Special Interest Holidays International
Geocaching in Association with:
The Hellenic Geocaching Centre
The Pagali Hotel Amorgos
The Geocaching Centre for Greece is based on Amorgos in the Cyclades, one of the leading destinations for walking in the Aegean.
It was founded by the directors of Special Interest Holidays (SPIN) in association with The Pagali Hotel and Niko’s Taverna, Langada, Amorgos. Special Interest Holidays were the first to introduce geocaching to the island at the beginning of 2011. They were also the first to introduce unique guided walking programmes to the island in 1999.
There are 10 main geocaches placed on Amorgos by SPIN see: Geocache Map Amorgos
Included in the instruction will be assistance in geocaching and plotting on Google Earth. Geocaching is not ‘taught’, it is a concept. It is navigation by various means that is the ‘means to the end’ – and the treasure!
As with all Special Interest Holiday programmes you may learn as much or as little as you wish. They can teach you the skills to find a geocache but they will not take you there – that would be cheating as; the company put them there in the first place! The fun and challenge is in the hunt. The satisfaction is discovering them using your own skills and judgment.
The Hellenic Geocaching Centre offers courses in map reading and mountain navigation. This includes mountain skills, interpretation of weather synoptic charts, the use of compass and map, GPS, geocaching and much more (see syllabus). As with all Special Interest Holidays’ programmes this is not seminars and workshops (this sounds too much like being back at work). It is all accomplished by an initial briefing and the rest is done in theatre in the exhilarating mountains and valleys of Amorgos. There is nothing better than learning in the field.
The chief instructor is professionally qualified in navigation and experienced in everything from navigation and survival skills in the mountains to flying through mountains low level at 500 km/hr with just stop watch, compass and map. He has also navigated to the north pole and across the Atlantic (by air) without radio, radar or satellite aid. Clients will be pleased to hear that only the basics will be covered on these courses! All instructors have navigation qualifications.
- Types of maps, charts and projections.
- Longitude, Latitude and grid navigation.
- Reading and plotting coordinates.
- Use of a compass.
- Grid and magnetic variation.
- Use of GPS.
- Map symbols.
- Reading and orientating a chart.
- Route Planning.
- Walk time estimations.
- Weather forecasting.
- Equipment and essential supplies.
- Emergency procedures.
- Basic First Aid.
A Treasure Hunt for Dinner on Amorgos
So what is geocaching? The cynics say that it is using multi-million dollar satellites to find a Tupperware in a wood. It is essentially a treasure hunt with the use of a GPS. A container is hidden anywhere on the planet, the coordinates logged and the challenge is for the geocacher to find it. The official global GPS cache hunting site is geocaching.com. They list over one million caches worldwide; hunted for by over five million active geocachers. The coordinates and details of each Special Interest Holidays geocache (GC1-10) are listed on this website and can also be found on Geocaching.com. There is a page for each cache on this site and also a page with a list of all the caches with coordinates to print off. The cache consists of a container and within is a log which is signed by the geocacher before secreting it back into its hiding place. For further details about geocaching and to log your find for fellow geocachers worldwide visit the official site.
On Amorgos, Special Interest Holidays has set up ten caches on the island. Each cache is located at some place featured on each of the ten walks in the Amorgos Visitor’s and Walker’s Guide There is one cache associated with each walk. A copy of this book is not essential to succeed in the hunt but will help in many cases. The main requirements are an accurate map of Amorgos and a GPS. Some of the caches will actually be able to be discovered just by following the guide book and plotting the coordinates on the topos contained in the book. There are additional clues and photographs from the cache to assist you.Discovering these caches will be an extra dimension and challenge to just completing these self guided walks. Another activity holiday in Greece from Special Interest Holidays.