2012-10-14 51 0
Today's location is in a field near Thurrock football ground.
- Aiming to reach the hashpoint between 12:30 and 1pm, as part of a day trip to London, and will have a picnic lunch there. Attempting a double hash with the West London graticule - see 2012-10-14 51 -0.
 Expedition - failed
We caught the train to Purfleet station, approximately 2 miles from the hashpoint, and had planned to walk to the hashpoint from there. The first half of the walk worried us slightly, heading through an industrial estate, and we wondered whether we'd be able to get access on a Sunday. However the second half looked quite pleasant, through some woods and fields by a river, before crossing a road near Thurrock football ground to get to a nearby field.
As it turned out, there were no problems at all getting through the industrial estate, which seemed to be a pretty popular route for local traffic - at times it felt similar to walking down a country lane where you're always checking behind you for traffic.
After we emerged from the industrial estate, we attempted to find a route into the woods. This is where we got the first sign that this wasn't going to be a smooth expedition: an access road to the woods had a sign telling us that it was a Scout camp site, and private land. Undeterred, we adjusted our plans and decided to continue towards the hashpoint along the less scenic route: the pavement alongside the busy Purfleet Arterial Road.
Some distance along this road, however, our spirits were raised by a sign clearly indicating a public footpath through the woods. We headed into the woods, and came out into a field on the other side. We attempted to find the river, but couldn't see it through a row of trees, so continued in the direction of the hashpoint.
The field eventually came out in a road opposite Thurrock football ground, exactly as planned. The hashpoint was in a field to the north of the football ground, and so we headed north along the road. Another potential problem was immediately obvious: the football club had seemingly bought some of the land adjacent to their ground and turned it to training facilities. These weren't yet shown on the Google Maps satellite image, and a sign saying "Trespassers will be prosecuted" had us thinking it wasn't our day.
Nevertheless we carried on, and fortunately the land owned by the football club ended before the hashpoint, as we reached a sign describing a walk and cycle route through The Mardyke Valley, which looked like it might go straight through the field with the hashpoint. Perhaps we were going to make it after all?
Sadly, this was a fleeting hope, because it soon became apparent that the field we were aiming for (which looked like open grassland on the satellite photos) was now being used to keep horses, and was surrounded by a wooden fence covered with barbed wire. Even if the fence hadn't been there, the middle of the field was flooded, and we established by walking around it that the hashpoint was not on dry land at the moment. We made it to within 44 metres of the hashpoint.
We still had to eat the picnic meal that we'd brought with us, so we wandered into an adjacent field and sat down to enjoy our lunch, before heading back to the train station to do non-geohash-related activities in London in the afternoon. Although our first ever attempted geohash had ended in failure, we had success with the West London graticule later that evening - see 2012-10-14 51 -0.
| PaintedJaguar earned the No trespassing consolation prize
| PaintedJaguar earned the My kingdom for a boat consolation prize