2010-01-07 52 0
In a field near the river Granta, in Hauxton, just south of Cambridge. By the looks of the aerial view, the field usually contains cows. Access may be difficult, therefore, although as it's winter, the cows may not be out.
Looks like there's a farm just south of the field itself. Ben plans to go along in the afternoon, after work, and see if he can negotiate permission to hash.
Hauxton's a small and fairly pretty village just over the M11 motorway from Cambridge, so I'd been there before. I'd also walked along the river before, as there's a nice footpath with a geocache hidden just off it. So, on the way home from work, I parked my car well away from the village, in a layby just off the A10 road into Cambridge, and walked along the river.
It was a clear day, but cold and snowy, so nobody was around. I took some photos of the old Hauxton Mill, which I think is due to be demolished later in the year for redevelopment. The river flowed into the old mill pond here, and it was very still and covered in slushy ice. Further along the river I made a detour off the path and re-found the geocache (475m from the hashpoint), being careful not to leave too many tell-tale footprints in the snow. Shortly after that, the path turned away from the river and through some woodland before coming out on a track between fields, heading towards Hauxton church and the village.
Just before the church I turned left up a farm driveway. There were rabbit tracks (and mine, now) in the fresh snow, so I took a photo. A sign marked the driveway as private, with no public access, but I did intend to ask at the farm for permission to hash, so that was all right.
I never got there, though. As I walked up the driveway a woman appeared, pulling a hand-cart full of hay for the horses in the paddock next to the driveway. She asked what I wanted, and I briefly explained geohashing as a sort of orienteering treasure hunt, and asked for permission to simply walk into the field by the river and take a photo. But it wasn't theirs, she said, so she couldn't give me permission. It belonged to someone else, and she gave me some brief directions, but from her past experience he was very unlikely to grant permission. I asked if I could cross her horses' paddock to at least get nearer to the hashpoint, but she declined that, too. Getting the feeling I wasn't wanted, I thanked her and walked back to the car, taking a few photos of the geohash over the fields before I re-entered the woodland.
Just in case it turned out to be possible, when I got back to the car I decided to drive back through the village and see if I could find the actual owner of the field. I followed the woman's directions, and they took me to the field itself, with no particular indication of who owned it.
I sat and thought for a few moments, but decided that the current mission was not turning out very well, so rather than go tramping through somebody else's field where there may or may not be livestock, I'd probably be better off just heading home. Accordingly, mission was abandoned, with a closest approach to the hash of 214 meters. I've forgotten exactly where this was; probably while talking to the woman feeding the horses.
This was my first unsuccessful geohash expedition.
| Benjw earned the No trespassing consolation prize