddhist monasteries of the Ming and Qing period, including the first Buddhist temple built in China in the first century.

Emei Mountain EarthCache
Emei Mountain – GE7

 

The Terracotta Warriors have lain underground for more than 2,000 years. However, in 1974, farmers digging a well uncovered one of the greatest archaeological sites ever found. So far, archaeologists have uncovered a 20-square-mile compound, including some 8,000 terracotta soldiers, along with numerous horses and chariots, a pyramid mound marking the emperor’s tomb, remains of a palace, offices, storehouses and stables. You’ll also find a simple, small, grey box with a logbook, a pen, and rooms for a few trackables.

The Terracotta Warriors GC30Y71
The Terracotta Warriors GC30Y71

 

Some still believe the Great Wall of China can be seen from the Moon, but that claim has been debunked many times. Apparently, the width of the Great Wall from the Moon is relatively the same as looking at a human hair from 3 km (2 mi) away, so if you get to the Moon make sure to bring your glasses. Regardless, you can log this out-of-the-world Virtual Cache Meeting Mao on The Great Wall near the monument close to the second and third towers.

Meeting Mao on The Great Wall GCKB03
Meeting Mao on The Great Wall GCKB03

 

Huangshan Geopark is an EarthCache highlighting the Huangshan (黄山 literally Yellow Mountain), a mountain range in the southern Anhui province in eastern China. A frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature this area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of China’s most popular tourist destinations.

Huangshan Geopark
Huangshan Geopark GC1B40Q

 


We’ll unveil one or two new souvenirs every week until all FIVE are officially released and awarded by mid December. A list of currently available geocaching souvenirs and even the ones you’ve already earned can be found on Geocaching.com. And, if you’ve already found a geocache in China, we will automatically add this souvenir to your profile.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our Blog to find out which countries are next.

Have you found a geocache in China? Tell us your experience in the comments below!

 

 

 

newslettersuite_12122016_singapore_souvenir_vfinal_blog-800x450
3 Comments

A new country souvenir for Singapore!

Statistically speaking, Singapore ranks as one of the best places on earth to be born, grow up, and die.

Singaporeans can expect to receive a first-class education and have one of the longest life-expectancies in the world. Their city is the hub of Asia’s financial services and high-tech sectors. Most citizens are bilingual; they represent a diverse collection of religions and cultures. And one of their most well-known national icons is a fantastical half lion, half fish hybrid: the Merlion.

But we think the country’s true greatness lies in its geocaches, which are as diverse as its citizens. They range in style and setting from tricky needle-in-a-haystack hides to gorgeous tropical views; from modern architectural creations to rocky seaside traverses. And if that’s not enough incentive to go caching in Singapore, from now on finding a cache there will earn you the Singapore country souvenir.

singapore_vfinal_full

Read on to learn about five of Singapore’s most noteworthy caches.

Butterfly Garden @ Changi Airport T3 Transit

GC1HA96 | by Orangefizzy & Buntoro | D1/T1 | Traditional Cache | 497 favorite points

picmonkey-collage

Airport caches are extremely rare, and for good reason. Getting permission from the appropriate authorities is difficult. But geocachers Orangefizzy and Buntoro did just that at Changi International airport in Singapore—they received permission for the cache from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore—and GC1HA96 is the result. The cache is placed in the airport’s special butterfly garden. Dappled with natural sunlight from a huge wall of windows, the garden is filled with over 200 species of tropical plants, 47 species of butterflies, a cascading waterfall, and air so humid you’ll meet your daily drinking water requirement just by standing there and breathing for five minutes.

TBH Trail – The Labyrinth

GC4XC21 | by riskysurv | D2.5/T2 | Mystery Cache | 20 favorite points

picmonkey-collage2

To find GC4XC21, you’ll need to pick your way through a series of labyrinthine underground tunnels, but the only equipment required is a computer mouse and cursor. This mystery cache uses Google Maps’ interior “street view” images of the Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter to create a fun and unusual puzzle. Click on the link from the cache page and you’ll be plopped down into a Singaporean parking lot…virtually, of course. Then find the open door nearby to Enter the Labyrinth and begin exploring. You’ll need to track down clues hidden within the walls of the shelter in order to answer questions on the cache page and solve for the final coordinates of the cache. It’s a fun puzzle worth working on at home even if you don’t have a trip to Singapore planned…yet.

Welcome to Chinatown

GC41AV5 | by onehappy & Just1gal | D2.5/T2 | Traditional Cache | 131 favorite points

The view at "Wecome to Chinatown" geocache.

An exploration of Singapore would not be complete without a visit to Chinatown. While you’re there, make your way up to GC41AV5. From ground zero of this cache, one can gaze down at the terracotta-colored roofs of the main Chinatown shopping area and plazas.The streets below seem busy at almost any time of the day, filled with “street performances, flea markets and lots of good hawker food,” as the cache page states. The view offers a striking visual of the contrast between traditional and modern architecture. And around Chinese New Year, colorful streamers and banners hang suspended over the streets like candy necklaces.

Metrohomme’s “The Story of a Migrant”

GC1GRJF | Adapted by Orangefizzy and Buntoro  | D3/T3 | Multi-Cache | 51 favorite points

picmonkey-collage3

Geocachers who eschew crowds of camera-snapping tourists and prefer to delve deeply into the history of a place will likely enjoy the multi-cache GC1GRJF. The cache describes the life of Ah Long, who emigrated from China to Singapore in pursuit of grander opportunities. Although Ah Long himself is fictional, the locations to which stages of this cache lead are very real. At each stage, the listing text paints a picture of what the spot might have looked and felt like to someone like Ah Long from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. This cache fits neatly into the ever-growing category of educational geocaching, or “edu-caching”.

Bay Area: Esplanade Bridge

GC2QV9M | by Louise&Lauren | D1.5/T1.5 | Traditional Cache | 40 favorite points

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Marina Bay is sensational from any angle. Rimmed with glittering high-rises and swooping bridges, the bay area is the hub of Singapore’s hotel and entertainment industries. The futuristic Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino dominates the skyline to the south, forever deceiving tourists into thinking a cruise ship accidentally docked on some skyscraper roofs. The northern rim of the bay is guarded by a towering white Merlion, who roars out an endless gush of water. And in the middle of it all sits GC2QV9M, shaded by fluffy pink and white bougainvillea bushes. Searching for the cache among the bushes offers a welcome rest for the eyes after the spectacle of Marina Bay, but be warned: spending any amount of time face-first in the foliage is sure to attract attention from tourists and locals alike. Move covertly and replace as found.


Singapore joins Russia, Puerto Rico, and China as the latest geocaching country souvenirs. Souvenirs that are currently available can be found here. See the souvenirs you’ve already earned here. And, if you’ve already found a geocache in Singapore, the souvenir will be retroactively added to your profile soon.

There’s still one more country souvenir left to be revealed! Follow Geocaching on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or check back to the Geocaching Blog to find out which country is next.

Have you found a geocache in Singapore? Tell us your experience in the comments below!