2010-08-24 59 10
The hashpoint is at a walkable distance from the Bakk bus stop. Satellite imagery show it to be in a forest.
Snoken is also rumored to come along.
I met Blóðøx at the Røa subway station and we got on the bus to Bakk at 18:12. Snoken was already waiting for us when we arrived, so we were able to start walking in the direction of the hashpoint at once.
We had to cross an electric-fenced field were sheep were kept, but since it did not seem 'cultivated', we thought we were good to go, most probably protected by the great Outdoor Recreation Act of Norway. The ground was pretty slippery since it had rained all day, but it was a fairly easy walk to the other end of the field, where a forest was waiting for us. The only challenge was avoiding the mounds of feces everywhere.
From then on, the terrain was really difficult to walk on, and very bushy. We thought the point would be on top the first hill we climbed, but we actually found out that it was on that other hill forward, over a broad swampy-stream. I got both my shoes completely soaked when inadvertently walking in a well-hidden water hole. So, there, it was done: I was wet and there was no way to dry: I just continued walking straight in the main stream, where the ground was fairly level and solid. Pretty convenient way forward.
After walking through billions ripe raspberries hanging in the bushes (fortunately, I was not wearing white), we had to do a bit of rock climbing to get to the hashpoint. We congratulated ourselves with beers (and a cigar, for Blóðøx) and funny stories about the people of Enebakk (a region I visited on a previous expedition).
For the return trip, we elected to walk straight in the stream almost all the way back to the fenced field, where we once more hopped over the fence, crossed a wildly annoyed sheep flock and arrived at the bus stop, where Snoken got on his motorcycle, heading home. Blóðøx and I waited for about 55 minutes to get on a bus back to the city.
I met eiggen at a subway station in the western part of Oslo, and we then took a bus for 15 minutes to the Sørkedalen Valley just north of the city. When we got off the bus, we met Snoken, who apparently is too "cool" to use environmentally sustainable means of transportation — he rode his motorbike, as usual.
The hashpoint appeared to be about 600 meters off the road, in what we expected to be quite rough terrain. Snoken took the lead, and we went uphill and downhill through the dense forest for an hour or so. 600 meters through a dense and hilly forest takes way more time than one would imagine!
At a small plateau on a hill, we finally found the hashpoint. We had a beer (une seize, according to my French-Canadian co-geohasher), and a cheap cigar (Henri Winterman half corona).
To travel as light as possible, I didn't bring my favorite camera (Canon EOS 7D) and a decent lens, but rather a lighter model (Canon EOS 400D) with a cheap plastic fantastic kit lens. I apologize for the substandard photos below. The view from the hashpoint was quite boring — just trees and more trees.
We decided to follow a small stream down to civilization. This turned out to be a problem for eiggen, who wore sneakers. Your truly, on the other hand, was prepared and wore army boots.
Back at the road, we found out that we just missed our bus, and eiggen and I had to wait for 50 minutes. Snoken, who had the foresight not to rely on public transportation, texted us a "home, sweet home…" message 20 minutes later.
I met my fellow geo-hashers at a parking-lot about a kilometer from the hash-point, after milling about for 20 minutes trying to figure out the most effective starting-point for our trek.
We walked about 300 meters up a farm-road before jumping over fence into a pasture, currently unoccupied (or was it?..). This left about 700 meters of forest to tackle, and as scandinavian geohashers know, 700 forest-meters is not nearly the same as 700 road-meters.
We tried following the GPS in a straight line to the point, but the forest was not agreeing to a simple solution, presenting us with understory, steep hills and scary cliffs. Blóðøx feared for his life at several points, as is customary, while my and the Québécois (I stereotypically assume) pressed onwards to glory.
My GPS went haywire when we closed in on the point, and sent me 50 meters the wrong way, coincidentally up a nearby hill - but I restarted the geohashing app and got my bearings before too much damage was done. I had some rest at the hashpoint while my companions engaged in alcoholic delights, and we followed a small stream back to whence we came. This was, ofcourse, at least twice as fast as our way up. Nearing the road we were cheered on by the newly arrived flock of sheeps - eiggen mistook the cheering for bloodthirsty screams, and kept his distance.
I bid my farewells, and rode home while gleeing over the horrors of public transportation.