2009-07-15 53 13
In the Greater Stechlin Lake.
Berlin Hauptbahnof: 17:43 Berlin Gesundbrunnen: 17:49 Dannenwalde: 18:32 Fürstenberg: 18:42
max. 1h ride to Lake Stechlin (8km) - 19:42 - following largely the bicycle highway Berlin-Kobenhavn
Time to inflate the boat, or change into the speedo. Hash is roughly 15m off shore.
begin ride to Fürstenberg (or plan to camp out) - 21:16
Last train: Fürstenberg: 22:16 Berlin: 23:11
Coincidentally, the above plans were also the plans for yesterday's expedition. However, as the sheer spontaneity of the action overwhelmed us (most of the hashers I asked had plans for the evening), the Great Random Number Generator gracefully and gratuitously offered us a similar destination - just one train station further, with a little less of a bike ride, in a much more beautiful lake, on the other side of the graticule border. How could we possibly resist?
This would also be the first longer ride with Taylor the Trailer, who dutifully followed Trusty Mount along. We had packed just the bare necessities in a sturdy, waterproof bag (thank you, IKEA[tm]) for Taylor to carry. With our notorious punctuality, we raced to the main station. Relet raced a little earlier, in the hopes to buy tickets before boarding the train, and lyx raced a little faster, having to care for the cats first.
Everything went well. We reached the train in time, and Taylor mastered all the involved exercises with bravura: i.e. riding an elevator next to Trusty, boarding a train, and then quickly disassembling so as to pass as an ordinary piece of luggage (bicycle trailers would cost extra). He met another nice trailer there (A Yak of the name of Bob).
We never confirmed that Taylor would indeed pass as a luggage, as we met no ticket inspectors on either part of the trip. But we were able to save on some of the other bicycle tickets that way, which we hadn't managed to buy before the arrival of the train.
We consumed some of our rations, which consisted of a couple of ((falafel or makali) and hommous) sandwiches shopped at the Libanese snack next to relet's office.
After having arrived in Fürstenberg, Taylor mastered his next test: he can be pulled and/or carried up and down stairs. The owners of the Yak had more trouble dismounting the train (although they performed the impressive feature of making a full turn in the confined space of the wagon) and chose to take the (not for public) level rail crossing instead.
We were then able to follow the bicycle "highway" Berlin-Copenhagen. I am calling it highway because it is rather wide and well-maintained for a bike lane - often a full lane - not because it would lead straight towards Copenhagen. It is rather the touristy route. Which, incidentally, is also the reason why it meanders from Fürstenberg through the lake district, instead of pointing north to northwest where Denmark would be.
It was a nice calm ride of about 8km to the village of Neuglobsow, through a moraine landscape. We quickly realized that this meant a lot of slopes, of the alternating variant, in our otherwise flattish German-Polish plains. Taylor and Trusty had a lot of fun speeding down the hills to gain enough momentum for the next climb.
Arriving in Neuglobsow, we were greeted by an enormous tourist office, and a few cafés and restaurants. The Stechlin is a tourist destination popularized early by the German poet Theodor Fontane. We met a few late visitors at the main beach, but quickly discovered that our hash would be somewhat further to the north, along the shore of the lake. We followed forest tracks until the correct latitude was reached.
The place was beautiful, deserted, and it had a bench. There also was a comfortable tree leaning out towards the water, suitable to launch our boat. The place would also be just far enough from the track to be somewhat hidden after dark. We proceeded to inflate the boat. The pump went oooook-eugh-ooook-eugh. relet shall upload a sound sample of this later on.
The boat was easily large enough for both of us (it was smaller in my mind from when Phoenix and I last tested it), and so we started paddling towards the hash. At first, the both of us paddled, later lyx continued to hold the boat on course, while relet tried to make sense of the coordinates.
After dancing the usual water hashpoint dance, we decided for a coordinates reached. Relet proceeded to go over board and take a dive for the ribbons.
Upon returning from the hash, we discovered a ladybug in the water. Lyx waded in the water to rescue it, while relet dried in the boat and in the sun. The bug was rescued - only to discover that basically the whole lake was full of splashdowned ladybugs. Can anyone tell what causes these mindless beasts to cause this mental terror to emphatical persons like lyx? She saved a good handful, but they were too many. We returned ashore for more foodies and to watch the sun go down and the fishes catch mosquitoes in the evening light.
Wait - mosquitoes? The tent was assembled real quick, and we proceeded to the safe inside with matching celerity. We later realized that we had left one backpack outside (the one with lyx' valuables) - but the constant buzzing prevented us from seeking it until late at night. We safely argued that anyone else outside would have been digested by the beasts before he could as much as put a hand on our belongings.
We got up the next morning with the sun at about 6am. Packed our stuff, and took the scenic ride back. We shopped for some bread rolls before catching the train at 07:16.
| relet earned the Underwater geohash achievement
| lyx and relet earned the Camping geohash achievement
| lyx earned the Water geohash achievement
| lyx earned the Saving the Ladybugs Honorable Mention