2012-08-17 51 5
Under something with a roof, next to a farm and a couple of big white vehicles on the 'dry' side of a dike following the river Lek.
An ad-hoc expedition, dragging along my girlfriend Iris when we found ourselves stuck in a boring town with a few extra hours on our hands.
After a weekend in the eastern part of the country, my girlfriend Iris and I drove around in the area for a bit before going home again. Around noon we decided that the town we were visiting had practically nothing to offer, so I suggested to look on her smartphone for any reachable geohashes along our route back home. There was one not too far out of our route and as we wanted to visit something anyway, the fuel was spent well rather than wasted, or at least that's what we told ourselves.
The hash appeared to be in a building or shed of some sort, probably on private property. A few large white vehicles, hopefully ice-cream trucks, were parked nearby. We didn't know if the hash would be reachable, but decided in front that we would settle for a consolation price if it was necessary. I'm quite happy with the no trespassing rule, because I'm sure I'd be in jail after a few hashes if it didn't exist.
After a nice drive, we left the highway and after a while we drove up a dike. Driving there was horrifying, considering the fact that I don't drive much and that all the oncoming traffic seemed to want to push us off the road and down the slope. Maybe it's a variety of russian roulette the locals play with each other to pass the time... Iris used her smartphone to find the address and after a while we passed a farmhouse which also facilitated camper storage, which was obviously the place. Although the vehicles weren't ice-cream trucks, I was still excited enough to almost crash the car, but because there is no achievement for that I decided to park it on a steep exit from the dike instead. Armed with my camera and my hashscot Pollo we walked back to the farmhouse.
With more guts than I thought I had I rang the bell and waited for someone to come, because although there weren't any signs, the hash was obviously on private property. At last, someone came out the back and I had to improvise a good story to get ambassador access to the property. Explaining geohashing to the woman was rather difficult (although we weren't surprised about that), but when I promised her that we would only walk a bit further and take a picture without disturbing or touching anything, she gave us permission. She seemed afraid that while we were back there, someone would break into the house, which was probably a side-effect of the ridiculously manic grins we wore to gain her trust.
After having walked a bit further, we checked the GPS and saw that the hash fell exactly in one of her barns. Being so close, we couldn't turn back now. For a moment we considered climbing onto the roof of the barn, but then it struck us that it might be easier to just open the door. I repeated my manic grin and asked the still very skeptical lady if we could go into the barn, because 'the people of the internet would not accept it if we were five metres off'. It took a lot of extra explaining to keep her from shooing us off her land, but in the end there is no arguing with the people of the internet and with a shrug she allowed us in. We reached the hash around 2.30 pm.
A rush of adrenaline came to us as we realised we were actually inside someone's property, telling them the internet sent us and that we had to go there to score 'points' on a website. We relished in the foolishness of our action. We took our pictures and then left so we would not disturb the woman any further. Because she still didn't really seem to grasp the idea of geohashing, I promised to send her a letter explaining the concept in more detail and a link to the expedition. After that, we thanked her and left. We took some more pictures in the vicinity, almost wrecked the car because I couldn't convince it to go uphill (so we kept sliding downward toward another car with every attempt to start it) and left for home, smiling and celebrating.
A few days later, I sent the lady the promised hand-written letter. I will post an update here if she sends a reply.
| Marvyn earned the Land geohash achievement
| Marvyn achieved level 1 of the Minesweeper Geohash achievement
| Marvyn earned the Ambassador achievement
| Marvyn earned the Drag-along achievement