2009-01-15 51 0
Near a small track just off the B1256, a smidgen south of London's Stansted Airport.
- Benjw for his first geohash.
Having still not bought himself a GPS device, Benjw was interested to note that today's hashpoint for the London East graticule was within reach and not --- as the hashpoints for his native Cambridge graticule usually are --- in the middle of a field. So he decided to go, and just rely on luck and a Google Maps printout.
Today's hash was in a carpark at Stansted. Since it was nearby and also pretty close to exactly a year after his first expedition, Benjw decided to pay a retro visit.
A 2:45pm finish at work gave plenty of time to get home, grab a cup of tea and print some maps, and head out the door again at 3:20pm. It took twenty minutes to drive out of Cambridge, but once on the M11 motorway, the rest of the journey took place without incident, although it's worth noting the wonderful golden sunset which accompanied it.
The hashpoint was just off a small track leading north from the B1256 road, just off the motorway junction; this track was finally located (on the third pass along the main road) at 4:05pm, and provided a helpful place to park a car. A short walk between damp, grey trees led to the hashpoint itself. Careful perusal of the zoomed-in aerial view showed this to be on the other side of a short stretch of fence, near some kind of sluice or diverted stream. The aerial view was clear enough to be confident that the correct place had been found, even without GPS, leading to Benjw's first ever geohash and a definite feeling of smugness. A handy fencepost enabled the camera timer to take a photo of Benjw standing on the hashpoint.
A small hillock a few metres to the east was climbed and the view through the trees of the M11/A120 road interchange was admired. Then, as it was cold and starting to get dark, the hashpoint was left, unadorned, at 4:20pm. The drive home was duly completed at 5:00pm with the unexpected delight of a parking space right outside the house.
Today's geohash was quite close by -- in a car park at Stansted Airport -- so I couldn't resist coming back to the location of my first ever hash, almost exactly a year ago. I remember missing the turning off the main road last time, but I knew what to expect today so I got it first time. I even parked the car in exactly the same spot -- although the old Ford Fiesta I had last year has now gone to the great scrapyard in the sky*, to be replaced with a slightly newer Nissan Micra.
[* Actually, just off the A10 near Ely, not in the sky at all.]
I took a wander along the track and without trouble found the spot I'd been in last year. Nothing much seemed to have changed. I found the spot where the GPS zeroed in -- it was pretty close to where I'd stood last year, relying solely on a Google aerial view. The same fencepost as last year was used to provide a camera stand, and the magic of modern technology means I could even combine the two photos to show how close I was.
I then sighed a deep sigh of immense personal satisfaction, and meandered home up the M11 feeling quite contented.
 Photographic documentation
 Shiny ribbons earned
| Benjw earned the Land geohash achievement
| Benjw earned the No Batteries Geohash Achievement