2009-09-27 48 2
By a tennis court @ Universite Paris 13 Nord - Campus Villetaneuse
NeThuS will be in Paris sunday evening and will attempt to get to the hashpoing for 21:00
Xore will take the metro to Saint-Denis, Universite (~20:00p) and walk to the point. 21:00
thepiguy && srs0
The advance Canadian team set out from Paris around 6:30 in the evening in order to scope out the hash point and possibly hold down the fort until teams 2 and 3 arrived.
The boarded several metro lines, headed out of the city and arrived at the end station around 7:00. Following thepiguy's
keen sense of direction GPS they made it to the campus to discover then entire area surrounded in a large fence. No problem! They quickly located the entrance and discovered it both unlocked and opened with people inside. From the looks of things it was a set of public tennis courts. Perfect! What could stop them now?
Now, thepiguy can supposedly speak French, but it's been 3 very long Frenchless years since he finished highschool and his language abilities were some what suspect.
Enter drunk French man.
All we can say for certain is that a good half hour later, thepiguy and srs0 had reached the coordinates and were now trying to escape a drunken French conversation about medical school(?!?). Turns out our ambassador had no problems with letting us in to take some pictures, once he finally realized that's all we wanted, and really really liked talking to people.
I spent a fine afternoon at the Louvre, finishing it off with a nice dinner at a restaurant nearby. Leaving at 19:30, I hopped on the metro located conveniently across the street and made my way to Saint-Denis around ~20:05. I waited for a moment in case other geohashers also planned to show up here @ 20:00, but nobody showed up by the time I got a satellite fix, so I took off. Distance to the hashpoint was approximately 2km
I followed my GPS's directional arrow and found my way on a major route that ran along next to a train track. I knew the hashpoint was on the other side of the tracks, so i doubled back looking for the crossing that showed up on my poorly drawn map, but was unable to do so. While backtracking, I encountered more of the sketchy sort of neighborhood I ran into on my last geohashing expedition, and after no luck finding a crossing to the south, left in search of a crossing further north (ie, the one i was originally supposed to take. The lesson is this: I am not a cartographer).
This turned out more successful, and i found my way to within ~70m or so of the hashpoint, which was surrounded by walls. I circled around the property and finally located thepiguy and srs0 who seemed to have been there for a while already. The time was ~20:55
Apparently, the hashpoint was inside a compound that was now closed, and I took a picture of myself and Wump outside the gate, waiting with thepiguy and srs0 for NeThuS to show up. We waited until about 21:30, then took off. As I made a quick detour through some bushes, a mysterious car pulled up next to thepiguy and srs0 who were waiting on the sidewalk. Who was it? NeThuS!
I spent the weekend in The Ardennes, starting from Friday afternoon before the coordinates for the weekend were known. No internet around, so no chance to get the coordinates. Sunday afternoon I attended a family reunion on my way to Paris, still no access to the internet.
Further on the way to Paris I pulled over at 4 different gas-stations on the highway, hoping to find a hotspot. The hotspots were either not present, too low on signal strength wherever on-site I tried, or full strength but not actually working even if I wanted to pay for it. A vending machine that was selling 3G USB modems was not working either. Bad luck :(
I lost too much time searching for Internet, and on top of that there was a huge traffic-jam on the A1 highway to Paris. It was already 21:00 when I arrived at my office-building in Paris, so getting there on time was no longer possible. nevertheless, looked up the coordinates and couldn't believe my eyes: only 4 km from the office!
Jumped in the car and drove as fast as legally permitted to the hashpoint. 200m from the hashpoint, I crossed 3 people walking away without paying much attention. 100 meters later, I Arrived as close as possible to the hashpoint: more or less unreachable, and nobody around.
A quick thought: The 3 guys I saw were white and looked like tourists, where this quarter is mostly inhabited by black people and absolutely not touristic neither safe at night. that had to be them! I turned my car, catched them up and asked: excuse me, but are you from the Internet?