So what do you do when you’ve got a couple of hours to spare in Marrakech ? Go geocaching, of course! Although to be honest we probably couldn’t have picked a cache further away from our home location for our first geocaching experience.
Over a cold drink in Marrakech’s Djemaa el Fna square we used the newly acquired iPhone app to determine there was a cache about a mile away in the Cyber Parc. It started relatively well with the app getting us to the general vicinity of the cache but finding it was a completely different matter. The iPhone’s GPS is only accurate to about 50 metres (although we didn’t know this at the time) and things were complicated further by not knowing what we were looking for.
So the search started. We wandered around with the iPhone app in compass mode trying to find Ground Zero, we would follow the compass in one direction only for it to point somewhere else once we had got to the specified location. Convinced it must be nearby we looked in nooks and crannies in a nearby wall, in bushes, around trees, around lampost bases but still nothing. By now we were getting the odd strange look from a couple of students studying on a bench nearby, and at one point I got told off for going on the soil. At least I think I did, the problem was that the person dressed in a uniform was talking to me in French, at speed, and quite frankly my French is not that good. But I got the general drift of the conversation from the tone of voice.
Anyway, we went back to the app for more detective work. We looked at the photos uploaded by other people and determined the correct feature to search. We found it about two minutes later. Our first try and our first success! It was a micro-cache, which could be more accurately described as a plastic pot of the type usually used for vitamins.
We opened the cache and found a log book which we duly signed and then hid the cache back where we found it. The students had gone by this time, or perhaps we had scared them off – strange English people wandering around like loonies! In all it probably took us about 30 minutes to find the cache. With a proper GPS rather than the iPhone it could have been a lot quicker.
Finally, we uploaded our find onto the geocaching website via the iPhone app and then feeling flushed with success we retired back to our hotel bar for another cold drink and some crisps. The cache in question was the Cyber Parc Cache.
A successful end to a great holiday in Marrakech!