WARNING to GEOCACHERS: SPOILER VIDEO
The adventure we're showing took place in the mountains of Gerês (Portugal).
It's the story of a one week vacation in August 2010 with a focus on searching for caches.
The protagonists in this adventure are Peter! and dbarradas.
Many of the caches that we found marked us in very different ways, as we had wonderful places with awesome scenery but at the same time there were a lot of fires going on at the surrounding areas.
This video shows just some of the caches, sights and adventures that can be found in Gerês.
These are caches that you should really visit and we hope they can continue to exist for a long time, despite the adverse conditions like fires or rain.
The video starts with an Helicopter. That helicopter was picking up fireman which are supposed to get dropped in the middle of fire. Our thanks for the excellent work they do fighting the flames.
From that place we went down to one of the first caches we did: The Lost Cave (GC1XX87). One went by car … and the other one by bike! (yay!)
It was very easy get to the base of the rocks where the cache is and the climb was not complicated. We found it in our first try … very nice place by the way! ;)
The second cache that appears in the video, Cascatas do Tahiti [Gerês] (GC18ZFT) was one of the places we most loved to visit in this short journey around here. It's a place with crystal clear fresh water. The kind of place that you don't find very often. Of course we had to go and dive/climb and take pictures all around… If we had to give an excuse we could always say that the heat made us go into the water … several times :)
The cache is not underwater but further away hidden on the path to this little paradise. This was the cache where we spent more time, without worrying about the actual search and it was worth every second we were there.
The next one, Aldeia Subaquática [Vilarinho das Furnas-Geres] (GC1220J), was one of the caches that left us really sad. It's a place we already knew from other visits in previous years, a beautiful magical green place that completely burn down. As you can see in the video, the cache is in good health, but everything around it burn until about 1m from it. :(
We decided to cycle to this cache because it was an easy 2.5km dirt road and it allowed us to appreciate the natural beauty of Vilarinho das Furnas. At least on the other side of the damn that didn't burn.
Near the end of our vacation we went to the main cache that brought us to Gerês, Fenda da Calcedónia (GCGZCK). We delayed the visit several days due to the extensive fire which broke out in the area but in the final day we decided risk it, even though there were still many fires in the surrounding areas. We left the car at the recommended parking location and we did the 900mts easily.
Unfortunately, we didn't do proper homework and we did not go through the crack itself, as we wanted, something that we only realized when we arrived in Lisbon :(
It was sad, but it gives us an excuse to return! :)
The landscape of this cache was desolating because all you can see around it is burned land.
This cache is adventurous and it has it's adrenaline sweet spots which we recommend to everyone except those with children or the claustrophobic ones. Enter at the right place in the crack and you'll enjoy it much more than we did cause this is one of those unforgettable caches. The logbook is one of the best we've seen, it is themed, original, and it's impossible not to laugh with the other geocachers' logs. It's the icing on the cake for this cache :)
Next in line, and very close by, we had the Miradouro da Boneca's cache (GC166KP).
As we were in a VW Golf van, we had to leave it at the entrance of the dirt road but if you have 4x4 vehicle you can go until about 300/400mts from it.
So when we stopped the car and got on the bikes, we noticed that by our side a small fire was restarting. Firefighters were more than preoccupied with other areas so we decided to do our good deed of the day and we extinguished this small fire, preventing further damage and possibly further work to firefighters. It was a simple action, which we did safely and quickly, but very rewarding because in our hearts we knew we were helping to save a few pine trees to the best of our abilities.
A geocacher's life is not just about finding caches, but also to ensure its continuity by removing possible hazards such as a fire or water. When we got to the cache, after a little over 2km bike ride, we noticed again the complete burned down landscape. :(
This was the luckiest of all caches (it should be renamed … really).
The cache is in great health, but as shown in the video, all the vegetation around it burned until about 10cm from the cache. Yes, 10cm. The pine that was over the plastic cache burned … the cache didn't. Lucky we would say! :)
The view from above of the Village of Gerês is something indescribable, but once again, and unfortunately it was all surrounded by a mantle of black ash and smoke.
We continued to do geocaching until the end of the holidays doing a total of 63 caches in five days in the beautiful Gerês.
We hope the video will help you to get that extra motivation you need to go to there and do some of the most beautiful caches Portugal has to offer.
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