2010-01-19 -37 145
In the middle of what appeared to be a reserve close to the Eastlink Freeway in Glen Waverley / Wantirna South.
Initially - head out on the bike first thing in the morning. Actuality - by car and foot.
Kozz: This wasn't too far away from home, and I'd initially hoped to do an early morning cycle geohash, but a combo of overnight rain and a migraine kept me in bed till the late morning. I decided to bundle a geohash attempt with a trip to the chemist to find painkillers, theorising it wouldn't take too long.
Slotted the coords into the satnav and followed its instructions; it presented the hash as in the middle of an area marked as a reserve - exactly the same as marked on Google Maps. The Google Maps satellite view was quite dated (still showing construction of the nearby Eastlink highway, which opened last year) so I theorised that the machines I could see in the satellite imagery must've been from the road crews.
The satnav got plain confused - it wanted me to drive the wrong direction up what looked like a highway offramp to get there, so I used dead reckoning to find another access point - with parks nearby, I surmised that this must just be another instance of massive open green parkland connected by paths. The decision to not follow the satnav's instructions would prove to be costly.
I found a road leading to a marked path leading to the corner of the open green area, and took a quick walk along the path - it's part of the Dandenong Creek Trail, one of a myriad of creek trails in Melbourne. To the right was a fenced off area - which transpired to be a quarry - and to the left there were fields, and from somewhere nearby I could hear heavy machinery at work. As I continued on I pondered why the parkland was fenced off by a 9 foot chainlink fence topped with barbed wire, but pressed on as the path swung south then east again, vaguely towards the hashpoint.
About 1km in and still 350m from the hashpoint, I walked past a carpark next to a massive barn-like building. Stacked outside were about 30 mattresses, and...I realised I could smell the unmistakable stench of decaying garbage. Lots of it.
The reason I could hear heavy machinery was because it was operating in a 'transfer station' - otherwise known as a town refuse dump, tip, or trash pile. Yes that's right - the hash for today in Melbourne East is in the middle of a MASSIVE HEAP OF TRASH.
I toyed with the idea of doing the world's most comprehensive geotrash collection - I mean, c'mon, BONANZA - but gave up the idea pretty much immediately. Aside from the physical danger of trespassing on a massive, flat, open, dangerous ground patrolled by great big graders and tractors pushing trash around, who wants to be walking over piles of refuse? With medical waste poking through your shoes, used nappies clinging to your bare legs, breathing in the soupcon of fetid trash air?
I went back to the car somewhat disheartened, and drove around to the suggest satnav point which of course took me past the massive sign that said 'KNOX CITY TRANSFER STATION'. I stopped at a nearby gate - the closest I could get to the hash - and took a photo of the hashpoint, then with a heavy heart and a migraine returning, left once again. Failed to reach coordinates; no public access. And no thank you, I do not wish to become the recipient of the first ever 'failed to reach coordinates: health risk' award.