2012-06-27 47 8
A private garden in Kempraten
Calamus thinks of it as a nice bike tour along Lake Zurich. In case the construction work seen on Google Maps is done by now, an ambassador achievement might be possible.
"Why didn't I just sail over to the hash, again?", Calamus asked himself under his breath, another powerful gust hitting his face, as he looked out to Lake Zurich longingly. "Not the foggiest", Steedy squeaked below him, "Because you've, dunno, been promising me this for almost a year now?" He was, of course, right. Ever since Steedy González had been given to Calamus, which was at age twelve, he had been a faithful companion to him, more trusty than rusty, a bike to love. So it seemed only right to take him to an expedition.
Besides, this particular one figuratively had the words "get me by bike" written on the map. Zurich bordered on one end of an oblong lake, and the hashpoint was in Kempraten, a part of Rapperswil town, at the other one. It was going to be a completely flat ride, with a nice view to go with it. The only fly in the ointment was the fact that the Google Maps satellite picture, dated 2011-07-03, showed the point to be on a construction site. So either it was still there, which meant it would be difficult to get to the point, or somebody was already living there, which meant it would be even more difficult. But it was just too nice a ride to miss out on, and besides, Calamus wanted to be in knowledge lead before Google maps just for once.
So the two of them left Zurich and rode along the east coast of the lake. Every now and then, Calamus stopped to gaze at the lake in awe. The rays of the sun, filtered by the majestic clouds, bathed it in one of their warmest lights, and Calamus wondered why there weren't more people out there sailing. He really loved his home.
He arrived in Kempraten without any problems and started looking for the hashpoint. The good news were that the construction site had been for a house, but for a public playground, which was now finished. The bad news were that it was next to a fence, and Calamus's GPS disagreed with Google Maps on the fact that the hashpoint was on his side. The gate didn't budge, so the hillside behind it had to be private. But Calamus hadn't come here to inspect a fence. After some searching, he found the house to which the hillside belonged. It was a big, modern house, so there were probably families living in there, who wouldn't mind a short visit to their garden.
Calamus accomodated Steedy. changed into what he thought was a respectable attire, which meant he exchanged his sunglasses for regular ones and stuffed his long hair under his very imposing baseball cap, rang the doorbell and waited. After some time, a man opened the door. Calamus winced slightly at the sight, not of the man, but of the house's inside. Behind the man, a large entrance hall extended, tastefully furnished, the floor covered with what were probably genuine Oriental carpets. This wasn't a multi-family residence. It was the manor of a wealthy man. And in Calamus's experience, wealth went along with unfriendliness and the strong desire not to waste one's time on people younger than oneself.
He managed not to let his voice shake too much as he explained a probably rather important man his need to go step on his private property, which doesn't go without saying, as it was the first time he found himself in this situation, and felt relief when the man responded with a warm chuckle. He had, not surprisingly, never heard of geohashing and, not surprisingly either, thought it to be rather silly, but he didn't see a problem in allowing this only slightly trembling fellow on his lawn for a few minutes, and so he opened the gate to his grounds and let Calamus pass along gardens, ponds and sculptures, until he reached the hillside, where a gardener was silently scything the grass and didn't seem to notice him at all.
The view from the point reached easily over the lake and beyond. Calamus didn't have a hard time understanding why somebody would want this place as their private spot. He took a few pictures and left the garden in peace once more.
He spent lunchtime in Rapperswil and then decided that riding back the same way would be boring. Since ships didn't always transport bikes (racists!) and riding over the Forch was suicide if one was untrained, he crossed the dam bridge to Pfäffikon, passing a cantonal tripoint, and rode back on the west side.
The last two aren't here for advertisement. They were just considered funny.
"D&D Haircutting, Adventure Barber" - you bet
| Calamus earned the Land geohash achievement
| Calamus earned the Bicycle geohash achievement
| Calamus earned the Ambassador achievement