2009-09-24 1 103
The hashpoint is about 100m off Punggol Drive, somewhere in the middle of an empty field. Supposedly empty, anyway.
Will be taking public transport from school to Punggol MRT Station, and then either taking a bus or walking towards the hashpoint.
My geohash expedition couldn't start without a compass, so I spent quite some time walking around school asking classmates and teachers if they had a compass - and in the process enlightened them on the joys of geohashing (though I doubt they'd jump at a geohashing chance anytime soon). In the end I gave up and decided to go buy my own compass, and that was when the expedition officially started!
I decided against taking a bus to Punggol after seeing the state of traffic on Orchard Road, and I wanted to be at the geohash before it got too late. The train ride to the geohash was a series of switch-overs between three train lines; I boarded the train at Bugis MRT Station (East-West Line), switched over to the North-East Line at Outram Park, and rode it all the way to Punggol MRT before switching yet again to the Punggol LRT where I alighted at Oasis LRT Station. Oddly enough, no oasis in sight.
From the raised station platform I had a good view of the geohash, and it wasn't looking pretty. Several hundred metres away from the station was a large construction site, and somewhere near the massive piles of wood and other waste was the geohash. To the right of the station they had already begun to construct a temporary wall to keep people out. I hoped the geohash wouldn't be affected, but I wouldn't know until I tried.
At the field, I looked around for a "State Land: No Trespassing" sign, but I saw none for about a hundred metres on both sides. Meanwhile, a guy nearby was setting up his RC plane to fly it in the same empty field I was in. Guess I better watch my head, too.
I had already planned it all out earlier. The geohash was about 130m from the LRT Station, directly due north. Finally, my orienteering skills would come in handy! 130m...a pace was about a metre long...so I'd have to walk 130 paces, give or take some. I oriented the compass in the right direction and went off, counting my steps as I went. The closer I got to the geohash as well as the construction site, the more wary I became. It was dangerous to approach a construction site, any Captain Obvious could tell you that, especially one that large and that ulu, or rural. If anything happened no one would be close enough to hear me.
After 45 paces I looked up and was partly dismayed to find several wooden sticks stuck into the ground, widely spaced apart, with warning tape tied to the ends. (The other part of me was obviously relieved.) I felt conflicted. There was no physical barrier stopping me from continuing on to the geohash, but then again I didn't want my last thoughts to be "Oh look, warning tape. Nah, the land doesn't look dangerous to me-eeeeee~". I had only 75m left to go, but at about 100m from where I stood were the large piles of wood and other waste. While it would have been sweet to have a successful expedition, it wasn't worth risking my life on it.
I stood rooted to the spot for five minutes, deliberating on the matter. Finally, with a sigh, I turned around and retraced my steps back to the LRT station, casting regretful looks over my shoulder. Well, better alive to geohash another day rather than dead.
As a result of my gadgetry fail, all pictures were apparently taken on 25 August 2009.