2010-06-30 47 9

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Wed 30 Jun 2010 in 47,9:
47.9301497, 9.1002816

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In a forest about 2 km from Sauldorf. This is the middle of nowhere.



Five days of consecutive geohashing lay behind me. Can I really skip a chance to extend that to six? Well, I guess the answer to this is "no". If there actually is a realistic chance, and the ticket won't be too expensive. Both seemed to be true, since the hash was supposed to be in a forest - and those are rarely fenced - and there is an affordable daypass which is valid for quite a distance south from here. To be precise, it is valid just to the hashpoint. About 1 km behind that, there's the district border, and with that, the tariffal border.

This needed a bit more of research. Luckily, it was not only a workday, but also a schoolday. Public transport in those remote rural areas is mostly restricted to taking children to school and back, give or take a little bit of taking a few people to work, and some extras to allow old people to visit a doctor and shop for food in the next small town. Which means that a typical timetable for a remote village looks like this: One or two buses to nearby towns in the early morning, one or two from there into the villages and back around noon, and another one in the afternoon. Miss that, and you are screwed.

This pretty much summarized the bus traffic to the closest village as well. Given that you somehow also need to get to that nearest town where the bus starts, the schedule got quite fixed: Go to Meßkirch, catch the 13:52 to Sauldorf. Or take the longer walk from Schwackenreute, which wouldn't make it much more flexible.

I woke up rather early, so I decided to rather kill some time along the way than leaving later. Instead of the direct train to Sigmaringen, I took the bus from Reutlingen to Riedlingen which takes a bit longer and only is available once per day. This partly took me along the same roads I had taken, avoided or missed a few days earlier by bike, which was quite interesting to view from the other perspective. Took a train from Riedlingen to Sigmaringen, had two stopovers, and got a little bit nervous while waiting for the significantly late bus to Meßkirch. Significantly late, because the time it was behind schedule was more than the time I had at Meßkirch to change bus. And there actually wasn't a plan B in case I would miss that. However, there were two or three more passengers who seemed to use that connection each day, and so the driver had waited for us. Doesn't make much sense to go in time but without half of the passengers anyway.

Got off at Sauldorf, so far everything had gone well. Walked out of the village, passed some farms, and finally got into the forest. The last few metres from the way to the hash weren't hard either, if you disregard that they were mostly overgrown with a selection of local flora that had a good amount of stinging nettles among it.

Coordinates reached.

For two reasons I didn't go back the same way: One, it's boring. Two, there would only be one bus back for the rest of the day, so if I would arrive long before the bus, it's even more boring to wait for it, and arriving after the bus would be very much incovenient. Instead I chose a destination in another village which would be a little bit further, named Sentenhart.

This was not so easy as expected. A certain unexpected lack of tracks in both forest and fields forced me on some serious detours, making my way off road through the forest where the detour would be too serious otherwise. Much later than expected I reached the hamlet of Roth, where I was surprised to find a well maintained bus stop with a modern shelter. The surprising part about that is that Roth isn't served by any regular bus, let alone dreaming of one that would still take me back today. So I walked on, twice again hitting the wilderness where I (and the map) expected a track, scaring deer and harming hundreds of stinging nettles along the way. Around 16:00 I finally reached the train station of Sentenhart.

The sad thing was that I was too late to catch a train here. Almost 40 years late, actually, since the line was closed in the early 1970s.

I walked on to the bus stop in the village centre, where I failed to find any significant resemblance between the timetables at the bus stop and the ones I had checked online. However, a few minutes later a bus came along. And, being in such a remote area, it doesn't really matter where a bus is going to, as long as from there there is still another bus or train on the same day going somewhere from where... to be continued. No matter how many iterations you need, what counts is that it's not infinite.

The destination on the front of the bus said "Pfullendorf". This pretty much sounded like the number of iterations would be rather small, in case the bus was labeled correctly which you never can be sure. The discussion went about so:

  • You're going to Pfullendorf now?
  • Yes. Where do you want to go?
  • Oh... I'm not picky. Pfullendorf sounds good. Anywhere where I won't get stuck tonight. There are still buses from there to Sigmaringen or Saulgau today, aren't there?
  • Don't know about Saulgau, but Sigmaringen, yes. But if you want to go to Sigmaringen, you should change at Wald instead, that's faster.
  • Hmmm... I'm not in a hurry, though. Would rather like to see a bit. Just need to be sure that I will catch the last train to Tübingen.
  • When's that going?
  • Around half past eight from Saulgau, around nine from Sigmaringen.
  • No problem. Last bus from Pfullendorf is 18:20, and the town is worth a little visit.

Although it's a network pass, the daypass I bought gets a destination printed on it which is purely for statistical purposes, and, being the place of the hash, I had chosen Sauldorf.

  • So... you've been to... Sauldorf?!
  • Well yes... in the forests south of Sauldorf, actually, for some special hobby. Then walked over to Sentenhart because the bus connections are a little bit better there.
  • Ah, I see.

He didn't ask more, probably thought about bird watching or something. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some rare species of plants or insects, either. Also, coming from Tübingen pretty much legitimates everything in the mind of rural people - either they think you work for the university and need to do some field research, or they think city people are plain weird anyway.

Spent my leftover time at Pfullendorf and came back early enough to plan for another consecutive.


Consecutive geohash[edit]

This hash was the sixth of a series of 7 consecutive geohash tries:

2010-06-25 48 9 - Reutlingen-Mittelstadt, by bike
2010-06-26 48 9 - Riederich, midnight hash by bike
2010-06-27 48 9 - Langenenslingen, by train, bus and bike
2010-06-28 48 8 - Rottenburg-Ergenzingen, by bike
2010-06-29 48 8 - Balingen-Endingen, by train and bus
2010-06-30 47 9 - Sauldorf, by train, bus and hiking
2010-07-01 48 8 - Deißlingen-Lauffen, by train, bus and hiking - No trespassing
Ekorren earned the Consecutive geohash achievement
by reaching 6 consecutive hash points starting on 2010-06-25.