2008-10-09 52 13

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Thu 9 Oct 2008 in 52,13:
52.0993008, 13.8905489

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Relets original plan was to go as far as the Schwerin graticule for his regional hash. But hashing alone isn't fun, and he agreed with Phoenix to visit a "local" geohash instead. New original plan was to catch train after work, go to either Halbe or Brand, cycle to hash, place geocache, attempt to find another night cache, cycle back, catch train at ~10pm, return, sleep.


Everything went as planned. Well, almost. We caught the train at 17:34 on main station, reached Halbe about 7pm. Booted the GPS, waited for the train gates to rise and off we went. It was dark when we left already, but so is winter, and we both had good lighting. With only minimal detours, we reached the forest north of the hash. Following a farm track led us next to a meadow full of cows. Next meadow was empty, just cow-littered. It was fenced with an electric fence, but generally walkable. We followed the meadow for a while, just to discover a ditch that separated us from the hash. That wasn't there on the satellite image. Or was it? Oh, right, we're too much south.

Since everything to our north was an inhabited meadow, we decided to track back and around that meadow. The field next to it lay barrow, meaning we had an easy approach to the hash. We were just regularly startled by car headlights in different directions.. what would anyone want to do at night in the fields? Are they geohashers? Are they geocachers? (As I've noticed now, there's just the village nearby)

We recorded some evidence and hid a geocache (along with the first Curse of the Geohash geocoin) in the forest north of the hash. We then returned to the main road, where the first station of a night geocache should begin. It did, and we followed the reflector marked paths for a while, only to return to the same road with no reflector in sight. We followed a few paths into the forest that could have been the right way, but eventually gave up.

Having some spare time, we cycled back, not to Halbe but to Brandt. The village is only known for a former zeppelin construction site (of the famous Cargolifter). The site is worlds largest airhouse, now containing the Tropical Islands artificial holiday resort and hotel. As we passed by its entrance, we heard a train leave from the station.

And this is where the odyssey begins. Arriving at the station, it turns out the Internet was wrong. At least the local train information site is. There are no hourly trains to Berlin. The timetable told us that the next train would leave in about two hours, short to midnight. Not wanting to wait for it, and being low on snacks, we decided to take the train in the opposite direction, to have a few more stations in the warm. While waiting for the train, a bus arrived. Two friendly people got out and informed us that the bus driver had some bad news. Apparently, there was a construction site half way, and no trains would be coming from the Berlin direction.

He was wrong, and the train was on schedule. We went for a few stations until Lübben. As that's a somewhat larger station, we were hoping to find a snack machine on site. As we left the train, we indeed discovered one - inside the train. Doh. Now, the train in the opposite direction would leave in 20 minutes, so we were optimistic to get a snack on the way back.

We got a train, and some snacks. There was a snack machine and a hot drinks machine, which very accurately described its offers as either "Instant Coffee", "Drink containing cocoa", or "Broth" (which is funnier in German, as broth is also a pejorative word for bad coffee). We got some chocolate and broth, to warm Phoenix up.

The bad news however were that the construction site indeed existed. The train therefore stopped halfway in Königswusterhausen. From that point on it was local trains (the S-Bahn). The first took us to the city ring. The second a few stations further. Finally, the third train actually circled the ring, meaning that Phoenix could get out at a station about 6km from his home, and relet could get almost home. We reached our places after 2am in the morning.



There aren't many - it was dark.