2011-06-29 27 84
After spending weeks suffering in a lawn chair next to a pool at a fancy hotel, user:thepiguy finally got his chance!
Not too far from the side of a road in the bustleing metropolis of Padampur, Nepal.
Despite the fact the the hotel wifi hadn't so much as returned a ping the entire week, it miraculously sprang to life that afternoon and offered a lone geohasher a tantalizingly close set of coordinates. User:thepiguy literally peeled himself off of the couch (30 degree weather and a vinyl couch: you do the math), dug out his GPS and, for the first time that month, put on a pair of socks and actual shoes.
User:thepiguy first enlisted the help of his fellow hotel patron Wyatt (read: the only other white guy within a 25km radius). Having been cooped up in a hotel compound for the past three weeks, the idea of travelling 10km on foot to the middle of nowhere in a country where neither of them could speak the local language seemed like a reasonable plan for the afternoon, and he agreed to accompany user:thepiguy on the expedition (frightening, isn't it, what boredom will do to ones sanity?).
With everything and everyone finally assembled, the expedition set off at 14:00 and out onto the wild untamed street of Bharatpur! They immediately took a left turn and began heading east towards the edge of the city. The locals in this area of town where by then quite used to their presence and took little note of the two foreigners walking down their streets. As they continued on, however, the travelling tourists began to attract a little more attention.
It didn't take long before they were joined by a local boy riding a bicycle. Despite the fact that he spoke no English (apart from "Hello!") and the two Canadians spoke no Nepali (apart from "Namaste!" *), he followed slowly beside them and engaged in a lengthy yet rather one sided conversation.
*user:Thepiguy also knew the names of the basic colours (having recently spent a great deal of time playing Hello Kitty Uno with a group of Sherpas) but that seemed of little use in their current situation.
The local child eventually (and I mean eventually ) grew bored of the less than stimulating discourse and turned around, heading back to wherever it was that he'd come from. Despite the crushing loss of 1/3 of the expeditions total members, the remaining two continued onward. Wyatt (being the more compassionate of the two) did his best to answer the plethora of greetings received by other local children while user:thepiguy (preferring not to acquire yet another team member and be seen leading small children off into the forest) kept his voice more or less silent.
Approximately one hour after their departure the scenery abruptly changed form a small dirt raod surrounded by an assortment of buildings to a small dirt road surrounded by an assortment of trees. They entered the forest (or do they call it a jungle over here? What's the difference?) and continued on down the trail. The traffic consisted of a few motorcycles and an assortment of people on bikes. A pair of teenagers stopped and, after inquiring where they were headed ("Uhhh... that way.") actually offered them a ride on the back of their bikes. Despite being thoroughly touched by the offer they declined and continued on foot.
It wasn't long before they reached their geohashing challenge for the day: the great nameless river that separated Bharatpur from Padampur and the geohashers from their geohash. Luckily, there was a bridge! Unluckily, the bridge was still under construction. User:thepiguy stood there silently while contemplating a Back-to-the-Future style charge across the bridge and the open gap that lay beyond it (Hey, it worked for Micheal J Fox!) when Wyatt pointed out that there was perhaps a better way to cross the gap. They followed the trail down to the bank of the river where it was no more than a meter across and less than 30cm deep. User:thepiguy chose to take a running start and leap perilously across the gap while the more sensible Wyatt chose to wade across in his sandals.
Once all expedition members were safely across the expanse, they continued on down the road and into town. User:thepiguy couldn't remember the exact directions so they just followed the great-and-all-knowing GPS arrow, taking whichever road pointed more or less in the right direction. The looks of amusement they'd received earlier quickly turned into looks of confusion and pure amazement. At one point an entire family rushed to their window just so they could watch the two crazy white people walk by. I don't think they normally get a lot of visitors.
By the time they strolled up to the coordinates it had begun to rain heavily (although, considering it's monsoon season, it could have been much worse) which only added to their comically misplaced look. They paused in the middle of the street, checked the coordinates, posed for pictures, ate a few victory Nibs, and waved at the family watching them from the nearby window. "Actually," noted user:thepiguy "even the people at home stare at me during this part."
With a new spring in his step, user:thepiguy and friend headed back towards their point of origin. Although the rain continued, they managed to once again cross the river without incident and were again offered a ride down the long forest road, this time by motorcycle. They returned to their hotel in time for diner, having taken around 3.5 hours to walk the 20km to and from the hash.
An excellent geohash and an excellent adventure!
| thepiguy & Wyatt earned the Land geohash achievement
| thepiguy & Wyatt earned the Walk geohash Achievement
| thepiguy & Wyatt earned the Drowned Rat Geohash Achievement
| thepiguy earned the Drag-along achievement
|thepiguy & Wyatt earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|
| thepiguy & Wyatt earned the नेपाल Geohash Achievement