Bermuda Geocaching Tour
This is the latest of all the adventure tours in Bermuda. Geocaching is not new in the world, but it is fairly new to Bermuda. The whole idea is about real life outdoor treasure hunt with the help of a GPS (Global Positioning System) device. Yes, you will require a GPS device or a smart phone capable of supporting GPS with appropriated GPS tracking applications downloaded.
Bermuda Department of Conservation in collaboration with the organization Bermuda Island Geocachers (BIG) have hidden 20 caches all across the island. And the adventure is about finding these caches which are placed in such a way that you will discover some unique places like forested land, secluded beaches, rural areas etc which are otherwise not known to the tourists and even to many islanders. The caches are essentially small boxes that have some knick knacks in it for you to take in exchange of placing something similar and a log book where you write down about your find etc.
How do you go about the Geocaching Tour in Bermuda?
Although this is named as Geocaching tour, there is no guided tour offered. After all it's an adventure and the fun will be lost if there is a guide who knows about where the caches are placed. So you or your group need to be on your own and find the caches all by yourself.
It is called a tour because there are 20 caches, and if you find all 20 then you are eligible to get a Geo Coin from Bermuda Department of Conservation. It's basically a small recognition to the fact that you are able to explore the nature and landscape of Bermuda which many others haven't. Note the caches in Bermuda are placed in public areas with low to moderate level of difficulties. You will find most of them close to the trails and won't therefore need to venture into very difficult terrain.
1) As step-1 you should create a free account in the website www.geocaching.com. This is where you are supposed to log your find online. It is not mandatory, but expected because the website tracks and monitors the geocaches, when they are accessed etc. It is not necessary that you log your find immediately after you find it. You can do it any time.
2) You should download the GPS coordinates of the caches into your GPS device from the following address: www.geocaching.com/adventures/geotours/bermuda-conservation
These coordinates are the exact locations in the island where you will find the caches. You don't need to download any map. Once you get to a cache location, just follow the arrow in the GPS device and it will lead you towards the cache. But remember, all GPS devices have accuracy errors and you should not depend on the device once you are about 20-30 ft from the cache. You should then look around for the cache with your eyes.
3) But before you start your geocaching tour, first collect your GeoTour Passport. This is basically a folded semi-hard paper listing locations of all 20 geocaches and their coordinates. There is also a space against each entry where you need to write down the code of the cache which you will find inside (just under the lid of the cache). Alternatively, you can make a hole here with the help of a hole puncher which you will find inside each cache. This will be then an evidence that you had actually found the cache. You will get the passport (at no charge) at Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
4) You can start from any cache location and do not need to follow the order shown in the passport. And you can choose your own time. But to move between the various cache locations in the island, you should ideally hire a taxi by the hour. If you are in a small group, then it can work out quite economical. However you can also access most cache locations by public bus, some will involve a bit of walk though. Buy a transport pass so that you get unlimited hop on and off access to the buses.
Cache locations in Bermuda:
3. Coney Island
(Bus #10 and 11) - requires 0.5 mile walk from the bus stop.
4. Kindley Field Park near airport (Bus #1, 3, 10 and 11)
5. Ferry Reach Park
- Lovers Lake Nature Reserve (Bus #1, 3, 10 and 11) - 0.5 mile walk from the bus stop to the Railway Trail and then another 0.5 mile walk to the cache location.
6. Little Head Park at St Davids (Bus #6)
8. Coopers Island Wildlife Observation Tower at St Davids (Bus #6)
11. Dunscombe Wood Nature Reserve at Devonshire (Bus #3)
13. Paget Railway Trail (Bus #4)
16. Warwick Ridge Nature Reserve (Bus #8)
17. Vesey Nature Reserve (Bus #7, 8)
18. Mangrove Bay Park next to Somerset in Sandys (Bus #7, 8)
5) Once you have finished locating all the 20 geo caches, you can now collect your well deserved geo coin (subject to availability though) at the following locations:
Monday through Friday (9am to 5pm) at The Department of Conservation Services, "Shorelands", 17 North Shore Road, Flatts Village (it's just across the road from Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo). Saturday and Sunday (9am to 4:30pm) at Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ)
Bermuda Island Geocachers (BIG)
Note that there are lot more geocaches that have been placed and hidden around the island by Bermuda Island Geocachers. So there is lot more to explore beyond even GeoTour of Bermuda Department of Conservation.
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