Agraïments especials a en mcruley i a la Maria, patrona de l'Esplai, per l'ajuda logística i per haver fet possible la col·locació d'aquest cache.
Gràcies també al geocacher karles per aportar involuntàriament un element indispensable per la bona marxa d'aquest cache, i per modificar desinteressadament algunes ubicacions del seu multicache Cala Pedrosa, per evitar que es solapés amb aquest.
I en general, gràcies a tots els familiars i amics que han col·laborat en major o menor mesura a la realització del mateix.
By Palatrecos' Team, adoptat per AlbertCS10 i lluis8
This is a multi-cache whose previous parts are located around Sant Sebastià's Lighthouse, and the final cache is hidden somewhere in the Formigues Archipelago. These islands are only accessible by boat, or also by kayak, which can be rented in some of the nearby beaches.
Here you have a couple of maps showing the exact location of both the Formigues Islands (600 metres into the sea from the nearest seashore) and Sant Sebastià's Lighthouse, as well as the beaches where you can rent kayaks (usually only during the summer season).
If you decide to reach the islands by kayak, we strongly recommend you to try it with a really calm sea. Either from Calella de Palafrugell or from Cala de Castell the total distance to overcome ammounts to 6km approx. (3km each way), so if the conditions are adverse and you are not a skillful enough kayaker, it could all turn into a bad experience. Anyway, just apply common sense: don't try any temerities!
That being said, and considering the previous hiding places, we advise you to plan this cache hunt with time aplenty. Preferably, the best option would be to begin in the morning, in order to have time to take the boat and complete the cache afterwards.
The previous locations have adequate accesses, so everybody can reach them. The final cache is somewhat harder, as the terrain is a bit rocky, but being careful you should reach there without difficulty.
- Boat or substitute
- Pen & paper
- Great doses of adventure spirit
Oliana Molls is one of the most famous Catalan archaeologists ever. After all his ups and downs when searching the Bronze Astàleg, and after building his Fabulous Machine, he settled down and led a quiet family life with his mate Betty, temporarily retiring himself from active archaeology.
Last summer, while the whole family (Oliana, Betty and their son Quarqui) was spending the summer at their country house in Torrent, just next to their inseparable neighbours Marconi and Hortènsia, the family archaeological vein was awakening inside Oliana's son. While he was contemplating an ancient scroll hanged on the wall, he inadvertently dropped a statue to the floor. It was a statue inherited by his father from his grandpa, who in turn bought it at Argelés-Sur-Mer for tuppence. The statue was very dusty and badly maintained, and it represented a middle-age French soldier in a warring attitude: wielding a sword in his right hand and a shield in the other one. On its base, an inscription read: "To the glory of François LeClercq, Captain of His Royal Highness King Philip the Brave's forces, by the Grace of God". When he picked up the figure he noticed it wasn't solid, because he heard a funny noise, like if something was moving inside it. So he ran to explain everything to his father, who at that very moment was engaged in an Internet chat with Indiana Jones and Quatermain.
When he learned such news, Oliana didn't doubt a second and immediately broke the statue to pieces. Among the debris he found a small chest, which contained a nearly unreadable inscription. As he was completely unable to make any sense of it (the text was almost erased), Oliana analysed it with his Machine.
This was the result:
"The paper talks about a hidden treasure, located at the Formigues Islands, a nearby archipelago. Captain François LeClercq was a credited military chief for King Philip III the Brave, of the Anjou house, when they raided Catalonia in 1285, during the reign of King Peter II the Great, of the house of Barcelona. During their incursion, the Frenchmen looted a considerable amount of gold from the arches of Catalan nobles and merchants. But as the people opposed fiercely to their occupation, they decided to take the treasure away to enlarge their king's fortune, if such a thing was possible. But that was a fatal decision, because they loaded excessively their ships and, while they passed by the Formigues' Freu, fleeing from their defeat against Roger de Llúria's fleet near Palamós, at the famous Battle of the Formigues Islands, which took place on September the 3rd and the 4th 1285, more than half of the fleet shipwrecked and sunk right there. Their army retreated to their stronghold in Girona, where they had to endure a terrible siege. Finally, they had no option than fleeing when Sant Narcís' flies made them all ill.
Seeing such a tragedy, the proud captain decided to gather the most beautiful and priceless jewels, and hid them somewhere in one of the Formigues Islands. He drew some map drafts to find the treasure, and decided to hide them in separate locations at the most inaccessible spot of the zone, so nobody was able to find them. When placed, he wrote a small note, which he planned to hide inside his own statue, so his descendents would find it someday, and would retrieve and enjoy his wealth."
Oliana was very excited about his son's discovery, but he preferred to ask for a more exhaustive analysis, as the preliminary one didn't give away much information on the subject of finding the treasure. He had to insist many times, because the Machine really got a temper.
The second analysis read:
"The treasure's exact position is not determined in the paper. A previous expedition to Sant Sebastià de la Guarda (the place where LeClercq hid the map fragments, where an important lighthouse is nowadays located) might be in order. The fragments locations are:
Hiding Place #1: located at
N 41° 53,705'
E 03° 12,142'
inside a crack of a rock.(see photo spoiler)
Hiding Place #2: the exact location is not reliable, but it seems like it is placed around:
N 41° 53,866'
E 03° 12,184'
The inscription says it's hidden under a big rock, where there are a set of stairs, exactly just at the N+11 -th stair: 'N' being the number that appears on a plate (in roman numerals, somewhere before the beginning of those stairs) plus one (see photo). That is to say, you must discover the number (in roman numerals, remember) appearing in the plate, add '11' to that number, descend as many stairs as the number you just calculated, and examine under the rock where you are. Clear enough, ain't it?
The paper doesn't say much about the contents of the treasure either, but it seems it is some sort of collection of valuable antique coins and jewels."
Oliana, who isn't at his best anymore, tried to search the treasure, but he seems to have lost his abilities, and his son is yet too young for a challenge like this. Thus, he gave us all this information, so some intrepid geocacher would finish the job he started.
Oliana suggested the belvedere located at
N 41° 53,769'
E 03° 12,112'
behind the lighthouse, as a starting point. There, you'll get a splendid sight of the Formigues, your final destination. To move around and look for the hiding places, you can follow the long-run (GR) path, which is marked with these symbols:
Don't forget to visit the Iberic village ruins, and the hermitage of Sant Sebastià.
Are you ready?
'Course you are! Here you go!
In order to keep the "spirit" of the treasure, we ask you to exchange only coins (specially ancient ones) or jewels (by "jewel" we mean e.g. mineral crystals, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. Generally, something with a low economic cost, don't leave too much valuable things!).
To locate the final cache, the use of a GPSr is not strictly necessary. With a simple compass you should be able to find the hiding place quite easily. Don't despair and be ready to live a truly multisensorial experience! ;-)
Please, we ask you NOT TO upload SPOILER pictures when logging the find. Thus, every cacher will find it as hard (or as easy :D) as everybody else. Thanks!
Special thanks to mcruley and to Maria, Esplai's captain, for their logistic assistance and for making this cache's placement possible.
We'd also like to thank geocacher karles for unintentionally contributing with an essential element for the outcome of this cache, and also for generously modifying some locations of his own multicache Cala Pedrosa.
Many thanks to all our relatives and friends who have contributed in a major or minor way to the conception and accomplishment of this cache (our first one).
By Palatrecos' Team, adopted for AlbertCS10 and lluis8