Geocaching Idaho and Beyond

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Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Mexico

Geocaching In Pacific Mexico: An Amazing Adventure (and how to make the most of your time!)

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First the adventure!!

Cruising with Princess for spring break.  Made port in Mazatlan, Mexico for 9 hours.  Had a stack of potential geocaches.  The following is my log entry for our first cache-

Lambchop 4 (GC1761J)  Log entry March 25, 2009

Had such a great day BECAUSE of this cache!  Made port for a few hours from a cruise. Took a cab to the drop off area for bird island and deer island. (Shared cab fare with another couple headed the same general direction for about $10 bucks.)

(City bus goes to this area if you want to keep a few extra pesos in your pocket.)  Found a super nice guy on the beach that rents kayaks and has a catamaran.  Paid $15 each for him to sail us over to bird island.  Emigdio Vasquez Tovar (Milton) His business card says Kayaks, Diving, Sailing.  His phone numbers are (669)988-9751 and (669) 101-5263.  Milton noticed that we did not have water and packed us a big bottle!

We stayed on Bird island for 3 hours. Had a blast!  Took tons of pictures of frigate birds, vultures, pipers, pelicans…Not to mention the tide pool activity.  Hermit crabs, sea urchins, fish…  There are also rabbits on the island.

Previous geocachers raised the question of  the ‘ethics’ of visiting this bird sanctuary. I have some experience in wildlife rehabilitation and animal behavior; with a special interest in ornithology, so I am familiar with birds and bird behavior.  Here are a few thoughts for protecting them. Keep a respectful distance from the birds and an eye out for nesting activity.  Take a zoom lens camera for close up shots.  My experience was that the birds were not be threatened by our presence.  We hiked to the top of the island and explored both ends that were accessible by walking on the rocky shore.

Wish we had planned to stay longer, but Milton took care of us. While still on the island he showed us how he nets lobster, and he had fresh oysters and sea roaches waiting for us on our return to the mainland.  We were so hungry that we probably would have paid any price for freshly harvested oysters-but he charged us a fair price.  I am so glad we decide to make this trip.  It will always stand out as a grand adventure!

We were able to bag several more caches while making our way back to the ship.  This is an awesome city for geocaching!

Thanks for the cache-would not have known about this excursion had it not been for you!

This cache needs a larger heavy duty ziplock bag.  The container will need to be replaced at some point.  It is not water tight. Removed 2 small stuffed bears and a   from the cache as they were moldy.  Everything was pretty damp. Dried stuff out as much as possible and replaced plastic baggie. Left geopin and bottle opener.  Took stone.  Left tb’s and coins.

Making The Most of Your Time

We have geocached in Mexico before, and always find these caches  far more exciting than caching in our hometown.  For one thing it’s all new.  It can be challenging to find your way around a city, especially if you do not speak the language.  We try and pick up a few new key phrases each time we visit.  (Usually just enough to get us into trouble!  LOL)

Every city we have visited in Mexico has fantastic public transportation.  Very affordable and easy to navigate.  If we have limited time we sometimes opt to hire a cab for the day.  It is easy to find a driver who speaks english- and this is a good opportunity to pick up more Spanish!!  We have hired a driver for between $50 and $80 dollars.  They always know where good local food is, and are always amused when we explain geocaching.  Even though we speak a bit of spanish, we always travel with printed translations explaining geocaching.  I also take bilingual stash notes/logs for caching abroad.

Here’s one thing I have learned about caching in unknown territory.  Build in extra time.  We have cut it close to missing the ship a couple of times.   The last thing I want is that kind of stress when I am on vacation.  Plan on things taking half again as long as you think they should.

When caching in tourist-y towns we learned to take a backpack with loads of “maintenance supplies.”  Baggies, logs, bilingual stash notes, magnets, duct tape, super glue, micro containers…  Most of the caches placed in tourist areas are left by tourists.  To maintain the integrity of these caches we have to be willing to pitch in help with upkeep.

Planning a Vacation Geocaching Excursion

View all potential caches in the area online well ahead of your trip and look at recent log entries.  This gives you an idea of what particular supplies you might need, and often, saves  you the disappointment of trying to find a cache that has been muggled.  Nothing sucks worse than hiking for a few hours on a time crunch and not being able to find a cache.  I also learned the hard way to take ALL information on the cache with me.  I may not read all the logs ahead of time, but when you are in the field in some far off land- trust me.  Do not go without the clues and logs available in case you need them.

Choose one general direction and plan a ‘route’ to follow.  Two words here.  Google Earth.  The geocaching overlay is fantastic! We always start with the cache that is the farthest away and work our way back (taking into account the timey-wimey bit above.)  In tourist areas most caches will be in tourist-y areas so the ‘route’ business is fairly easy to establish.  We have never had enough time to finish even half of the caches we plan.  That time factor always comes into play.

Will finish this post in a few days with links and pictures.  Hate to leave it unfinished… peace