Geocaching* in Mexico
While cruising my phone is off limits except when in Wifi areas so doing a little geocaching takes planning ahead of time. I used to use my hand held GPS but my phone is so much easier that I now rely on it exclusively. Internationally though it is quite a challenge.
The first thing I do before I leave is to look over the areas I plan to spend time in to see how many geocaches are located in the area.
This one happened to be located near a restaurant I had been to on my last trip to Cozumel!! It was right there at the dock. But where might the actual cache be located?
I had saved a few photos in my phone of the cache page to assist me while looking.
This time I happened to spot the statue first and remembered it as the location. This statue had been in almost all the photographs as being the location of the cache.
Something large like this something I could locate visually, but it isn't always the case.
When I found the statue I had to also take a selfie to add to their collection!
I also snapped a photograph of the view from there.
Anyway, back to my preparations ahead of time.
The last thing I do is look at the activity. Has it been found recently? What are the comments?
Then I take photos of the helpful activity comments.
Previously I had printed out the photos and the activity log and brought the papers along but even easier I discovered was to just take my own photos from the web of what I needed. No need to carry papers but if you are caching as a group or family it is easier to share when each cache has it's own set of papers.
(I love the yellow and blue tile work on this building).
When I was first there, I had forgotten about checking my photographs, as I was so excited to see the statue! I diligently searched it and the surroundings. When I came up empty handed, I opened my pictures in my phone and checked my clues and saw that I needed to go to the shop here and ask the resident artist questions!!
Fortunately it was open and I spoke to the artist. He was delighted to see me and he brought me the cache!
They had removed it from the statue as it had been pilfered so often by tourists just happening upon it and possibly by locals looking for coins, that they now kept it under lock and key.
I signed the log! Success!
(Where oh where is the picture I should have taken?)
Had the shop been closed, a photograph of myself at the statue would have been accepted to claim a smiley and a find.
That is not the usual procedure but perfectly acceptable if the cache owner permits it.
Again, a hand held GPS can be used internationally without incurring charges, but you have to carry something extra and the battery life is very short. I don't have anywhere to charge it or equipment to do so out in the field so even back in the day before my iPhone app, I still printed out as much as I could.
It's really fun to look for geocaches in port. You are taken to the most interesting areas and places you might never see otherwise. It's also free and keeps you out of the shops! I mean, really! How many souvenirs does one need? A signed log is my favorite souvenir!
For more on this cruise, my sis did a funny blog post! What's funnier than family?
*Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.
Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. --Geocaching.com