2009-01-29 -33 150
Within a small area of scrub under some high-tension power lines in Sydney's western suburb of Mt Druitt.
| CJ earned the Land geohash achievement
Based on the satellite photos this looked like it was going to be a pretty easy geohash (I should really have learnt by now not to decide the ease of hashing purely on an aerial photo...). The hashpoint fell within a small area of scrub just off a street in Sydney's western suburb of Mt Druitt. Whilst Mt Druitt isn't exactly regarded as one of Sydney's nicer or safer suburbs, it seemed that this would hopefully be a case of drive nice and close to the hashpoint, walk a few hundred metres through a field and some bushland, take the photos and head home.
It was a rather hot afternoon in Sydney (37 degrees at the hashpoint) and I found the street and general area in which I wanted to be with ease. I had noticed on the aerial photos that there was some kind of access track that might take me right up to the hashpoint. I soon found this track and it looked like I could get my car in there. A small mound of dirt was there to obviously deter people from driving along this track, but I thought I could get my car over it. It turned out I could get my car over it, but not with the ease I imagined, and not without bottomming out as I drove my small hatchback over the mound.
Well now I started to drive along the track and began to realise that it was blocked for a good reason - this track wasn't really able to handle cars. It was narrow, full of large holes and ditches, there was dumped rubbish everywhere, and a fire had clearly gone through in the past couple of weeks. Oh well, I was already in, and may as well keep going as far as I could. Around the next corner though the track was blocked by large piles of timber. Time to stop the car and get out to walk.
I followed the track along under the powerlines to the general area of the hashpoint. In the distance I could see a large ute parked exactly over the hashpoint. One of two things was going on here - either someone else had turned up to geohash, or someone happened to be sitting right over the hashpoint in an area in which people wouldn't normally be found. Something about the ute didn't seem quite right. It was kind of hidden amongst the bushes. I put the camera away just in case and walked slowly towards the vehicle. I could now see that two people were sitting in the front, and eyeing me suspiciously. Suddenly I had an urgent desire not to be geohashing alone. I walked up to the driver's side of the car, and could quickly see that this guy didn't exactly look like the geohashing type. However, I could hardly pull out now and simply walk away, so I calmly said to him "hey - I'm mean to be meeting someone here. Is that you?". He indicated no, and so I walked away realising that I probably looked just as dodgy - walking through the bush looking for people to meet up with.
I was pretty keen to get out of there just in case, and so walked back to the car after attempting to sneak a pic of myslef right near the hashpoint. For some reason though, my camera went nuts in the intense heat, and the pic came out all blurry (see below). When I got back to the car, I realised getting out might be slightly difficult. Turning the car around would be hard on the narrow track, and reversing back to the road was not an option as I needed to carefully avoid all the ditches and holes.
Eventually I got the car turned around, and navigated back to the mound of dirt at the road That was when I hit an interesting problem - the mound was far, far steeper from this side, and there was absolutely no way I would get over it. What to do? Eventually I decided that there was no other option but to actually make the mound smaller and less steep. So after hunting around for a large piece of timber, I began working a reducing the mound. Amazingly it only took about 10mins of hard work to get the mound to a height that I thought I could get the car over. Fortunately I made it over first go, and headed off home.
It just goes to show - geohashing never fails to surprise...