Despite living in a peaceful bubble far from the maddening multitude, we make an effort to keep up with world events as well as what’s hip n’ doody in the real world outside Cartajima. I was therefore taken by surprise when recent guests said they were going to spend their ten days with us “geocaching”. Never heard of it.
Apparently it is a worldwide treasure hunt that everybody knows about and in which a sub-set participate. If, like me, you are one of the last people on the planet to learn about it, let me explain.
Players of this “real-world outdoor treasure hunting game” use their GPS-device to find geocaches or hidden objects, which are all mapped on the worldwide geocaching site. Upon their return home, afficionados record their experiences on the site.
One might enquire “so what’s the point?” But, our Belgian guests, who have been playing since the game began in 2003, use geocaching as a basis for their holidays all over the world. When planning their holiday in Andalucia, they identified the Serrania de Ronda as a geocache-rich area; every day they explored a different part of the Serrania in search of caches and, in so doing, became intimate with this beautiful part of Andalucia.
Embracing the idea with enthusiasm, we accepted our guests’ kind offer to help us lay our first cache in the Alto Genal on the new trail around Los Riscos. An empty Body Shop Mango Butter container was declared perfect – small, watertight, easy to conceal. Under their direction, we printed out the tiny log book where geocachers would record finding our cache. We searched the bits-and-pieces drawers for small treasures to include. Our geocaching experts added some traceable coins – items they had taken from one cache to leave in another. The journey of these traceables around the world is recorded on the geocaching site.
Next job was to find a suitable place to hide the cache. “El Aguila”, a marvellous eagle-shaped rock formation in the Riscos, came to mind so the expedition set forth. We found a suitable hiding place in the clearing near the Aguila and, with Philippe’s help, figured out the exact global position of our cache. Upon our return to the hotel, we published it on the geocaching website. Then we waited in anticipation to see if anybody would come a-geocaching in search of our cache. Was it too well-hidden? Or too easy to find? Doubts plagued us.
It was a thrilling moment when, just days later, we received an email saying somebody had found it! One geocacher suggested we should place another on the same route to make it even more exciting for the seekers. So, if you happen to have a Body Shop Mango Butter container that you don’t want, do bring it with you on your next visit to Los Castanos! Thanks!