2010-08-03 59 11
On the edge of a field, close to Enebakk.
The plan is to get to the Oslo bus terminal right after work, then hop on a regional bus that stops in Kirkebygda, Enebakk. From then on, a short walk of about 20 minutes (~1.5 km).
Blóðøx will probably leave work a bit earlier to go grab his fancy camera at home, then meet eiggen at the Oslo bus terminal at 17:00.
I met eiggen at the central bus station at 5 o'clock, eager to do my first geohashing field trip. As we had some time to kill before the bus, eiggen took me for a short sightseeing tour of the Grønland neighborhood. He showed me some nice, new buildings, housing the Oslo offices of the Norwegian revenue service and the Directorate of Education.
The bus fare was NOK 80 (USD ~13) one-way, which I considered a ripoff. Traffic was heavy out of Oslo, but as soon as we reached the highway at Ryen, things went well. I spent most of the ride reading Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene – quite an interesting read.
When we arrived in Kirkebygda, Enebakk (literally "The Church Village"), we started walking along the main road out of the village. Most cars that passed us were making about 80 km/h (50 mi/h), and all of the drivers gave us these weird looks. Apparently, nobody is walking in Enebakk. After 15 minutes, we entered a semi-private road, finally getting off the somewhat heavily trafficked main road.
There were many cows, sheep, horses, and other exotic animals along the semi-private road. After about 500 meters, we came to a fenced off field. The GPS indicated that we were only about 20 meters from our destination. However, the fence made me skeptical about entering the field – I felt that it would be trespassing to crawl under it. We walked back toward a farmhouse when eiggen spotted a lady feeding some horses. We briefly discussed if we should ask her for permission to enter the field, and decided to ask if it was possible to go to a small lake (on the other side of the fenced off field) to take pictures. The lady turned out to be very friendly, and we were allowed to enter the field – huzzah!
The scenery was quite nice at the geohash, and I took many pictures. Some of them are uploaded to the wiki and shown below.
We got a decent kebab in a small Grønland fast food joint when we got back. My first geohashing expedition turned out to be a success; and I'll probably try it again sometime.
Right after work, Blóðøx and I met at the Oslo bus terminal and got on the 17:20 501 bus to Enebakk Kirke, which would take about an hour to reach its destination. I was looking forward to start reading Ender's Game, a book that was recommended to me by several people. Unfortunately, the road was quite curvy and the constant movement of the bus made it a bit uncomfortable to read: after a few minutes, I was back to admiring the nature. I was amazed at how fast you get to the countryside when driving out of Oslo. There is no never-ending suburbia here: city, then nature. (I like my new hometown.)
We arrived at Enebakk and walked a bit to reach a farm road that led us close to the hashpoint. We walked past a wheat field, a few cows, a house, getting closer the goal. I was anxious to see if the point would be in the middle of a potato field or a wheat field. The latter would have meant that we would not have been able to reach the coordinates without destroying some crops, an unthinkable thing to do.
But, surprise, what I thought would be a field was actually an electric-fenced horse pasture. We could see the hashpoint 20 meters away past that fence, close to a nice little pond... but what to do? There was another house at the end of the road, where two men were working on fixing a wooden boat of some kind, so Blóðøx started discussing the possibility of asking them if we could go over the fence. The discussion took forever as we could not agree on who would talk and what excuse we would give. 'We are from the Internet'? 'We are working on a photography project: can we take pictures of the nice little pond behind the pasture'? As I am a bit shy to speak Norwegian, and Blóðøx is a bit shy to speak to strangers -- a trait that defines Norwegians, according to him -- we did nothing. We simply back-tracked without having achieved our goal.
Getting closer to the first farmhouse on the way back, we saw a woman feeding the horses. I then felt a strong desire to not let go of this hashpoint, and overcame my shyness: with the best Norwegian accent I could produce, I asked if we could go to the pond behind the pasture to take pictures, as the nature around was so gorgeous. The woman smiled and said to just use the plastic handles on the end of the fence wires, disconnect, get in, reconnect. Success! We went in, right next to about 10 cute horses that were being fed, and even met a few ponies!!! OMG PONIES!!11!!!1! We could at last walk to the hashpoint, while still pretending to go on a picture hunting trip.
All that thanks to Blóðøx's huge Canon DSLR, hanging from his neck at all times during the walk, which probably gave him some solid credibility. I wonder what they thought I was, though. An art project director? I only had my book in hand. It might have looked like a notepad of some sorts, full of artsy jottings. Or maybe they are just always that nice to strangers, on the countryside... Hard to imagine for us city-dwellers.
We bussed back home, saying good night to the cows on the way, and ate chicken and lamb kebabs in the Grønland area.
 Blóðøx's Achievements
| Blóðøx earned the Land geohash achievement
| Blóðøx earned the Public transport geohash achievement
 eiggen's Achievements
| eiggen earned the Ambassador achievement
| eiggen earned the Drag-along achievement