Sunday, April 29, 2012
Peru is known for its surfing. Even the Beach Boys include Peru in their list of places to surf in one of their songs. Around Lima and places to the south of Lima there are good waves but the water is cold and in some places the beaches are pretty rocky. I think the best beaches of Peru are along the northern coast. You can fly into Tumbes, Peru from Lima (about an hour and a half flight), leaving the desert environment just around Lima and plop down in a world of rice paddies and heat. A 1.5 hour ride south in a taxi or van will bring you along the coast and into a more arid climate with some of the most beautiful beaches in South America. We stayed at the Mancora Beach Bungelows a few miles south of Mancora. The road to the place is a dirt road and full of bumps. When you get to the resort you find that it was worth the trip. The closest geocache to here is probably two hundred miles to the north in Guayaquil, Ecuador. A friend who was with me on this trip attempted to list a cache near the resort but apparently the reviewers would not allow him to do it as he lives too far away to maintain it. Maybe when you come you'll have better luck hiding a geocache. Approval seems to depend on who is reviewing the request the day you submit it. Geocache or not, I highly recommend the Mancora area for a beach get-away. We had a great time in the water, relaxing on the beach, collecting sea shells and visiting with friends. From Mancora we did take the bus up to Guayaquil. It was an 11 hour ride but worth the experience of crossing the border on a bus. Guayaquil has its fill of geocaches.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
When traveling in southern Ecuador be sure to visit the Inca ruins at Ingapirca. The name means "Inca Wall" in Quichua. The site is located near the town of Tambo, just north of Cuenca about an hour. You'll find well preserved Inca ruins of a temple
to the sun. When the Inca Túpac Yupanqui moved
his forces into the area he found diplomacy and intermarriage a better approach than direct conflict. He succeeded in marrying the Canari princess Paccha and thus uniting the two peoples as one. The Canari Indians were allowed to keep much of their customs and traditions though surrounded by the dominant Inca Empire. While there is no geocache in this location (the nearest being in the city of Cuenca Arco 1 GC38572) the visit will open your eyes to the wonderful architecture the Canari and Inca people were able to create and the rich history of this most beautiful of places. Hopefully there will be a cache here in the near future. A special thanks to Andries3 and Routard05 for the photos.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Would you place a cache in a cemetery? Would you go look for one there? I've never heard a conversation about this topic. Probably if I visit the forums at Groundspeak or Podcacher I could find some discussion about this. I've never placed one in a cemetery but I've found a few. Thus far I found them to be respectfully placed where they don't lead people to disturb the grave sites. This means that trees in the cemetery are the most likely places you'll find them. As such most of the cemetery caches I've found have been micros, usually bison tubes in trees. I was recently geocaching in the Duluth, GA in the southeastern United States and found one that interested me. Sleepy Hollow (GCKFRB) is a regular size container with the swag we all like to find. What made it interesting was its location. At least 17 other people feel the same as it has that many favorite selections at this writing. I left my hotel and headed out to find a few caches before heading back home to North Carolina. We were in Duluth for a wedding. While the family spent time in the pool I pursued my hobby. Most of the caches in the area were pretty typical urban caches. The area is really industrialized. Yet in the heart of this built-up area the cache owner found a great place for a larger cache. In the midst of parking lots, office buildings, loading docks and more sits a small piece of ridge line that was not carved away for the sake of progress. It's there because it is the family plot for some early farmers who settled into this area. It's likely that there are no family members left in the area to care for the cemetery. It has a gate around it but it looks as if no one has cleaned and maintained the graves. It was a weekend when I found this cache so there were no muggles about what could have otherwise been a busy area. I parked in the parking lot and could see the cemetery about 100 feet away up the hill. I climbed up on the piece of carved out ridge line and found the gate unlocked. At first I scouted around the outside of the fence, initially convinced by the GPSr needle that it was going to be just outside the fence. When that didn't work out I returned and entered the fenced area. I stopped to look at the dates and names on some of the graves. Apparently the Steel family lived in this area as several family members are buried here. It didn't take long to find the cache. After signing the log and replacing the cache I took a few pictures but they don't do justice to the area. If you are in Duluth this one is worth your time. Pass up on those LPCs and check this one out. It's not very far off of Interstate 85. Caches in cemeteries. Yeah, I'm alright with it as long as they don't do damage or cause others to do damage when they visit. What do you think?
Sunday, April 8, 2012
I had a great time with some friends who took me to see a special place they know in the Peruvian jungle. I traveled with them from Pucallpa, Peru westward through flat land that gave way to rolling hills and eventually, after about three hours brought us to the foot of the first row of mountains before heading into the Andes Mountains proper. It was amazing to watch the terrain change as we moved westward. We arrived at an area called El Boquerron, the big mouth. It is a gorge through which the Yuracyacu River flows eastward coming out of the mountains and empties into the Amazon watershed. We stopped at several waterfalls. One was called "The Devil's Shower". It was right along the main highway. GTAbusquedor hid a cache nearby with that same name. Check it out. From there we traveled a short distance through a dark one lane tunnel. At the other end we emerged into the sunlight and the parking area for The Bride's Veil waterfall. We crossed several bridges to arrive at the waterfall itself. See the picture above. We dropped our things near the restaurant and headed for the water. Even though it was an overcast day we had a good time cooling off in the pool of water created at the base of the waterfall. A little later I went looking for and found (FTF!) El Velo de la Novia (GC3C2KC) After our adventure at the waterfalls we traveled up the mountain through some rough washed out roads. Numerous landslides apparently make it difficult to maintain this section of road. If you are ever in the Central Peruvian jungle be sure to checkout El Boquerron and its many waterfalls, hiking trails and canoe excursion opportunities nearby. Check out the geocaches there too!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
My friend Jimnet2005 has gotten into Travel Bugs. His car is a travel bug now that he has a magnetic travel bug tag on the hood. My Traveling Car (TB3VWN0) is making its way around Ecuador. In some places you could leave the tag on the car and maybe not run the risk of it disappearing. Not so in Ecuador and other countries. Jimnet2005 has to take it off when he parks the car in public. Of course that makes it hard for uninvited geocachers to find this one. Sorry that I didn't take a close up picture so you could grab it virtually. I'm sure that Jimnet2005 would have welcomed that. Let's see if he responds to this post with the information so you can log it. It's up to him. Jimnet2005 lives in beautiful Riobamba, Ecuador, homeland of the Puruha segment of the Chimborazo Quichua. Jimnet2005 is populating that part of the central highlands with geocaches worth your time. A look at the log for this TB tells you that it is the owner's way of keeping track of the miles he travels between caches he visits. That's a great idea! I'm hoping he can get his Traveling Car out into more of Ecuador to place more caches.